9/13/98 First Entry It's now 8:15am and I am at London Heathrow. I now have a 9 hour wait for my plane to Rome. We left the folks' house at 4:00pm yesterday on the way to EWR. The ride was going well until we discovered that the I-80 on-ramp from Lyons Ave was closed. After driving through some really bad neighborhoods and trying to figure out what to do, we finally got on I-80 in the opposite direction until we found a place to turn around. As it turned out, we arrived at the airport in plenty of time and wound up standing in line for a while. The flight was long but smooth (747) but upon deplaning here at Heathrow we had to endure bus rides, long walks, and lengthy waits. This airport is the WORST I've ever experienced. It was no better last year. Teddie caught her plane but it was full so I was unable to get on with a standby ticket. As a result, I have to wait until 5 pm for the next flight. I thought about taking the train to town but it would be too much bother, going through customs and all.

The Motel Corsi has proved very convenient for us9/14/98 Italy!! Things are getting off to a rough start!! Teddie arrived on time but two of our bags did not and are still MIA. Moreno and Peppone had come to the airport to pick her up, but eventually gave up on her as she waited for the bags for a couple of hours. As a result, she took a taxi to the hotel and was charged a double fee by the driver. He claimed that fares short of Rome were double, but she feels it was a simple rip-off (Alberto later confirmed that it may well be the official policy). Anyway, upon reaching the hotel she contacted Peppone who dropped by and visited. Also, she called Moreno who then came down and brought her to his home where she was greeted by the rest of the family and had dinner with them. Later they returned her to the hotel. Meanwhile, I endured the long wait at LHR by sleeping, walking around, eating, and watching TV. Finally, my plane left and it was a smooth flight to FCO, but a very rough landing in a stiff breeze. I found my way to the car rental place where I got a car (at a much higher rate than I expected) and headed out. While trying to find the hotel, I got lost - VERY lost. I tried one turn Now in London.  Next stop - - ITALY!!after another but just made things worse. The GPS was on the dash but seemed to be pointing off in the wrong direction. Eventually I reached the point where it appeared I would have to spend the night in the car at the side of the road. As a last-ditch measure, I decided to follow the guidance of the GPS, even though it was leading me away from the direction I felt I should be going. Eventually I found a road that the GPS seemed to like and followed the needle as the distance counter continued to count down. When it read about 1/4 mile, the Corsi Hotel appeared ahead on the left!! Another save by the GPS! Teddie was very relieved that I had finally arrived. So - this morning I am clean, but wearing dirty clothes! We will check on the missing bags before heading for Roccalbegna. All of my clothes are in the bags and I'm not sure what I'll do if the bags fail to show.
10:40pm - All is well with the luggage! We drove to the airport this morning and went to see if they had found our bags. While Teddie was standing at Roccalbegna, as seen from the old chapel on the hillthe counter, a man started by with a large cart piled high with bags. As luck would have it, I recognized my bag in the middle of the stack! Then we saw Teddie's at the bottom. So now I have clothes again! After that we drove to Roccalbegna. We saw Eugenia in the square and visited for a while before going to the Simonelli's. Franca was busy getting the place ready for us. Then we went to Vezio's and said hello to he and Primina. After that we went to visit the crash site for a while. This evening they had a procession through the village and Teddie joined Vezio and Primina. Afterwards they had a celebration with food , wine, and a band. We saw several people, including Massimo, Mr. Raffellio, Franco, and Andrea. They lit large hot air balloons which then flew high over the village before finally self-destructing and falling to earth in a ball of fire. We met a man named Vito who speaks some English and did translating for us. He, Teddie, Vezio, and I then went up to see the newly renovated castle above Vezio's. It was dedicated only two days ago on the 12th and it looks great! Then we all went down to Vezio's and had a nice dinner. Tomorrow we will meet Andrea and others at the school to view the compass from the B-26. At noon we are to go to Andrea's mother's for lunch.

9/15/98 Finally awoke at 9:00 this morning. Sleep was good, although the my bed springs are soft and it was like sleeping on a hammock. Tonight I will lay the mattress on the floor and see if that helps. We did some basic shopping, ate breakfast at the apartment, and then went to the school where we met Andrea, Vito, and another man. They took me to the home of Piserini Gianpiero who has a compass which is reported to have come from the plane (see picture). It is A compass which may have come from the planeabout 3" diameter, 5/8" thick, glass face (intact!), black aluminum - no markings other than degree ring. Also he had a piece of plastic pipe 1' long and 1" in diameter with a 1/2" hole down the length. After we left there we picked up a shovel and pick and went to the crash site where Vito and Andrea filled in two rough areas on the gravel road while I stood around with my hands in my pockets. Then we visited the site for a while. On the way back we stopped in Santa Caterina where Andrea borrowed the key to a little museum which had been built last year. It was a very interesting place and we enjoyed Vito fills in a washout so we can drive to the crash siteVito's description of all the exhibits. Afterwards we dropped Andrea and Vito off at the school and returned to the apartment. We will meet at Andrea's mother's at una e mezza (1:30) for lunch.
3:45pm Just returned from lunch (dinner?) at Andrea's. Andrea, his mother, Mario, Vito, Francesco (Massimo's son), Vito's daughter. Very nice meal - most enjoyable company. Vito translated for us - we joked about his talents getting him *another* free meal. Mario and Andrea are going to look for a small piece of property for me to buy. They felt like I should be able to find something in the L2.500.000 to L3.000.000 range. Tomorrow we meet Andrea at 2:30 and he will take us to Sovana and other places that I saw in '96. Now we are going to take the car and drive in the country for a while.
6:30pm We drove past Mt. Labbro and around to Castel del Piano, stopping for fuel in Arcidosso. Caribinieri got fuel before us, driving front tire onto curb to tip car. Then we returned to junction near Bagnore and went up Mt. Amiata. After that we returned to Roccalbegna and bought some groceries and post cards. I found out that postage for overseas is Lit.900, not the Lit.800 I put on all the cards this morning! It will be interesting to see what happens to all the cards!
8:00pm I walked to the 'Rock' and took some video. On the way down I found a trail leading down and away from the apartment. I followed it past a cistern and pig sty and eventually came out on the Santa Caterina road near the municipal building. From there back into town and down the alley to the apartment. We made ham & cheese sandwiches and watched TV for a while (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman - all speaking Italian).

9/16/98 8:15am So far, it looks like another picture-perfect day outside; Clear blue skies, calm winds! Although it's a little cool in the apartment, the outside temperature has been perfect. Time for breakfast now.
7:00pm After breakfast we went to the crash site and found several fragments. Most of them we had to dig for but one bullet casing (exploded) was laying right on the surface. When we got back into town we ran across Andrea and Eugenia. She told us that Andrea was unable to take us touring The "rock" as seen from one of the village alleystoday after all. And she invited us by her house for food tonight at 9:00. We then made lunch at the apartment and headed out on our own. Toured Sovana, Sorano, and Pitilgliano. I kept looking for the castle wall we walked around in '96, but couldn't find it. I'm not even sure which town it was in. Finally got back to Roccalbegna about 20 minutes ago and went by the Farmacia to get directions to Eugenia's.
11:05pm Just returned from dinner. It was us, Eugenia, Gregorio (Eugenia's brother), Andrea, and Mario. Dinner was very good and the conversation was fun, although Eugenia was a little labored having to do all the translating. After dinner we had a liquor that made me cough. It was very strong!! Tomorrow we meet Andrea and/or Mario to look at a small piece of property that may be for sale. Also, we plan to drop by Vezio's in the morning to check on them. As usual, today has been busy and we're quite tired. Time to turn in now.

9/17/98 1:00pm Another beautiful day!! After breakfast we walked to the fortress and then took the trail past the pig sty’s. On the way down from the fortress we encountered Vezio guiding three men up the trail. We then returned to the apartment for a bit and afterwards went to the telephone to try and send voice mail to Alberto. We were able to reach the mail service, but the phone does not send tones so we could go no further. Later I went to Vezio's and used their phone to leave a message. After that Vezio gave us a tour of his shop and showed us some of the projects he is working on and the different woods they use here. Then we shopped for food and returned to the apartment for lunch. Earlier Franca came to our The church in Roccalbegna, complete with slanting doorwaydoor and said we were invited to dinner at Primina's at 8:00pm tonight and Moreno and Chiara should be there by then.
6:25pm Just returned from looking at property. Andrea and Mario brought us and Eugenia and Vezio down a gravel road near town center. Then we walked down a couple of paths to a small lot. They said it was about 1000 square meters and would sell for around L1.000.000. They also showed me another lot very close that might be for sale. At first they said it would be about 10MLit. but they later revised their estimate to about 5MLit. They will have to call the owner to see if he's interested in selling and how much. When we got ready to leave, Andrea drove his car by mine and was waiting for me to pull up a little so he could get by. I started to pull forward a bit and Teddie and Eugenia began hollering! It seems Vezio was in the process of getting in the back seat when I pulled away! After I stopped, he got in and I apologized, but he said he was ok. I'm hoping he has no pains from the incident - I will double check with Moreno later. I still feel very badly about it. After that we drove to a place on the other side of town where the Zamperinis' mother has a piece of land with grapes, vegetables, and fruit trees. We wandered around for quite a while before returning to town where Vezio went back home and the rest of us went to the bar and Andrea bought a round of beer. We all then split up for the day. Now I'm back at the apartment until we leave for Vezio's at 8:00pm. We hope Moreno and his family will have arrived by then.
11:40pm Just returned from dinner with Vezio, Primina, Moreno, and Chiara. It was most enjoyable, as dinners with them always are. According to what Moreno tells me, the transfer of property here may be more difficult than we imagined. We'll discuss it further tomorrow, and I need to find out the final cost of the property as well. We will probably go to the crash site or do something like that tomorrow as Vezio, Primina, Moreno, and Chiara will be celebrating Vezio and Primina's 40th wedding anniversary. Moreno and Chiara are returning to Rome on Saturday afternoon so we won't have very much time with them on this visit.

9/18/98 6:10pm This morning we went to the plant shop and bought a small potted cactus for Vezio and Primina. We dropped it off with them and then took the car for a drive. Went through Stribugliano, Castiglioncello, Ciniglano, Monticello, and Arcidosso. Then we went through Triana on the way back to Roccalbegna. We took a few pictures here and there but didn't do much touring. We had lunch at the apartment and then went to visit Sometimes renovations seemed like a hopeless taskthe castle above Vezio's house. On the way down we stopped at Vezio's and visited with the gang for a long time. Then we decided we had taken up too much of their time and went searching for Mario and Andrea, while Moreno and the gang went up to visit the castle. We were unable to find them and decided to return to the apartment. Teddie went to buy some groceries and I took the trail up to the fortress again and we both met at the apartment. We may walk to La Grotta for dinner this evening. Our schedule from here is uncertain. Moreno and Chiara depart tomorrow so we will remain around Roccalbegna for the day. Perhaps Monday or Tuesday we will try again to visit Florence. Teddie has just about given up the idea of visiting Civita because of the distance. 9:45pm Pizza at La Grotta was good, although the flies were determined to have a share. After dinner we ran across Eugenia who told us she spoke with Mario and the upper land is not for sale, but he knows of land elsewhere for 10MLit. I told her that was really more than I wanted to spend but for Mario to call Moreno tomorrow so they might discuss the complexities of the situation. Now it's time to head for bed and (hopefully) get a good night's sleep!

9/19/98 7:07pm Went to Vezio's this morning and chatted with Moreno for quite a while. Then a bunch of us went to Don Valentino's and he showed us his grapes and vegetables. We then return to Vezio's, helped him unload some parts for his chimney, and looked over his "project" house. Primina fixed us a nice meal from leftovers (including bunny) and we visited a while longer before returning to the apartment so Moreno and Chiara could get underway. Teddie went right in for a nap so I took the detector to the site and found several good pieces in the area across the road and next to the creek. Now we're having a sandwich dinner and discussing plans for tomorrow. Looks like a drive to Civita. Moreno gave me more information about proxies and such. Buying real estate is much more complicated than I had thought and there's a good chance I won't be able to accomplish it on this trip.

9/20/98 7:20pm It's been a long day today. We returned a borrowed basket to Vezio's (left it on their step) and then drove through Triana, Santa Fiora, Bagnolo, Saragiolo, Piancastagnaio, Rigo, Acqualpendente, Bolsena, and Bagnoregio to the town of Civita. To get to Civita we had to park and walk over a long elevated sidewalk. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get there (including the drive), but it was a pleasant time, full of many turns for me to navigate. Coming back we took a different route and went through Pitigliano and up through Sovana as we had done the other day. Just outside Roccalbegna we ran across Andrea who was feeding (and counting) some sheep he owns. He told us that the larger property was not for sale and I explained that Eugenia had told us that. Then he asked us to follow him into town where he ran and fetched Vito to translate. At this time we were met by an old man named Manfredo. they explained that he had been at the 10/96 ceremony in uniform. Also, he is the owner of the small piece Our little piece of Italy!of land we looked at the other day. He explained that the land actually extends all the way down to the river and the cost was 3MLit. We all drove to the property and walked the length of it. It's rough and irregular, but would be just right for what I want. Now we need to find out more about the Notary fees, which are estimated to be 2MLit. Also, I will have to designate a proxy to sign for me. Andrea is going to call and get some information tomorrow. He felt it would be best to make Vezio proxy as Vezio and Moreno could work on it together. We'll see what Andrea finds out tomorrow and go from there. This will be an interesting project for Alberto, perhaps! After looking the land over, we went further down the road and Vito showed us his father's vineyard. We all walked around the grapes, ate some, and enjoyed the countryside while the men spoke in Italian and Vito's son ran around at our feet. It reminded me of a scene from The Godfather! When we got back into town, Vito took us to his father's basement and showed us how the wine was made. Also, he gave us a glass of vino to taste and some cheese to go with it. His wife kept coming to fetch him so we eventually left and went to Vezio's. Primina brought me in and introduced me to her woman's group and then we chatted with Vezio for a while before returning to the apartment for the night. We have talked about going to Florence for two days but now have decided against it. It is just too much driving, walking, and arranging. The The valley below Roccalbegna as seen from the fortresscomfort and friendship of Roccalbegna has captured us once again!

9/21/98 8:45am The weather is not the "usual" clear blue today. It is dry, but there is a high overcast layer and the wind blew in gusts during the early morning hours. This morning is laundry time and nothing else is planned except pizza at Violetta's at 8:30 tonight. I may take the detector out to the crash site for a while. Also, I might drop by Vezio's to see if he needs help lifting the cement chimney pieces up onto the roof. Hopefully Andrea will have had an opportunity to find out some more about the Notary business and we can discuss it tonight. And, I need to leave voice mail for Alberto and ask him to email Peppone to invite him and his family, plus Stefano & Viviana, to dinner at the Corsi on Friday night.
11:15 Went to Vezio's and left a voice message for Alberto and retrieved the messages he left for me. Primina said Vezio had gone fishing for the morning. We had a nice visit, although we have a difficult time communicating. I really *must* take a course in Italian! She told me that they appreciated what I wrote in the book we gave them, and I'm glad for that. That have been so very nice to us that I want them to know how grateful we are.
4:00pm Just finished lunch!! Ate late because we went to the site and searched for fragments. We found quite a few, including several .50 The crash site is just south of Roccalbegnacaliber casings. We were searching where I went the other day - across the road, to the left of the stream that goes through the site. Whenever I'd start working my way towards the road, we'd start finding more fragments. We found considerably more today than in the other two days although none if it is really recognizable, and certainly nothing involves personal belongings. It looks like that's just not in the cards for this trip.
6:00pm We returned a while ago from looking at the property again. This time I took some videos. After we got back into town we stopped at the hardware store and bought a bronze door-knocker for L80.000. When we got home we looked over the stuff we found at the site today; lots of aluminum pieces, and about ten .50 casings. It will be interesting to get it all home and cleaned up.
10:45pm Just returned from dinner. Massimo made pizza and it was very good. Riccardo and Anna were there, along with Andrea, Mario, and Violetta. Plus Lark and Polli, the German Shepherds. It was a very pleasant evening, even though I think Massimo and Violetta felt a little left out because we spend most of our time chatting with Riccardo, the only English-speaking person at the table. I really must find a way to learn some Italian! We are constantly amazed by the warmth and generosity of the villagers! Even after three trips to this lovely place, I still cannot believe how these people will take in a stranger and bestow such open hospitality. As always, I wish there was some way I could begin to repay them, but I can think of nothing. Naturally I would be very proud to host any/all of them in Hawaii, but I feel it is very unlikely any of the will ever show up there. At a very minimum I must send each of them a warm thank-you card when I return to Hawaii; a woefully inadequate expression of my gratitude, but all I can think of for now.

9/22/98 8:35am ANOTHER beautiful day!! Yesterday's early morning winds and high clouds made me think that perhaps the nice weather was coming to an end, but nothing could be further from the truth. It's calm, clear, and blue outside! Right now we have no plans for the day except dinner at Andrea's cabin this evening. Perhaps a ride to the coast would be nice. Last year we viewed the shoreline very briefly, but I've heard there are many lovely areas on the shore of Italy.
7:40pm We had a good day of exploring the countryside but now I'm tired and it's good to be back at the apartment. We drove down to Scansano where we walked around a bit and then went into a bank to exchange (cambia). I exchanged $240 cash with no problem (L1.579) and then Teddie tried to exchange some Traveler's checks but they said she'd have to go to the bank down the street for that. We couldn't find the bank so we started back to the car and came across another. But when we went there, the man indicated that his computer was down so we left. Later she found a Credit Union bank that made the exchange. We drove southwest and stopped for a while in Magliano and had lunch there (the person tending the counter had been in the US before). I bought some post cards for Bob Thompson and the shop owner was very nice. Then we continued down to Orbetello and over to the island. Once there we got out and looked around the port town for a while. After that I drove up a narrow winding road to get a view from the top but finally gave up and turned back. We went along the coast road but eventually got onto the wrong road which ended in a "no entry" sign. After turning back we found another road which led us back down the other side of the island and back to Orbetello. We filled up with gas and headed back to Roccalbegna via the highway to Grosseto and inland. Teddie got some vino to bring with us and now we're waiting until 8:30 when we'll go to Andrea's cabin for dinner. Teddie is now napping.
11:05pm Dinner was very good and it was fun seeing everyone yet again. Vezio, Andrea, Mario, Eugenia, Riccardo, Anna, Violetta, and Massimo. The cabin is small and rustic and a great place for an informal meal such as this. The area is away from town and very dark - we could see all the A lovely meal at the Zamperini cabin.stars in the sky as we stood out front! Tomorrow is unplanned as of yet, except for Pizza at Vito's in the evening.

9/23/98 8:30am Another perfect weather day outside!! Either we have been incredibly lucky again in the weather department, or Italy has the best fall weather of anyone! This morning I will use Vezio's phone to leave another voice message and then we will perhaps go to the crash site again. I want to take a picture of it from the next ridge over and we are trying to devise a method of determining the exact spot from such a distance.
2:40pm We drove down towards the crash site and, with Teddie standing on the road to Scansano and me driving towards the site, we found the rock road to the side (by using 2-way radios). then we drove down to Montebello and had a spaghetti dinner. it was quite good although the woman who served it spoke no English. I couldn't remember if she was the same one from last year or not. When we finished we returned to Roccalbegna where we will catch a 30 minute nap before taking a walk around the village. 7:30pm Soon we walk over to Vezio's. The 30 minute nap turned into an hour and a half for Teddie and then she still wouldn't get up so I went for a walk around the village by myself.. I've spent the last couple of hours watching Italian TV and copying my log into my computer. I think this vacation has been just about the right length - we've seen and done everything we wanted (except Florence), visited with all our friends, and had a very good time. But we both feel it's time to start working our way west, back to Hawaii. If all goes as planned, we will be there in 4 days.
11:00pm Dinner was excellent and we had a very pleasant time. It was Vito, his wife, mother-in-law, 2 children, Andrea and Mario. I ate so much that I fear I will burst at the seams! We discussed schooling, Italian language classes, working hours, vacations, maternity leave, and many other things. But as with so many other nights, we felt it was getting late and we should be on our way. We're never really sure how late to hang around as we know they all have to work the next day. During this meal there was a great deal of discussion about the spelling of "Teddie". Because of this, I felt they might have a book or other item to present before we leave. We'll see. We told them we will be here at least until noon tomorrow, after which we're on our way to Rome. But for now - time for bed!

9/24/98 8:30am I guess I don't need to mention it again - the weather is perfect this morning!! Not much planned for the morning except packing and cleaning the place up a bit. Before we go we will be sure to drop by Vezio's and say goodbye. Also, I need to leave Moreno's metal detector I could spend all day just looking at doors in the village.there just in case we don't connect with him in Rome. In a way, I'm ready to begin the trip home and return to familiar surroundings. But in another way I hate to leave this place which has been so good to me. Also, I hold the crash site to be a very special area and I will stop by to have one last visit before turning west to Grosseto.
10:55am Well, we are all packed and the apartment is reasonably clean again. We told Vito that we would not be leaving prior to noon, so we'll stick around for another hour. Then we will need to pay Franca, say goodbye to Vezio and Primina, visit the crash site one last time, and head out for Grosseto and Rome. All good things must come to an end.......
5:20pm We checked into the Corsi a few hours ago. The drive down was smooth and routine. At about 11:20 this morning Vezio and Primina and Andrea came by the apartment. It looked as if they had expected us to leave later and were inviting us to Vezio's land for something to eat, but we were unable to communicate and eventually gave up and all said our good-byes. We made a brief visit to the site and then left for Roma, stopping briefly to drive through Cana. I checked the voice mail when we got here and Alberto's message said Stefano would be available to guide us tomorrow and will call us at the hotel after 5:00pm. He will take us to Alberto's mother's for tea tomorrow afternoon. For the rest of the day we will go shopping and/or touring. There will not be time to do anything on Saturday as we will have t head for the airport at 8:00am. We called Peppone and I left a message with his son (also named Stefano) that we are here. A while ago I called Moreno's and spoke with Isotta who told me that Moreno hopes to return from Genova tomorrow (he went to pick up their new van) but they don't know if it will be ready by then. We walked around the area for a while, strolled through a grocery store and a hardware store, and then returned to our room. I'm not sure what we will do for dinner this evening.
9:50pm Returned a minute ago from dinner at the restaurant across the street. The food was very good and quite reasonable (L43.000). When we got back to the hotel there was a message that Peppone had called so I rang him back and he will be meeting us tomorrow night at the hotel at 8:30. I called Chiara and gave her an invitation to join us, but I think it will depend on whether Moreno returns in time or not.

9/25/98 8:50am Just returned from breakfast and we are waiting for Stefano to arrive. He called last night and said he would come by around 9:00 to take us to museums, shopping, or wherever we want to go. The weather here is a hazy overcast and cool, but not cold. We're looking forward to seeing Stefano and spending some time with him. Unfortunately Viviana has exams she must study for and will not be with us today. This has been a great vacation but we're feeling more and more "travel-weary" and will be glad to be back in Oahu in a few days.

9/26/98 7:12am Dinner last night was great! Stefano picked us Viviana on the way back to the hotel and, after a while, Peppone and Marilena showed up. Right after that Chiara, Isotta, and Jacopo arrived. Moreno was still enroute from Genova with the new family van, but eventually showed up to join us. The food was good and the company very enjoyable. Everyone seemed to have a nice time (I know I certainly did!) and we were there until after 10:30. Then we gathered out front to inspect Moreno's new van, take a few more pictures, and say our final good-byes. As before, it was difficult to leave them; they have all been so very nice to us during all of my visits. (late entry) Stefano came by yesterday to take us around Rome. He looks good and was Stefano and Viviana.  Two very nice young people.enjoyable to be around. He drove into the "EUR" section of Rome with Stefano deftly darting here and there among the traffic and shooting through the clear areas at breakneck speed. It was Rome driving at its best (worse?)! We toured a museum for a while and then had coffee at McDonald's. Then we walked through a shopping area and did a thousand mental Lire/Dollar conversions. Then it was back into the car again and we raced through Rome to his grandmother's (Alberto's mother) house. There we spent about 2 1/2 hour visiting with a very charming lady! Stefano translated and I spoke slowly to help him. We had intended to stay for only an hour but the time just flew by. Then it was back into the car and a wild ride to the next shopping area where we walked around for about an hour and a half before returning to the traffic The museum tour was interestingfray to pick up Viviana and rocket over to the hotel; me in front playing with the GPS receiver, and Teddie in back, near-silent in stark terror.
8:55am Now at Fumicino awaiting departure. We left the hotel promptly at 8:00am and returned the car (no one else in line at the counter), checked in with British Airways (no one else in line), and strolled right through immigration and security. So now we have a three hour wait for the plane (has been rescheduled now for a 12:10 departure, instead of 11:15. Teddie is cruising through the shops and I'm sitting here guarding the bags and writing. This may be a very long day.
12:25pm We have boarded our plane but there is some delay and now everyone is just sitting here. As it was, the scheduled departure time was moved back over an hour. What originally was thought to be a three hour boring plane change in London may prove to be a 20 minute race through the terminal. Although I really enjoy being in Italy and other places, the "getting there and back" part of the vacation is quite distasteful.
6:15pm We made the plane change with no problems, although it involved the usual Heathrow nonsense; bus ride, long walks, gate searches, etc. What a place! Anyway, we have been in the air for a few hours now and the trip is going well. The flight from FCO to HTR was quite bumpy in places and the woman across the aisle was crying, but this flight is smooth so far. We still have about 4 1/2 hours to go, and then will deal with customs, and then we should be on our way to Bloomfield. Although I am anxious to begin working my way westward, back to Hawaii, I feel that familiar sadness in leaving Italy. I know I will return; I just don't know when.

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Last modified 11/23/00