On my way back. Three hour drive to Rome, then turn in the car (line), get boarding pass (line), cross airport, wait, board, wait on tarmac, then 9 hour flight to Montreal, overlay for 3 hours, and then on to D.C. and a cab home. I figure 21 hours of travel.
I miss my wife. And dogs. But my wife most of all.
Managed to drive a stick through Italy without incident despite 25 years in automatics, serious hills, hairpin turns, and deficient signage warning motorists of road construction.
Good people everywhere. Just keep your sense of humor and your expectations low.
End note: As low as I kept my expectations, United Airlines and Air Canada drilled for the basement. The pilot and a stewardess did not show up for the flight from Quebec to DC (wonder what they were doing together?), and the airline did not inform the passengers until after the plane was supposed to take off. That was two hours after the airline pilot was supposed to be there, and after every hope of making a connection on another flight that night had evaporated. In the end, I could not fly out from Montreal that day, and the airline put me through multiple lines and a lengthy wait before they gave me a voucher to go to some hotel a bus ride away. I got up at 4:30 in the morning, to make an 8 am flight with a connection through Toronto. I had to go through the boarding pass line, the baggage line, the secuity line, and the immigration inspection line all over again. And then I had to wait, wait, wait. Signage is bad everywhere, and apparently everyone is new to their job. Lesson: never take a connector flight, especially not one in Canada. Never take United. Stay away from Air Canada.