Its midnight in Phoenix and 9am in Italy...basically 24 hours from the time I left. I have arrived in no less than one piece and the cat lost another life today, but since he has so many, we arent worried!
I paid $700 today for my suitcases and cat! What a bargain, eh? Then as I was about to go through my last gate to board, I realized that the ticket gal didnt give me back my veterinary certificate....what a drag that would have been! So, just for fun, they made me go through security again (i.e. take shoes off, take cat out of bag, take 2 laptops out of bag, walk through, get dressed and organized, etc.). With all that, even before I left Venice, I felt like I hadnt showered in 3 days.
The flight from Venice was uneventful and almost everyone had their own row because it was empty. I watched 3 movies which was a treat since I havent seen a movie in a year. Ate some horrible concoction they Italian food on the plane and got a lecture from the flight attendant because I had the cat carrier on the seat next to me instead on the floor. She said I was committing some Federal felony and if the pilot knew, he would have to land immediately (nice trick since we were over the Atlantic!).
Being in Atlanta for 3 hours was surreal--my country, my language, my home. First, I had to deal with customs and my 5 suitcases..by the way, there are carts down there but no porters, so be prepared! When I finally made my way through, they saw the cat and told me I had to go to another line. So, I schlepped my 2 carts and the cat whereupon the woman there told me she didnt want to see any paperwork because they dont check cats! "What, you dont think my cat can carry a disease? I worked hard to get this piece of paper and then I almost lost it and had to go back and get...now, just look at it!!!!!!" Obviously, I was tired at that point :-)
The flight from Atlanta to Phoenix was completely booked and pretty turbulent since there happens to be many tornadoes going on right now. Poor Mr. P, lost his lunch a few times. It was a long 4 hour flight for both of us.
Upon arrival, two of my friends greeted me with flowers and candy and tabloid magazines so I could get re-acclimated! We paid the porter to schlep because I really couldnt do it anymore and came back to my house.
Talk about strange feelings, turning down my street and unlocking my door for the first time in a year. The house was immaculate, my mother had brought my car back into the garage and Mr. P seemed to remember his old stompings (either that or he was just so damn happy to be out of the cage!).
So, all the bags are right where we wheeled them in, I ache all over, I ate one candy bar already and I think its time for bed!