I was planning a quick 'gonna be gone for two weeks so no posts' post but then got caught up in the NCAA Frozen Four hockey tourney in St Paul. I was happy to see the team from the shores of Gitchee Gumee, the UMD Bulldogs, win but i got too wrapped up in the hockey and packing for our vacation and never got around to it. I do have time now however as we are stuck in Chicago rather than landing in Rome.
It started poorly. I was detected with an illegal knife, the 3/4" fingernail cleaner on my money clip. I refused to surrender it, they rejected my offer to break the blade off so I left the area and broke the blade off myself. My boarding pass now had a large orange "P 4 knife" scrawled on it but I made it back through. In Chicago we had to leave the secure area to get to the international terminal where I was detained for illegal water in my carry on. To solve this security breach, I grabbed the bottle and chugged it. Disapproving looks all around. Once in the O'Hare int'l terminal we found fewer amenities than in the Bismarck airport but they would sell us a $8.50 Bud. We boarded our Alitalia Airbus on time, left the gate, and sat on the Tarmac in 90f cabin temps while they worked on some issue. I asked if anyone wanted me to whisk them with the birch branches or throw some more water on the rocks but I just got blank looks. After two and a half hours we were disembarked and told to come back the next day for a 2pm flight. We stood in line for hotel and meal vouchers, not valid for alcohol of course, and were shipped to the hotel. Our precious tickets for the tour of the Scavi excavations under St Peters in the Vatican are now officially useless. We leave for round two of airport angst in an hour.
I may kick out a quick Twitter-like post upon arrival in the Eternal City but it depends on connections. I also can't figure out how to upload photos on this iPhone so it loomsime text for now. In a small but fitting example of how this whe thing was handled by the airline, as we all stood in line awaiting our laboriously hand written vouchers, a couple hundred of us, an Alitalia rep stood up and loudly announced in English that all Italian speakers who couldn't speak English needed to move to the right of the crowd for instructions in Italian. You just can't make that stuff up!