Yes, we've FINALLY come to the end. Unfortunately I have only one picture for this post, but don't worry the next post will make up for it as it's basically going to be a picture show and tell. The last day in Venice we have a 4am wake up call. That's early. The water taxi picks us up at the hotel at 4:45am. It's rainy and icky out. I was kinda hoping (and simultaneously not hoping) to see a Venice rat, but we didn't. It turns out the airport is pretty far away, and we get on basically a water highway to get there. My dad is amazed.
We get to the airport. At the security area instead of having the rollers that you push your carry-ons over to go into the X-ray machine, the whole thing is a conveyor belt. My dad picks up a plastic tub and puts it on the conveyor. He turns away to take off his belt, and when he looks back down his tub has moved about a foot closer to the X-ray machine (as typically happens with moving conveyor belts). He gets extremely confused and looks around as if searching for some way to stop the conveyor. The tub keeps moving along. Just before the still empty tub enters the X-ray, he picks it up and has to move back in the line because everyone behind him (me and my mom) have figured out the moving conveyor thing and are ready to send our stuff through.
We board a KLM flight to Amsterdam (much better than Alitalia). I fall asleep on the flight, and when I wake up discover that the snack fairy has left two wrapped sandwiches on my tray table. I'm starving and open them up. The one is some sort of weirdo bologna looking meat and the other is egg salad. Mmmm....egg salad at 8am, sign me up! I eat it because like I said, I'm starving.
We get to the Amsterdam airport and have to go through passport control. We go up to the blond Dutch guy at the window and hand him our passports. He starts flicking through them and says "I don't see an entry stamp." (Flashback: Bitches in Rome waving anyone and everyone into the country without checking any documentation.) When we explain that that's because we don't have entry stamps we are escorted to an office. They ask if we have our boarding passes from when we flew to Europe or at least an itinerary. After frantically searching backpacks, we don't find any, but do have our bill from the hotel in Rome showing when we checked in. They take that and we get wonderful correction stamps in our passports.You want one. I know you do. As we are leaving the office, two other people without entry stamps who also flew into Rome come in. We still have about 2 hours till our flight leaves for Chicago, so we go to find food. My mom and I end up splitting a quarter pounder and fries at McDonald's. (Don't judge!) We have to go through more security just to get to the gate, and I get the most thorough pat down EVER. There is a large dutch woman who now knows me disturbingly intimately.
The KLM flight to Chicago is great. Good food: chicken curry, ice cream, pizza, warm coffee cake, probably some other food that I didn't write down and don't remember. We have individually controlled entertainment systems in the seat backs. I watch No Strings Attached, Burlesque, some episodes of CSI and NCIS and play some Tetris. I also tried to play Who Wants to Be A Millionaire until I discovered it was all British questions. Plus all the flight attendants are smiley and blonde.
We arrive in O'Hare. Pass through customs and passport control. No problem. My parents are speaking American like normal human beings and no longer saying things like "I think perhaps I might use the toilet before I dine." For some reason being in a foreign country makes you speak like English is your second language. I transfer to another terminal and check in for my flight to Atlanta, plus have to recheck my luggage. Security is slightly confused by the bubble wrapped vase in my purse, but after confirming that is not an explosive send me on my way. In Hartsfield airport, I discover the amazing and life changing Coke Freestyle Machine. Seriously, if you have one of these in your area, go use it. I had a Grape Fanta Zero...who knew Grape Fanta Zero was even possible. Fly to Greensboro. I'm exhausted. My friend Jason picks me up and drops me off at home...Glad to be back.