Back in the US!

Wow- what a day yesterday was.  We attempted to get home and we almost did- Tracy and Diana are home and I am at Tracy's parents house in New Jersey...

We saw a few openings for the trip back to Atlanta last night so we decided to try to go home (the alternative was to fly to Zurich or Vienna as the flights back to Atlanta were better).  We arrived at the Rome airport and fought our way to the Delta counter and had our standby reservations changed to fly back to Atlanta- but the guy at the counter had scheduled me to return on a different flight than Diana and Tracy.  I went back to the counter and the guy wasn't there for 10+ mins; and then I had to wait for two groups in front of me to finish their business.  The guy made a call and told me to go through the 'Medallion Members' line- which took 20+ minutes; then the baggage check-in was filled with fossils checking in 5+ bags each- which took another 15+ minutes.  When I got to the baggage check-in, it was 30 mins before the flight so I was told the flight was closed and I could only be re-scheduled to another flight through JFK- which was 2 1/2 hours later.  Luckily I could check my bag in and I went on to the gate.

I went to the waiting area and I was able to get on the flight- there was even an open seat next to me on the flight so I could take up both seats.  The flight to NYC was 11 hours and fairly uneventful and boring; I played with my PSP and prepped my Florence photos for upload. 

After landing I had to go through customs and re-check my non-carry-on luggage.  Customs took about 10 minutes but then I had to wait for my baggage to come down the carousel so I could re-check it in- and it took 30+ minutes for this to happen.  After this I had to go though security again (10+ minutes) and arrived at the gate with about 10+ minutes before the flight departure.  I was number 24 on the stand-by list and there was only 1 seat free- so I had to wait another 2 hours for the 6:45 flight to Atlanta to see if I could get on.  I was in the #41 spot on the standby list, so it was pretty much impossible for me to get back to Atlanta.   

Tracy made plans for me to stay with her parents in Denville, NJ and I took the Amtrak train to the Jamaica station.  From there I took the E subway to Penn station to the NJ train and the train took me to Denville where Tracy's mom picked me up (at 12:30am). 

I now have a business class seat on AirTran back to Atlanta tomorrow at 11:00am- which cost less than renting a car one-way to Atlanta...

I spent most of the day just relaxing and hanging out with Tracy's father.   I have uploaded a lot of my pictures to flickr as the parents have Verizon FIOS- which looks like a 15Mbps down/2Mbps up connection!  (I cannot wait to get this speed in Atlanta!)

Monday I am back to work for 2 weeks and then I am on vacation for 2 weeks for Dragon*Con!

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