Between Katakalon and Venice the time changed, giving us an extra hour. Unfortunately, I forgot to set my watch back. So, I woke up at 5:00 thinking it was 6:00, then woke Debi up at 6:30 instead of 7:30. Oops! It worked out okay as we got to go the nice restaurant for breakfast one last time. We then said goodbye to the rest of the family who had different travel arrangements home and disembarked. Everyone else was staying onboard until 3:30 as their flights were late in the evening. We made it to the Venice airport by 9:30 but couldn’t check in for our 2:30 flight until 2 hours before, which is some bizarre rule at that airport (maybe in Europe, generally?), so we played outside near the baggage claim for a few hours. Since we still had all of our luggage, we pulled out some of Toren’s toys and let him play with them. This attracted the attention of some other children waiting around, so Toren ended up making a couple of friends, an Italian girl and a British girl.
We finally headed up to check in around 12:00, but the line was already very backed up for our flight. We got really worried that we would miss our flight, especially since traveling internationally with a lap child seems to require very complicated paperwork (it took us almost 20 minutes to check us in). We finally made it past security with minutes to spare and made it to our plane just in time to board (at the very end of the line). Additionally, for some reason our seats weren’t together, so Debi had to handle Toren by herself. Meanwhile, I chatted with a nice couple from England (mostly the husband), who regaled me with a number of stories, mostly about Saint Anthony (he was a devout Catholic with a deep interest in Saint Anthony). Toren did okay on the flight, luckily, so Debi wasn’t too upset about us sitting apart. And the couple she sat next to were helpful and understanding.
Our connection was in Amsterdam. We had to hurry through that airport as well as we didn’t have much time between flights. Unfortunately, however, our flight out of Amsterdam was delayed by about an hour and a half, first because of a straggler, then because of a mechanical problem. The flight was relatively uneventful, but we didn’t get much sleep.
When we arrived in Atlanta, we were delayed pulling up to a gate as well, by about 20 minutes. Once we disembarked, we literally ran through the airport to try to catch our connection to Tampa, but we arrived at the gate just as they sealed the door to the plane. We were not alone. There were about 8 of us on the flight from Amsterdam who were all trying to make the Tampa flight. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone around to help us reschedule, so we ended up traipsing through the airport for about an hour trying to figure out who could help us (there was an Italian family that didn’t speak much English that we were trying to help as well). We eventually found a ticket agent, who set us up with rooms at a nearby hotel for the night and booked us on an early flight the next morning. We checked into the hotel around midnight and had to be back at the airport at 5:30.