After what seemed to be a living nightmare, getting to Italy through the hurricane and the wake of its disaster in New York, we finally heard the captain say, “Fasten your seat belts, we are making our descent, welcome to Venice Italy.”
We landed in Venice and in just a few moments I would meet the woman who was scheduled to be our guide for the next 10 days, little knowing at that moment she would become a forever friend: Franca Koxvold.
She stood there at the airport totally uncertain as to whether we would even arrive. For later she told me that all of her tour guide associates had to wait another day for flights coming from the US as the hurricane damage was widespread.
A quiet little sign “Harris” was like a beacon of light for me. Through the baggage claim and out to the main area for departures, tired and weary, pulling luggage along, I saw the sign. I took several more steps forward and all I remember is her embrace as she welcomed me, and us, stating that she was grateful we had made it. Quite frankly, I started to cry. It had been such an ordeal but at long last, we were in Italy.
From here the pace gets easy and consistent to all our other trips, get on the bus, instructions, look left, look right and we arrived at our hotel. For all of us weary travelers, to unwind was tough. It had been a grueling and tense 48 hours. A celebration was in order.
Franca bought us a glass of extra cold Prosecco. Ok, I’m game, what is Prosecco? Prosecco is a white wine grape variety used to make sparkling wine. It also happens to be a region located in Veneto in northwest Italy. It is the Italian Champagne, salute’. Yes, we had arrived, safe and sound, ready for more adventure and memories that I hold among my souveniers.