Yesterday Giuseppe announced that he does actually miss Italy, well Europe in general, and would like to someday return.
“Well, obviously,” you say. Hah. If only. We moved to California just over two years ago and ever since Giuseppe has been proclaiming his eternal love for the United States. When we were married three and a half years ago, I never thought that we would be moving away from Italy. (I mean, I would never choose to leave. You know I’m obsessed with l’Italia!) Anyway, Giuseppe’s been pretty constant in his adoration for the U.S. Which left me without hope of ever returning to Europe to live. I had come to accept that I would have to quench my European nostalgia with annual vacations.
So, you can imagine my joy when Giuseppe stated that he would someday consider returning. Who knows when, but at least the option is open, right? In the meantime, we will be enjoying this gorgeous Midwestern autumn.
As soon as our Air France flight took off from Canada, I was quickly reminded why I am so in love with Europe.
All of the French airline attendants were so kind, classy, and gorgeously groomed. One flight attendant, Natalie, took us under her wing, playing with Paolo and being extra sweet to me. By the end of the flight she was Paolo’s new girlfriend. (This was a God-send after all of the terrible, terrible events in the Toronto airport. I would elaborate, but I don’t even know if I want to go there.) The airplane meal was actually good and as we eased into our overnight flight, I enjoyed a delicious glass of red wine, which is standard for Air France. The entire flight was comfortable and the Air France employees were so much more personable and easy to deal with than anyone I have ever encountered on any domestic airlines.
When we arrived to Paris for our layover, the French airport employees were actually helpful and kind. (And everyone was gorgeous. Everyone. All the women have beautifully applied make-up and perfectly coiffed hair.) One official whisked me into a shorter passport line that was actually only for EU citizens, but they helped me through anyway to make sure we made our connecting flight. A random Air France pilot helped me take the escalator with Paolo and our belongings to shorten our trek to the next gate. Once at the gate, the handsome attendant had us board before all the other passengers so that I could install the car seat before the passengers arrived. He simply brought us through check-in before pre-boarding had even begun. No silly questions about the car seat, just very helpful to us. And the airline attendants helped me with our bags before I even asked.
Once we arrived to Napoli, one of the attendants helped us onto the shuttle bus, where he put us right next to the driver. Once we arrived to terminal, the driver helped us down and smiled at Paolo. When I went to the fetch our luggage from the conveyor belt, an airport employee brought me a luggage cart free of charge and offered to help me load it and carry it outside. I accepted the cart gratefully, but managed the luggage alone.
All along the way from Paris to Napoli, people were kind and personable and helpful. Which is not something I can say as a generalization when traveling domestically. Yes, it happens, but is certainly not the norm. It was such a great way to start our trip to Italia. I arrived to Napoli feeling so happy and welcome; I am so excited for our month-long stay here.