Remember back when we checked in at the Philly airport and British Airways did not have the request on file for a wheelchair? Well, they assured us that we would have a wheelchair for the rest of the legs of our trip. So when we arrived in Italy, guess what we found? No wheelchair! Well, of course not! The British Airways people are too busy preparing meals to worry about accomodating handicapped travelers!!
After waiting a little bit, Dot and Russ decide to tackle the task on their own and grab an unattended airport wheelchair. We have to collect our luggage here in Heathrow, then check it in at the baggage storage facility here. That makes it easier to travel on to Rome. Thank goodness something is easier, because our flight has come in to terminal 4, but we leave out of terminal 5. Terminal 4 is somewhere in London. Terminal 5 is near Dubai. Planes, trains, and automobiles later (okay, not all of that, but at least two trains), we are at terminal 5, Starbucks, and oh so close to Rome.
The people responsible for lining up wheelchair transportation are busy on our flight to Rome preparing our snack. I’m pretty hungry at this point, so the egg salad sandwich with bacon and ketchup actually tastes pretty darn good. The kids are tired from the lack of sleep, and they are especially crabby. Granuaile finally falls asleep with about 30 minutes left until we hit the ground in Rome, but that’s enough to recharge her batteries.
We arrive a little late to our destination at Fiumicino Airport, but we have no trouble finding our driver. We have searched the web to find a driver/tour guide for our whirlwind tour, and after a brief phone conversation with him a couple of months ago, I am confident we have made the right choice. Manilo Tranquilli, the owner operator of a company called Limousine Service in Rome www.limousineserviceinrome.com is waiting for us with a big, comfortable, air conditioned van. He very graciously assists us with our luggage, and patiently waits while we all climb in and settle into seats. We make the drive to the Marriott Rome Park hotel, which is absolutely beautiful, and Manilo waits for us as we check in. We make a mad dash to drop the bags in our three very beautifully appointed rooms, and then we head back down to the car for an up close and personal tour of the city of Rome. It was so beautiful, and the best part of the ENTIRE trip? Dot got her Rome book!!