|Florence, exactly a week earlier. Little did we dream our big adventure was still ahead.|
So many tales to tell about our trip to Italy! But first, I had to share this:
Such a good idea: a comfortable and speedy ride home after a nine hour flight! No parking! No trains! Perhaps we should have read the reviews for “Dave’s Best” airport shuttle service first, including their “F” rating from the BBB.
After going through customs, we phoned the dispatcher at Dave’s. It was 4:30 PM. The dispatcher first informed us that we would be leaving Kennedy at 7:00 PM, more than two hours hence. But then, what luck!! He told us a Dave’s Best van awaited us outside right now! We oozed through the humid air, and into said van, where we met our driver, Russell. Luggage loaded and away we went!
Russell hates air conditioning. He cranked open the driver’s side window to let in every bit of stifling air, and we sweltered. The Belt Parkway was closed, so straight through Brooklyn and Staten Island we slogged. At the Jersey Turnpike at last, Russell announced that we would be heading to Newark Airport, to pick up more people! Plus, Russell was sick! Coughing, sneezing, and rubbing his head, he called the home office, asking that a co-worker pick up his prescriptions from Walgreen’s, because we wouldn’t get home by the time they closed (9:00 PM!)
In Newark, an elderly couple joined our party on wheels, along with their huge number of suitcases. On the road again, finally! But wait! Another fine “Dave’s Best” vehicle had broken down on the side of the highway several miles ahead. Russell needed to head over and pick up THOSE passengers! We soon spotted the van and the folks descending from it—five people in all, toting what looked to be their entire worldly belongings. It took a good 20 minutes just to load in these extra guys and gals and their stuff (they insisted on opening and checking each bag). By now, our dreams of a timely return home had been dashed—we just wanted to get home at SOME point. Surely our last interruption?
Surely not. Russell exited the highway at Feasterville, PA for a reason that was soon clear: Newark couple was expecting a door-to-door lift to their house. As the van chugged to a halt in their neighborhood, Russell sloooowly carried their bags into their condo. Our five extra wayfarers also got out, and checked their bags yet AGAIN, in case anything had magically vanished.
When it looked like our come-lately companions were about to ask for a drop off at THEIR home in Jenkintown, Steve had had enough, and asked Russell to ferry us to our door. And so it was that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang pulled up to 122 Apel well after 9:00 PM, and Russell departed in a cloud of exhaust.
For a mere $120, we got five hours of hell, to welcome us back to the USA.
|The Longest Day...|
Next time, we’re walking home from JFK. How much worse could it be?