What a thrill it once was to go to the airport!  When I was a child, JFK was a destination in and of itself–its hordes of luggage-laden travelers dressed for every season on the planet, conversing in myriad languages, gesticulating according to their customs.  Women in silk saris, men in designer suits, backpackers in jeans and t-shirts…here, the world was represented in all its fascinating diversity.

There was a glamor to the idea of flying on an airplane.  We checked our luggage with a skycap at the curb, we bought snacks and magazines at the newsstand by the gate, we boarded ontime and settled into our seats, excited for the trip, but also for the experience of takeoff, flying 35,000 feet above our home and landing, miraculously, in a place perhaps very different from the one we’d woken up in that morning.

The stewardesses (not yet flight attendants) smiled at everyone and gave us children coloring books.  They brought food–for free!-which wasn’t very tasty, yet was anything cooler than eating a hot chicken parmigiana meal while flying high above earth in an enormous metal bird?

Now, an hour before the car picks me up to take me to JFK, as excited as I am for my trip, I am dreading running the airport gauntlet.  Will my suitcase come in under the weight limit?  Will I breeze through the security line after removing my shoes from my feet, my belt from my waist, my laptop from its case?  Will they find it in their hearts to let me carry on a laptop, a Timbuktu bag and a purse?  And the biggie:  will the plane be on time?

I am due to arrive in Rome at 7:25 a.m. (Rome time).  From the airport, I will take a taxi to Termini Station, from which I will travel on Eurostar to Naples.  In Naples, I will cab it from the train station to the port, where I will board a hydrofoil to Capri.  From there, a ride (haven’t nailed this down yet) to the other side of the island–to Anacapri–and I will have finally reached my first destination.

There are a bunch of legs involved here, and I’m travelling alone this time, so I admit to being slightly nervous while assuming things will go smoothly.

Next time you check in here, I’ll be in Anacapri (18th), celebrating my birthday.  Ciao for now!