If you read my story “Hoverounds Can Be Fun” then you know that I play a couple of games on Facebook. One game I play is Farmville and the other game is called Mafia Wars. I admit, I like Mafia Wars much better because there’s a lot going on most any time of the day. With Farmville, you plant something then you have to wait for it to grow, and it gets very boring. Anyway, as I said, I like Mafia Wars much better and I have a couple of mafia members that are always posting comments that make me laugh. So I usually try to help them with jobs and missions or whatever they need at the moment. I have this one person who is in my top mafia and for the last couple of days, when she needs some items to be sent to her, she posts, “more more more… how you ‘ like it how you ‘ like it…” The first time I read this post, I thought, “I know that song!” and immediately started singing it and then I thought “Italy!” And since that first post of her’s, that song has been stuck in my head and I have been dancing around and singing it for days.
The first time I heard that song was when my brother was in the Air Force. He joined the Air Force right after he graduated from high school, and throughout his career, he was stationed in several different places. For the entire time he was in the Air Force, my sister, Margo and I would visit him as often as we could; no matter how close or how far he was, we always managed to see him. During boot-camp, he was stationed in Texas, and then when boot-camp was finished, he was transferred to Arkansas. He stayed in Arkansas for a couple of years and then he was transferred to Naples, Italy. Although my sister and I would not be able to see him quite as often, we were very excited about the chance to travel to Italy. So, the first thing Margo and I did was to get our passports. Margo and I both started saving our money, and day after day, one of us would call the airport to check the price of round trip ticket from Nashville, Tennessee to Naples, Italy. When we had finally saved up enough money, we were ready to make the reservations.
Instead of making the reservations over the telephone, my sister and I drove to the airport and stood in the line at the TWA’s ticket counter. When it was our time to step up to the counter, we told the ticket agent that we were there to purchase two round trip tickets to Naples, Italy. The ticket agent started booking our flight, and when he told us how much it would cost, he was a bit surprised when we each pulled out $989 cold hard cash and laid it on the counter. He smiled and said, “That’s a lot of money for two young ladies to be carrying around.” We both smiled and said, “Yes it is and it took us a long time to get it. We have been saving for months.” We got our tickets that day, and on the way home we were so excited because in just one month, we would be going to Italy.
The closer the day came for our departure, the more excited we both became. I even bought an English/Italian translation book, and for two weeks, I practiced on a few Italian phrases because I thought it might be a good idea to know a little Italian. I learned a few phrases, but the ones I used most were: “Ciao”, which means hello or goodbye; “non è possibile”, which means not possible and “Vorrei una birra”, which means I’d like a beer.” I used those Italian words several times during my stay in Italy, and believe me, they came in very handy.–Especially “non è possibile”, but that’s a different story 🙂 Anyway, it seemed like an eternity waiting to go on our trip, but, finally, it was time for us to travel. We took my sister’s car to the airport and on the way out-of-town, the radio station broadcasted our leaving by saying, “This next song is for two of our local girls who will be traveling to Naples, Italy today. CJ and Margo, have a safe trip and we’ll see you when you get back. Ciao!” Realizing that we were actually on our way, Margo and I both screamed, “We’re really going!!!” After being on the road for almost an hour, Margo and I made it to the airport and parked the car in long-term parking.
Once we got inside the airport, we stood in TWA’s line and waited for a few minutes to check-in and I can remember being so very excited. When it was our turn, we stepped up to the counter and we were both talking and we were grinning from ear to ear. Margo put her suitcase down and I put mine right next to her’s. We handed the ticket agent our tickets and the lady gave us a pleasant smile and then commented on how happy we looked. We told her that we were going to Italy to see our brother and we could not wait to get there. Then all of a sudden, the lady frowned and said, “Hummmm… that’s odd.”
Now, when someone says, “Hummm….that’s odd.”, you know something’s wrong. At the exact same moment, Margo and I both asked, “What’s odd?” The lady looked at Margo and then she looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, but it appears that this flight was cancelled two weeks ago. Someone from TWA should have contacted you and explained the situation and booked you on another flight.” Mine and Margo’s smiles suddenly disappeared and both our hearts sank. My sister was almost crying when she said, “But please, we have been planning this trip for so long. We have both worked so hard to save our money and our brother is waiting to see us. Please, we have to go.”
Seeing how important this trip was to us, the ticket agent called her supervisor to the counter and she filled him in on what was going on. He looked at me and Margo and said, “I’m sorry, but the only other flight we could possibly get you on is leaving right this minute.” He stood there for a second, then he looked at his watch and said, “Stay right here. I’m going to make a few phone calls.” He left the counter and after about ten minutes, he returned to the counter. I am not sure what he told the ticket agent, but she got on the computer and was typing faster than I had ever seen anyone type. He grabbed mine and Margo’s bags and he looked at us and said, “Come on! We’ve got to hurry because you girls are going to Italy!”
The three of us literally ran through the airport, and when we reached gate C15, he yelled at the TWA employee that was standing at the gate door, “Two more passengers! The ticket counter’s preparing the tickets right now.” We continue through the gate and once we reached the airplane, the Pilot and the stewardess grabbed our bags and started stuffing them into a compartment right inside the airplane’s door. We stood in the doorway for another ten minutes and then I noticed a lady running down the gate’s tunnel. When she reached the doorway, she handed my sister an envelope and said, “Here are your tickets. First you are going to St. Louis and then to New York. Once you get to New York, talk to the ticket agent there and they will give you the rest of the tickets you will need to get you to Naples.” My sister and I thanked the lady, and when we were walking down the aisle of the 747 to find our seats, we overheard several passengers complaining about the flight being delayed for more than thirty minutes, and the entire time and all their eyes were focused on us.
We arrive in St. Louis on time and we had a half hour layover until our flight to New York. There was a terrible storm that day and I remember that it was thundering and lightening and it was making everyone nervous. The flight was delayed due to the bad storm, and that caused us to be almost an hour late arriving in New York.
Once we landed at the LaGuardia Airport, my sister and I went to the first TWA counter we found. The Nashville’s agent had contacted them and the lady at LaGuardia gave us the rest of our tickets. We had almost an hour before we would board our next flight, so we went to a snack bar to get something to eat and drink. We didn’t stray too far away from our gate, and we kept listening for them to announce the flight information for our flight number 1697 to London, but they never did. We also kept checking the monitors to find flight 1697, but we never could find it. Our tickets stated that our departure time was 3:15 p.m. and it was now 2:30 and the monitors still weren’t displaying our flight number.
Margo and I were getting concerned that something was not quite right, so we approached the lady standing behind the counter at our gate and asked, “Is flight 1697 to London running on time?” She looked at us and she seemed quite puzzled when she said, “We don’t have flights to London.” I was a bit surprised at her comment, so I looked at my ticket and said, “Yes you do. It says right here, flight 1697 to London departing at 3:15 p.m.” The lady asked to see my ticket and when she looked at it, she said, “Yes it does. But, it also says departing from JFK International Airport. Do you know where you are?” I replied, “New York.” She said, “Yes, honey you are in New York, but you’re at LaGuardia Airport, not JFK International.” I said, “Well, how do we get to JKF?” She said, “Considering you only have forty minutes to make the flight, I suggest that you take a taxi and you tell the driver to get you there fast.” As I started to walk away, I thought, “I wonder how our bags got to the JFK International?” So I turned back around and looked at the lady and said, “Well how did our luggage get to JFK?” By the look that woman gave me, I knew she thought I was an idiot, and with this “How stupid can you be?” look, she said, “Your luggage is here with you at LaGuardia; not at JFK.” She told us we would have to go to the baggage claim area and pick it up. She also told us there would be several taxis right outside the baggage claim area, so we shouldn’t have any trouble finding one. My sister and I ran so fast through that airport that day, we nicknamed each other “The Silver Bullet” and “Grease Lightening”. After we got our luggage, we ran outside and waved a taxi over. I told the driver, “If you can’t drive fast, we’re not riding with you.” He asked, “Where are you going?” I said JFK International Airport and we have to be there now!” As we got in the back seat of the taxi, he threw our luggage in the trunk and when he got under the steering wheel, he floored it. I have never seen someone drive so fast in my life. He was driving so fast that I barely remember going over the Brooklyn Bridge. But, thanks to that taxicab driver, we made it just in time for our flight to London.
I was so happy when we boarded that flight to London, but I had no idea how long that flight was going to be. It took us several hours to get to London, and I was bored to death and I kept thinking, “For Pete’s sake! This is a damn jet! Can’t they go any faster?” Fortunately for me, the airlines had offered each passenger a set of headphones, and you could use them to listen to a few different music channels. Each channel had a playlist, and once all of the songs had been played, they would start the playlist all over again. So, in order to occupy my time, I listened to one channel the entire way to London. Needless to say, I learned every single word to each and every one of those songs. The song “More, More, More” by Andrea True Connection happened to be one of the songs on that particular channel that I listened to. When we landed in London, we had another hour layover and then we flew into Milan, Italy. We had a two-hour layover there, and then we would finally be in Naples. So, for almost fourteen hours of going from one airport to another, I listened to that one music channel.
My sister and I finally made it to Naples, and we had a wonderful time in Italy, and we traveled and toured some of the most beautiful places. We only stayed ten days, and we were both sad when we said “ciao” to my brother. This time, we left directly from Rome and it was non-stop to New York, which made our return trip better. And, once again I listened to that one music channel the entire time. I remember when I got home, one of my friends asked me about Italy. They said, “How did you like it?” I laughed and I started dancing and singing, “More, More, More. How do you like it, how do you like it!” And, I bet I sang that song for three months straight, and I know I probably got on everybody’s nerves. However, you have to admit, it is a very catchy tune. Thanks to one of my mafia members for having such a great sense of humor, this song is once again stuck in my head. But if you were to ask me, “How do you like it?” My reply will would be, “More, more, more.” 😛