April 3, 1971

Day 15 Rome-Home TWA jets you non-stop, arriving same day. I didn’t see how it could be Day 15 already – but on the other hand I wondered how we’d seen & done so much in the 14 days just passed After breakfast we finished packing and put our bags …

Day 15 Rome-Home TWA jets you non-stop, arriving same day.

I didn’t see how it could be Day 15 already – but on the other hand I wondered how we’d seen & done so much in the 14 days just passed

After breakfast we finished packing and put our bags outside our doors for pick-up –

We counted the lire we had left – set aside the tax we needed for the airport & set out to enrich the Roman economy by the difference – Our one purchase was a beautiful Italian leather belt that caught Malissa’s eye –

Then it was back to the hotel to await the bus and our hostess who would point us in the direction of the U.S.A. 

We did hate to leave this city

We left from the Aeroporto L Da Vinci at 2:40 p.m.

The flight took us back over the very blue Mediterranean, the Isle of Elba, Turin (torino) ( a commune in N.W. Italy), France, England & then out over the Atlantic Ocean –

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner as we began to think about how nice to travel but how nice it would be to see home again –

[Editor’s Note: Below is a slide show of our menu – and I assure you that we were NOT in first class – it’s a gentle reminder of what air travel used to be….]

Menu_coverMenu_1Menu2Menu3

Before reaching N.Y. we had a snack & soon there after our flight of 8 hours and 27 minutes came to an end.

Despite the fact that my watch read 11:07 p.m. the sun was bright as we came in over Long Island Sound – So we’ve reclaimed those 6 hours we lost – could it really have been just 2 weeks ago?

We deplaned at about 6:30 N.Y. time – claimed our luggage – That’s no small task with 350+ other passengers doing the same  & all in a hurry –

No problem with customs – just a simple “Step over there & pay the duty you owe.”

At this point we knew we were running a little close for making our N.Y. to Pgh. connection – as we boarded the bus for the ride to LaGuardia Airport – This took us nearly an hour & we arrived just at departure time – Harold ran in to ask them to hold the plane, the red caps took our luggage right out & loaded it on themselves & 8 very out of breath passengers crawled on that flight – glad to have made it –

This flight was just a few minutes over an hour & just a few minutes longer than our bus ride between airports had been –

Clear and 48 degrees at Pittsburgh & what a sight it was – met there by two family automobiles & dropped at our front door not too much later —

Rome –

It really is a city of contrast old & new – very elaborate & stark in its plainness –

The people were loud in both joy & anger – much shaking of fists & yelling at other drivers as they passed – The hands were almost constantly in motion – It seemed there was more wine drunk here than in France.

Interiors were elaborately decorated – cafe’s had paintings by the dozens on the walls – Fresh flowers were everywhere, stalls on the street corners selling beautiful bunches

Half of Italy’s income is from Tourist trade –

Meat is very expensive – the locally favorite veal is $2.50 per pound.  The Easter candy was the most beautiful & elaborate I’ve ever seen – Chocolate eggs that were over a foot long – every shape you could name in chocolate too – fish – shells – people & others

The people in the hotel were very gracious & tried hard to please – the chamber maid & I had an interesting conversation – I with my feeble Spanish & much hand motion – but we did communicate!

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[Editor’s Note:  We’ve come to the end of Spring Break 1971; I have to admit I feel a little like Mom – I’m exhausted and glad to be home!  Hope you enjoyed the journey.  I know that I have a renewed interest in returning — in reality.]

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Volume labeled “The Pennsylvania Lawyer’s Diary 1971”, used as travel journal by Elizabeth W. Ruffner, for a trip taken in March-April 1971; held by Malissa  Ruffner, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Baltimore, MD; 2011.

For background information on this series of posts, see Spring Break, 1971.

1 thought on “April 3, 1971”

  1. That was some trip. I’d love to do it now, only like it was in ’71. Didn’t you love seeing that they were giving cigarettes away? It is wonderful to see your mother’s diary. Thanks for sharing. Mary

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