As Gino and I always do before a special trip, we kick off the journey by doing something special the night before departure: dinner out, a related movie, drinks. This year, the travelers (see The Travelers page above) all met at Buonarrotti’s Italian restaurant in Lincoln. Perfectly located, it also had the perfect ambiance to set the tone for our early morning take-off the following day.
We all gathered around a large table, boisterous in anticipation of the trip. After enjoying a delicious meal and toasting the promessi (the betrothed ones), we bid goodbye until take-off time, just a few short hours away.
Tony’s house was designated as the central meeting point, and by 4:00 a.m. we were all there. So was the Super Shuttle, having arrived a bit early to zip us to the Sacramento Airport: eight people and eight bags (give or take a couple). We were buzzing with excitement.
(The two travelers besides Gino and I who had been across the big pond before were Nichole’s aunt and uncle, Sharon and Dan. However, they were not with us yet since they had gone over ahead to spend a few days in southern France. They would make their way down to the Amalfi Coast in a rented car and meet up with us at the villa on our arrival day.)
Sacramento International Airport gleamed like a beacon in the night; we jumped from the shuttle and rolled our bags into the brightly-lit terminal, already teeming with activity even at 5:00 a.m.
Nichole had prearranged with United to have her wedding dress ride in the Captain’s closet. Now settled on board, it was time to sit back, turn on IPods or movies, or what I always do, stare at the map and follow our progress across the Atlantic.
As I looked around at the other passengers, I felt like our group was extra-special. We were The Wedding Party, bound for Italia.