The Tocci Family leaves Boston for Tbilisi — not without a fleeting moment or two of panic

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Day One Diary from John Tocci

It’s 12:30 in the morning here and I’m just now getting a few minutes to write. It’s been a bit of a whirl wind. I had hoped to be able to write daily diary entries, but as some poet said, “truth broke in with all its matter of fact.”

The trip over here on Friday was a lot more exciting than necessary. Tim missed his flight from Cleveland to Boston early Friday afternoon. We spent three hours trying to get him booked on the only other flight from Cleveland that could possibly get him into Boston on time to make the international flight to Amsterdam for our connection to Georgia. That flight was over booked. The best we could do was having him listed as standby. So, we started checking nearby airports in Akron and Pittsburgh. No luck. We then teamed with Word Vision’s travel director to book him a first class ticket on the Cleveland flight, where there was an open seat, even though the flight was still listed as overbooked. This gave Tim the potential chance of getting a boarding pass and a confirmed seat. Although the Boston arrival time, assuming the flight came in on time, would give him less than forty five minutes to check-in, go through security and catch the Amsterdam flight. He definitely wouldn’t have time to check any luggage. He repacked what he could into his carry-on at the Cleveland airport and left everything else in his suitcase in his car. All this and we still weren’t sure if he would actually get on the flight. Scary!

We didn’t know what happened until we got his phone call that he had made the flight and had just landed in Boston. We were standing at the counter in Terminal E. We left our stuff, ran over to Terminal C and grabbed him to help escort him through ticketing and security. While this stuff is OK with me (as many of you might know, too well), it takes a big toll on Lila. She was pretty strung up, quite understandably. In the end, we were all sitting in a crowded gate waiting area, with me chuckling about it – that didn’t help a lot.

The flight to Amsterdam was seven hours long but smooth. We made our connecting flight onto Georgia Air fine. That was an experience however. There are two flights a week direct from Amsterdam to Georgia. The airline is tiny but at least we were on a 737€” a well worn one but still a 737. The next leg of the journey was 5 hours. We slept intermittently. I took some photos of the landing and Georgia’s new airport. It just opened up a few months ago. It is their pride and joy. It was built by a Turkish contractor and designed by a Turkish architect. The design is nice but the construction leaves a bit to be desired. Last week, after a dedication featuring much boasting by the president, the area experienced a storm. 1/3 of the roof blew off and the curtain wall and other components leaked profusely. Oh well.

We landed early in the morning Georgian time or eight hours ahead of the East Coast. We were not only the only flight but we were the only plane at the airport except one parked from Azerbaijan Air. We deplaned, got stuffed on a bus and herded to the terminal where we waited for our luggage. And waited. And waited.

Yup, our luggage was left in Amsterdam. We only have the clothes on our backs and fortunately, clothing and other items from Tim’s carry on. His clothes have been helping me out for the past couple days. The next flight in from Amsterdam is Wednesday. Oh well.

We made it to our hotel and slept a bit. Life is good.



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