So, I suppose I should start at the beginning of our journey, but I would like to start with the most obvious observation. It's not original but it is true: Rome is ungodly-might-die-from-the-heat-hot. It is so hot that my son's favorite thing in Rome thus far is the A-line metro because it has air conditioning.
But back to the arrival in Italy. John and I waited at the (un-air conditioned) baggage claim for a really really really long time. Occasionally a suitcase would emerge. It would be just that one suitcase, but it was enough to keep the unwashed horde hopeful and complacent. After 45 minutes or so, we had piled a cart high with our belongings and were waiting only for John's booster car seat. It didn't emerge from the shoot. I finally saw a sign that pointed with several arrows as to where "bulky or unusually shaped items" would be deposited. The sign showed helpful pictures of what may constitute a bulky or unusual size item: a guitar, what I suspect was a sailboat, and an umbrella. The kind of umbrella that folds up and fits in one's purse.
Now, I know that a booster car seat is "normal" because we have flown with it many a time and it always pops out along with the other luggage. However, when in Rome... (I had to get that in there. Sorry. I promise to never again use that saying.) We dutifully followed the long line of arrows, me pushing the luggage cart with its four teetering 50 pound suitcases; a laptop bag stuffed with two laptops, accessories for said laptops and various carry-on items was strapped across my body like a bandoleer; a camera bag with two cameras, various lenses, and as many additional carry-on items as we could fit was slung across my body in the other direction; and a backpack so full we couldn't quite get the zipper closed was on on my back. I was wearing a long fitted skirt and 4 inch platform sandals. So I'm pretty sure I may be the strongest woman in the world. Especially when the cab driver staggered under the weight of my laptop bag alone.
And yes, in the bulky and unusual sized items pile was the booster seat and what appeared to be the tube from an empty roll of wrapping paper. And an umbrella.