I peered out the window and waved to my father. He was standing on the runway as our plane taxied away and prepared for take-off. It was 1954 and I was 7 years old and traveling with my mother. It was her first trip back to Rome to see her family since the end of WWII. It was my first trip to Rome ever.
I didn't know why Dad wasn't coming with us. It was 60 years later before I got around to asking him. He said he was taking some college courses and admitted that money was an issue. He was a school teacher and just sending the two of us to Rome was stretching the budget.
Airplanes in 1954 were not terribly luxurious. The seats were hard and there was no air conditioning. We had a vent that we could pull down for some fresh air. Smokers could light up making the air even more noxious. I seem to remember that it took several days and several stop-overs to reach Rome. Time has dimmed the memories of that trip, probably for the best.