13 January 2008


After a long long long time traveling, I am finally in Italy. It felt really strange once we were finally landing in Pisa. I looked out at the landscape and thought, “Hey, I’ve never been here before.” The voyage here actually was very smooth and nearly perfect.

It started out horribly. My flight was supposed to leave at 745am Denver time, which is all fine and good, until you remember how early you’re supposed to get to the airport before you can actually get on the plane. We planned on leaving my house in Arvada by 5am in order to get to the airport on time. I knew that I probably wasn’t going to be able to leave on time unless I stayed up the night packing. Luckily my two AMAZING friends Kaylan and Mackenzie were staying with me that day/night. Otherwise, I never would have been ready by five.

Apparently I really shouldn’t take meds on an empty stomach, is the moral of the following story. I slept for an hourish on Tuesday, between 1am and 2am, all the rest of my time I spent pulling together all my last minute stuff. Lemme tell you….that last minute stuff is a bugger. Oh man. Ask Kaylan and Mackenzie. I piled everything that I had to pack on my bed and my couch, and then I just kinda wandered around my room, muttering, “Ok, ok…” to myself, over and over. It was kinda hard to think. At 1 Mackenzie really insisted that I try to sleep at least for a little while, so I did. It was sooooo nice. Oh man. That sleep made me feel so much better. By the time I took a shower after that and got ready and was packing again, it was almost three, and I had a tiny headache. At four, it was a full-out, kick-me-in-the-kidneys migraine. I collapsed on the floor of my room, which is normally really relaxing (I love that carpet….so squishy), but at four in the morning, with my head pounding and the clock ticking in my mind, it was terrible.

I forgot that I hadn’t eaten since about 9pm, and when Mackenzie offered to go find me some Tylenol or something, my response was along the lines of: “May God bless you with many sons yes please it’s in the kitchen with the mugs.” I wasn’t moving very much, and in the end, I was curled up on my comforter (also amazing) on the floor at the foot of my bed, and Kaylan and Mackenzie were finishing my packing for me. You see why I love them? By five, thank God, everything was mostly ready and upstairs. That is, everything except me, who was down on my knees in front of my toilet.

Like I said….don’t take meds without food in your stomach. I had my fun with the toilet and then staggered upstairs, shaking and shivering, into the 520am air, which, of course, was freezing. Briele grabbed me a bagel so that I could at least try to get something in my stomach, and I filled a nalgene with water. My dad, lucky guy, only had to pull over once on the highway on the way there for me to toss more of my guts into the public roadway. I’m sure that was a lovely, sophisticated picture for all the people who were driving around at that time of the morning (crazies). I don’t know that I’ll be able to eat bagels for a while.

But we finally got to DIA and managed to check in, me holding my stomach because I felt like someone had thrown a bowling ball into it, and everyone else holding my bags. I won’t say a lot about DIA, I’m sure you can imagine goodbyes. I was on time to my flight to Atlanta, sat in the aisle next to some silent woman, and made it, alive, to Georgia. Did you know that the Atlanta airport has plastic playground equipment in its terminals? Adorable. While I was waiting the hour for my plane to board, I talked to people in Colorado and watched a little boy chuck paper airplanes at his sister.

My Atlanta-JFK flight was much more interesting. I sat next to Rob, a Rolex and jewelry dealer who was going to meet his fiancĂ©e, who lives in the Ukraine. He liked to mutter about people under his breath, and then apologize about it to me. There was a little girl sitting with her family in front of us; she had a window seat and kept on asking her mom, “Hey, mom, are we flying? Are we flying? Are we in the air? Are those the wings?” Cute.

The final adventure to Pisa from New York wasn’t extremely adventurous. I had about a three hour layover, which wasn’t enough time to leave the airport, nor really time to do anything but call my friend Stephanie and Mackenzie and text some other people while the waiting area in front of the gate filled up. It was there where I really decided that I like Italians. I think there were maybe five other Americans on the flight, that I saw. Everyone else was speaking Italian, both while waiting for and on the plane. I sat next to an Italian girl who technically had my seat, but we had a hard enough time saying hello and sharing the pre-packaged blankets, pillows and baggies of toothbrushes that I decided that I liked the aisle seat just fine, and she was welcome to stretch out on the two remaining seats (we were sitting in the center row, where there are three seats across).

I tried sleeping. It kinda worked. I mean, it’s about 5am Colorado time as I’m writing this, which means, I’m pretty sure, that it’s 1pm here (or 12am…maybe I should double-check that). So I, technically, should be sleeping right now, but I guess I feel relatively awake. I was reading earlier and almost falling asleep, but I feel a little more coherent now. I’ve already answered people in French, telling them the seat next to me was open. Of course, my “Hm? Oh, oui, c’est libre” (ok, so it was really cheesy French) still had to be quickly translated by the Italian couple sitting across from me for the confused man who had been motioning to the seat next to me. I figured the French for “open/free” couldn’t be too far from the Italian, and I didn’t speak too wrongly. It was the part afterwards when the couple was laughing at me a little that I really loved. Hehe…I’m a laughingstock in Italy. At least it sounded like, “Oh, poor adorable American” laughter.

And now I just wait for Maggie and Ariel’s plane to get in. I’m SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED for this, you have no idea. I haven’t seen Ariel in six months, or Maggie in at least a single month. The only problem I have is figuring out what to do with my luggage when I finally cave and walk down to the toilettes. I can see the sign, and I’ve been looking at it for a while now, but I just don’t want to get up. There used to be these clip strap things on my suitcases to strap them together, but half of them is gone, and, go figure, it’s the same half on each piece, so I had to take the shoulder strap off my carry-on bag and tie the handles together that way. But still. Maneuvering two monster suitcases, plus bag and purse, into a bathroom stall doesn’t sound very fun to me right now.

I just realized that I actually am extremely tired. I was staring at my screen, trying to decide if I should say anything else or not, and almost started to nod off! I hope the rest of the time passes quickly; I can’t wait to sleep in a real bed tonight!

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