Saturday, August 28, 2010

The gut-wrenchingly LONG trip that finally landed me in Florence

So yesterday I entered O'Hare International Airport with Mom, Sharon, Meg, Kate, and Annie to see me off.  Gotta tell yah, that was an awesome way to leave the country :)  And the little plush tiger that the girls gave me is going to get some snuggle action here pretty quick!  Well, so I crossed through security which was surprisingly a cinch and then waited at the terminal next to a kind older woman from the Czech Republic who pushed all of her things off of the chair next to her so I could sit there.  My heart had been pounding wildly all day long and even since the day before because I barely slept a wink that night.  Finally I boarded that beast of an aircraft and sat down in my aisle seat for the 9 hour journey to Zurich, Switzerland. 

I had been worrying for a while about what the person would be like sitting next to me because you never know if you're going to get a creeper or a talker or a snorer or even best, a person with what really sounded like could be tuberculosis and should be immediately pushed out of the plane careening 37,000 feet in the Earth's atmosphere.  Anyways, turned out no one sat in the seat next to me and I had all the room my long arms and legs could need.  I ended up watching a movie to help the time pass and to hopefully try to ease my mind away from the stench of someone's Abercrombie and Fitch cologne that was burning my sinuses from the inside out.  Then I stuck in the earbuds and listened to some music while I read the entirety of the book called "Charlie St. Cloud."  A fantastic read by the way - I highly recommend it. 

Me being the crazy person I am, I kept myself awake during the entirety of the flight over the Atlantic so that by the time I got to Florence I could pass out and immediately adjust to the time change.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Once I landed in Zurich I caught up with a couple of the others girls in the program and we highjacked a random guy from off the flight and we left the airport aka. Flughafen (the German name for the airport which we learned quickly how to pronounce).  We then took a taxi to the center of Zurich and explored the city!  Which turned out to be a fantastic way to burn a 6 hour long layover.  However, by the time we arrived back to the Flughafen we were absolutely exhausted.  I was in the worst daze I have ever been in in my entire life.  So me, Zoe, and Kim went to our terminal to wait for our flight to Florence where we each woke up approximately around the time we needed to board in a nice pile of drool...well at least I did. 

The flight from Switzerland to Florence was a beautiful one.  The mountains were pristine and the rolling countryside of Italy was beckoning.  We finally landed in Florence where the weather was hot and muggy.  We took a taxi ride to our hotel and immediately jumped into a cold shower.  After that blissful cool-down, we met up with a few others from the program and went to dinner at the Cafe Duomo which had great food, but crappy red wine.  By the way, the Duomo is monstrous.  As you can tell, my writing skills are waning as my poor mind has been awake for more than 48 hours straight now.  But a new adventure awaits in the morning!  There will be pictures to come :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

One week

Well so here we are!  One week away from jumping the pond and stepping foot into Italy!  I cannot believe how fast this summer has gone - I guess working two jobs and having endless fun will do that to a person.  Starting to think about packing, yes, think.  I'm not too worried about it.  Just you wait until I get there and I post my first pictures from my first adventure out in the city :) 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shooting stars

Well I am now officially two weeks away from leaving for Italy!  Still can't believe it.  However, I thought I would shed some light on an awesome thing I just now did.  If you ever have the chance to go out on a kayak in the dead of night in the middle of a lake during a meteor shower, you should jump on that chance.  It's as if sky and water meld into one and you are suspended in infinity.  The depths of God's creations continue to amaze me and enthrall me.  I catch myself wondering what the night sky looks like over in Italy...probably the same although with less light pollution.  Two weeks and I'll know :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The countdown

As of today, I am 19 days away from flying alone to Italy!  The excitement has been kicking in, although I still cannot believe that I am actually going.  It probably wont totally sink in until I take my first steps off of that plane.  Right now, I am on vacation in Elk Rapids, Michigan, soaking up the sun, waterskiing, and relaxing while occasionally going into TC to work.  The countdown has officially begun!  I can't wait to make my first post in my favorite country of the world!