So I'm Back...To the Velvet...Underground...Back to the Floor...That I Love

This is my first blog, so if you are an avid blog reader, you may find this one dry and boring.
But I doubt it because I started this blog to share my stories with those who could not join me in Italy in the summer of 2010. And therefore my stories should be fun. Because I am fun. And traveling is exhilarating and a true blessing.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 1 in Adventureland

So. Here is the rundown of the last 24 hours: I boarded my plane at 2:30ish in Jacksonville. The weather was crappy, so they delayed it--GREAT--not by much; in fact, the delay was probably 15 minutes max, but nevertheless, it was delayed. Then, I land in Washington and have to book it to my other flight because the gate I had to go to was at the other side of Dulles. I have no problem with this; in fact, I do try to walk at a fast pace most of the time. However, that is pleasure walking and not when I have 20 pounds on my back and shoulders. So, yes. I board the plane where I will be spending the next 8 hours of my life. And lo and behold...there is a 4 year old screamer 2 seats and to the right of me. LOVERLY LOVERLY: at this point I'm jumping up in down inside because of the joy I feel to have a screamer on this flight. Insert saracasm . But noooo...this wasn't the best of it. In fact, little screamer boy hushed after his poor mother walked him around the plane for a good 20 minutes. Kudos to good mom who never yelled or lost her patience with her screaming child. Nope. The little boy in front of me...directly in front of me...I could touch the hair on his head if I wanted to...puked all over his seat probably right after dinner. I knew I smelled something; I just didn't know what was happening.
The last flight, from Munich to Rome, occurred rather uneventfully so I'll skip ahead to landing in Rome. First item on my list: retrieve baggage. Eh, no excitement there. Of course, had they lost my bag, that would have created much excitement. aka stress. No...the hysteria set in as soon as I walked through the exit doors and all I saw was chaos. Yes, hysteria set in within my little brain and heart, but I didn't let it show through. I just told the taxi drivers no when they asked if I wanted/needed a taxi though in reality all I wanted was a ride to my quarters. I pressed on. But the panic manifested itself about 10 minutes later when a couple of tears stained my exhausted face. What the heck was I thinking when I thought to myself, "Hm, I think I'll go to Italy by myself." Well, nevertheless, the thought occurred and it has happened and I find myself alone in Rome. So I better make the best of it.
After siting a group of people waiting for a shuttle bus, I joined them. It cost 8 euros, eh not too bad, and we were headed to the Termini. Oh how I wish I was staying at the hotel across the street like 2 years ago. But I'm not. I'm staying in a convent with the Suore Teatine and I must say, I'm very grateful to one Ms. Roberts for making the suggestion. One that never occurred to me. Mainly because I've never done this before.
I arrive at the Termini station and think, ok, now taxi. How to get one? It was no problem. He asked me and while I knew better (my guide books say not to accept a taxi offer from a solicitor) I was desperate, going on 24 hours with no sleep and all I wanted was to take a shower and get some sleep. (I don't care where you are sleep is necessary at some point and for me, it is even more necessary). So I got in the cab. He said about 20 euros, I said how about 17, he said how about we see how traffic is. Once I realized how far we had to drive and how long it would take, I figured 20 euros isn't too shabby and esp. if I wanted a ride directly to where I am staying versus a bus ride which would take me how far away PLUS...yea, I'm staying at the top of a hill. Not ideal for a 50 lb. suitcase and 2 bags which weigh roughly, I'd say 20 together. I'll take the taxi.
After too many instances where I was certain a Fiat or motor scooter was going to crash directly into my door, I arrive at my destination. Meanwhile, I feel nauseated (a. motion sickness, b. hunger, c. anxiety) and all I want is to lie down. And I am about 10 minutes away from doing just that. I get checked in, my nuns are super nice and I am super ignorant speaking about 3 words of Italian (ciao, grazie, and buon giorno)--okay maybe four words--and here I am. I'm close to the Vatican though I haven't quite figured out how to get there yet. I'm figuring out the neighborhood on this side of the Vatican for now. The Vatican will be tomorrow.....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Preliminary Post

Today is May 23rd.
Tomorrow, Monday, I leave for Italy. My flight leaves at 2:43 and I will land in Rome around 11 on May 25th. I start my journey as a solo traveler. There is much to be learned, seen and experienced and I intend on accomplishing all of this ... and more.

Much love to those who are close to my heart.