Flying to Italy was torture.
I know that’s kind of a negative way to start off my very first blog but in order to talk about the trip, there’s just no going around it. NINE hours on a cramped airplane with a crying baby on my left and a ginormous man spilling over my armrest on the right. NINE hours suspended thousands of feet above the ocean, one captain’s mistake away from crashing to my tragic death and being eaten by sharks or Crackens or those creepy mermaids that the Discovery Channel has been swearing about lately. NINE hours of wondering if this is going to be Malaysia round 2, Oh god what if I never see my cat again?’s, in addition to NINE hours of shifting butt numbness and leg tinglies and Dutch flight attendants shoving mystery drinks in my face every. 5. minutes.
So when I crawled off the plane, kissing the ground on my way to the baggage claim, I don’t think I’ve ever been more appreciative of solid earth in my life. I’m pretty sure I actually hugged the floor at one point, making a sort of face-down snow angel motion out of thankfulness for the ability to finally completely stretch out my limbs again.
In all seriousness, I had to tell you about my traumatic flight because that experience played a key factor in truly establishing my admiration for Italy. Everything seemed new to me. As our bus emerged from the airport terminal on its way to Castiglion Fiorentino, one would have thought that I’d never seen a tree before, let alone an entire vineyard. The grass in Italy seemed greener, the sky bluer, and even though my body was on the verge of completely shutting down from exhaustion, it took more strength for me to close my eyes rather than keep them open.
^See what I mean?
Dr. Lombardini took us on a walk through Castiglion, pointing out plants that I had never heard of and grains that I’d never eaten, and it felt like I was in another world altogether instead of another country. I dug for potatoes in the ground. I smelled sage leaves. I tasted tomatoes right off the vine all for the first time.
Something tells me that I have many more “firsts” awaiting me in Italy. J
Andiamo (let’s go), Italia!