A miracle it is to take an 11 and a half long plane ride flying over the polar ice cap. Although I saw a faint glow of white near sunrise, but not much else!
There are a few truths of travel that I have yet to refine:
CARRY-ON CARRIED AWAY
Truthfully, I have packed better on this trip than on others! I didn’t bring every pair of pants, jacket, pair of shoes nor book that I could have. Yet, I’m reminded that by the time you enter this grandiose carbon-fiber bird with wings that look like a pre-historic flying Dino, that you don’t need much. On the carry-on I still brought WAY too much WEIGHT with useful but unused items. Ultimately everything I would need was in my purse! Humph! I’ll learn someday….
Pre-historic Flying Dino Bird
It was a pleasant sardine can up in the rafters of the plane, a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. ;).
There was fresher air that was circulated around the cabin to help add moisture to the air. As well as two meals that we pre-purchased in advance to eat as we boarded the 8 o’clock flight. The plane had a “new plane” smell and feel that was overall pretty cozy.
I was impressed by the flight attendants that wore these swanky and well-manicured uniforms with the cute pill-cap hats and scarves from the 1960’s. We ate a meal nearly after we took off at 10:30 pm or so and you have to question….why did we just eat a $70 meal at Chili’s at the airport?? Ah, well! This is the wonder and laughter of travel.
We slept and enjoyed fun videos like Murder on the Orient Express (an Agatha Christie classic) and Wild Animal 🦒🦓 Selfies from each of our seats. We awoke to a sack lunch which was a bit odd feeling since my body was halfway expecting breakfast. Yet, local time, it was 5pm as we arrived. It was the smoothest take-off and landings I’ve ever encountered and was like we had magically lifted off and landed from a magic carpet.
WEIGHTY WORKOUT 💪 😓
Despite the heavy carry on bag, the luggage I brought wasn’t too bad considering it’d be for three months of travel. Well, I say that for an unseasoned traveler! Inside the large suitcase, it was pretty open and lightweight. A second bag was loaded full of souvenirs, chocolate rocks to represent Nevada to give to local students in Spain. It’s funny I don’t overpack out fear about there not being the things I’d need in a new city. It’s just a habit of bringing “things” that make me feel good I guess. Truly, I am happy to DITCH THE WIEGHT and experience the new!
This was ever so evident as when we tried tracking down someone to show us where the meeting point for hotel shuttles were.
We pulled, prodded, pushed, cursed, stammered, sweated our suitcases in circles around the entrance of the airport for over an hour. Ready to toss them off a cliff, we were finally rescued from our suitcase suffering! 😩😋🤪
We spotted a handwritten note with our name on it from the shuttle driver right where we had started from!
Laughable Language Lessons
I am thankful for the Spanish language skills I have as it seems to make learning Italian a bit easier. I REALLY didn’t brush up on any Italian focusing more on being ready for Spain, not to mention the other languages we’d also encounter on this 10 day trip.
My attempts at speaking Italian at the airport to help us locate that shuttle were shotty at best. An empathetic girl finally helped us muddle through some phrases, yet we fared better in Spanish and some English. Ahhh! To rest!
Later, when ordering some food at a local pizzeria, I found google translate to be my greatest accessory. I’d type what I wanted to say and speak in my best Spanish (maybe Italian??) pronunciation…sweating profusely. (What is it about Rome where I can’t stop perspiring!? 😓) I tried to read with my Spanish accent the words in Italian, some would work well and others, the shopkeeper just shrugged at me. I’d get a few head tilts in confusion and sort of give up and show them the translated screen. D’oh! 🤦♀️🤷♀️
My mom seem to do better signaling at the guy pointing at the lasagne she wanted and making hand gestures. I tried to be fancy with words in Italian and basically ended up not ordering what I really wanted. I resigned myself to getting a huge caprese salad when all I really wanted was a slice of Margherita pizza. Later, the man appeared with an ENTIRE pizza. Ooops! It worked. I do love me some ❤️ pizza!
We did a crash course in Italian on YouTube last night. And by 5 am woke up to see the sunrise on the balcony in our PJ’s eating some of that leftover pizza!
I can now say in Italian:
2. Introduce myself formally and informally
3. Ask how are you doing
4. Say thank you