If I had a brain in my head, which it is clear I do not, I never would have booked a trip that makes us literally traveling for two whole days before we even get to Rome. After a brief laydown disguised as sleep I forced myself awake at 3:30am to make coffee and get our shit out the door. Cheap airport parking meant we drove ourselves. Los Angeles is at its best at that hour. There are no people in their cars clogging the freeways and believe it or not you can actually see a star or two.
I surprised myself at how organized I was, remembering even our passports. I had a brief sweaty palm moment as I looked at 9 year-old Emma’s passport. What if they expire earlier than ours? But luckily, there is still one more year on it.
A very nice guy named Julio is housesitting for us while we’re away, a traumatizing event for our three cats but hopefully not fatal. Getting the old hovel ready for Julio was a chore onto itself but lo, it was actually looking pretty nice when we hurried out of the door this early morn.
A mostly eventless flight on Air Canada has now brought us to Toronto where, I kid you not, we have a five hour layover. Then it’s an overnight flight to Rome where we have to kill another five hours to get the direct train to Rimini. We won’t even be at our destination until 10pm tomorrow night, if you can believe!
Never again. Never again! No matter how much it costs, next time we’re flying direct. Emma has proved a formidable and efficient and rather joyful traveling partner. Other than making me carry her backpack (argh) she never complains, hurries when she’s supposed to and even tried to console me when I freaked out on landing.
Yes, plane travel is the safest way to fly. I know this. But nonetheless, I am human and I’m born to be grounded. Whenever there is the slightest bump upon take off or landing it freaks my shit out. But I tried to think positively: “dear God, hear my plea. If you’re going to kill us in a plane crash please at least let us go to Italy first.” No, I didn’t really say that. I know better than to pray to God after all of these years as a staunch non-believer. No, I take my licks. Life can be suddenly tragic and that is all.
On a happier note, watching Europeans and Canadians and anybody but Americans is always an uplifting experience. They don’t seem to care as much as outward appearances as we do. I know that is a gross generalization but still.
Here are the archetypes I’ve noticed so far: Annoyed writer type with his writer magazine, his Ipod and his cell phone. He kept pushing his seat back every time I accidentally bumped into it. Graying hair AND a pony tail. He was seated next to a very nice seeming Israeli woman and every time she had to get up (I think she wet herself once because they had to change the seat she was sitting in, literally lift it up and change it) he begrudgingly stood and looked impatient and put out while she walked to the bathroom. A woman who looked very LA. Mid 50′s, bottle blonde, Kabbalah bracelet, expensive big bag, watching “Waitress.” You get to watch a variety of media samplers on Air Canada. A sleeping teenage boy with an iPod blaring. A screaming toddler who did not want to be placed in his seat, a wild seeming, ready to bolt Asian girl with a flustered old Asian man chasing after her. Granddaughter, I bet. Both were driving the other absolutely batshit.
We’re trying to make the best of it but both of us can’t wait to get to Italy!!