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Report 1043: Luggage, Lattes and Lunacy

By Palma from California, Spring 2006

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Page 17 of 17: June 4:There's No Place Like Home

photo by Palma

The VERY last latte at Gatwick (until Dallas)

My flight landed in Gatwick at midnight. Not too much going on in the middle of the night, but at least there were indoor smoking areas. It was a long night between lattes, and by 4 a.m. I could have slept standing up. My flight wasn’t until 10:30 a.m. I splashed a lot of cold water on my face, took walks, and finally at 6 a.m. the restaurant opened, and I had breakfast. By the time I got to the gate, I think I nodded off three times between boarding groups. I was in group four. I had an aisle seat, so I waited for the guy in the window seat to sit down, buckled my seatbelt and slept like the dead for eight hours. I missed take-off and two meals, waking up about 45 minutes before we were to land in Dallas.

I got through customs, re-checked my luggage, went outside to smoke, buy a Diet Pepsi, change terminals, called Brad, and waited two hours for my flight to Palm Springs. It was uneventful and I even slept for another hour. When I walked into the Palm Springs terminal, I saw Brad's face with a huge grin, armed with a venti non-fat Starbucks in one hand, and a pack of Virginia Slims in the other. (I had been smoking yucky European menthols for two days.)

So ends the saga of my “most unusual” trip to Italy.

Some Final Thoughts:

Do I regret coming? No. I was able to have some enjoyable times with my friend, Ida, be a guest in her lovely home and meet her delightful Italian relatives. I was introduced to a new part of Italy and the beauty of the Garfagnana. I enjoyed wonderful food, shopping, and a visit “home” to the Val d’Orcia. I had a wonderful day in San Gimignano and some "laser" shopping. I had an intimate relationship with pasta, pecorino and gelato. I quadrupled my tolerance for vino.

I learned a few things:

  • Three’s a crowd.
  • Pack lighter. (I’ll never be a carry-on only girl, but I think I can eliminate 40 or 50 lbs on my next trip.)
  • Though I like mountains as a backdrop, I am a beach or Valley Girl at heart.
  • My Italian has improved.
  • I realized how low-stress and pleasant my life is. I work daily with clients who spend more than two weeks of their lives feeling like a “victim.” I will have new insights into their constant level of frustration.
  • Though I am typically assertive, I learned that my priorities are trying to maintain harmony, and felt that as a guest in someone's home, I could not "have it out" with my hostess' friend.
  • I am NOT good at "biting my tongue."
  • I now know the meaning of "Una bruta figura."
  • Don’t leave your husband or an extra ATM card at home.
  • There is no such thing as too much coffee!


L' Olmo

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