Flight. Pisa picnic. Florence arrival.

This is not a travelogue per se, but the unedited emails I sent home using a Blackberry to friends and family while I was away.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

It’s almost midnight and I just woke up. I feel asleep around 7 PM.

I slept about 5 minutes on the flight. I watched one movie. Something with David Duchuvney, it was okay. I tried to watch You, Me and Dupree but the sound was bad. Then I watched a Frasier. I had my eyes closed for a few hours and even listened to Amelia’s lullabies but I couldn’t sleep.

I lucked out on the plane. I was in the middle section where there were 3 seats. I had a girl sitting beside me, and no one beside her. So, she moved over and we had a seat between us. There were a few babies on the plane and one boy was 22 months. He made a lot of the same sounds as Amelia. They all cried a lot, but it didn’t bother me.

What did bother me is how thin the seats and floors were on the flight. I could feel the floor move every time someone went by or when the guy behind me would bounce his leg (the whole flight). And the seats! Every time the guy behind me would reach for something in his seat pocket, he dug into my spine. He stuck a water bottle in there. Right in my kidney. So I pushed back a little and heard it fall out and hit the floor. He put it back, but after I pushed it out again, he gave up.

I ate a piece of bread and had a small glass of red wine. They didn’t have water bottles and I couldn’t bring one so I was without water for take off. The flight attendant was great though and she brought me a glass. Just before.

We hit just a little bit of turbulence when we got over the ocean. But other than that it was really smooth.

We landed on time but had to sit on the runway for almost an hour. It was so cold that all the departing planes had to be de-iced so we could not get to our gate until they finished. That was the worst part of the flight. The engines were still on but we were not moving but I could feel the power and it was kind of gently rocking the plane. No one else probably noticed.

The connection was smooth. I was even allowed to buy a water at the airport and take it on board the flight to Pisa. Couldn’t do that leaving Atlanta. Which is funny because London is the reason we have these restrictions.

The second flight was fine too. I almost fell asleep during take off.

We landed in Pisa and I got my checked bag. As good as when I left it. Except one of my toiletries exploded.

I repacked everything into the roll-y bag and headed into Pisa. I checked my bag at the station and walked a half hour to the tower.

It was awesome. I thought I was going to be disappointed. But I was actually impressed. It’s taller and leans more than I thought. I wanted to ‘climb’ it but the next appointment was at 5 PM. I say ‘climb’ because I noticed later that an elevator takes you to the top.

I grabbed a sandwich and ate on the lawn right in front of the tower. I felt like I was on the other side of the world. It’s just one of those iconic sites that you see when you’re small that it was really neat being there.

I went into the baptistry and the duomo too. Both were nice.

Then, back to the station.

I arrived in Florence and hour later. About 40 minutes behind ‘schedule’ at 5 PM.

The walk to the convent was longer (and colder) than expected. And I realized that I should have a nicer room on my first night in Europe. When I can anyway. I was really cold and tired and just wanted to clean up and rest. But my bathroom is down the hall. I don’t have a TV. And my heat will not work until tomorrow.

Oh well.

I fell asleep at 7 PM and woke up at 11 PM.

Now I’m sleepy again. And my thumbs are tired of typing.

Love you all,

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