We leave for Italy....tomorrow! My bags are packed, we figured out airport parking (and snagged quite a deal, thankyouverymuch!) and have cleaned out the fridge. My dad has graciously and generously offered to watch our dogs for the time we're gone, they're all set with food and treats. All that's left to do is slap on a fresh coat of toe nail polish, and hit the road!
I have been preparing for this for months...looking up restaurants around our hotels and near the places we're visiting - poring over reviews and picking my favorites. We've converted what we assume to be a good amount of American dollars into Euros and have secret compartments so as to avoid pickpockets & gypsies. I've learned a (very) few Italian phrases, and have several translation and map apps on my iPhone. I know which Taxi's to use and which ones to avoid - and even how to order coffee (never order a cappuccino after breakfast, it's so uncouth).
In other words - we are ready.
I feel very much like I've felt the night before taking a major exam for my certification, or before an important job interview. I've done all the preparing that I possibly can. This is it! I can do no more - not only because I am now out of time, but I am also out of brain-space. I am as ready as I am ever going to be...
There is a very strong mix of emotions going on as we count down the hours. (It used to be months, weeks and days - now it is HOURS!) I have been looking at the 10-day forecast for Rome, and remember the feeling when I scrolled down and saw July 2nd - we will BE THERE on that day! I've been playing the "One week from today, we'll be..." or "one week from right now, we'll have seen..." and am just so excited!
But, at the same time, I have never been to Europe and don't speak the language. I've been told that, since we're in mostly major cities, not to worry. Our concierge staff at the hotels (all of whom I've emailed to insure we have non-smoking rooms) have been incredibly kind already. "What is there to worry about now?" I keep asking/reassuring myself. But my emotions continue to vacillate between incredible excitement and borderline paranoia. I've never been on an airplane for more than a few hours. This one is going over the Atlantic, and is 11+ hours long....GULP! I pray that the claustrophobia I feel during a facial when they put the washcloth over my face doesn't rear it's ugly head when I start to realize the confined (large, though it may be) space that I'll be in for half of a day...and did I mention it is over the Atlantic??
Ok...back to the positive realm. We have a few hours in the Frankfurt airport. While we won't technically "be in Germany" - I am looking forward to taking in as much of the culture as I possibly can at the airport, among the masses. I plan to forgo a stop at their Starbucks for the local "Erster Weiner" cafe that is house between terminals. My goal is to sample a German pretzel, and plenty of Kinder chocolate, before boarding our flight to Rome.
So....tomorrow at this time...we will be waiting to board our flight!!!!!