The Trek Back to America

My last day in Florence I spent my last few hours with friends and walking around the city taking my last pictures.  Pictures from the market, I realized, I hadn’t shared yet soooo…

Upstairs, you have the fruit and vegetable vendors
while downstairs you have the fresh meats, cheeses and breads

and by fresh meat I mean fresh meat!!!

Of course they also have whole chickens,
cow heads, tongues, and other random animals.

I also climbed the stairs of the Duomo my last day with Jordan and her sister and it was a really good time to reflect on my time there because you could see the whole city.  It was crazy to think when we first got there we all had our maps out whenever we went somewhere and now we knew where pretty much everything was.

This is my side of the river…

But Yes.  I’m home!!

So Saturday, my morning started in Florence Airport where rumors had been flying of long lines and strict rules.  The rumors were true.
First, they tell me I cannot leave my rackets in my carryon (even though I flew in with them there and when I asked they told me I can’t go through security).  I asked to check them as sporting equipment that way they wouldn’t break.  The lady refused.  She made me put them in my suitcase which was already stuffed.  I had to sit on top of it to get it zipped after I put my rackets in.  It was very awkward.
Then she weighs my suitcases which are right on the weight limit.  Then she weighs my carryons.  I have never had my carryons weighed.  I always cram stuff in there so of course they are overweight and I have to take like 5 kilos out.  She tells me to put it in my suitcase (which she just said was right on the money) and doesn’t charge me extra.  Why she wouldn’t let me leave my carryon I don’t know why.  But I had to go off to the side and repack stuff some so when I went back with my last suitcase, the lady had left and so I had to go to a different lady.
This lady tried to tell me I had already checked in two bags and I’m like umm No!  Finally, about 5 minutes of arguing later, she looked on the other lady’s desk where my tag was sitting.  Punks!!
So my porfolios weigh like 20 pounds which is how much your carryons can weigh so I tried to beat the system.  I asked another girl behind me in line to hold them while I went and had my stuff weighed and then after, I got them back from her.  It worked cause security just assumes everything meets the weight limits when you go upstairs.
I finally made it out of Florence to Frankfurt where luckily our plane was delayed because we ran to catch it but had to get our passports stamped and then go through security again.
It was my turn to get my passport stamped and the guy looks at it, calls someone else over and they talk for about 10 minutes and scan my passport several times so I’m not really sure what that was about but I finally made it through and went running to go through security where I was the lucky girl to get a full patdown after going through the metal detector.  But I did make the flight with a few minutes to spare!
Then it was off to America and I
arrived in Washington!  I had to go through customs which was a rat race.  After we got our passports stamped, we had to get our luggage.  Mine was luckily one of the first ones through so then I went through customs, rechecked my luggage, and went running to find my next flight. I had to take a shuttle which took around 5 seconds (which was about 9 minutes and 55 seconds longer than I thought it might take) so I actually had about 30 minutes to relax before my last flight.
And then I made it to Charlotte where mom, dad, and Amy were waiting for me.  Once again my luggage was one of the first ones out (I think they were making up for losing mine when I first went to Florence) and as soon as I saw my biggest suitcase, I yanked it off the conveyer belt and ripped it open and inspected my rackets which thankgoodness were not broken!!! I was so relieved and I immediately put them in my backpack where they should have been the whole time!!
Please note the non broken rackets:

At the car, they had a dozen of Krispy Kreme and a Cheerwine waiting on me!!

When I was at home unpacking, I found a note saying my suitcase had been searched.  I also found the bubble wrap around a bottle of olive oil slit open.  I am mostly unpacked and I am getting my haircut today.  I’m also going shopping for jeans since I have none now.  Mine had chemical stains all over them from the dark room so I just left them in Italy.
I am definitely still on Italian time.  I haven’t been taking naps trying to get over jet lag faster but I went to bed about 8 Sunday night after drinking some caffeine (which only peps me up for about 20 minutes) and took some sleeping pills but only managed to sleep until about 1.
Full suitcases do not mix well with jet lag,
a comfy bed you haven’t slept in
for four months, and lack of motivation!

I also haven’t adjusted back to the culture yet. 30 seconds into my American experience at Washington, I ran into people just because you have to do that to get anywhere in the streets in Italy.  Woops!  I have to remember I’m not in Italy any more!  It still surprises me when I walk around and realize I can actually understand EVERYTHING people are saying.  It feels so weird!
It’s weird because I’m experienceing more culture shock now comingback to America than when I went to Italy.
Yesterday, I went shopping at Target and pointed out the Euro store to Amy without even thinking (I was referring to the dollar spot) and sadly, when I went to find Italian bread, they only had the americanized kind.  They also don’t have plain marinara sauce here except in a can.  There are many things I will miss.  Especially the friends I’ve made and the girls of MC17!  But the things I won’t miss at all is being away from all my friends and family…and people to play tennis with 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Italy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s