Here I am in Florence, typing this on Halvard The Norwegian's laptop. We just returned from a savory dinner at I'Cche' Ce' Ce', which is pronounced exactly as you would expect ("Eee Say-Chay-Kay-Kay" ?) and sounds like what some of the extremely comely Italianos walking the streets here would say right before they goosed an Americana like me!
The journey here was relatively painless, thanks in the most part to Leslie, my 40+ year-old seatmate/"Being a Mom is my job." She had both the most pouches filled with random travel needs (hand wipes, cuticle cream, power adaptors, trail mix, Airbourne) that I've ever seen AND a prescription to Ambien...one of which she passed to me right before I launched into movie #2 (Walk The Line) on my private back-of-seat movie screen. Movie #1 (Just Like Heaven) had ended right before dinner, and we all know that I only watched it because I, er, pressed the wrong button on my armrest remote. I would surely, surely never watch a romantic comedy -- let alone one that involved Reese Witherspoon playing a ghost, for christssakes. Heh heh?
One Ambien washed down by a vodka tonic, and six hours later I woke up refreshed as we landed in Rome. Two train rides, and Tara and I were walking by the Duomo. Three more blocks, and a shopping bag with new coat and trainers was swinging from my arm. So far, Italy is turning out to be better than Utah -- although there's still a chance I might have a freak Vespa hit-and-run incident. If that happens, it will probably be by 12:30 p.m. tomorrow, based on my "vacation injury pattern 2006." But for now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that, this time, the only thing returning with me to the States is some grappa.