Rome Day 1 (kind of) - I am on Vacation!!

Feb 3, 2012

I'm drinking a glass of wine on the plane.

Anyone who knows me knows that it's been a heck of a few weeks. The new client's buying cycle is breathing down our necks. The old client's Buy specs are a week late. We're already understaffed. Our Supervisor gave her notice and her last day was today. There was a Water Adventure in my condo last week (a totally separate blog entry I will write in the next month or so). The trip couldn't have happened at a worse time. Then again, maybe this trip is happening at the best time. I can sit on a plane for many hours and not worry about what's happening back home. I'm not hooked into WiFi, checking work email (yeah, it's happening on this trip) every few minutes. I can finally watch that last episode of Sherlock or zone out with the magazines on the iPad. Or really, I can try to stop my brain from thinking too hard about everything that's going on. That's the plan. That's very much the plan.

In other words, I need a vacation.

Normally I struggle with using the term vacation. I'm pretty lucky in the fact that I am able to take more trips (it seems) than the regular person. Using the term vacation seems to imply I am so stressed out that I have to get away. And that's not always the case. Sometimes, trips just happen. I don't *need* to go, I *can* go. So using the term vacation can be problematic in my head.

This time, I *need* a vacation.

So I'm drinking a glass of wine on the plane. I'm also trying to figure out...is it my feet that smell or someone else's?? Cause I'm almost thinking it's my feet. And I wonder if I'm going to cause an air emergency...

The race to the airport today was a learning experience. I've learned that the next time I'm taking a "big trip" (aka - a trip with the larger suitcase), I don't try to minimize time off by taking a half day off of work. No. I take the full day off of work and drive to the airport. This trip was Dad arriving at my house at 515a, catching the 535a train to the city (where I had the constant worry that my suitcase was in the way), picking up the shuttle bus to the office (which had an aisle just a smidge less wide than my suitcase), working furiously for four hours, then schlepping the suitcase through the streets of Chicago to the Blue Line, where the bag was just too big for me to be able to sit down for most of the trip to the airport. No. Not again. If I had a smaller bag, yeah. I've done it. I can easily do it again. But with the honking bag...not gonna happen.

The funny part was that Adele and I were on the same train on the Blue Line, but one car separated us. We didn't know this until the very end of the trip. Ahhh...it's like we know...well...you know the rest...

ORD to PHL. 1 hour 20 minutes. PHL to FCO. 8 hours. Including wine. Let's get this out of the way early...wine will be referenced often on this journey. I am not a wino (yet), but with a trip involving Rome and Paris, wine is going to be a key component to the trip. Considering I also have had an insane few weeks, wine is going to be important for stress relief. But my "rules" for drinking in a foreign country are still solid...moderation is key. I tend to drink less in a foreign land than I do at home. Why?? Cause I don't know the language, I don't know exactly where I am, and I'd prefer to stay out of the hospital/police station/morgue. Think of me as an honorary member of the Cul de Sac Crew. If you don't get the reference, you're not watching Cougar Town. If you're not watching Cougar Town, start. New episodes start on Valentine's Day.

Wine is also going to be used for celebration. I mentioned before that our Supervisor left today. Well, I just got that gig. Suddenly, I'm the boss. I'm excited, but I'm also completely terrified about all of it. So in a way, this trip is coming at an excellent (and horrible) time, because it is a bit of a clean slate/stress removal time. I can come back to the office a week from Monday and everything's fresh and new. Except for everything that isn't. But I'm not quite thinking about that now. I'm currently wondering if this is like being on the LAN flight...where a Fight Attendant could be coming down the aisle with a bottle of red and white, refilling our glass...

They did come down again to refill our glass, but it also cost us another $7. Oh, how I miss LAN...

The nice thing about this flight is there are a ton of open spaces. Adele jumped ship and is sitting behind me (which causes a bit of a crink in my neck and back when we want to have a conversation, but gives us both more room). I can stretch out a bit on the two seats and watch a movie. Sherlock is first. I've been holding out on watching Episode 3 (of the season I *shouldn't* really have...mwhahahahaha...). Then, a nap. We're expecting to hit the ground running once we land. Saturday morning in Rome. I can't even imagine what that's going to be like. It'll be an adventure!!

I'm about 75% sure it's my feet that smell. Dammit.

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