November 20, 2013
It’s 10:30 pm according to my laptop time, and 4:30 am Milan time. My husband can sleep through World War 3 … me, not so much. Perhaps if I had remembered to put a melatonin in my pocket I would not be in this predicament. So here I am on a very dark plane writing. Gazing out of the window into the inky darkness of the sky I am remembering my time in Italy just six years ago. It feels like a lifetime in some respects, not just a handful of years. I’ve done so much since then, and have come so far, that it almost doesn’t seem possible.
Going back to Italy, for me, in a word: wonderful. Don’t get me wrong the time I spent there between 2007 and 2008 was intense, physically and emotionally. The decision to leave my family, friends and career behind to essentially start my life all over again at 45 could be characterized as nothing short of a mid-life crisis. I was on the tail end of two years of an unsuccessful fertility run and in a career that was no longer rewarding. The plan was to just take a break from it all and sign up for a cooking class. What I signed up for was a new career, literally starting at the bottom. It’s not often an adult does that by their own hand, and let me say it was not easy or romantic by any stretch of the imagination. However, sitting here now I can’t imagine not doing what I do, now.
This trip has been a long time in the making. Nine months ago Larry and I were at a charity auction and I spotted a vacation to Venice on the silent auction table. On a complete whim I bid on the lot and won. Well, Larry would say that we didn’t “win” anything, we did have to pay for it. I still like to think we won. The selling point for my “whim” was a trip for our 10th anniversary. In two days to be exact. November holds a bit of magic for me: We met 2 days after Thanksgiving in 2000, got engaged a week before Thanksgiving in 2002, and married the week before Thanksgiving in 2013. At the beginning of November 2007 I landed in Milan as I will be in just a few hours.
Aside from just a couple of things, we literally have nothing planned for the next nine days. Not a typical Reina vacation. We usually have each day plotted out for the maximum advantage. So this should be very interesting.
The days are blurring together. It started at 8:00 am New York time yesterday. We took off at 5:30 and landed at 1:00 am, or 7:00 am Milan time. A quick check through customs and on a bus to Milan’s Centrale Station to catch the train to Venice. The fastest way to travel to Venice is by train. No direct flights in November. So here we are on the fast Fresscia train zipping through the countryside. Larry, bless his heart, is fast asleep, again. He has the wonderful ability to sleep anywhere, at anytime. (Yes, I hate that!) I’m now creeping up on being awake for 23 hours. I can’t even wrap my head around that notion. We still have an hour to Venice and then the water taxi to the hotel. That said, we are in Italy and hopefully a nap in a few hours.