For anyone who has endured the trials and tribulations of dealing with 3 or more connecting flights, I commend you. Going from Tampa to Chicago, Chicago to London, London to Rome, then from Rome to Florence definitely ranks in the top 10 longest 24 hours of my life.
After Melissa, Sammy, and I embarked on our journey out of the states, it all went down hill. We lost Melissa in the airport in London for a good hour. Fortunately, we ran into each other within the massive maze of restaurants and commercial stores. When we arrived in Rome, we had to make our way to the train station that was located a good 30 minutes from our airport and some how get on the correct train to Florence. A gypsy tried to help us as we stood in front of the big digital screen that contained an endless list of locations, times, and platform numbers. We finally ended up on the right train with our immense amount of luggage trailing behind us. There were stares and foreign exchanges from all the Italian’s on board at the sight of three American girls almost on the verge of tears from overwhelming joy. We were on our end route to Florence at last.
When we arrived at our home for the next four months, we were greeted by 15 or so strangers. We were just in time, for they were just about to leave in search of a nearby restaurant for dinner. Everyone decided on a pizza place that was a block away from our apartment. Only two men were working that night, one cook and one server, so we could tell by the look on their faces that they were not prepared. Nonetheless, the food was certainly satisfying.
After a long day of traveling, sitting down to some Italian pizza, red wine, and good company was the perfect way to kick start the semester. I enjoy looking back at that night, the moment in which the adventure truly began.
Michelle Campbell is a student at Florida State University, and a Spring 2012 alumni of the Florida State in Florence program. Michelle will be reliving her individual travels and group travels with Bus2alps during her four months studying abroad. You can read more at her blog, http://funinfirenze2012.blogspot.com/.