My post from the plane, which I didn’t manage to put up last night, getting home late and opting to spend my pre-passing out hour hugging and kissing W:
Today I spent 22 hours on the road to get from Parma, Italy back to Calgary, Alberta. The day started far too abruptly when after getting to bed at 2 and barely sleeping, knowing my alarm was going off at 5, it didn’t. A couple of us were to meet the driver in the hotel lobby at 6 and I jolted awake at 6:12, going instantly from fast asleep to not even remotely awake yet flying around the room in a mad packing panic, throwing on clothes without a shower after having spent an epically sweaty day yesterday walking around the city. No shower, no coffee, and a 22 hour trek ahead – starting with a 2 hour drive from Parma to Milan, then flights from Milan-Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Toronto, Toronto-Calgary, with transfers and customs in between.
I’m grateful and exhausted, finally into the final two hours of my last flight, and it’s the first opportunity to open my laptop – poor row positions and folks in front of me choosing to recline their seats have kyboshed my best intentions to spin all my tales of Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma and real balsamic and wine, which I’ll still do of course, but at this point my brain cells are snoozing.
I didn’t sleep much this week – partly because we left the hotel early and came home late, and partly I’m sure due to jet lag, but mostly I think from sheer excitement and adrenaline from being in Italy. I was with a small group, and getting in as much as we could put us behind schedule most days, so that by the time we got back to the hotel, usually after 6, we’d have an hour at most to peel off sweaty clothes and check our emails before going back out again for dinner, which we walked to, and which generally wrapped up around midnight. There was a heat wave in Parma this week – every day it was between 35 and 40 with high humidity, which was exhausting, and any time in between excursions was generally spent trying to cool down and de-sweat ourselves (and our clothes).
Yes, my plan was to come back to the hotel each night and write and upload and post pictures, but with only five days in Italy I had a hard time not soaking up as much of it as I could. I rationalized that when I get home there will be a very noticeable lack of kitchen, so rather than recount the toast we make in the dining room and myriad takeout and charitable dinner donations, I could recount the previous week in Parma properly.
I have so much to tell you! And will start tonight, once W is in bed, after a big pot of pasta and some good bread – something that was surprisingly difficult to find in Italy. It’s true – despite everything you hear, not all the food in Italy is fantastic.
That didn’t stop me from gaining 6 pounds.