Tuesday, October 18, 2011


(getting on the plane to London in Vancouver (red faced from trying not to cry as I said goodbye to DB)

Buongiorno! (Good Morning!)

Lo Sono a Casa! (I am home!)

And there depletes my entire repertoire of Italian phrases!

Not really, but it's a near thing.

How could I possibly put down in words just how amazing my trip was?

"The trip of a lifetime!", I could say if I were unimaginative...

"The best trip ever!", I might say, if I were still a teenager....

"An spiritual and emotional cornucopia!"... I could say, if I were pretentious (and lame).

"A wonderfully rich and spiritually nourishing journey filled with adventure, laughter, and memories that will last a lifetime." .... Yup, I think that about sums it up.

I could write a hundred posts about our adventures and still be no closer to describing the whole of our experiences. I am going to run through our itinerary and share a little about each of the places we visited but the CliffsNotes version will have to suffice.

Where to start... Hmm... I best take Louis Carrol's advice and "Begin at the beginning and go on until you come to the end: then stop."

In the beginning: There was a bittersweet farewell.

Sitting at my gate waiting to board the plane from Vancouver to London I wrote in my journal:

"I hate leaving home. I love where leaving home takes me."

Driving away from my home, my babies, my bed (:D) was bad enough, saying goodbye to my man at the gate was infinitely worse. But as much as I hated to leave him behind, I was so incredibly excited about taking my first real step towards a trip I've dreamed of taking for the better half of my life.

In my dreams I've always envisioned that when the time came I would make that long journey abroad alone. And I did, to a certain extent. I flew out all by my lonesome on the afternoon of 29th and landed in London at sunrise on the 30th of September. From Gatwick I walked five minutes down the road to my hotel where two weeks previously my Mom and sister had stayed when they began their journey towards a cruise out of Amsterdam heading to Portugal and Spain and finishing in Rome on the 1st of October.

Our plan was that I would fly to London on the 30th, stay the night and fly out the next morning to Rome (the 1st) where we would all meet up at the Beehive Hotel within a few hours of each other (they disembarked early in the morning an hours train ride North of Rome in Civitavecchia (and no, after two weeks I still cant that town's name perfectly.) So while I was alone in London that day I had the comfort of knowing that my Mom and sister were just a short plane ride away and that soon we would have a grand reunion in the heart of Europe, Rome! I was so excited about this plan that when my Mom and Fel left, and for the two weeks thereafter, I would finish every text and e-mail to them with a nearly giddy, "See you in Rome!!!"

Here I've already rambled on and I have only gotten so far as my hotel at Gatwick! Before I go on I must say that there was a moment when we first touched down on English soil that I will never forget. When I want something as bad as I wanted this trip I have a hard time letting myself believe it is really going to happen, until it does. It wasn't until I took my first step off the plane that it really sunk in that I had arrived. I cried for joy inside (I had to keep up the I'm-an-international-traveler-and-this-is-no-big-deal-facade on the outside...but inside I was just bursting out of my skin with excitement.) Adrenaline filled me with a desire to jump right in, feet first, to sink in to that old English dirt and soak up every sound, scent and sight around me... *ehem* sorry... got a little carried away there. So, I landed and checked in. I had been awake for 16 hours and knew that my day had just begun. I had all of London to explore and until sunset to make it happen. I dropped my bags and headed out to catch a train to London...


  1. I have been waiting to hear about yoyr trip. I love traveling, used to do a lot of it, and if hold on to the "I am too cool to be excited" you tend to miss out. can't wait to read more.....

  2. Oh that sounds like an amazing trip! I too cant wait to hear more about it!!

  3. very entertaining start to your trip! looking forward to the rest of the tale!

  4. My first trip into London was very much the same as yours - arrive in the morning, have to stay up and see the sights all day. By the time bedtime rolled around, I could barely keep my eyes open. The rest of the people in my group went to a pub, but I was in bed by 9pm London time.

    I can't wait to read about the rest of your trip - I love Italy!