I am back from Italy.
And my goodness, I am so happy to be home.
I had an absolutely wonderful experience abroad and learned a lot about life, painting, and being myself. But, probably, the thing that I learned the most… was how much I am fueled by the love of my family.
I left Florence at 4:30am, after spending the night at my friend Alex’s apartment. She goes to school with me in Austin, and was my “little piece of home” to make me smile – she was studying about an hour away from me in Italy. We probably got, at the most, about an hour of sleep – we had to catch up and laugh about the crazies in our life! And, as a bonus, we even got to Skype with some of our friends from home.
I flew from Florence to Germany and slept the entire flight. I know that I was out cold, because right after we landed and everyone was done frantically grabbing their things (as if for some reason it will make them get off the plane faster) and were standing until the doors are opened… the guy in the row behind me was trying to be funny and was like “Oh wow, is that a real baby?” I looked around, and about three rows up there was an adorable little girl, probably around one. Before I even turned back around, I heard him say, “I thought that I was having this terrible nightmare that this baby was trying to kill all of us.” I was a little bit confused, and then the girl next to me, who I hadn’t spoken to at all yet, started laughing and looked at me, “She was screaming so loud, I don’t even know how that was possible.” Hmmm. I didn’t hear a thing.
My next flight was from Frankfurt to Dallas. When I was waiting to board the plane, I couldn’t help but think about coming home from India. I was at the same gate, but in a completely different mindset. I accidently bumped into this guy with my bag and when I apologized, he just smiled and said, “It’s alright, only 11 hours left!” I guess I looked like I had been traveling a little bit… we talked for a little bit and turns out he was on his way home from India. It gave me an excuse to talk about my trip with someone who cares and that can actually relate! It was really nice.
The whole flight back, I caught up in my journal, wrote a few letters, and napped.
When I got off the plane (and went through customs and got my bag), I walked out of the doors and saw my aunt, Sister Sam Sam and my mom and dad. I was so happy to see them; I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire drive home. They surprised me with cupcakes and a “welcome home” monkey balloon. Couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect. I got to see my brother – who had quite the adventure in Alaska while I was gone – and my puppy, Charlie, who I always talk to in a British accent. And a few minutes after walking in the door, my beautiful baby boy, Billie, came walking over looking for a cuddle!!
It didn’t take long for dinner preparations to begin at the house… homemade French fries, corn on the cob, broccoli (I was craving it, sorry), hotdogs, and PJ’s infamous Big Ass Burgers. I knew that our neighbors were coming over, I was excited to see them and had exchanges a couple of letters with them while I was gone. But, I thought it was just going to be us.
I heard a knock on the door and went to answer it… thinking that it was them. But when I opened it, I was almost in tears; it was one of my best friends, Obbie. I was so happy and surprised to see her, that I couldn’t stop hugging her. I missed her so much and didn’t even get a chance to tell her I was home yet… but apparently she already knew!
My neighbors got there a little bit later, and we all just sat and talked next to the pool. My dad made a delicious iced Mango drink, which made the heat a little more bearable. I thought things couldn’t get any better, when sure enough there was another knock at the door and my friend Charles walked in. Another big hug and another smile on my face! Now, it was time to eat.
We all sat around, talking, eating, and enjoying each other’s company.
It was such a great night, that I didn’t even seem to be affected by the time change.
Welcome Home Monkey.