Posts Tagged ‘london’

Arreviderchi Italia

May 28th, 2009

May 28

goodbyes_smGot up at 5am and left our place at 6:05.  We walked a few blocks to the taxi stand outside of Piazza Navona.  Goodbyes were said, and tears were cried.  Ciao Rome.

Ending trips is always sad.  Especially if you’re traveling with someone and you don’t get to sit next to them on the airplane.  You feel disjointed, alone.

Trips ending suck.  There is no more excitement, just finality’s.  Going back unhappy that life is moving on, life is getting older, quickly fading away.

I assess that I have about 30 years of able travel left in my life, before bones and knees ache and travel is difficult.  Lately I have gone on big trips every couple of years (London/Paris in 2007, Rome in 2009), so that would leave 15 years left of able worldwide travel.  I better make every trip count.

It is sad leaving Rome, ending this trip.  Where will I be in life next time I come to Rome?  The last time I came to Rome I was about to be a senior in college.  How much different is my life now from what I expected and hoped?  Will this have been my last time to Rome?  Did I just say goodbye to the Trevi Fountain?  Even more, will this be my last trip to Europe?

I just got on the plane and I am sad–as you can tell.  I hope the person that will be sitting next to me is small in size, not grotesque, doesn’t smell badly, and is a nice person.

This flying stuff has been a lot easier than I remember.  I could almost get used to it.  I have been on the plane for 7 hours now, taken  little naps, and watched 1.5 movies.  I have put on Coconut Records 21 tracks on my ipod and I have not made it to song 11 awake, multiple times.  I think i have done this play-list 4 times now and I sleep till it finishes, then the engine noise wakes me up.

I watched the movie Marley and Me and I must admit that I cried numerous times.  Why do they advertise these movies as comedies and then draw the rain?

One part that got me was when Owen Wilson said “He gets to come home” and then of course the other moments towards the end, and the sudden end (which reminds me of a scene in the movie Fletch).

Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it’s a shame about Ed.

Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: Ahh, he was dying for years.

Fletch: Sure, but… the end was really… very sudden.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was in intensive care for eight weeks!

Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually died. That was extremely sudden.

I woke up from one of those naps to see that Get Smart was on and about 75% done.  Darn.  I feel that I need to take advantage of the things that make time go fast:  the movies, the sleeping…

They just showed the chart of where the plane is.  I love those things.  They show a picture of where in the world the plane is and the course it has taken.  Right now we are nearing Newfoundland and the edges of Canada.  It says we have 3:03 left till NY.  Oops, maybe I spoke too soon about getting used to this.

When I get into NY, there is customs and then a 2 hour layover before another 6.5 hour flight.

It’s been 10 hours since I caught the cab in Rome and an exact 12 hours till we arrive in San Diego.  Add that up, plus the hour earlier than that that I woke up this morning in Rome…travelling is tough.

And if I haven’t mentioned it, let me make sure I do here:  My last 3 meals in Italy regretfully sucked!

We are currently flying 841 Km/hr.  It’s 4:30 pm in Italy, I wonder what Debbie, Steve, Kathie and Jeane are doing.

I am now writing this the next day, after getting home.

I shouldn’t have mentioned during our layover in NYC that the 3 flights of the this trip had been relatively easy compared to flights in the past.  Well, 3 out of 4 now.

We were delayed at first boarding our plane, and then when I boarded, they were frantically still cleaning the plane.  We taxied out and sat for 30 minutes due to rain and busy-ness and then they announced that they heard a funny noise and we had to go back and get maintenance done.

As we were heading back, they said that they think it was just too much air conditioning and that they were gonna head back out and get in line again.

We waited 2 hours on the runway.

We took off and I was sitting near a cougher, a baby crying, a lady interrupting me asking random questions (Is the ocean cold in San Diego?), and next to a guy that had zero spacial sensitivity as he had his legs spread wide, was shaking and singing out loud to his death metal music and who was often reaching down and up his shorts to itch himself.

The movie sucked.  I watched 15 minutes of it and then read 400 pages of the Angels and Demons book that I bought at the airport in JFK, and then I took a nap.

During my nap, I pulled my hood over my head and put my earphones on.  The Itcher next to me wanted to go to the bathroom, but didn’t realize I was asleep.  When he tapped me, I jumped and let out a startled yelp.  It was funny.

26 or 27 or…hours after leaving Rome, we arrived in San Diego and Robbie picked us up.

Got home and talked to Adam for awhile, gave him his arsenal jersey, did a few random things and went to bed.

It’s odd being “home.”  I am afraid of falling back into habits of becoming lazy again, and not challenging myself.

I also am stressing about all I need to do to be responsible, to catch up on things, to eat, to see…I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to do it all in one day.

It was a fun trip.  Much different mentally than 11 years ago.  I wonder if that was because I was in charge this time and had responsibility to think and worry about other people?  Maybe it’s cause I’m older?  Maybe I had less enstranglement of thoughts and worries of life last time?

Seasons of life are strange.

I write this on the 29th now.  I woke up in the middle of the night with strange dreams, not sure where I was, quickly throwing on my shorts.  I realized shortly that it was 2 am and I had been asleep for 90 minutes only.

Got up eventually and went and ate pancakes for my first meal back.  I still can’t believe that my last meal in Italy was a hot dog.

Now I am going to try and have a lazy afternoon, finishing hopefully the last 300 pages of that book.

Sad.

Longing.

Grateful.

Arreviderchi Italia!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVYpL5Mky5w

Small World

February 6th, 2009

I have been recently looking into planning a trip to Italy and perhaps some of its neighboring countries.  With the train systems and the cheap inter-continental flights, Europe can seem like a “small” place, that is easily manuervable.  But when I really started to examine it, I realized again how massive it is.  How, you cant easily get to Germany via a train thru Switzerland, because of something called the alps

Picture by John Minton

Picture by John Minton

I was chatting with my friend John and looking at some of his pictures from his trips to Europe.  John loves the outdoors and sci-fi/fantasy.  So he showed pictures of valleys, and waterfalls, and talked of Tolkien.  When he was showing me pictuers of the valley and glaciers near Grindelwald, Gimmelwald and Muerren, I realized, again, that the world is full of beauty.  There are popular places in the world to travel to, often because of its beauty.  But there are also little towns, little cities, little nooks and crannies that we often don’t think about, that are undisputed beauties.  How did God create such a magnificent world.  And to also imagine the beauty that we don’t often get to see–underwater–the world amazes me daily. 

People travel to parts of the world to see its history, to see its architecture, to see its art–to see the genius of God, the genius of artists, and the inexplicaable feats of building massive strcutres with non-modern equipment.  I am often blown away by the overall size of churches, and castles and other buildings across europe, that were built in the 1600’s, without the use of modern equipment such as cranes.  Furthermore, this makes me contemplate, what sort of feats of architecture do we erect today?  Are we building anything for the pure beauty of it?  What will our generation be remembered for?  Also, sure there are parts of the east coast that holds “history”, but what will “remain” for future tourists on the west coast?  What do we have in america where people travel to “see”, and not just be?  What “genius” are we presenting and will be remembered for?

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

I also find it contemplative, if there is a reason it is a “small” world.  I think everyone at one point or another, has been travelling in a remote part of the earth, and have ran into someone they knew.  John was describing walking thru that valley, and having one of the best days of his life, and running into the Lees , a couple who he knew.  When I was in Europe in 1997 with other students from my college, this happened to me twice during my 6 week jaunt.  The first occassion, I was travelling in Florence, walking down the street, and I recognized the sister of a friend of mine.  And then an even more random experience, was Andrew and I had just come out of Westminster Abbey in England, and im staring at the ground, looking at the cobblestones as we walk up the road.  When then im just staring at someones shoes, and there is silence.  I did one of those movie slow pans up, and then surprisingly exclaimed, “Sean Foster!”   We had ran into one of our classmates that was not on the trip with us.

I am sure we all have stories like this.  It always seems to happen, and the line always used is “its a small world.”  Is there a divine reason for this?  Perhaps, its a way of God reminding us that we are never alone, and never outside our community?  Is there some profound reason that this happens so often?  Perhaps it is just that we are more concious and aware when travelling, that we notice these little things more clearly?

Which reminds me (yes, this snide really fits the category of “rambling”) of the freedom of travelling.  I had an experience in Europe in 97 that I will never forget, and never be able to duplicate.  It was such a free time — not in the money sense, but in the freedom to think, freedom to live.  Every day was set in the moment, and my mind and eyes were seeing awe and thought inspiring places.  I felt so alive.  I was in community and was free to challenge myself and others.  It makes me wish I was young again with the freedom from responsibility, where I could just travel around the world, seeing and doing remarkable things, being inspired to interconciousness–yes, I just made up that word, but I think you know exactly what I mean.

London Bridge Is Falling Down

October 26th, 2008

The Chargers travelled to London to play the Saints, and boy did Brees have his way with us.  Granted, the Saints offense is one of the best in the entire NFL,  however, the Chargers defense should play better then this.  LT finally has a break out game, yet we couldn’t overcome the poor defense, and the crazy amounts of penalites.  As I see it, at this point, the Chargers can only afford to lose one more game this entire season.  I think they can get into the playoffs at 10-6.  Today they are now 3-5.  Pathetic.

This Week I'm Thinking About: Jonathan Wilt