Nine sleepless hours in a plane sitting next to a guy who smelled like an ashtray and wheezed with every breath (not usually a problem unless you're desperately trying to sleep) could not have been more worth it.
I wasn't sure what to expect upon landing and was starting to feel a little unprepared. The app that was supposed to teach me Italian wasn't working fast enough. I couldn't imagine my few phrases like hello, my name is, and please were going to get me very far.
Not to mention I was starting to run through a small laundry list of the things I already knew I'd forgotten- the sunglasses in the seat of my car, the new top I'd been excited about wearing and toothpaste (I promise I bought some here; don't think I opted for going without) .
I even realized how foolish I was to ix-ney all those sweaters that took up too much room when I was packing. Considering it was in the 30s when we touched down, a few of those might have come in handy.
As I got off the plane, small comforts started hitting me one by one.
There was the comfort of finding the SAI group (I'd envisioned looking at the held up signs with SAI's nowhere in sight) and realizing that, thank God, I wasn't going to have to bode for myself in an Italian cab, praying he took me to the right place.
Then there was the comfort of arriving at my building. Not only was I in the heart of the city, but I was close to the river, the building was beautiful (I occasionally look outside to see people taking pictures of our lovely abode), and the place was so much bigger than I would have ever imagined. I expected some dinky, hole in the wall, falling apart apartment, so it's safe to say I was thrilled.
Then there was the comfort of meeting my roommates. They hadn't seemed too psychotic when stalking them on Facebook, but one can never be too sure. Meeting them, however, affirmed that they were not in fact crazy. In fact, they were pretty perfect. Our whole place gels in the best way. We even have other students on the floors of our building, so we've established a nice little crew. Living with these people the next few months will not only be tolerable, but a really good time.
And then comes my last comfort. Firenze. We got settled in and all went out to grab our first Italian meal. The little establishment we found close by was just the ticket. The food and wine were to die for and we left full and content. Roaming the streets of Florence is nothing short of breath taking. I knew I looked obnoxiously American with my eyes glued upward, snapping pictures here and there, but I honestly didn't care. I was captivated by the small streets and charm of this wonderful city. As we walked back later that evening and watched the sun set over the river, everything felt just right. Florence, it's good to call you home.