Monday, March 15, 2010

"Grazie! Oh sorry! What country am I in? I mean, Danke."

Saturday morning we woke up super early to packed suitcases and one last, scrumptious Italian breakfast. We loaded the vans, crammed everyone in and headed to the Florence airport. Sara Shaban completely made my morning, and was officially my favorite person in Florence that day. She made up songs about April, Coca-Cola and I'm pretty sure there was some High School Musical twisted in there. She had me laughing until my stomach hurt.

When we got to our gate at the airport, we all just passed out in a row of chairs... and Stephen- the floor. (Well, some people grammar-checked Dr. Miller's students' papers for him...) We waited for our plane. And we waited. And ten minutes before our plane was scheduled to take off... yup, we were still waiting.

Outside, the sky was blue and the clouds were white and puffy. Okay, well, it was slightly gray and foggy. But still mostly blue, with puffy clouds. While we were all questioning why we were not headed on our super long trip.. (our plan was to drive to Florence, get on a plane to Munich, Germany, head to Chicago, fly to Little Rock, then drive the 45 minutes back to school from there) Jeremy came over and said the Florence airport felt the weather conditions were too risky and the pilot did not feel comfortable flying in it.

Don't let the blue sky fool you, we understood how risky that puffy cloud can be.

We were going to be bussed an hour to the airport in Pisa.

Okay. So we have a plan now. Let's execute it. Or... not? We waited about a good 45 minutes to an hour to even be loaded onto the bus. By this time it was noon when we started to go outside, and then we had to drive an hour to Pisa, fly an hour to Munich, and catch our flight at 3:25. Hmmm.. anyone else see a problem?

Honestly, I didn't mind being bussed to Pisa. It was like a final tour of Italy. While everyone was sleeping, I fought exhaustion and gazed upon what is the gorgeous countryside of Italy. I sat back, let the sun shine on me as I let Michael Buble, James Taylor and Rod Stewart serenade me across the countryside. I was just so happy to be in Italy for an extra hour that I wasn't even worried about getting back to school. I knew I'd get there eventually; why not take a little extra time and enjoy the sights slightly longer?

Since everyone on the bus and van was headed to Munich, we figured, "oh, hey, once we get there we can all just jump on the plane and leave." False. We waited a good hour before they started loading us on. That was our demise. That final hour wait. For when we got to Munich, we had missed our connecting flight to America by... yup. That's right. An hour.

When we first got inside the airport we saw a woman holding a sign with a single word on it: Chicago.

We had never been so excited. We couldn't believe they held the plane for us!

"What if they're just bringing us to get hotel arrangements?" Sara nervously laughed.

We all laughed. Surely not. I mean she had a legitimate piece of paper with CHICAGO written on it. They don't do that for people they're just putting up in hotels for the night.

Or.... they do.

A few hours later, there were 22 American students sitting on the floor of the Munich airport and making free phone calls to the States. We each had new plane tickets, hotel and shuttle vouchers in hand, and headed off to the place where we'd spend our Saturday night instead of in Searcy: Munich, Germany.

We wanted to go into the city, but it was 40 minutes and eight euro one way. Plus, we'd have to get a taxi to the subway, and it wasn't worth it since I had to get up at 5:15 the next morning to (hopefully) catch our flight to America.

After a free dinner, a LOT of laughs, free dessert and cappuccino thanks to Dr. James, a visit to the heated pool and Fantastic Four in German, Rachel and I headed up to our hotel room. I passed out nearly instantly, dreading the sound of the ringing phone that was supposed to wake me up all too early the next morning.

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