Well to start off on a positive note, we did finally make it to the villa at about 1:30 local time (about 6:30 Kansas time, Italy is 8hrs ahead). But Chelsea, Emily, and I all got moved in ok and are attempting to stay awake all afternoon in hope of a good night sleep tonight.
Now its time for the story of our lovely trip here, plenty of ups and downs!
When we got to KCI yesterday morning, we had a pleasant surprise waiting; Whitney and Ellen were waiting just inside the doors! It was really nice seeing them one last time, plus they helped carry bags in. But everything went smoothly all day, between changing flights and getting in on time, its was perfect! When we boarded our last flight destined for Rome, there was surprisingly not very many people so we all ended up with plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the 8 hour flight. The flight was pretty good, little turbulence and we all just relaxed and read a book thats supposed to be finished by tomorrow (not gonna happen). We landed at about 730 am, once again local time, and made it to our baggage just fine, found it easiest to just follow everyone else that was on our plane.
In Rome we made plans to meet up with a fellow study aboard student Clare who's flight came in shortly after ours. After we waited, and waited, Clare eventually emerged and we were finally able to get out of the airport! Granted, on our way out we had no idea where to go and just started following pictures signs in hopes of finding the train. Eventually a nice gentleman came to our rescue and offered to drive of us to the EuroStar train station, on the other side of town. Lets just say that people here in Italy are crazy drivers, and definitely have a lead foot!! Even I thought driving here would not be fun.
At the station, we quickly found the automated ticket booth and managed to get our tickets just fine, on our own! Well, besides the weird poor guys that felt that he had to help us, then asked for 1 Euro to get coffee. After we all got our tickets and headed out to find our terminal, we realized we had no idea what terminal we were in. Luckily the police here are nice and were willing to answer my dumb American question. While standing waiting for the train to arrive and young man felt obligated to help to where we were supposed to get on. Then also asked for 2 Euro's from each one of us, lets just say that was and will be the last time we let someone help.
Train ride was about an hour and a half, but the country side was quite beautiful to see. Granted, all of us took a little nap at some point. When we got to train station in Florence, we had FINALLY had actual directions on what we were supposed to do, and how, except we still got it all mixed up. After asking multiple people and them turning down our pleas for help, we found a young lady that was able to point us in the right direction and we were able to get on the right bus that took us straight to the villa. Or so we thought...
The bus did take us to the right road, but the bus stop is at the bottom of a long "driveway." The four us ended up hiking about a mile, each with 3 bags of luggage. We got in our work out for the day, oh and it was raining.
Now were at the villa, got moved into our room that was thought to be 2 to a room and a bathroom to share. Ha, of course not. There are actually four of us in a little room, one armoùr that has about 10 hangers and only two little drawers. However, there is a plus, the bathroom is nice...
So to say the least, this will be one hell of an experience, and we learn alot about ourselves and each other. Hope all is well back in the states, and hope this blog shined a little light on your day.
Until another day... Ciao