1. May 8th. Saturday.
Our first flight en route to Europe has left us in Chicago, waiting on the first available flight. We missed the last flight to London, our first destination by half an hour. The flight from Nashville was delayed. Boo. The airline put us in a hotel and put us on the next flight out. But this morning Laura woke repeatedly to messages telling her the flight was canceled and then naming the next flight we were assigned to.
We talked to the most helpful airline lady I’ve ever met about what flight they could put us on to Europe whether it be London or something else. We don’t care by now to make it to London because by now, we’ve already missed everything we wanted to do there. My friend Harry can’t come to the city during the week and Laura’s friend’s private concert is probably ending about right now.
So we asked Kimberly behind the desk at American Airlines what other cities they fly to where the flights are not already full. She promptly booked us on the next plane to Rome. We promised to send a postcard to Kimberly at the American Airlines desk.
Actually Rome is about the same distance to Marseilles as Paris, which would have been the next stop by the time we get there on Monday morning. Pairs? Maybe. Might depend on whether we can figure out the trains. We did figure out enough of the trains and free transit in Chicago to get us to a nook of a coffee shop in Wicker Park. Much better than the sterile hotel conditions.
Tonight: Meet up with Jill Dart & Friends and see Andrew Belle play with someone who’s name we can’t remember.
Tomorrow: Get on a plane at 4pm bound for Rome.
Best way to start atrip: Start in a city you didn’t intend to go to.
The eve before our trip begins, I sit amidst a plethora of memories already made. Two weeks ago, tickets were purchased for an adventure comprised of desires. A time of transition left room for collaboration and companionship to be free. This meant little preparation in destinations and passports to be stamped with surprises. A flurry of days spent completing projects before we embarked on this adventure. Amos arrived on Wednesday to a flooded Nashville. My photoshoot was cancelled so we spent the day preparing by purchasing film, buying raincoats and trying on every style of travel shoe. We were packing light which meant little clothing: 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, 1 sweater, 1 pair of shoes and 5 cameras. While I was excited to be limited in my possessions as I traveled, I found it harder than I thought to finalize these items. Shoes were the most difficult to find. We finally decided on a pair of gray and green canvas sneakers. I added leather laces to mine and Amos went laceless. ( Two days of wear around O’ Hare airport and we will be looking for more durable and comfortable shoes when we reach Rome) Thinking we would be spending the first part of our trip in rainy London, we also purchased expensive but durable raincoats. These have already come in handy while waiting outside for the shuttle, to shield against the vicious Chicago May wind.
The hours before we left were spent making final decisions, packing and taking a limited polaroid together in the grass by my front door. And then we were off! Only to arrive two hours early and find out that our flight to Chicago had been delayed due to weather. This meant, it was more than likely we would miss our connection to London. We arrived in Chicago twenty minutes after our flight left, walked to the gate for vouchers (hotel/food), and then to the shuttles for another hour wait. A lot of waiting, on/off, up/down, to the hotel, a beautiful room, a view. Sleep was interrupted twice, by calls from the airline with more cancelled flights. Spent the morning trying to figure out when we were actually leaving London. Two o’clock came and we shuttled to the airport once again, more lines, all flights cancelled to London due to volcano ash. So, we asked Kimberly to put us on the flight of the day. All flights overbooked, first one out tomorrow afternoon with seats: Dublin or Rome. We chose Rome! Excited to explore this city six years later with Amos. Sure to be a beautiful experience. One more night in Chicago, but first we must spend these food vouchers. I sent Amos through airport security to find food. He returned an hour later with our airport beverage of choice, an iced venti chai and burritos. So happy to be here with him.
May 8th: Chicago.
May 9th: Fly to Rome.
May 10th: Train to Paris.
May 15th: Train or car to Spain (Barcelona or Sevilla).
May 15th: Somehow get to Spain and spend the rest of the trip exploring the Mediterranean coast. Barcelona. Valencia. Seville? Gibraltar/Morocco?
May 24th: Fly back to the US, arrive in Oklahoma City to visit my sister and her husband.
May 27th: Drive to Stapleton, Nebraska to spend two days with my parents. (Including the classic ranch event, the branding)
May 30th: Fly home to Portland.
June 1st: Start a new job.