When the alarm sounded Friday the 14th of October my heart skipped a beat. Showering and getting ready took all of 30 minutes due to the excitement in both my mother and me. We kidding and laughed all morning as my poor dad listened to our giggled hysteria all the way to the airport. Meeting my grandmother at the Pensacola, Florida airport at 7am was a knotted stomach, bated breath kind of moment. When my grandmother came around the corner with her luggage, my grandfather, and my uncle I knew we were about to embark on a journey that none of us would ever forget. We were headed to Italy. My grandmother’s lifetime dream.

The flight from Pensacola to Atlanta was painlessly easy and our spirits were high. Our excitement only increased as we began our descent into Newark, New Jersey where we knew the New York City skyline would be visible. It definitely did not dissapoint us. The city was an amazing sight, stretching for mile after breathtaking mile. I’ve seen many skylines, but New York City was visually intimidating. It just moved up many notches on my places to visit soon list.

Newark airport is where the comedy began. We encountered an Indian woman from Brooklyn that spoke very broken English and she was our converter from dollars to euros. Seems appropriate for there to be a language barrier anytime you give someone money and get less back. Par for course.

We were feeling a little jaded until we boarded our flight headed to Rome. All of our stewards were gorgeous beautiful wowza…Italian men… and they were all pouring free wine. Jackpot. Grandma kicked back in her center seat to enjoy the entertainment dancers models pampering from the crew. In 8 short little hours we would be landing in Rome.