Sunday, May 9, 2010
I’ll get you guys caught up later on what’s been a happenin in Cincy since I’ve been back, but first I wanted to fill you in on a few things that went down pre-Nati.
First up is my trip to the land of togas and towers that lean. After reading about some scary traveling experiences with people that had expired visas, I was a bit nervous myself about my first flying experience within the walls of Europe after my own visa had expired. Apparently the penalties if caught are fairly severe. You can get deported,fined 200 Euros for every day that you’ve lived in Europe past your visas expiration date, or even thrown in the slammer for a few days. I was told by my friends though that I shouldn’t worry one bit. The border control, they said, between countries was very lax to put it lightly (besides Switzerland and Germany…we’ll get to that later). They were right. The only person that looked at my passport was a flight attendant who wanted to see if my name matched up with my ticket (it did). I even had my passport ready for a cop at one point but he smiled and told me to put it away.
So eventually I made it to Florence and more importantly to my friends. It was gorgeous. My first day there we walked uphill to a site that overlooked the area and man was it worth it. In front of us was a beautiful view of the busy but peaceful city behind the river and to our left and right were an abundance of rolling hills with trees and classic looking Italian homes scattered in between. We soaked all this up with some wine, bread and cheese on the hillside over a blanket. We did, however, manage to squeeze in a little bit of conversation in between the eating and gawking at our surroundings. We spent the rest of that day and the next walking around the city, visiting churches and museums and (this one was mostly me) eating as much pizza, gelato and pasta that we could stomach.
Pretty soon it was time to get on our train to Roma. Rome was also amazing but in a different way. The city was literally jam packed with history. It was unreal walking around and witnessing things that were witnessed by men I have read about in history books and the Bible. The Vatican, The Trevi Fountain, The Coliseum, The Forum, The Spanish Steps, things that are not only historical but also breathtaking. It was too cool.
We lost each member of our group at least once, got lost as a group when we took the wrong bus an hour and a half in the wrong direction, ate some more Italian food, found (probably) the only Spanish dance club in Rome, and still managed to make it back to Florence in one piece.
Eventually I said my goodbyes and after almost getting lost again (This time I was alone, only had 5 Euros left, no credit cards and no minutes on my phone. This walk to the airport from the train station in Bologna at 12:00 a.m. that I thought was only going to take me 45 minutes definitely took me 2 hours) I made it back to Spain. I spent my last day in Spain relaxing, packing and saying a few more goodbyes.
And then I was off. Now this was the real test. I had spent the last few weeks fretting about how me and my expired passport were going to make it through Zee Swiss unscathed. Here’s how it went: As soon as I handed my passport to the lady at border control and she looked at me with that “I really wish I didn’t have to do this” look, I knew I was busted. A few minutes later I was escorted by a police officer to a hallway where I had to fill out some paperwork that was half in broken English and half in German. Long story short, I made it back to the States but you won’t see a certain mulatto paying Switzerland a visit for oh…the next 5-10 years. Man, I’ll miss their chocolate…
I spent the last portion of my travels with some friends in Boston. Besides a jalapeño filled hamburger that gave me a serious case of food poisoning and made me feel like I was going to die (I’m not kidding), the clam chowder, smell of the ocean, Arrested Development episodes and time spent with two VERY beautiful people made it a great way to end my journey.
So, now you’re all caught up. I’m back in the land of the free, home of the Geeze and I’m getting into trouble in my own country for a change. I’ll update you soon on the happenings of the Nasty Nati. Till next time gumshoes.