“So you leave for Italy in like two weeks right?” “No. It’s like a month or something…..right?!”
“Holy shit. I’m leaving for Italy in like two weeks.”
This was the conversation I had this afternoon before leaving the shop. I have no idea why I thought my departure date was still a month away, maybe it’s the fact that I am still disbelieving of the fact that I am going. Being invited, and not just invited but being taken, to Italy. To swirl around the north eastern hills of Friuli…tasting, smelling, learning soaking in yet another country’s wild scent and accent, well it not only feels like over a month away, it seems unreal to me, like it must be someone else’s life. I get to sit away here late at night, early in the morning, buzzy, hungover, ranting, loving, making love to the wines I adore by retelling their story here, the tap-tap-tap of my nails against the keyboard of my beloved laptop keeping me company and not only do people read it….respond to it, I get an email asking me if I would consider travelling with a few other wine bloggers to Italy, a guest there to taste the wines of the region and share my impressions. God, how did I get here?
Vacation only meant one thing to me when I was growing up, it was an extra check that helped pay the bills once a year. We never went anywhere; maybe had a dinner out that week but there was no going, no packing, no camping, not ever. My “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” papers where always the same, they were a recount of watching my little sister and reruns of The Honeymooners, (and ahem…Maury Povich. Don’t judge, I just HAD to find out which of the 12 men tested was that woman’s baby daddy) Wasn’t horrible, was just the way it was and travel never even really entered my consciousness, in fact….in all honesty it scared me in some ways so it was something I rarely even thought about. That whole, “don’t look at it and it shall not exist or ever come up” thing…always works that.
I began baby stepping my way around the US once I met a man that was much more fearless than I. A sound and quiet man that booked travel like an agent and held me when I felt like my heart and body were about to leap from my airplane seat and pry the doors off the plane in an effort to save my life….or preserve the dangerously fragile barrier that kept me just as quiet and satiated in my life of up and down the same streets, to and from point A and point B. The life I knew, the foods I knew, the nameless faces of the rest of my fearfully safe crowd. Seattle, DC, Georgia, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine….each flight just a little longer, each taste just a bit more comfortable and each step in a new place a fingerprint resting upon the flesh on my back, pushing me to take the next step. The next deep breath of air that didn’t smell like home, smile in the face of someone’s verbiage I didn’t quite get…to feel a life, if only for a moment, that was thousands of worlds away from any I had ever tasted before. Each time leaving me more ready, more wanting and more eager for the next hesitant step….
So here I sit, almost every state in our union and 4 trips to Europe under my belt about to climb aboard and hear the cla-clunk as yet another stamp is added to my passport. Surreal. Fuck, I cannot even begin to express how humbling and not even close to real, this feeling is. Cannot even begin to imagine what I’ve done in my life to deserve this, wishing I did as I would not only do it again…I would pass whatever it is along as I would give anything to share this with all of you that have made this next adventure even possible. Without you, your visits and comments, my silly blog would have never been noticed and this rather clumsy voiced, thick bodied, goofy, ranting, somewhat inappropriate girl…turned woman, would not be boarding that plane in….fuck, two weeks! I’m tucking you in my laptop…come with me. I need you.
So I’ve been scanning my fellow travelers blogs. Been checking out their tone and I gotta tell ya, kinda sucks knowing…before we even leave, that I am likely going to be the worst behaved. (sigh) I’m starting out with three strikes: 1) Fat 2) Smoker 3) Can’t pee while standing
None of those shall be changing before the trip. I can get me some less than ghetto shoes and stuff but I aint about to shed like…erm, a hundred pounds, give up my much dreaded but so adored huffing habit or grow some tubage that will make my pee deficiency better. These are truths that no matter how I ache for them to go away, shan’t. So the next worry on my list of shit that makes me a nut job before one of these trips, you know aside from hoping I don't fall out of the sky and junk is…..who shall be my partner in crime? Now on a bigger trip I do what most do, I look for the girl…seeing as that is me on this here wild ride, well I am kinda screwed there. I once relied on the kindness, (read horniness) of one of the hotel workers….long story, very bad plan and very expensive cab ride. Ugh.
I can’t help but wonder who will sneak out of our luxurious accommodations, go on the cured meat, the one more glass run with me. Who will be clinking glasses of grappa when Sussudio or Baby Got Back comes screeching through the jukebox or is spun on the wheels of steel. Who will give me that, “Oh I hate you” glare at 11:00 AM when we are picked up to begin our day…