01:08 PM (EST): I board my flight from Pittsburgh to Chicago. Somehow, I get the solo seat right in the front. This means, for an hour and twenty minutes, I have to stare down a male flight attendant who somewhat resembles a poodle.
01:45 PM (EST): Despite being incredibly parched, I pretend to be asleep when the flight attendant comes around with drinks, in hopes of avoiding furthered eye-contact.
2:15 PM (CDT): I land in Chicago. I have twenty minutes to make it to another terminal for a flight that is already boarding. I swear to Jesus I see Patrick Kane.
2:40 PM (CDT): I board my flight to Frankfurt. As I pass through the front of the plane and see the personal massage chairs and hand-selected, pre-cooled wine bottles, I think “Damn, this is going to be a good flight!” Naturally, I find myself in the very back of the plane, attempting to wiggle into a seat whose size is probably not suited for anyone over the age of two months.
3:00 PM (CDT): After the world’s longest taxi, the flight taxes off. I use my personal television screen in French, in the hopes that the man next to me won’t be able to read the subtitles on my embarrassing film selections. But at the rate things are going, it only makes sense that he, too, speaks French.
3:01 PM (CDT): I start Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
5:00 PM (CDT): I start Beauty and the Beast. The Beast’s French voice could really use some work.
6:35 PM (CDT): I start The Avengers. After less than 15 minutes, I decide Samuel J. Jackson in any other language just can’t be taken seriously and attempt to read. Fortunately, Lufthansa soon brings me curry and brownies and so what? I kind of like airline food.
1:04 AM (CEST): I look at the map and see we are currently flying over Greenland. The outside temperature is a balmy -54 degrees. This is promising.
2:00 AM (CEST): I begin to curse my life and wonder how I will be able to make it another four hours.
2:05 AM (CEST): I decide the only thing to do in desperate times like this is watch War Horse. So I do. In English this time, though. This is when they dim the lights, so I attempt to fall asleep in the midst of trench warfare. I think I clock in a solid ten minutes, total.
4:?? AM (CEST): WAIT WHY WAS HE BLIND AND NOW HE CAN SEE AGAIN AND HOW DOES A HORSE BE AN ACTOR AND STEVEN SPIELBERG JUST…WHAT?! THEY SHOULD HAVE GIVEN THE HORSE TO THE GIRL.
5:00 AM (CEST): Breathe, breathe, breathe. Wait, don’t…everyone smells at this point.
5:45 AM (CEST): We land in Frankfurt, and I practically sprint off of the plane, using the first class exit so at least I can get a whiff of the good life and possibly an unopened cinnamon roll.
6:30 AM (CEST): Everyone in the Frankfurt airport is beautiful. It’s a simple fact. They all need to be spokesmodels for some shampoo company or something.
7:05 AM (CEST): After sitting at the gate to Florence with a group of particularly unenticing Boston College students (“Erhmagawd! Imma drank so much waaaahn!”) I board my flight to Florence. Miraculously, no one has booked the seat next to me. I stretch out and enjoy Lufthansa’s complimentary snacks, handed to me by a flight attendant who looks like a Japanese pop star.
7:40 AM (CEST): As we enter Italy, everything looks decidedly…brown.
9:05 AM (CEST): I land in Italia and, before I am even off the plane, begin sweating profusely about the possibility of losing my baggage.
9:30 AM (CEST): Baggage not lost. Thirty pounds of bodyweight in sweat, in fact, lost.
9:35 AM (CEST): I have been in Italy for less than an hour, and already I have been inappropriately touched. But it was by a golden retriever in customs, so I suppose that’s okay.
9:40 AM (CEST): The rest of my life started.