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Yes to Italy Day One Recap

 

I’ve decided I want to write recaps regularly as I move through this month of adventure, but I don’t want to write too fussy, you know? I just want to write and not worry about being a writer or I’ll put off writing and then I’ll forget altogether.  So bear with me or skip the posts marked “recap”, K?  If I decide to try to be a good writer instead of an efficient one, I’ll let you know. 

 

DAY ONE: Weird Things Abound in This Great Big World of Ours

 

Day One of my Big Fat Italian Adventure begins in Portland, Oregon at 8:00 a.m. and ends in Schiphol, Amsterdam at 8:00 am. The first leg of this trip involves Tess & David and Josiah.  Tori is also coming – but she took a different flight that traverses a whole lot more of the globe than ours.  I ran to Starbucks while my kids woke up and got ready, and I ran into this weird little French/Vietnamese bistro in a strip mall and bought a breakfast sandwich there. Whatever you might be imagining right now about the wisdom of merging those two cultures into one sandwiches, you’d be right. It was not pleasant, but for some reason, it felt like the right way to launch a day of globetrotting.

 

Cliff took us to the airport which was so kind of him and snapped this photo as he drove away and it’s already one of those photos I know will always be dear to me.  (Josiah had just jumped through the big revolving door and missed the photo.)

 

 

Our flight from Portland to Amsterdam was ten hours and ten hours is a long time to be squished into a seat, hurtling through the air at unnatural rates of speed.

 

SEE?  Josiah came too! The in-flight entertainment selections included a documentary that I had really wanted to see and that would be really great news except I watched a full season of Real Housewives of New York instead.  It’s not culturally enriching, but it does make me really happy for my comparatively drama-free life.

 

 

We landed in Amsterdam at 11 pm our time and 8 am airport time.  Our flight to Florence is only 90 minutes so it would seem that we’re going to make it with our hope and happiness and sanity in tact, except –  plot twist! – we have a twelve-hour layover here.  And “here” is Schiphol Airport which is almost impossibly hip and cool, but we are TIRED. And CRABBY. And not the good kind of crabby, the “Why did I ever agree to this?” kind of crabby.  We wandered the airport in an aimless stupor for about an hour, searching desperately for any horizontal surface on which to rest our crabby heads, but alas, other savvy travelers had beaten us to them.  We ended up finding a little hotel in the airport that was equal parts weird and wonderful.  We got rooms there, where ‘rooms’ = ‘sleep pods”.  Tiny climate-controlled spaces comprised mostly of a bed with excellent linens, cool lighting and a see-through bathroom.  We booked our sleep experience for four hours, which was very expensive and very, very worth it.

 

Upon waking, we visited Starbucks yet again (before we got Euros, so one small coffee + one small tea + international transaction fee on my card = $12 American dollars.)  One thing I’ll say about Starbucks: they’ve nailed consistency. The first sip of my coffee felt like home and at that moment, while immersed in the great unknown, a little taste of home was exactly what I needed.  We next visited a little Dutch bistro where my kids had dutch babies and I had another weird little sandwich, but this one worked somehow. Now, we’re reading, recapping and waiting for our next and last flight.  In fact, this will be my last flight for a month and if I’m honest, I’m feeling…exciety.  Some mix of excitement and nerves.  Can I do this? How will everything work? Will I love this place as much as I did the first time?  So many emotions, plus a fair amount of tiredness – but I do feel ready. Ready to see what’s next, to remember that His voice is clear and real even when my circumstances aren’t.  I’m ready.

 

And as I sit in this airport, surrounded by all kinds of languages and accents and people, I am nearly overcome with the beauty of this big, weird world of ours.  It’s breathtaking, really, the way we flow together and apart, moving in and out of common spaces and creaky corners, hoping to catch a glimpse of beauty and life and truth.  Because really, it’s those three things.  If I have a soul-deep awareness of those three things, then I can lose everything and still have everything. Beauty. Life. Truth. You may want to add love to the list, but I suspect that love IS the list.

 

 

So, here I am 5900 miles from all that I know best, but already seeing the ways He came ahead of me to decorate the walls of this world so I’d spot ‘home’ when I saw it. His goodness has gone before me, I know it for sure.  He left His fingerprints all over the place.

 

Next stop, Florence.

 

With hope,

 

Bo

 

 

September 18, 2017 - 12:07 pm

Elizabeth - Bo, This is the beginning of the next phase – whatever that is. You are in one of the most beautiful places in the world (apart from Edinbrugh, UK, of course) and not knowing what’s next is the brave thing to do. But heck, you are on the set of a Room with a View.
Just one thing, please promise that when you get to Italy, you will not go to any multi national coffee shop. Leave that “taste” of home 5900 miles from where you are and savour (savor) the deep tones of caffee doppio. Enjoy 🙂

September 18, 2017 - 2:45 pm

Jody Collins - Bo, I love to read things where you’re not trying to be a writer, but the awesome way of your words comes through. I am totally stealing the word ‘exciety.’

September 19, 2017 - 3:23 pm

Claudia Gilliam - I love ~ love reading your posts! Especially since I lost my husband in 2010 to pancreatic cancer! We were married for 38 years and had five children.
I love to hear how God is directing your steps and the avenues and adventures He is taking you on!!
Thank~ you for being so transparent in sharing what you are going through!!
Blessings on you!

September 19, 2017 - 4:14 pm

Dani - I teared up. Efficiency works for you! Thanks for sharing.

September 20, 2017 - 4:48 pm

Debbie Hammagren - “He came ahead of me to decorate the walls of this world” ~~~ Oh Bo, I love the thought and visual of that!!!!! Enjoy each lovely moment ;o)

September 23, 2017 - 6:57 pm

Pat Whitson - My heart and prayers are with you and yours as you continue to go and grow and bless others w the Lord’s love as He fills you up and flows His grace thru you to touch others as well….