A Glass of Chianti

Monday, July 18, 2005


I'm back from a most wonderful vacation. Within 10 minutes of stepping off the plane at DFW, my allergies began playing with my sinus system. I suppose this is because I needed to be reminded that I was home. Even with some eye redness and a runny nose, it's nice to be back in the land of Dr Pepper and salsa again. I have new students to start thinking about and a cat that I'm excited to cuddle with again.

My final destination was more exciting and just as wonderful as I had imagined. I had a couple of soul-moving experiences that came out of nowhere and I'm still trying to understand why I responded the way I did. I was incredibly lucky to have a patient guide that was able to show me places that I would never have known to look for had I come on my own. He neglected to remind me on Friday that it was Friday, so I didn't realize until last night on the plane that I really shouldn't have found the sausage in my pasta that evening as tasty as I did. Other than that, which wasn't the tour guide's fault, I'd say I'm the happiest girl in Texas. I know that I'm the most fortunate in the whole world.

On the plane rides there and back I met an assortment of great people, reminding me that this is a really great country. In the Chicago airport, I spent my layover talking to a guy from Taiwan going to Rochester, NY to study violin. We talked about our favorite composers and how much he missed his wife back home for about an hour even though his English was limited and my Chinese non-existent. On the plane, I met a girl who was going to start boarding school in the fall and study musical theater. Her grandfather, sitting between us, gushed non-stop about his granddaughter and how proud he was of her. That's always a wonderful conversation. :)
On my way home, I was stuck in Chicago for a little longer than I had planned due to the weather. I talked to a girl named Ami from Uganda who is some type of certified nurse's assistant. She was visiting friends in the Dallas area and on her way home to Boston. Apparently, she is not a fan of the Boston winter or cost-of-living as compared to Dallas and wants to move south as quickly as possible. I had no clue how cold it really got up in Massachusetts. She filled me in on some of her wardrobe selections for a typical Boston January, and it really consisted of a lot more layers than I had imagined. On my final leg, I talked to a man and his wife who met while in the Army and were going home to his parents' house to pick up their vacationing children. He was in band in high school and went on and on about how important his high school band director was to him. There are just so many interesting and fun people who you can meet on airplanes and in airports if you hang around long enough!

I regret that I took a camera but took no pictures. I should have had my camera ready for some of the really cool architectural details of the buildings. Most of all, though, I was silly for not taking pictures of my friend. I was thinking of other things, I suppose. If that is my biggest regret, though, I'd say that I had a pretty successful trip!

Aaaaaaaand, I got to see March of the Penguins. In a really neat little theater. With people in it! (Unlike in Fort Worth... or even Dallas). It was very cool.

As wonderful as the experience was, I'm happy to be home. I get to cook and practice my clarinet and talk to my students. Those are all things that I really missed while gone this weekend.