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Photo Finish

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Sorting through my photos will take several months. I should have everything organized by the time the ball drops on Times Square at the end of this year. I have loads of digital shots taken by family and friends, saved on assorted CDs and online photo sites. Thanks to all these snappy happy pals of mine, I have a nice collection of digital pixs from certain parts of my journey.

But for my own personal photos, I used an ordinary film camera, and the rolls have piled up. It will take awhile before I can see my own pictures from the trip — I can only develop a few at a time and have to watch my money. At last count there were about 16 rolls. I also used a few throw-away cameras, after my 3-year old Minolta decided to call it quits on a peaceful cliffside in Slovenia.

There are special photos of people and places that I want to share by uploading them to my Flickr account, but that will take time too, since I am not yet a coveted Pro account member. I’ve used up my allotted space for July with a random smattering of shots from the very beginning and very end of my trip. Here are two of my favorites:

In Glouchester, MA on Feb. 12, just three days before my departure for Lisbon.


With Mom and Dad this past Tuesday at Newark Airport after my return flight from Rome.

There are just a few from Portugal too…but more to come next month, I hope 🙂

Point of View

Friday, July 21st, 2006

The perspective, to say the least, changes only with the journey.

~ James Baldwin

Getting in the Civic with my parents and brother when they picked me up at the airport was a surreal moment. The car felt oddly familiar, yet foreign. It wasn’t exactly deja vu, but some sort of bizarre sensation, to be around this thing that I was formerly acquainted with.

For five months, almost everything I saw, touched or tasted was new. Now, suddenly, I am back among the familiar — the car, the house, my stuff. It’s strange and comfortable, all at the same time. I don’t feel this way with people, it is only with the material possessions and things I own that surround me now. Maybe it is the jetlag, but the littlest things I see can make me giggle, grin or stare in wonder — I forgot about those sneakers, and this book, and that extra deodorant I left behind during the frenzied pre-trip packing. And it is all here waiting for me.

Living out of a bag for five months has surely changed my perspective on stuff, and now that I am surrounded by my belongings again, I’m not quite sure what to do with most of them.


The flights home were fine, although the plane ride and all this air conditioning has gifted me with a tiny cold…I’m not used to all this processed air, especially after the last month of ultra hot hostels in Spain and Italy. I think my body has just let go for a bit too. It has breathed a huge sigh and told me to check back in a few weeks, while it recovers from the constant movement of the journey.

I’ve moved slow the past three days…sorting through mail and photos, searching for summer clothes in the attic and assembling toiletries in the bathroom. I ran some errands today, and almost said “Grazie” to the man who held the door for me at the bank.

It is wonderful to be around my family again, and to be able to easily chat with friends on the phone. The best part of my trip was all the amazing people I met…and the best part of being home is all the fantastic people I already know that I can see and talk to again.

Tonight mom and I will eat leftover Chinese and watch some travel shows (ha!) on TV. Tomorrow I’m treating my feet to a well deserved pedicure followed by a visit with two of my closest pals. I’ve still got three days of notes on Rome to write in my journal, plus lots of photos to develop and maps/scraps/brochures to organize. Oh yeah, and all that ‘find a job and place to live stuff’ to sort out too…all in good time.

From Rome to Home!

Monday, July 17th, 2006

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalks again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.

– Jack Kerouac

My backback is only slightly battered, but my feet are in need of some major TLC. The end of this part of the journey is near, but I’ve worked my legs to the bitter end here, conquering Rome the best I can in the past three days. I’ve seen much more than I thought I would, and it has been wonderful — I can’t think of a better city in which to end this journey and said Ciao to Europe – for now 🙂

I just checked my flights online and status seems okay. Tomorrow will be a long day…Rome to London, then to New Jersey, USA! I won’t really have time to explore London at all, but that is already on the list for the next visit (along with Scotland, right mom?)

For now, I will savour my last hours in Italy, my home for the past 17 days (plus a few more weeks earlier in the trip). This second visit to Italy has been just as incredible as the first. I spent time with my Italian cousin Ivonne in Asti, then visited Lucca and Pisa before heading to Florence for a few days. After that, it was a week in Tuscany with my American cousins, aunts and uncles, and my brother and sister-in-law too…it was so wonderful to see them all. We visited Siena, San Giminano, Pienza and Montalcino. And we all watched Italy’s World Cup win while secluded at our Tuscan villa! I said goodbye to all the fam on Saturday, and have spent the past three days solo for one last time on the trip…exploring Rome alone and just taking it all in — the chaos, madness and craziness that makes this city absolutely awesome. I walked EVERYWHERE and melted as I did it, but it has been a fabulous finale to an amazing five month dream come true…but I still think I am dreaming. Am I???

I’m looking forward to speaking with and seeing so many of you — VERY soon!! Safe travels and happy summer, wherever you are! See you soon Mom and Dad (and Dan too! miss you all!)

Italia Beats Germania!!!

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Italia Beats Germania
Originally uploaded by lostinplace.

Here I am with two Italian fans after last night’s win. I watched the game with these guys and a bunch of other wonderful fans last night, then we all went driving through the streets of downtown singing, jumping, cheering and celebrating the victory. It was amazing to witness this and is so special to be a part of this run…to be in Italy while they go to the final is about as good as it gets as far as sports are concerned.

Photos are courtesy of my Mexican friend Will. Thanks to him and my Dutch friend Katja for a great time in Lucca. Two more photos here and here. A very different way to spend the 4th of July, but one I’ll remember forever. Happy 4th everyone…and Go Italy!!