The first plane ride to Rome was rather uneventful due to the fact that I slept through most of it. We were lucky enough to get emergency exit row seats which had a lot of leg room. Mmmm hmmm...that was nice. I woke up once halfway through the flight. I had the window seat, so I decided to take a look outside. I peered uninterestedly and rather groggily out the window at the dark blackish-blue mass of clouds. Turning around I looked out the window that was at the other side of the plane from me, and did a double take. The view outside the window seemed to be divided into little slivers of light. The bottom sliver was a pitch black, the second was a burning red, which faded to an orange, to a yellow, to a vivid green and finally to a light baby blue. It was a beautiful sight, and mainly very surprising. On one side of the plane was merely a massive dark blotch, while the other side of the plane gave way to a gorgeous combination of rainbow hues. It just strikes me as being a crazy thing when two very different sights can be seen just by looking out opposite sides of a plane. It was not the last breath-taking view God would give me that day. I went back to sleep after that pleasant experience, but woke up as we started to descend into Rome. I was greeted by an even more mind-blowing display of God's beauty and power. There wasn't a cloud to be seen in the vast light blue sky. The sun poured its brilliance and glory across the whole Italian countryside. Everything was illuminated to a glowing blaze. The sun's rays danced across the surface of the waves in the Mediterranean sea. The Italian farmland and little cottages shone under the sun's fire. It was one of the most amazing, mind-blowing and beautiful sights I've ever seen. To me it was a clear demonstration, not just of God's beauty, but more of his power. I don't know why it struck me like that, but I just had this overwhelming sense of his power. I also somehow got this feeling that this was a gift from God to me specifically, because I really needed it.
As we went to get our boarding passes at the Roman airport, we learned our flight had been delayed somewhere around seven hours. Immediately this quote ran through my head, "For every profit in one thing, payment in some other thing." God had given me an exit row seat, and two gorgeous views. Now I got a long layover because of a delayed flight. Layovers are obviously no one's friend, but I was in such a great mood after that first flight that it couldn't dampen my spirits. The layover passed fairly uneventfully, except for two events that stand out in my head. The first was our compensation meal from the airline. It wasn't amazing, but I was so starving by that time that I scarfed it down in seconds, and my stomach was very grateful. The second was a rather humorous relief. Just as I was leaving the men's restroom, a woman was taking (or should I say trying to take?) her son to the bathroom. I've always been pretty bad at guessing the ages of people, and this kid was no exception, he could have been anywhere between seven and ten for all I could tell. The woman could obviously not go into the men's restroom, so she was attempting to take her son into the woman's lavatory. Her son, however, was fully convinced that he was a man, and so he would enter no woman's bathroom, he was going to go into the men's restroom. An admirable fight ensued, with the son doing everything he could to try and get through the door with the little icon of a man on the front. The boy was putting up such a racket that I was sure Davy Jones would be coming up any minute from his locker to see what was going on. Eventually, after much hollering, pushing, shoving, and tugging, as well as a good bit of staring from some spectators, the boy was pulled into the woman's bathroom. I couldn't help but smile apologetically in his direction as his struggling form vanished behind the door to the woman's restroom. I could still hear his screams all the way back to my seat. Poor boy, probably scarred for life.
The second flight passed quickly, we got all of our luggage after standing in a massive line for passport control in the Boston airport, and we met up with a disgruntled Brendan who had been waiting for us for about ten hours at that point. We got our van and drove down to Rhode Island and tumbled into bed at about two in the morning instead of arriving in the middle of the day as we had hoped, but hey, that's life.