Saturday was an interesting day for me. I put my baby girl on a plane bound for a month-long stay in Italy, and I didn't even get teary eyed!
Actually, it all began on Friday, when Amanda and I drove to the metroplex to spend the night so we could make our early flight. We met Randy (who was coming home from Lubbock) in Rockwall for dinner at our favorite St. Louis-based burger joint. Our waiter had a name tag that said "Bilbo", and he actually did resemble Bilbo Baggins. Then Amanda and I drove on to Euless, where we spent the night. I pointed out to her the W3ndy's on Main Street, where Randy and I first met ("right there...by the front Frosty machine!"). Then we checked into the LQ, and had a nice room overlooking a new $tarbuck$, which we took advantage of before grabbing a quick breakfast and heading to the airport.
We had a 7:45 flight to Atlanta, and got there right on time. So that meant we had about 5 hours to kill before she was to meet her group. We ate, wandered around, then snagged a couch in the main terminal area, where we could people-watch, read, and snooze. In a nice turn, Amanda saw her Florence roommate, Braegan (isn't that a lovely name?), and her mom, who came and sat with us until it was time to go. So we had a nice visit, and I think both Braegan's mom and I felt better for having the chance to meet the roommates and see them together before they left.
So finally 4:00 came, and we went to meet the group at the Lufthansa counter. The group leader was there, with someone holding a Bama windsock aloft, so we knew we were in the right place. Amanda had gotten all her eye-rolling out of the way on the drive to the airport (as I was trying to get in all my last little admonishments: be careful, but don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone), so that when I said goodbye, she let me get a little mushy without being too terribly embarrassed!
I was able to get on an earlier flight back to DFW, so I got home about an hour and a half before I had expected. And when I got home, the oddest thing happened.
First of all, you have to know that anytime anyone comes into the house who is new, or who hasn't been there in a while, Sammie tends to go nuts. We're working on being a little calmer, but she wants to jump and lick and dance and celebrate when someone arrives.
When I came in, she was lying on the floor in the den near the garage door, and SHE DID NOT EVEN LIFT HER HEAD TO SAY HELLO. I put my things down, leaned over to pet her, and if she even thumped her tail, I didn't notice it. I think she was ticked off at me for leaving her.
It was the first time that she's spent a night in the house that I wasn't there. Randy and James both had stories about how she acted that at least let me know that she had noticed that I was gone, but for the rest of the night, she hardly gave me a second glance. As I went to bed, I was trying to figure out how I could get back in her good graces - maybe an extra-long walk the next morning, a new tennis ball, or a cup of the $tarbuck$ ice that she loves so much. Then in the middle of the night, I woke up to find her using my legs as a pillow, which she NEVER does, so apparently she decided to forgive me!
Amanda called on Sunday morning our time/afternoon her time, to say that she and her suitcase were on the same plane into Florence, so that was one big concern out of the way. She said their apartment is a nice, small, two bedroom, one bath flat that they are sharing with a couple of other Bama girls in their group. They are close to the Arno River, and they had found a couple of likely places to grab dinner before going back home and collapsing! Their schedule started today, with meetings and planning and stuff before classes begin tomorrow. She sounded tired AND happy AND ready to get on with exploring and learning and experiencing everything she can.
She promises to TRY to blog and post pictures, so when she does, I'll be sure and post links for y'all to see!