I was ready. We woke up at 4:00am to get on the plane that would take us to a new country, Italy. We had packed our stuff the previous night, so all we had to do was grab our bags and head out the door. We did exactly that. It wasn’t a tough wake-up, because we all just popped right out of bed the second the alarm rang.

We were flying with Ryanair. Ryanair is an extremely cheap airline, but they have other ways of charging you. “Ryanair, low fares, made simple,” is their slogan. The tickets were really cheap. Like, really cheap. But they would also look for every possible way to charge us with other fees. Every single person who flies with Ryanair must print their boarding passes online. They charge you if you don’t have your boarding pass printed at the airport. And guess what? Even if you printed your boarding pass, then you can still get fined for the page being damaged, or if you didn’t print the advertisement that’s on the page! They will also charge you for if you even misspell one letter in anybody’s name. If the name on the papers is any bit different than the one on your passport, then you could be charged Ryanair’s biggest fee (You can pay up to $150 dollars per person). They also have a huge luggage fee and expensive travel insurance. Food and drink on the flight would also be quite pricey.

We were flying with the airline that had amazing ticket prices, but you would literally have to do research beforehand if you wanted to dodge Ryanair’s extensive fees.

So we set off. We had compacted our luggage, printed our boarding passes, and brought snacks for the plane. We wormed by a lot of the extra charges, and boarded our plane. We paid extra to sit together, but I’m sure it was worth it. The flight started at 6:55am, and we took off. This is what happened on the plane: We slept. The beginning was a little boring, because I was still very much awake. But soon time caught up on us, after only sleeping for about 5 1/2 hours the night before, and we all dozed off. I woke up, and we were only about 20 minutes away from being done with the 4-hour Ryanair flight to Italy. Not long after, we landed in Italy, went through security. Security just happened to be guards looking for suspicious behavior, and some dogs that were probably trained to sniff out drugs and possibly fruits, because they don’t want any Freddy’s traveling to Italy (see Jasper’s post “Freddy the Fruit worm”), and finally arrived out in the shining, glimmering, fresh air and sunlight of Treviso, Italy.

Treviso is just north of Venice. Colleen, Janet’s friend from school in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, picked us up and drove us to her house. She and her family don’t live in Treviso, but in a town just North called San Giovanni, which is right at the foothills of the Dolomites.

During the car ride I learned about what we would be doing in Italy. My mind rushed with excitement. We would be staying with Colleen and her 2 boys (about our age!!!) in a huge house (bigger than ours in Seattle). Cheese, pasta, pizza, and gelato were the foods I was excited about. We could walk to pizza, play on the playground across the street with Luke and Cole (Colleen’s boys), and settle into our rooms in her house. We would do all of those things that day.

Colleen really is so nice to let us stay here! We are all staying in a huge playroom in the basement. We could play History of the World (a really fun board game) on the huge table, and sleep on a huge air mattress. I was so excited to be in Italy! We will have so much fun spending time here in San Giovanni. We will later visit Venice, and then move on and stay 5 nights in Rome. Italy is going to be a leisurely half vacation. We will be doing a lot of schoolwork, pretty much every day, and will hopefully learn a lot about Italian culture. We are staying the longest in Italy, more than in Switzerland, France, or Germany. There will be a lot of schoolwork, so each morning we will be immersed in math, science, history, reading, and writing. Luke and Cole also have school, so we only get to play in the afternoons. I am thrilled for our time here, and feel like I can’t do all the fun things there are to do in Italy.

From there we played on the playground with Luke and Cole, walked to pizza, and had pineapple upside down cake for desert (it’s really good). It was a wonderful first day in Italy, and I can’t wait to spend another whole week here.

Below: Pizza for dinner

Below: Car ride to the house (I’m really excited), and yes, we’re squeezing 4 people in 3 seats