We had arrived! We were almost through. A nice comfy bed was calling my name. Let’s be honest, after being awake for 30 hours, it didn’t even need to be comfy. Our next step was baggage claim. We had quite a bit of luggage as you can imagine. 8 bags ranging in 40-70lbs each, 3 backpacks, 2 carry ons, and a partridge in a pear tree. I’m sure many of you have heard about how awesome Chicago is about losing luggage. We had bets going to see how many would actually arrive. To our surprise, every bag made it! Now we had to navigate the airport and find our shuttle….
In case you make it out this way, Marco Polo airport does not have signs for the base shuttle. Maybe it’s a security thing but a little reassurance that walking out into an empty parking lot with two kids and three luggage carts was the right way to go would have been nice. Alas, the map didn’t lie and our driver arrived. So, if you are taking the patriot shuttle for the first time, you are not lost! You found the right spot.
We arrived to TLF and were met by Brok’s sponsor. We have either hand no sponsor or a really craptastic one in the past years. I was not counting on having much help this go around. Thankfully, he has been wonderful. Along with two other coworkers, they helped us get all of our bags to the room, gave us a laundry detergent, food for the next day, and a laundry basket with goodies for the kids. How awesome is that?!
By the time we unpacked, it was 9:30 P.M and we were ready for bed! We showered and everyone fell quickly to sleep. At 1:00 A.M, I woke up well rested and ready to go… Jet lag? NOT.GOING.TO.HAPPEN. I forced myself back to sleep with sheep counting, breath counting, sheep counting again. For the most part, we seemed to have beat jet lag. We slept in a little later than usual but the level of tiredness in the day always seemed manageable for all of us.
The day after our arrival, our sponsor gave us a tour of the base and took us to a city center to look around. It was just what we had envisioned for Italy. Little cafés with tables out front, cobble streets, and markets set up. So much beauty to be seen all around.
It has been 9 days since we have arrived. I imagine it will continue to feel like a vacation until Brok starts work, we move into a home, and we get into a real rhythm. However, we have gotten a lot accomplished so far. We have our driver’s license, my car from the states is here and already registered, and we THINK we have found the house (watch for an update on that).
Tomorrow, we get the opportunity to take a newcomer’s tour which includes a winery and lunch out in town. We are excited to see new things. We will share pictures from the tour and our adventures from the weekend soon! Check back to see how it goes!