It was the unaccustomed feeling of drifting that I was first aware of, as though I was being rocked gently in the arms of a warm, giant cloud. Before I even opened my eyes, a breeze drifted through the window, carrying with it the heady scent of wildflowers. This, I thought, smiling, is heaven. There was still the faintest hint of sweetness clinging to my lips, testament to the sambuca I'd sipped the night before. When I opened my eyes, I was greeted to the unfamiliar view of blue walls edged with cream, the baroque style furniture of a truly classy home and Lorenzo. Don't ask how I knew his name, I don't know, but there he stood in all his glorious Italian beauty with glossy dark curls resting over sensitive brown eyes and in his hands, a breakfast tray.
And then I woke up. In my own bedroom. On a mattress that's seen better days. With two cats yowling for attention. Hungover.
That was my first thought as I woke to this reality. My next was, what happened last night? It came back to me in pieces as I dragged myself out of bed, pausing for one long moment to decide whether it's worth it to bend over and retrieve a pair of pants. It wasn't, and I settle for a nightgown tucked into one of my drawers. There was another pause when I finally stumbled out of my bedroom and reach the top of the stairs. This one is slightly longer as I had to come to terms with the fact that I apparently left the curtains open and the light is going to be unbearable. I finally navigated them and made my way to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. As I turned on the machine, I realized with a slight pang that I was going to officially lose my bet with A. not to drink anything but water (and booze) for a week.
Last night I went to the C.'s house. While it was no vacation in beautiful Tuscany, it was a wonderful night filled with great friends, great conversation and fantastic food. Let me tell you a little bit about the C.'s. They had a whirlwind romance, something that seems as common in the military as it was in Utah, and they are great together. V., a nurse by trade, boasts a Jersey accent that would put any one of the 'Shore kids to shame--a fact which, she informs me, is not hard to do since they are all impostors. Z. was a tattoo artist and he looks the part. You'd never guess, looking at him, that the man can cook. I'm not talkin' a pot of spaghetti and some jarred sauce. No. Last night he spent over an hour in the kitchen whipping up a feast that sent my olfactory senses into overdrive. My mouth was fair watering by the time it was done. We had steak served up with a Portabella wine sauce, potatoes roasted beneath bay leaves and then twice cooked in the same pan as our steak had been. To top it off, Brussels sprouts that were absolutely out of this world. I have no idea how he cooked them, I just know they were tender and delicious and if I had been able to eat one more bite I might've gone for seconds. Possibly thirds.
Then the drinking started. Drinking, Trivial Pursuit, and lots of laughter. This is really where my night begins to blur. There were some things I really, really wish I could forget--the nickname for a certain someone's man-business and the revelation that it's named after a power tool for instance--but for the most part, I'm feeling truly blessed and thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful friends.
I think it might even be enough to chase away the disappointment of not waking up in Italy.