The second time I went to Italy and the friends I made while traveling

10 1/2 years ago, after a big break-up and after I had decided to go back to college,  I saw a flyer on the wall in one of common rooms.  It was promoting an educational Spring Break trip to Italy; 12 days with our favorite humanities teacher, Mr. Ed.  I didn’t know anyone that was going and really had no money to put towards this trip, but I was determined to go.   So, that December of 2003 while visiting my family for Christmas, I brought it up to my mom.  I didn’t think she would pay for it, but it didn’t hurt to ask!  She responded with, “I’ll pay if I can go.”  Um hell ya!

The March of 2004, when it was unseasonably cold, we left, off to Italy.  I have a million stories from that trip, like that I only brought flip flops (stupid Florida girl) and there was ice on the ground when we landed.  Or that night in Florence.  Oh Firenza, Ti Amo! But that’s not what this post is about.  I promise you those stories another day.  This is about the friends I made, particularly one: Kai.

I remember meeting Kai and he was so shy and he had brought his homework, chemistry or physics-something smartypants like that, with him on Spring Break.  Who does that? Kai does and after getting to know him it totally made sense.  I remember the night we got him to stay up and drink with us in Venice.   Everyone had the same thing to say about Kai, our metal loving, Norwegian, “I love him.  He’s so awesome!”  And he really was.  Now remember, this was my second time it Italy doing all the same tourist stuff I already had done.  So, it was no big surprise that I didn’t want to walk to the top of the Colosseum, but my mom did.  She loves to tell this story anytime I bring up Kai.  How none of us wanted to walk to the top, but Kai graciously walked up there with her, explained some history and pointed out things to her.  To this day, she will say, “Oh I love Kai.”

After we returned, we continued to hangout.  I saw his band practice, met his friends and even watched movies together.  Shy Kai, who posts stuff about hating people on facebook, is actually really sweet and an awesome friend.  The next year, he came out to my birthday party, which was at BBQ bar, and of course showed up on time and it was just us girls and Kai.  And just like before, all of my girlfriends fell in love.  I even remember my friend Danielle telling me that ‘s that type of guy I should marry, because at the time, I was dating douche bag Carlos and we all know how that marriage turned out.  lol

We both went on to the University of Florida at the same time and we would eat lunch sometimes together, I would invite him to parties, he would invite me to hangout with his friends.   BTW..drunk Kai is AWESOME KAI! If you think you love regular Kai, oh just imagine the fun that is Drunk Kai.  But, the best part and strangest part of our university experience is that we had a different classes back to back in the same classroom.  This might not sound so strange at first, but in general, each building at UF was for a specific type of class, generally.  So, when my German Lit class was moved down to some weird building that I had never been to it was surprising to see Kai there.  I think that his class was right after mine and of course, it was some super smart math or science class.  We’ve kept in touch and even after moving, when he and his equally awesome girlfriend, Betty, would come and visit, we always try to have lunch or something.

You are probably wondering why I writing this gushing post about some guy named Kai.  Well, first, I love Kai!  (In a strictly platonic way- don’t worry Betty!)  Secondly, He found out earlier this year that he might have to go to Madrid for his work for a few months.  I was so excited because I’m going to Madrid this summer!  Crazy, right!?  When he messaged me this I was so excited, of course making sure that Betty was coming too.  He, in nice Kai style told me that was one of conditions, that she had to come. AWWWWWWWW!  Anyways, they are there now and they flew into Rome for the weekend.  It brings back so many memories, not just from that trip, but from that last 10 years of friendship.  I am extraordinarily happy that I met him and Betty.  They are two of the most awesome people I know.  And one day they might have cute, tall, blond little Bettys and Kais!


Tall, blond guy in the back that's Kai, 10 yrs ago.

Tall, blond guy in the back that’s Kai, 10 yrs ago.



Leave a Reply