What I wouldn’t give right now to really be in Italy, to be walking ancient streets enjoying a gelato, stopping in a cafe for a sip of espresso, meandering through a museum and losing myself in the art, taking a tour of the country in an old European car passing by vineyards and Tuscan fields of lavender. A true dream that would be! Instead I find myself in an environment that is all too familiar, but I can’t complain because I have three special blessings with me and, in fact, I have visited Italy several times before and have many memories, crazy, funny, scary memories! From my first day in Rome when my mom slipped off the curb and dislocated her shoulder landing us in an Italian hospital for hours, taking a step back in time with the beds all in a row and the more primitive measures (my poor mom had to wear an arm sling the entire time on our trip and was forced to buy several shirts that buttoned in the front so she could fit her little hand through and, me in my inability to remain straight-faced during these times could not help but laugh at her in her sorry state)….to the time when I was running with a college friend on my semester abroad and we found ourselves down on the riverbanks deep in the heart of a gypsy camp with wild dogs and tents all around (I’ve never run so fast in my life!)….to the time when my dear friend Jessica and I left my apartment in Paris for a weekend in Rome and stayed in a “bed and breakfast” (basically someone’s master bedroom) and found ourselves on the Spanish steps surrounded by young Italian boys who, we realized, kept inviting us to go get some Gelato (making finger motions with their hands to indicate walking)…..
These are just a few of the many memories I have from my visits to this great land, one that I would visit every year for the rest of my life if I could.
Today, we found ourselves leaving Asia and arriving back in Europe to bustling streets and moderate temperatures, where delicious meals await us as we journey through Italia.
Our flag craft was appropriately made with pasta and paint. I got the idea from busybeekidscrafts.com and it was simple and easy for all three kids.
Today, the kids, particularly Tallinn, got a bit more creative with their maps as well and we decided to mount them on green paper to show off their talents.
After our craft we did some errands around town and it was fun to show the kids all the different Italian restaurants and things displaying the Italian flags. And, of course we will try to enjoy as much Italian food as possible this week so we started tonight with a bread and white bean salad (sorry no picture).
So, Italy, we are happy to be here and were digging in and enjoying our visit already.