In a villa, in Chianti Country in Italy.
I can’t get my coffee right. I love the espresso here, but I’m having trouble getting the milk ratio right. Maybe it’s the congestion interfering with my taste buds.
The kids are awake, my oldest and my sister’s oldest are fighting. Again.
We’re all in bad moods. It’s our colds. At least it’s not Covid though. There have been tests taken throughout the severity of colds we’ve all had, the good tests. Everything is always negative.
I go to the apartment the rest of my family is staying in this gorgeous villa turned agritourism, I’m met with coughing and nose blowing. We talked about the reservation my sister made for us in the country; we could all stay in the city and be sick, or we could go to the country and be sick. Unanimously we choose the countryside.
And who wouldn’t.
My dad always says, “the trip is the trip.” In other words, whatever’s going to happen is going to happen and you just deal with it and move forward and try to find the silver lining. Rick Steves (tour guide book writer extraordinaire) once said that each vacation and trip we take is a concentrated experience of our entire life. There are joys, disappointments, frustrations, exhaustion and even colds; all in a very concentrated amount of time. The thing is, it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to react when presented with these microcosms of life experiences.
I’ve been traveling as long as I can remember. Begged my parents when I was young to let me ‘go’ somewhere. I didn’t know what I meant by that, but I knew I just had places to go and things to see and experiences to have.
So this trip is another notch in the belt. However, it is different than any other trip I’ve taken. I wasn’t a tourist this time around. I rented an apartment in my sister’s neighborhood, an area a few miles from the city center of Florence. I helped walk her kids to school. I became friends with the owners of the local coffee shop. I kept close to the life on her street. Visiting the butcher, pharmacist, newspaper stand …and for the first time on any of my trips, I spoke in great length with them all. I’ve study Italian for years, but this was the first time I felt…local.
I wrote a notebook full of fanciful ideas and details of my trip, but we’ll get there. For today, you want to see pretty pictures of Italy, don’t you.