Ok, so I haven’t posted for nearly two weeks.
Why not? A culmination of lack of wi-fi, busy schedules, and hugging my mom.
That’s right, my mom was here!
Since meeting her at the train station last Monday afternoon, the week we had together was nothing short of time blissfully well spent. We explored, we laughed, and more than anything – we ate.
Of course, it rained frequently in Rome her first few days off the plane; luckily that was still a warm welcome coming straight from frigid Wisconsin. And once the sun did decide to come out, it stayed; it’s warm and summer-like presence made it easy to forget the dreary weather the preceded it.
We did a lot on this trip, and even visited a few different places in Italy. For now, I’m going to stick to Rome – so I can shamelessly milk out as many posts as I can.
And because without wi-fi, Dad was left wondering what we were doing and eagerly awaiting details. Eat your heart out, Dad 🙂
Mom and I hit all of the big sites both before and after our weekend trip to Florence: the Pantheon, Pizza Navona, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, and the Colosseum. Mom was impressed by the sheer size of some of them – especially the Trevi. We went at night, and though it was still packed with tourists, we got in and took out obligatory coin toss photos.
And that was a pretty common theme with Rome – it was packed. Now reaching peak Spring Break season and a late Easter, it seems like every day the tourists multiply. Families from every country, more study abroad students, and school groups.
So. Many. School. Groups.
I have equal parts pride and hatred for becoming so accustomed to the sheer number of tourists in Rome, but Mom wasn’t quite ready for it. I don’t blame her.
So this prevented us from doing a lot of site tours, namely the Colosseum. We walked passed it, saw the que waiting to get in outside, and said “well, it’s pretty cool but let’s just keep walking”.
And walking turned out to be the best part! We saw so many things in such beautiful weather that it always seemed like a waste to go inside to a museum. On her first day here, we strolled through the enormous Villa Borghese (and admittedly got a little lost), and on her last day, we soaked up the sun walking through a huge grassy knoll near the Colosseum.
Walking gave us a chance to see everything at a glance, enjoy the weather, and let us feel no guilt diving in to a pizza every night.
Because when in Rome, right?
And it was really fun to do so. Because we couldn’t be more alike, our eating habits are similar in that we lie to snack all day and eat one big meal. I got to take my mom to some of my favorite places – namely a pizza and gelato shop in a cozy alleyway that serves all-natural, organic products and delicious flavors. We also tried some new spots – like Dar Poeta, a highly acclaimed pizza spot in the Trastevere neighborhood. Highly acclaimed by who? Becca Pierre, who studied in Rome three years ago and still raves about it, and Alleigh – who has been there before and joined us for dinner that night, too. Since her own family isn’t making the trip over, it was fun for her to hang out with my mom and enjoy a little piece of home, too.
And if you’re wondering if the pizza was worth it – it was. Yum.
But the best part of my mom being here wasn’t the food, or the sightseeing. It wasn’t even the weather. It was getting a chance to show my mom what I’m really up to over here – my apartment, my school, my usual spots and every day walks. It meant a lot to her to know more about my life in Rome, and it meant a lot to me to hear her astonishment every time we got on the right subway or found a restaurant tucked back in a cobblestone alleyway.
For the first time, it was me doing all of the planning as to where we would go, where we would stay, and how we would get there. It was me doing the ordering when we ate out. And that was really a strange feeling, but a good one too. It made me appreciate all of the trips with my parents where my biggest decision was how many swimsuits to pack.
But regardless of who is doing the planning and who is just along for the ride, my mom and I always have the best time together.
Not to say that we didn’t miss Dad, because we certainly did and with every event followed a “Dad would love this”. Well, except when we went shopping.
But it was just a good week to spend attached to my mom at the hip. Because even though I was the one showing her around and helping her enjoy such a foreign culture, it was her helping me just by being here. I was just happy to see her and be around her, regardless of our longitude and latitude.
Though her week in Italy flew by, it was just enough of home to remind me that soon I’ll be flying, too. Actually, when she left on Tuesday just 30 days remained in my program until my return to American soil. While I already feel her absence, it’s only a blink of an eye before we’re together again.
Just this time, in small town Rhinelander, Wisconsin: where we know everything like the backs of our hands.
And that’s wonderful, too.
More to come.
Ciao, for now.