Well, I’ve thought a lot about how to share my thoughts with you about my dream-come-true visit to Italy, and the very best way I know to do is to use my daily journal and quote from there. After all, those thoughts were the “real deal” — the thoughts I had right at the moment. So, let’s get started! I hope you’ll follow along with me, and “tour Italy” and “tour my heart” for the next several days. The trip was 16 days, but my blog will be more than 16 entries. Come on — I could write three blogs on Chris’ first few moments at Pittsburgh International Airport! What a boy! The Rat Tail Son takes Mom on the Trip of her Life! — How’s that for a good title? 🙂
Pre-trip Jitters – February 28, 2010 – Sunday
Wow! Off to Rome in just a few short hours. No sleep last night — way too excited! My mind is swirling and going in every direction. Did I forget to pack anything? Do I have my passport? Gosh! The passport! I cry every time I look at it. For years and years I’ve dreamed about seeing my face on a passport, and that dream has finally come true. I held it close to me when it arrived in the mail. Holding something in your hands alway makes it seem more real. Yes, I can touch my passport. That means it’s real!
Chris spent the night at the house on Sunday so that we could go over last minute details of the trip, and I know he was being “fatherly” towards me. He thinks I don’t know how to pack. UGH! Why don’t kids get it that their parents somehow managed to get through life without their guidance? I think I get upset about this part because it’s a reminder that I’m getting older and that creeping fear always makes my mind think, “The kids are patronizing me because they think I’m getting too old too fast and won’t be able to do stuff like traveling very much longer.” Hey kids — your mama isn’t dead yet! She has lots of life and spunk left in her so please don’t treat me like I’m an antique! Thanks! I just had to get that off of my chest! I hope that doesn’t sound unappreciative……you kids will understand what I mean when you get older, too. It’s a whole different world when you begin the downward descent of your life than when you’re climbing to the peak. Parents don’t want to lose their place in the family. They always want to be parents! I guess that’s a tip for anyone reading this blog. Always allow your parents to keep their place of dignity. Thanks.
Anyway, Chris bought me an extra memory card for my Sony Cybershot Point and Shoot which is the next best thing to my passport. That Sony is attached to me, and NOBODY will get near it, or they’ll see a crazy Italian Mama for sure! Thanks so much for the memory card and the trip to Walmart, Chris! Greatly appreciated ’cause I didn’t have the time to go there! Also, thanks a million for researching hotels, places to eat, plane tickets, travel itineray, and all the zillions of other things you did to prepare for this trip. I wonder if I said “thank you” enough to him? Chris, THANK YOU again and again!!!! I know he will never fully understand what this trip means to me, but I’ll be sure to share with him my thoughts all along the way. (I can just see him groaning already! My kids hate it that I talk so much! )
Packing was done by 1:00 a.m., then a shower, then WIDE AWAKE thinking about what it will be like. Will I love every minute? Will I get afraid since I have never traveled outside of the United States? Will I be disappointed? Visiting Italy has always been my dream — will it turn into a mini nightmare instead? Why do thoughts like these even exist, crazy woman??!!?? You know you’re gonna LOVE Italy! Well, I hope and pray I’m gonna love Italy! I know one thing….the trip is happening! The trip is really, really happening, and my heart is racing just thinking about it. This has been a dream of mine since I was about 9-years-old.
I can remember sitting under the grape arbor with Grandmom Lucca when I was nine. She was “babysitting” me while my mom was in the hospital after delivering my baby sister, Ruth. Grandmom Lucca never learned to speak English, so you can just imagine the conversation we had under the arbor. She flailed her hands and occasionally got out a word that I understood. And, I sat staring at her face thinking, “I love you so much, and I don’t even know how to tell you. I want to be like you. I want to vist the place where you were born. I want to talk like you. I want to know more about you. I want to see Italy!”
Instead, I ended up crying because she got frustrated with me because I couldn’t speak Italian. I couldn’t wait for my dad to come get me at 5:00. He spoke English AND Italian perfectly. “Why didn’t you teach me how to speak Italian, dad?” “Because it’s too hard.” End of discussion, but not the end of my dream!!!! Never the end of my dream!!!!
Stay tuned for more thoughts tomorrow!
Clara aka “Bella”
PS Dreams really do come true!!!! Never, ever give up on your dreams!