I'M GOING TO ITALY!!!
Yes, it's true.
Off and on over the years my mom has watched my kids as I've gone out of town for different things. She's made me promise that when my youngest kid was in school all day that I'd go on a trip with her. Well, he's in 1st grade and we are going on a trip to Italy for 8 days. (10 if you count travel time.) I've never been on an actual organized tour like this before. It is a relief to have someone else worry about all the logistics. A big relief, actually. Especially for a country where I don't speak the language AT ALL, except for a couple of words. (Last time I was there I kept accidentally saying "gracias" instead of "grazie". (I actually don't speak Spanish either.)
We leave in about 2 weeks. I am so excited!
My mom and I are quite opposite in a lot of ways so it should be "interesting". I'm sure I'll have lots to talk about (vent) when I get back. She most likely will too, but since she doesn't have a blog, or even a computer for that matter, I can write whatever I want for now.
Here's a little taste of what I'll be dealing with. We went to the meeting for our tour group last night. One of the tour guides is Keri Evans, the wife of Richard Paul Evans, and it was at her house (which is VERY beautiful, I loved it). The other guide is Alicia Richmond from Chic on a Shoestring and Good Things Utah. I've already warned Keri about my mom's freakish obsession. Every little town they talked about that we are going to, my mom kept asking "Is that one of the towns they filmed New Moon in?"
Yes, I can now say "embarrassing" in both English AND Italian.
(Keri isn't much of a Twilight fan either. I'm not sure about Alicia. I think you know by now how I feel about the whole thing.)
Oh, here's another funny, somewhat related story:
Years ago my brother was married to a fun, though somewhat "blond" girl who was a travel agent. I loved having her as a sister-in-law and was quite sad when they divorced, though they did not seem to be the best match for each other.
One day she was booking a trip to France for some women. The front of the brochure had "Oui, oui, oui!" printed all over it. My sister-in-law, who didn't know a bit of French, was reading the brochure to the women. She looked at the front and said, "Oooo-eeeee, oooo-eeee, oooo-eeee. I don't know why that's there, just ignore that part."
I don't think I'll ever let her live that down!
We actually traveled to London and Paris together (which we tried to keep a secret from my brother because they were divorced by then) and had a ball. (We also took her roommate, and I can tell you very definitely that it's easier to travel as two people than with three.)
I was the designated translator in Paris and did pretty well. My proudest moment was when I asked a policeman for directions and he actually understood what I was asking with no problems and I also actually understood what he told us to do and got us to the Metro station safely.
We did have a scary moment on one of the RER trains with a creepy guy about our age who was doing things he shouldn't have been doing to himself and trying to get us to look by hitting our legs with his knee. Ick. I thought he kept accidentally bumping into me so I didn't even look at him because I didn't want to embarrass him. Luckily right at the time we realized what was going on, I jumped up and said that we were on the wrong train so we got off as quickly as we could. One of the girls said "That was quick thinking." And I said. "We really were on the wrong train."
Another fun thing was meeting a Chinese guy at Versailles. Since we didn't know Chinese and he didn't know English, he and I conversed back and forth in French. It was kind of surreal. (I LOVED Versailles. I need to go back with Hal someday. He would just love the gardens.)
One of these days I need to dig out the old photos from that trip. That's when I saw Winged Victory, and for the first time understood how people can feel so emotional about beautiful art.
Okay, so what does any of that have to do with my trip to Italy? Not much, but here's the small similarity:
Yesterday, in the car on the way to the meeting for our trip, my mom was reading the welcome letter that they sent us with our itinerary, etc. As she was reading, she kept saying "See-o."
"See-o?" I started asking. "What are you talking about?"
Finally I realized that she meant "Ciao." She had never seen it in print before. After I corrected her she said she hadn't realized it was Italian.
"Um, yeah mom. It is."