This week in Rome was, in some ways, common and in some ways new. Of course, there was housekeeping in our very little accommodation, this time around. Rosa guided all week, which I knew she would be doing, and I worked on travels for clients coming here and other places abroad. In fact, 4 of my clients are coming here the beginning of May, and she will be guiding them for a couple of mornings here for the Colosseum and the Vatican. It is so nice to have an amazing guide as my fiancé, but more importantly, the love of my life. She is an amazing lady and while I knew she would be busy most of the time I was here this time around, we made the most of our time together. Remember, a few weeks back, we cruised together on the AmaVerde, so we enjoy breakfast together, and evenings together and I met some of the locals as I always do. There is a market down the street and there is a nice older couple from whom I have made purchases, so once you have been to the same people twice or more, you are friends here in Rome. It is simply part of the way of life.
Aside from the ordinary, there have been some wonderful new experiences I wish to share and for those who come here and miss things from America, fear not expats, all is not lost. You can pretty much find anything you want here that is recognizable back in the states, and one of those things for me is V-8 which is part of my routine and was when I was losing all the kilos a few years ago. Finding tomato juice in general in the land of the pomodoro (tomato) is quite difficult. You can find sauce, paste, stewed and any other tomato product on the shelf and of course, every kind of fresh tomato, be it a supermarket or an open-air market, but tomato juice, especially last summer I was here, could not find it, but there were these very little jars, in 6 packs on the bottom shelf of shelf stable juices, so I bought them. Tasted good, but not as good as V-8, but I could always add hot sauce, pepper, lemon, to give it some punch. It was not, however, V-8.
The week’s highlights have been a few and on the one-day Rosa was not guiding, this past Friday, amazingly, she and I first and foremost enjoyed a lazy morning, but it was such a nice day out, sunny and the 60’s that it had to be taken advantage of. So, after debating where and what and when, and coming up with no real ideas. Of course, there are always places we could have gone, be it Orvieto, Assisi or other places outside of Rome, the best thing was simply exploring the city and without a direction, and while for Rosa, some places were new, I think she had an idea. For me, I said, let’s go without a plan, in a direction we had not gone and so we did and places I had not been and on this warm spring day, we walked about 13 kilometers through neighborhoods, the parks, saw some eclectic architecture and a froggy fountain, which turned out to be only a few blocks from where we are staying this time.
In the bio park we walked, and it was huge, we saw ducks and turtles and many people out and about. Challenged a kid for a split second at soccer and conversed with a kid with a rugby ball. We checked out shops, stopped for a slice, found our way to the Hard Rock for an early dinner, but before that, we also went to the Borghese Gardens where we first met and the spot, a little over 3 years ago, enjoyed a stroll, a reminiscence and a coffee and at the end of the time, started the walk back to the place we were staying. If the day was now over, you are not correct. As we turned to go up the street near our place, we heard music from the market where I am currently getting our fresh vegetables and I said, we need to check this out, so we did. Apparently, every Friday night, there is an impromptu concert and some of the shops, like the cheese and beer shop, stay open to order something to eat and listen to some music. And there was a young boy, almost 15 named Federico who picked up the guitar and jammed. He had been playing for 5 years apparently and the highlight was his rendition of Sultans of Swing. It was such an amazing day to share with Rosa and one of the best days I have ever had, hands down.
The main highlight of this past week was yesterday and while Rosa had to work, yes, on Easter, she had two groups to guide, I was invited to represent “us” at the family Easter feast and oh my god, I was stuffed after the antipasti, and I did not eat a lot. I was and was succeeding taking off the kilos again, after the cruise experience. There was also the primi and the secondi and the dolce and thank God, for a walk with the dog Artu as the food kept on coming. Rosa and I had bought a bottle of wine, actually, a Tokaji from Hungary on our outing on Friday, so that, along with the limoncello was also enjoyed. I remember sometimes with family gatherings food made for an army, but the lamb, the artichokes, the porketta, the potatoes, the hams, the sausage, and yes, some vegetables. Too much good food to list. I was ready for a nap on many occasions. It was a wonderful experiences and meeting Rosa’s other sister Manuela, along with Mossimo, who picked me up from the place we are staying and rest of the family, was a wonderful experience, and we in turn also have a doggie bag which will last the rest of the time I am here.
I truly feel that I am part of the family. In fact, it was nice that I was called a brother by Salvatore, Pamela’s significant other, and it was only the second time we had met in person, but what I have come to learn are the Italians are for real and they show things with their hearts open. Unfortunately, my time here and the nearly 6 weeks on the road is coming to an end and I must pack up my things and my emotions, once again. I will return and be here all summer, that is for sure as that is in the works. We have not found a place yet, but we will for sure. And submitting the paperwork for the visa happens upon my return stateside. In the end, this is another chapter in the crazy life I have enjoyed over the past few years, with an amazing lady I have the pleasure of calling my fiancé. She means the world to me and our relationship grows stronger, so I look forward to sharing the balance of this week with you upon my return stateside and I can assure you, I won’t be standing still for too long.
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and always look for the best in a situation and be patient as the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin