Eat.Pray.Snowboard.Sleep.Eat.Watch Italian Movie with subtitles.Try to Sleep. Eat more. Pray often. Snowboard again…

Posted on January 8, 2011

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Dear Ipod,

Thanks for doing your best to stay charged and finally introduce me to your games I never knew existed.  The week of our ski trip went by both too slow and then too fast. The house got smaller and smaller everyday. Two bedrooms and 1.5 bath, living room/kitchen/dining all one room. But this little place was so cozy and cute and had spectacular views!  This one was out my window in my room. I was very comfortable in a bigger bed but sharing the large room with the two boys was not as bad as one would think. The toys scattered I am used to, the giggling is adorable, lights out early, and early wake-up call from them asking for Mama…same as back in Rome! I was happy to come home to Rome by the end of the week. Trust me. I wanted a real shower and was tired of my clothes by the time the 6th day came around. I couldn’t wait to brush my hair and put on clean pajamas! And my Ipod died on the drive home. Two hours of a ride. Two minutes into Bob Marley’s “three little birds.”Connect to power…my Ipod said goodbye. One of my all-time favorite Bob songs but I didn’t feel confident that “Every little thing” was going to “be alright.” I forgot to charge the Ipod before we left. Ooops. Longest two hours sitting in the middle ever. I tried to sleep but who am I kidding? I helped Matteo keep his little head up while he slept, tried to get Tommaso out of my lap and get his elbow out my forearm or ribs every 3 minutes and turned off the overhead lights by the doors about every ten minutes, hoping that they wouldn’t notice. For once can we just drive with out the spotlights? It doesn’t matter. Day or night. They like the lights on in the car. I don’t. Especially at night. Especially after the long week and no music to distract me….Please. Grazie.

The little town where we were was called L’Aquila and was only a short ten minute drive to Ovindolo to Monte Magnola. I say short but this ride was always a twenty to thirty minute ride when you include getting the car loaded with skis, snowboards, boots, poles, sled, kids,adults, seatbelts fastened, lunch packed, hats on, scarfs tied, gloves on, and ski passes ready…yet everyday that we traveled up to the mountain one of us forgot something back at home. One day my helmet, one day poles, one day boots, you get the picture. The mountain was small but very, very beautiful! I actually had more fun people watching than actually riding the mountain. There were only three lifts and one cabin to get up to the middle of the mountain. Lots of food and coffee stops. There is not such great order when you get to a lift, just masses of different people and languages running into one another. I would just smile and keep my Ipod on loud and wait patiently to get on the lift. Yes, I am learning each day to be more and more patient.  This has never been easy for me and it still is my worst personality trait but one day soon I will be the most patient person of the year. Or at least one of the most patient people who I know.My helmet has speakers but of course the left speaker would go in and out of working throughout the day so that was a bummer. I was getting too frustrated trying to get it to work so I just gave up and retired my Ipod the second day. I did have some ear buds (cuffia) so I stuck to a beanie and those to listen to jams while I rode the entire mountain in less than two hours the following day. I was over my Ipod and the music on my computer by the third day. I began playing games on my Ipod out of boredom and organized old pictures in my photo library for fun. I had nothing to read and no internet. This was truly a test. Of my patience for one and idea of self-soothing. I would put on music and just relax most of the time. Doing nothing is a gift and I wish sometimes that I had the gift reciept! I can’t just sit still for the life of me. If I wasn’t coloring with Matteo or playing Mario Brothers on Tommaso’s PSP I was tossing and turning listening to the neighbors blast music, cheers and laugh all night long. I probably could have made friends with these party animals. There was no “we” while playing Mario,  just me playing and Tommaso watching, our heads close together staring at the tiny screen. Mario became way more difficult than I remember. We only made it to World 8. But every night we played and practiced our english and Italian… JUMP!GO!GO!GO!FASTER!AGAIN!AGAIN!PLAY WITH ME!?NOOOOOOOOO!YESSSS!NOOOO!GO!GO!JUMP! HOP! RUN!! RUN!! DIFFICULT!DIFFICULT!CASTLE!WATCH OUT!WAIT! GO DOWN!….WAIT…WAIT.DIFFICULT!UP! JUMP! Yes it is in capitals because he would yell at me while I played for him. I learned all the words in Italian so another way to understand this language is fine with me.  Eventually I would grow tired and my eyes would feel red and irritated and I would tell him “last 5 chances then I am finito!” Now whenever he has the game he runs to me and says my name slowly and shakes the PSP at me. Oh no, it started already…Even today he made me play for twenty minutes. I will pass that entire game before this winter is over. I know it because like his mother said today,”He is like a hammer…”! Difficile.

This afternoon we went to do a little shopping in Rome and I found the “best made” pasta maker that they have here and bought one for the family. This particular one is called Imperia and is all steel. Who knows but T found the place and said the price was good and I believe this woman. We only buy on sale! I cannot wait to do more shopping. After the 6th, Befana day, all of the Winter sales begin and it is the best time of year to buy anything and everything! On the 6th of January there were many people dressed up as Befanas and giving out candy to the children on the mountain. Mostly guys dressed as witches on skis and boards. There was even a news station that came to the mountain to interview the Befanas. It is seriously a really big deal this Holiday! I thought of Halloween due to the fact that the witches had bags of candy over their shoulder like Santa and gave it out to kids al day. The story of Befana has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween obviously but candy and witches? Americans think Halloween. Italians think of this ugly old strega searching for baby Jesus and in her attempt brings kids candy and gifts on the 6th. I like it, it is a good day to have off work. For those that get days off work.

We enjoyed a nice lunch at a ristorante on the second day of the trip. It was my first time eating with the family at a table other than our own. It was pretty tasty food and the boys only got antsy at the end of the meal. First course was some of the best polenta I have had with a rich meat sauce served in a wooden “tray” type platter. I cannot believe that I ate the entire thing, (I estimate it was 7 in x 11 in plus an inch or so deep) plus half a salad and some kind of Italian sausage for the third course. The sausage tasted like breakfast sausage…I thought 2 poached eggs and  sourdough toast would go better than just served alone on a white dish.  We enjoyed a half bottle of wine from Abruzzo, where we in fact were. No dessert for us. I had two pieces of bread. I excused myself to the restroom and when I found it I had a terrible time trying to wash my hands. There was a soap dispenser on the wall and an air dryer for the hands but I could not figure out how to get the water running. I waved my sticky soapyhands in front of the faucet, as if this first ever hotel bathroom had a sensor!! I scoffed at my own self. I search for a button and cannot locate anything to make this water run. I think about wiping my hands with the toilet paper but this soap is sticky! My hands felt cleaner before this deranged cleanser met my hands! I finally realized when I back up and investigate the entire sink that it is a pedal!! It is like a damn sewing machine pedal! I laugh at myself in the mirror and shake me head at my reflection. What an americano…The water is freezing cold. It must be melting off the roof right down the pipes into this sink. Molto Freddo. I help the lady next to me to figure out the water. She laughs and tells me the same thing I thought,” Molto freddo!!”. Very cold.

It is between negative 8 and 3 grades celsius during our vacation. Cold.Cold.Cold. I was very thankful for the funky moon boots that T let me wear for the trip. I secretly always thought they were crazy and kind of wanted a pair but had no idea where and when I would ever need them. They were made for this place. There were children to old woman and men wearing these moon boots all over the mountain and all over each little town. Infants even had on these poof boots! I had trouble putting them on the correct feet since they don’t have a right or left. They can be worn on either foot. I didn’t agree but the boys didn’t mind which foot they went on as long as I helped them get them on and their snowpants over them. I kept a right and left boot on the correct feet.

This is my favorite picture that I captured at the top of the best run on the moutain.

We stopped and shopped at a tiny littel place that has hand-painted crafts, wooden and ceramics. The old man inside was so adorable painting right there in the middle of the shop! I snuck a picture… I bought 4 gifts here. Not telling for who! But I fell in love with this couple that owned and ran this place. She asked me in Italian if they were gifts and I understood and responded well. Then she started speaking too fast and I told her that I don’t speak much Italian but I understand some. She nodded and spoke slower for me. I will get this language soon enough. Everyone tells me that it is a difficult language. Isn’t there a stronger word for difficult…??

This entry is literally the last week all crammed into less than 2,000 words so try to follow it best you can! Tomorrow will be more on track and only be about what goes on tomorrow…I hope to visit Piazza del Poppolo and see a few sites within walking distance from there.

Now. I ate. I will pray later. I think I will watch Baby Mama or Inglorious Bastards. In English. 95 minutes is all I have left in me. I need some serious laughs…Baby Mama it is. I bought it on the street for 3 euro today. I need adult humor.

Lex

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Posted in: When in Rome