I’ve freely admitted to several of you that I’m sad. Everyone was excited to get home. Buds was excited to head into the office today. The children were excited to talk with and see friends.
I loved our seven weeks of intensive living: Having Buds home every day; Being with the children, walking, talking, learning, laughing; I was in a happy bubble.
My life here at home is also incredible. I’m not indicating otherwise. I am recognizing my need to grieve the end of this amazing time we created as a family.
Despite that sorrow, I have been laughing out loud as I recall four of my favorite moments from the trip.
In no particular order:
1) We visited the Basilica di Santa Lucia in Syracuse, Sicily. Saint Lucia is the patron saint of Syracuse, so they are very proud to have some relics in the Basilica. To the uninitiated, “relics” in the Catholic sense are bones from the specific saint. On the trip to Italy we saw relics from Jesus’ knucklebones to full mummified remains of some bishops. (Pictures of that in other posts.)
But, at Saint Lucia’s Basilica, our tour guide proudly told us the gold chest under the altar contained, “3 arm bones from Santa Lucia.”
Yessa tugged me down so she could whisper in my ear with her warm, moist breath, “How did she get three arms?”
2) Monkey and Yessa worked very hard to collect a large basin of rain water on a gray, rainy day inside the walls of Lucca. After getting soaked for their efforts, they boiled the water and poured it into a wine bottle for later experiments.
We carried the bottle with us to our next destination: the Lucca Farmhouse. Buddie’s parents had joined us by this part of the trip. One afternoon I walked out into the kitchen to see Buddie’s dad pouring a wine glass full from the rainwater wine bottle.
I said, “You do know that’s rainwater that the girls collected, right?”
“No, no, I did not.”
As I poured the water back into the bottle, I realized that the bottle was already one glass down.
As Grandpa walked out into the living room he said, “I thought that wine was awfully mild.”
3) Buddie insisted on taking the rings to Italy with him.
These are the rings used for practicing pull ups and muscle ups. I reacted to his plan to take them negatively. Packing light was the vision. We were taking our jump ropes, wasn’t that sufficient?
Nope. It was not.
He carried them the whole time, so I had no cause to complain, but I did roll my eyes every time I saw them.
At the airport on our trip home, security was greatly increased. Imagine my eventual delight when the x-ray scanner person spent several minutes looking at his backpack, then he was pulled aside to go over his backpack with the female security agent. She went right for those rings and their straps.
I watched with sparkly eyes as she held them out at Buds accusingly and asked what they were. He had to pantomime how they are used for exercise.
She looked disbelieving and a male security guard was called over.
In that Bro-mance kind of way, the male security guard seemed intrigued and understood their purpose, and eventually Buds was allowed to gather his rings, their straps, his backpack, and his dignity, and wander over to where I was helpless with laughter, waiting for him with the children.
4) And finally, no trip would be complete without me getting into trouble.
Some of you may remember my bauble at the beginning of the trip to Ireland when I held hands with the stranger on the first flight.
Before this Italy trip began, Jenny told me she was excited to hear what funny situations I got myself into on this trip.
Besides accepting the ride home from a stranger, who then asked if I’d like to have a meal with him, I had been doing quite well until the second to the last flight home.
I was putting my backpack into the overhead bin, which was over the head of a baldheaded gentleman in the seat below. I managed to catch my falling metal water bottle before it landed on his head, and feeling proud of myself I looked down to see if he had noticed my slight of hand.
I realized that I had my bosom resting on top of his bald head as I stretched up to stuff my backpack over head.
He didn’t complain, so I didn’t even apologize.
Yup, I think that beats the hand holding.