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Published: June 25th 2012
Well, after an exciting tour of Andalucía my parents and I made the flight from Málaga to Milan, well, some may call it a flight, it was more of a super nap at a very high altitude for me; I think I was awake maybe 5 minutes and was awoken by my head being smashed into the seat in front of me on landing.
A rough landing well worth it to see Chiara waiting for us in the terminal. From the very start Chiara’s Dad, Emilio, and my Dad had a bond. They would spend the next four days talking about…um…things. We just sort of let them be talking out on the patio. The days usually followed this pattern: Wake up, breakfast, Dad and Emilio have a deep cultural chat, lunch, Dad and Emilio have a deep cultural chat, Chiara takes us somewhere, come home, Dad and Emilio have a deep cultural chat, dinner, Dad and Emilio have a deep cultural chat with a drink, sleep, repeat. Chiara and I asked about what topic
they discussed one day in the car, specifically asking for just the topic,
of course, there is no easy
explanation when describing the Austro-Hungarian Empire (I think) Dad was so into his description it took him about 3 minutes to notice Chiara and I laughing in the front about how we just wanted the topic.
“Well, if you guys are going to laugh I’ll stop explaining. (Short pause) Now in 1943…”
I really do love my Dad’s stories. I appreciate every single one, it’s just, and he’s just so funny how much he loves history. He doesn't even care if you are laughing in the front seat; he’ll just keep telling you all he knows. I give him a hard time, but he’s the reason I don’t get lost in cities, why I can read a map and why I know where the Caucus Mountains are. Do you
know where the Caucus Mountains are?
Once we got to Chiara’s house her Mom, Claudia (aka the best cook in the world) already had some lunch ready for us. Pasta of course! 😊 But Chiara had plans already; we were going to Switzerland.
Lugano is only about 45 minutes away by car and the Swiss border is only about 20 or so. We
got out our passports, but there was no one there to check them! I guess they didn't care that day. Lugano is on Lago di Lugano and really looks just like Italy; the language in that part of Switzerland is even Italian! It turned out to be an incredibly hot, but beautiful day. We didn't spend a lot of time there, just enough to get my Switzerland patch. 😊 We headed home for another delicious Claudia meal!
Saturday Chiara took us into Milan to see the city. It’s a lot hotter in summer than in December, I know that’s obvious, but it’s true. I think it’s equally as beautiful though. Mom and Dad were blown away by the Duomo di Milan (Milan’s cathedral). Dad’s fascination with things in Europe is similar to mine when it comes to museums: how old everything is. The Louvre was interesting, but what honestly comes to my mind is how old
it all is. How does it survive that long? I can’t even make a running watch last more than a year and a half. Dad finds it amazing how old everything is too, but in a bit different way, he relates
everything back to how old the building is in relation to the United States. For instance, the Duomo in Como was finished in the 15th
century, before Christopher Columbus landed in North America. That’s how Dad sees it, not “Oh, it’s really old” he says, “Oh, that’s older than knowledge of our entire continent.” It makes sense if you think about it, Dad loves and specializes in American History, he taught it for four years before he was a lawyer, it’s something he knows and understands, so it’s a good way to get a perspective on what he is seeing here.
I think we can all agree that Chiara lives in a beautiful area, but we really loved spending time with her and her family. Poor Laura has her graduation examinations right now and had to spend a lot of time studying, but we got to spend time with the whole family. Sunday night they organized a barbecue so that Chiara’s friends and family could meet all of us! Some of her friends I had already met in December, like Rosella, Luca, Victoria and Alberto; all the girls love Alberto! 😊 New friends included Laura and Isabella,
both studying to be lawyers and Pietro, Chiara’s new boyfriend! The barbecue was fun getting to talk to everyone, although I still feel bad they all have to speak English and I can’t really reciprocate with Italian, but Laura speaks Spanish, so it was easier for her and I to speak in Spanish, the problem was the other people at the table can’t speak Spanish, so again between a rock and hard place with the language.
The end of the evening was spent watching the Italy-England fútbol match. Ninety minutes, no score. Thirty more minutes, no score. Finally, in a shootout Italy bested the Brits. You know, I don’t mind watching soccer. I really hate playing it (no foot-eye-hand coordination, or whatever) but I've always sort of like watching it. I think it goes back to high school when all of my friends played soccer and I felt obligated to go and watch them and then eventually I started liking it. I sort of like how there are no instant replays, no bogus calls that there was one second on the clock left or crud like that. Just the beautiful game. Oh, jeez, nearly a year and
Europe’ fútbol craze it getting to me I guess. 😊
Well, either way, that’s one of my favorite moments of the week; sitting on Chiara’s patio in the evening watching Italia in the Euro Cup with some pretty great Italians cheering on Mario Balotelli, aptly named “SuperMario.” 😊
Only issue: Italy’s next opponent is Germany. Chiara-land or the Fatherland? 😊
Now, off to Florence!
Love and miss you all!
And see you soon!
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