While our Maria is traveling in Europe, possibly scouting places for some new stories, we are rerunning one of her popular blogs, first posted July 2013, upon her return from Italy.
In case you missed it, I spent the month of June in Italy. I don’t announce my travels until AFTER the fact, when I post pics of places I visited. This trip was different in the sense that it wasn’t my idea. Okay, no one put a gun to my head and said get on the plane or else. Mostly I didn’t like the time of the year. June is a busy month for me, the weather in my home town can go either way and international travel arrangements are more expensive because it’s Summer.
The four of us, my son and his two boys, flew to Venice at the beginning of June. We had all visited my hometown before, but it had been a while since the three of them were there. They wanted to hike the Dolomites, I wanted to go shoe shopping. They ate pizza most nights; I’m more into fish and polenta.
No problem, they did their things and I did mine, but somehow we all ended up in a brand new groceries store, part of a national chain, a novelty in my small town. My sister drove us there. She needed some milk so we entertained ourselves comparing the Italian displays and way of doing business with the American practices we are familiar with. The store had a wonderful bakery, very small by American standards, but breads and pastries were baked there hourly. Some small tartes loaded with fresh fruits caught the boy’s attention. We were engulfed in a deep discussion (in English) on the merits of fresh fruits on pastries when I heard someone shout my name, “Maria Grazia!”
I turned to see a tall, slender young lady with long, dark hair smiling at me. I had no idea who she was. “Do we know each other?” I didn’t get a chance to finish my sentence, she rushed over and hugged me, “Facebook!” she cheerfully announced.
Friends, I kid you not.
“Claudia?” I asked. No, I’m no genius. This is a very small place, how many young women from my hometown who speak Italian and English happen to be on Facebook and had befriended me? Oh, I also had sent her a private message announcing my trip. Still, what are the chances? And just so I leave you with no doubts, here is the picture my grandkids took of us, using my cell phone that doesn’t work outside the States, but takes good shots.