Monday, July 26, 2010
We arrived around suppertime Friday to a very warm sunny evening. Our car driver ambled towards us with the drawn pace of one who's been waiting in the heat for a while. After about ten minutes, the air conditioning had sufficiently cooled all of our minds to allow questions and conversation. Here, our driver gave great commentary and helpful tips for seeing the city. Between his broken English and my broken Spanish - the Italian and I could understand each other.
Saturday before dinner:
It's a romantic city. We would have enjoyed this fully - the amazing hotel room with the balcony window opening onto a bustling cafe corner. We would have strolled hand in hand by the fountain and down the piazza in search of jazz. Loren would have taken pictures of me. We probably would have gone into the old churches to pray...
But it is still a beautiful city - full of life - warmth... it's a busy city. A waiter clears away the pigeons from the deluxe patio restaurant - young people line up to attend a movie. Wedding guests are waiting to be served on the terrace... Dragon sconces grip huge lanterns in their teeth over the hotel entrance... An Italian singer croons out a jazz riff over the lounge sound system...
Ahhh Roma ... Bellisima ... and proud.
Saturday night was a bit rough for me... and I started to plan for what to do if my pain really spiked. It settled - and then I did. Alissa went off with Bill and Cindy for the 3 hour walking tour in the hot sun; I crawled back into bed for an hour and a half. After waking up, I decided to switch my spa appointment for this day of being good to me - and strolled outside and down the street to take in the shops for a block. Good thing I decided not to do the tour. I was mostly in the shade - but I was lightheaded as soon as I stepped into a sunny patch. Then it was back to the hotel for my 4 and a half hour spa visit.
The first hour and a half was quiet and relaxing with just the barest minimum of words. And then I and the masseuse started to chat. She speaks Portuguese and some Italian and a little less English - but she could understand Spanish. We managed to have quite the conversation! She 'credito Dios' and we talked about the differences in Italia, Brasil, y Canada. I shared a little about Loren and nursing - she spoke of her mother and her family and working in Italy for 10 years.
I have made a little progress on the sofa project. I don't know if I really will get a sofa in Italy - but there is this convention taking place in the hotel and I have made friends with someone involved with conference registration. She is getting a brochure for me and an invitation to the grand opening of the new poltrone sofa location in Rome. Poltrone sofa is a French company.
Today we have a wine tour in the afternoon.
This trip is wonderfully luxuriant. It carries pleasure, and mourning, adventure and shelter, moments of togetherness, and moments of solitude. I am grateful.