Here is the truth of the matter.
Every time I talk myself into writing about my time in Italy, I can’t bring myself to do it. I got close to doing so many times. Every time I walked into the office, I’d remember that the floors needed to be wiped down, or that I needed to eat lunch, or assumed Milli was bored and needed to hear me tell her about my day...that was jam packed full of NOT writing.
After the house was spotless, I poured my energy into decorating. My in-laws are coming to stay with us for two and a half weeks, after all. So I started painting swatches on the walls again, all of which turn out to be the same stupid shade of yellow. We finished painting our dinette set. I went out and bought a new comforter set and outdoor lighting for our Young Couple’s Fourth of July party that is going to take place during the day. I bought rugs and an adorable salt and pepper shaker set for our newly painted dinette set, all the while avoiding what I knew I had to do.
And I know that writing about my time in Italy is imminent. Because that’s what I do. I write about my experiences and, lately, share them here with you all. But every time I set my mind to it, I am struck with a fear that holds me back.
Here it is: I’m afraid of leaving the experience behind. It was one of the best times of my life, and at the back of my mind, I know that if I write it down, it will be in the past. See. I’m already writing in the past tense! I also know that what I must do now is to write my experiences down, which have already become mere memories. First, so I don’t forget them. Second, so I don’t EVER forget them.
Oh, sweet sweet Italia...
When we returned, many of our family and friends asked us wide-eyed “So? How was it? Tell me everything?” I found myself shrugging my shoulders and giving quick, short answers like “It was wonderful” and “We had a great time.” These answers were returned with disappointed stares. I had a very hard time putting into words how amazing our trip really was, and I didn’t know why. I kept trying to come up with answers that truly revealed what traipsing through Italy was like, and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t have the words.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, about why I’m not able to accurately describe how our trip was. And then it hit me: Every single moment of my time in Italy was absolutely amazing. Even in the few moments when I wasn’t feeling well. Even through the pain and uncomfortableness, I was so so happy. I think I can safely say Mgo was too. He was beaming the entire time. And I think I’m choosing not to tell everyone all about our experience because I don't want it to be over and I want it to be ours. As long as I don’t share ALL the memories, they’re mine and his to keep. Is that selfish?
But I will share some of it with you here in the coming posts. I feel like I owe it to my readers.
Here is my promised Q&A! If you have any more questions, let me know, and I will try to include them with my answers in coming posts!
“What would be a normal amount of gelato eating for a day I'm thinking like 6 is that too little or too much but is there such a thing as too much when it comes to gelato?” (Khach)
Before we left, I told Mgo I want to eat all day long while in Italy. I was being sarcastic. When we arrived, it soon became a reality. And if anyone knows me well, I am an ice cream FANATIC. For me, there is ALWAYS room for ice cream. As we walked the streets of Italy, we saw cafes at almost every corner. Most cafes had fresh, handmade gelato. We had gelato after lunch and after dinner almost every day. I was in heaven!
“Can you say a sentence in italian?” (Jonny)
I can’t say a full sentence in Italian, but words I used every day we were there was "bonjiorno," "grazie," "arrivederchi," and "prego" (spelling is off). The word I heard the most during our trip was "prego." It means “you are welcome.” So any time we approached locals to ask for directions and such, they said “prego” before we asked a question and again after we thanked them for their help. When we returned, we went to Costco to stock up on groceries and saw a big container full of "Prego" pasta sauce. People around us wondered why we were laughing so hard.
“Why didn't you leave MGO there?” (Jayson)
Why didn’t he leave me there??
“What was a highlight of your trip?” (Mgo)
The fact that we didn’t have phone service or internet outside of our hotels! It was great to connect with you and to not be distracted while we explored!
“Which part of your trip was your favorite and why? Which city did you enjoy the most? Favorite meal or restaurant/cafe in general?” (Lori)
Surprisingly, my favorite city was Rome! I thought Sorrento and the coast would be my favorite by far for its beauty, but Rome’s charm and history took my breath away. The last day we were in Rome, it rained. It’s amazing how beautiful the city looked in the rain. We put our jackets on and stood close under our umbrella and got lost in the city. It was my favorite day. We found an amazing pizzeria and a coffee shop that was tucked away near the Pantheon. It was full of locals without many tourists. I had a mochanella - a shot of espresso with chocolate and cream. It was the best coffee I've ever had. My favorite color at the moment is yellow, and the decor’s primary color was a mustard yellow. We drank our coffee at the counter and watched locals come in and out, drink their coffees and chat with the owner. For a moment, I didn’t feel like a tourist. I didn’t want to leave!
“If you were to reproduce one meal at home, which one would it be?” (Cara)
We found a restaurant in Rome in an ally that was tucked away from the busy city center. It was full of locals. which, we learned, was always a good sign. I had a pasta dish. People, it absolutely stole my heart! It spoke to my soul! I love food, especially when it’s delicious. It was a handmade pasta with a cheesy tomato cream sauce. It was divine. It was so good, we returned again for dinner before we left Rome. I don’t know how I would reproduce it, even though I would love to. I would have to have tomatoes and cheese and pasta shipped in from Italy. The tomatoes in Italy just taste different, almost like their sugared. Apparently, the fruits and vegetables in Italy are famous for their flavor because of the potassium in the soil. Raw, cooked, the produce is amazing. When we returned home, I was craving that pasta dish!
How much did you miss Alik while you were gone?” (Alik)
It’s funny that you asked this question. Alik is one of my best friends since we were in diapers, and just before we left for Italy, she called to tell me that she got a positive pregnancy test! I was ecstatic and loved sharing in her joy! So, of course, she was on my mind a lot while I was away. I even dreamt that she called me to talk about the pregnancy, so I was constantly praying for her and for the baby. I already love this little one so much and pray for him/her every day! I can barely contain my excitement!
“Where was your favorite landscape/cityscape and why? (Pictured would be appreciated)” (Noelle)
My favorite landscape was the Amalfi coast. While in Sorrento, we took a nine hour tour of the coast, driving on the windy roads along the cliff. It was magical. With each turn along the bend, the Mediterranean was a different shade of green. We spotted ruins and castles and towns tucked away on the beautiful cliffs. It was like being in a painting. I will never forget how beautiful it was.
“What was your most moving moment?” (Cara)
Walking into St. Peter’s Basilica and realizing I was standing above where Peter was buried, I turned to Mgo and said, “It’s our Peter! Our Peter is buried here.” Then it really sunk in that I was in the presence of this great man of God. That during his life, this man was in Jesus’ presence, and I began to cry. It was just emotionally overwhelming and powerful.
“What's one thing about Mgo that you learned about him that you didn't know prior to your trip?” (Cara)
Mgo is a winey! As you all can imagine, we drank lots of wine while in Italy. House wine at restaurants was cheaper than the bottled water. Aside from that, the house wine was delicious! Every time Mgo poured his first glass, he smelled, swooshed, smelled, swooshed again, tasted, swooshed, and all I could do was sit back, taking large sips of mine, and watch him. It was quite amusing at first. Then it was quite annoying, and I told him if he swooshed and smelled his wine one more time, I would take it away and chug it. Of course, if I did that, he would have to carry me back to the hotel.
I would go back to Italy in a heartbeat.