Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Buon Viaggio

Did I tell you I'm leaving the country? For 2 weeks? Without my children? Well, I am; I'm leaving next Tuesday.

Anthony and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage with a "second honeymoon" type of trip. We originally thought we'd go to Italy (because we love it) and Greece (because we've never been). But then we got the inside scoop on this cruise from Rome to Cannes, France to Barcelona, Spain, and we couldn't resist. We've never cruised before, and as former itinerant backpackers there is a real appeal to unpacking once and letting the ship do the traveling for us. We won't have to find a place to stay or even find a decent restaurant!

We are flying into Milano first, to see my dear friend Romina. She just had an adorable baby, Leonida, about 8 weeks ago. The last time I saw her was 4 years ago, when I just found out I was pregnant with Anna. She said we could stay with her if we don't mind being "casuale."

We'll also get to see our friend, Alberto. He has already called me twice and requested I bring natural peanut butter, shorts with the American flag on them, and Tom's Natural Toothpaste. He also wants me to bring pictures of my cat and dog (didn't request the children). Alberto is a real character. It will be good to see him, too.

After we land in Barcelona, we will travel to Madrid. Its Anthony's birthplace (Air Force brat) and he knows nothing about it.

I am freaking out a little because we are leaving in just one week. I haven't done my research like I usually do for one of these trips. I've never been to Spain or France at all, and I don't speak any of those languages. I speak a little Italiano, but I haven't reviewed my vocabulary or grammar. Plus, I'm going to be away from my kids for 2 whole weeks!

I'm not worried about them. They will be well-cared for by Anthony's mom the first week, and my sister Emily the second week (with help from my cousin, Bev, and my mom). But how will I live without holding their little bodies close and kissing their fat cheeks? How can I live without Anna's creative little sayings? And Colin has gotten so precious... can I bear to be away from him?

I try to placate myself by thinking about all the days (in a row!) I won't have to fix anyone's meals - it will be brought to me! Fully prepared, even! And then, the dishes will be wisked away to be cleaned and put away by someone else. Also, Anthony and I will actually be able to have long, uninterrupted conversations before we are exhausted from the daily grind of caring for a family. We can go to bed whenever we want and sleep as late as we like.

Yeah, I think I'll manage.


EdamameMommy said...

There are really only two phrases you need in French (since you will be taking along your Italian lover and he'll see to most of your needs):

Voulez-vous m'aidez? (pronounced VOOLAY VOO MAYDAY) And this is what you say when you need help in a shop. It literally means will you assist me.

Vous etes tres gentil, merci. (pronounced VOOSETTE TRAY JAUNTEEL MARE SEE) It means you are so nice, thanks.

messymama said...

A long time ago someone once told me you should know these three phrases in the language of whatever country you visit. "Where is the restroom?", "Okay, now take me to the Real airport", and "I am not directly responsible for my country's foreign policy".

messymama said...

But mainly what I wanted to say is "I'M SO JEALOUS! You are going to feel like a balloon full of helium, floating along with no tethers. That is how I feel whenever I get to leave the kids at home, like I could just float away I'm so light. But Anthony will be there to keep you from getting too crazy.