A Travellerspoint blog

When life gives you lemons, make limoncello

May 20

Yesterday, my son was still on and off with a slight fever and needing more rest, but overall much better. Today is back to normal with rolls of laughter, eating hungrily, and sleeping soundly. We are in Amalfi now. We had a frustrating day yesterday trying to decide where to go, how to find an apartment with what we needed (a fridge, a terrace, Wifi), and finally I decided it was worth a try to check the place I had been dreaming about. A little apartment in Amalfi center right next to the beautiful bell tower, up several flights of narrow stairs, to a panoramic view of ocean, lemon trees, mountainside, town lights. So I walk into the town center (while Chris and Bodhi idle in the car) and use my intuitive senses. We rented this small apartment eight years ago, on our last trip through Amalfi in April 2003. I remember we rented it from a man named Andrea, who worked in the town photo shop, who was a photographer. So I made my way to the photo shop and asked for him. Oh yes, they said, we know who you are talking about - he worked here before, and he is around town but no longer working here. His sister Maria works in a small souvenir shop by the bus depot. I walk over to the bus depot and inquire: Maria Lucebello? until I find her and explain that I would like to rent an apartment from her family, if possible. She looks a little puzzled, like obviously they are not advertising this place much, and calls her brother. Yes, you can stay, she says, and it is a nice price. Brother Andrea comes to meet me while Chris tries mightily to find a place to park the car (quite difficult in Amalfi in the summertime). He takes me to the apartment and I am realizing that you really do, over time, emphasize the good parts and forget the hassles of past travel experiences; and when you go back to a place, you see all the good and the bad aspects again. Like the million stairs we have to climb to get to the apartment with the nice terrace by the bell tower. I guess I remembered the two flights up once you reached the family's home, but forgot about the 4 staircases leading up to it. Utoh, Chris is not going to be pleased with how far he has to haul all of our gear. Traveling with a baby, you also are aware of a different set of foci than prior to a baby. Like my god, the terrace is totally unsafe. I have to watch him constantly as the slats are wide and it drops down two hundred feet to the beach & town below. Babyproofing new places all of the time takes ingenuity and STAYING IN OLD ITALIAN APARTMENTS REQUIRES VIGILANCE.  For example, today, I saw our son pulling on the gas hose behind the stove. We had to cinch two wooden spoons between the cabinet doors to keep him from being able to get the cleaning supplies. And like I said, the front door stays shut at all times, due to the precarious stairs and the loosely fenced terrace.

But ahh, we are in Amalfi. And life is good. After the bags are all settled and the baby is sleeping, Chris and I are sipping our ice cold glasses of limoncello overlooking one of the best vistas in the world.

Posted by globalmomma 10:57 Archived in Italy Tagged apartments terrace amalfi babyproofing Comments (1)

everything is o.k.

may 19

Everything is ok. It was a long fitful night for all of us, Chris and I sheltering our little guy on both sides, while he slept curled between us. It was Tylenol and homeopathy and fluids every few hours, and I was awake most of the night on vigil just to be sure. But this morning, he is smiling again and has some of his old self energy back, trying to stand up and jump on the bed. He's laughing as he jumps. My heart is relieved the fever stage is passing. More later...

Posted by globalmomma 13:55 Comments (0)

The Fever

May 18

Bodhi had a febrile seizure today. I have never been so terrified in my entire life.
We were driving out of Barletta, where we stayed in our Best Western bubble the last two nights, when all of the sudden Bodhi woke up and started to scream. Not fuss, but full-on scream. This is not like him, not like his gentle, happy personality to scream at all, so I craned my head around to the backseat and saw a sweaty head. He was wearing a sweatshirt, so I said to Chris, 'he must be hot, I need to take off the sweatshirt if you can get off at an exit. The next exit wasn't for ten or so kilometers so I was trying to placate him with some water, blowing on his head, and trying to cool the car down. He stopped crying and I took off my seatbelt and reached around my seat to check out what was happening and I saw his eyes closing, and drool coming out of his mouth. I instantly went into panic mode, and began taking him out of his car seat. Before then, I was content to wait until we stopped at a safe place, but in that moment, I needed him out of the chair and in my arms. So I pulled him out the the carseat and had his shirts off in about 2 seconds, and began to nurse him as chris was flying off the exit. We stopped and I got out, carrying him in my arms, and he was whimpering and so so very hot. He was burning up. I was shaking... "Something's wrong', I said, "he's not just hot, something's wrong". He felt lethargic and limp. So Chris jumped on the gps and proogrammed in the nearest hospital, only a few kilometers away, and we got back into the car. I couldn't bring myself to put B back in his seat so we rode with him seat belted on my lap, nursing and whimpering, still flushed and emitting rays of heat.

We got the the hospital and rushed inside, and immediately people we there helping us. i think they saw my look of panic, my momma tears, and me half-naked carrying a nursing half-naked baby, and figured they better do something. Within a few minutes we were in front of a doctor, and thank heaven we can speak enough Italian to get by b/c no one there spoke English. It still amazes me that the more educated professions, people still don't seem to know English, unless they are more required to for their income, for touristy areas, restaurants and hotels. So here we were in a pediatric ward with the Italian doctor explaining basically that he had a fever, a high one, had had convulsions, and we brought him in. Oh, and we had given him already a dose of tylenol... So they held off giving him another one, even though his blood was still raging with fever. They examined him and took his temperature again. 38.5, whatever that is, I couldn't calculate at that minute. She said it was high enough to continue giving tylenol and to give him antibiotics if the fever was still around tomorrow, but in one day only, no. ok.

Now, I know all of this as a doctor. I knew he was likely having a febrile seizure, and that young children often get them from higher fevers, since they mount such a strong immune response. That they are 'benign', i.e. non concerning, unless they happen repeatedly. But I was having flashbacks to a day I witnessed my nephew, six years old at the time, having the same dreadful thing, and it looks so dramatic and downright frightening, and then they pass out or go too sleep right afterward, and you are so terrified they are slipping into a coma that you are calling their name and trying to arouse them. I know that worked out OK too, but I was there for the first terrible moments and the ride in the ambulance.  I was paralyzed in fear then, and even more so today as I stood there with my own little 13 month old, wanting someone to make it better. My rational mind was completely overruled. I hope this happens to other doctors too, that they find themselves feeling helpless and neurotic when it comes to the people closest to them. I think it is human nature to need someone else to be in charge in those situations, to talk you back off of the cliff that you are on with worrisome thoughts and irrational fears. I sure needed that today. I still am sitting here while he sleeps praying he will recover right this instant. I just cannot bear another day of him not feeling well, it floods my heart. I remember reading in some book about when you decide to have children you can kiss your carefree life goodbye because everything you thought you cared intensely about before becomes more like an afterthought, and you find yourself so much more deeply in love, totally connected, and completely torn up over another human being that you can't stand it. It is so true for me. I have a love I never knew possible, and it covers everything i do. In a way, having children wrecks your otherwise sane life.

After we left the hospital, we drove two hours to the amalfi coast, so he got a great nap, and we arrived in Vietri just as he was waking and starting to cry. We stopped at the first hotel we saw, guided by the gps, and are now in the comfort of a room by the sea. We have our gps wired to the closet hospital just in case, but it is feeling like we are coming out of the murky waters. Bodhi had a little food and some soy milk, and his temperature seems milder, so we are hoping his little body has come through the worst of it. He is still so very tired, he has been sleeping on and off all afternoon since we arrived. I am preparing myself for a long night with frequent wakings, to check on him to make sure everything is ok, like I did when he was first born. I didn't care the cost or condition of the room, I didn't care about anything except getting Bodhi inside, keeping him close, and it's all Bodhi all the time. Chris and I take turns holding and rocking him to sleep, patting his head with cool washcloths, and watching him while he sleeps. He's a blessing, a hot little blessing.

Posted by globalmomma 11:24 Archived in Italy Tagged hospital fever Comments (0)

Eating in the dark

May 17 in Barletta hotel

may 17th
So many nights are spent now eating in the dark. Whispering back and forth, nodding and using sign language. We put the baby to sleep and then we eat: because italians don't eat until after 8:30pm, because that was also our routine in America, and because it is often a more relaxing focused time. But in hotel rooms & small apartment studios, it can be a lot more difficult than in a large house with a monitor in the baby room. Our baby can only sleep when it's dark, at least mostly dark. Better if it is solid darkness. So we try to leave a hall light on, or the bathroom light, with the door cracked open. Or a small lamp by the side of the bed. And we make and eat our food quietly, because he is also a light sleeper with noise. We play scrabble on the ipad. We dream of watching on demand movies. I am sure we could with our noise-cancelling headphones, but we haven't reached that point of urgency yet. It's 10:45 and i am finishing the remains of my cold pizza and wine that we carried, along with a sleepy baby, home from the restaurant. I guess it can be a bit depressing, eating like this, in the dark using tiny voices. Often eating cold food. But I remember those early days not too long ago where i was lucky if i ever got a meal warm, because Bodhi would smell the food and get hungry himself. The cries for milk would come, and they took priority over my steaming hot plate of food. I lived off of the microwave. And frozen meals for lunches that if I didn't get around to it, sometimes went unmade. I could eat several Larabars per day for food substitutes if I never got an actual meal of food. So I try to be grateful for where i am now in the grand scheme of things. And to remember that I brought this all on myself too. This is one of the downsides to this life of travel. The dwellings are smaller, more cramped, less flexible. And the meals can be uninspired at times. But then again we are in Italy, and even their worst cold, soggy pizza is pretty damn good. Probably better than the best pizza I can find in Seattle. It's easy to get spoiled with the array of antipasti dishes, pastas galore, meats and sides that are so delicious, and also the nighttime pizzas. In Italy they serve pizza traditionally only at night, not during the day. Maybe it has to do with the hot stone ovens, i do not know. They say pizza during the day is for children. At first we found it odd, like so many other things. Like why is it essential to have a bidet in every bathroom but not a tub or even a shower you can turn around in? Why no cappuccinos in the afternoon? Why so many excuses?

We got into our hotel late last night and I noticed they had room service, but no menu. I asked my husband to call down for one, and he said, "why? you know what they have". I thought this was such a funny comment at the time and said, "well it is an American chain hotel, maybe they have some American food or different stuff". So he goes downstairs and according to his recollection, he said, "we would like some room service". and the reception said, "what would you like?" So he said, oh I don't know, maybe a mixed plate of antipasti (in very proper italian too, i am told). So she says, with grilled vegetables? yes. Cheese? yes. Meat? yes. OK. Twenty minutes later, we had a perfect antipasto for two, just like you would find anywhere. And it dawned on me, This is quintessential Italy. In America, you cannot just walk into a new restaurant and know what they will have on their menu. You may have some vague idea, like they probably have steak of some sort, salmon, and a chicken dish or two, several salads, etc. But here, it really is THAT uniform. I have been eating breakfast in italy for weeks now and I can now come to expect delicious espresso everywhere, not just at starbucks or some other name brand place. And croissants, with jam and nutella. And various breads with various spreads and cheeses and cakes. It's all so carb-heavy and sweet. Breakfast is not my favorite meal here, I can see why many skip it. But anyway, there are regional dishes and most restaurants conform to these dishes, so the menus are not far off. It can make picking restaurants fairly simple, because you basically know what you are going to get and generally will not get a single bad meal anywhere.

  • * I have had to relax about many things... Smoke in the hallways for instance.  I could freak out that my pure baby's lungs will be tarnished by walking down the hall. Or the excessively loud house music that was playing at the pool when we went for a swim damaging his fragile ears. I was having a hard time hearing myself think, while these young girls were bouncing away to house music doing their water aerobics while the instructor screamed over the noise. Bodhi seemed to enjoy it though, he was kicking through the water and dancing to the beat. He actually was moving right with the music. I don't know if it is intuitive, a sense of rhythm, but he seems to definitely have it. I cannot protect him here like maybe I could at home...or at least create a wall around him like a bubble, giving the illusion of control and safety. Here I really cannot control the environment. The relaxed building codes that allow balcony slats to be spaces five inches apart. The highchairs with no midline bar to separate the legs and no straps. When we eat out at restaurants, I have to keep one hand on Bodhi while he eats to keep him from standing up, turning around, or sliding under the bar onto the floor. Their safety codes are not the same here. Children do not wear seat belts and many do not have car seats - especially in the smaller towns. It is not like India where you will see a woman riding sidesaddle on the back of a motorcycle holding her newborn, but it feels more precarious here than at home.

Posted by globalmomma 16:26 Tagged food best room breakfast italian western pizza service barlette Comments (0)

La Macchina

May 17
I woke this morning with sleep crusts in my eyes. It was the first time in a long time, probably because it was the first time in a long time that I got that many consecutive hours of sleep, enough time to allow them to form.
Bodhi slept through to 6:30am from 9:30pm, and then went back to sleep until 9am. Hallelujah. We have been bickering about sleep lately because there just isn't enough to go around, no matter how you break it down.
But today at last, all three of us feel well rested. And we finally have reliable internet, after 2 weeks of issue after issue. We are now able to begin formulating future plans. For tonight, we stay in a Best Western on the outskirts of Barletta, some uninteresting seaside city in Italy. I doubt any tourists come here, even Italians. We probably will not leave the hotel. We had dinner here last night, breakfast, lunch today, and now I am in the room for a nap for Bodhi. We have to go transfer the car to get a new cheaper one for a month. We have decided having a car is essential for our current travel lifestyle. It is just too hard with a baby and baggage to navigate the poor train situation here in Southern Italy, too restrictive and too tiring to haul everything from a train station through towns every couple of days. We had to do this in Alberobello our third day in Italy, and I think Chris is still recovering. We had to haul Bodhi in the stroller and all our luggage through cobblestone streets over a mile, then down a huge flight of stone stairs, and up a giant hill to the trullis. He couldn't even laugh about it. From there, we got the first car...now here, we are choosing to keep a car while we are in Italy. Ahh, la macchina.

Posted by globalmomma 05:35 Comments (0)

VIP wannabe/high maintenance

May 16
Bodhi is absolute brilliance. He's like a diamond, he shines so bright. Every single person here in Italy stops us on the street to admire, gawk, kiss his beautiful face and tell us one of three things: Che bello, Che carino, Che piccolo. How beautiful, how adorable, how small.
I am not exaggerating when I say every single person.

I love the Italian admiration of babies. I feel like a VIP Hollywood movie star wherever I go, with people giving me giant grins, congratulatory words, and special treatment galore. Oh a baby, please, come this way. A baby? Sure, you can come into our restaurant now, and we will prepare food for him. No problem. If we did not have a baby in our arms, I am pretty certain they would not have allowed us into some of the resorts and such where we have gone, what with us looking so ragged in our handwashed wrinkled garments, but with a baby, sure, come on in.

We had a difficult stretch again today, driving from town to town as each didn't quite feel right, and we were aimlessly trying to find a place to settle between Casselvecchia di puglia and Bari. We finally ended up in an area with a terme (natural thermal waters...we have a nose for these things), and drove around looking for a b&b that suited our needs, when we came across a man speaking English who rented out apartments. He guided us to a few and we took one...Free a few minutes there we knew it was NOT the place for us. We had a sinking feeling.  It felt sketch from the first moment. I felt depressed in there. Chris was regretting not staying with new family friends in Casselvecchio. Here we were, sitting in this depressing old hovel that felt as if someone had just died there...wondering, 'what are we even DOING here?!' We finally did the hard thing and totally bailed. Most people who travel know this feelinhg, and have awkwardly left a place after saying they would take it. It's so unnerving to do, so i told Chris to use me as an excuse. Poor guy often has to do these types of things, while I stay behind with the baby. Anyone who travels 'by the seat of their pants' like we do DEFINITELY knows this buyers remorse.

So we made it to the next town Barletta, around 7pm, after hauling all of our things back out of the apartment and into the car, and i have to admit - i saw on the gps we were heading right for a Best Western and got excited. Sure enough, perfect price, perfect place. It even has warm cushy slippers, a pool, and gasp, room service. i feel so decadent staying in an American hotel after weeks without amenities Americans consider basic. Still no bathtub, only a cramped shower. But hey, we take what we can get.

But my point about Bodhi's brilliance was how amazing he was at that shitty apartment. He saw a set of old doors separating the kitchen and living room and was proceeding to open-close-open-close them, time and again with the most enormous smile and shrieks of satisfaction. I thought, 'even here? happy even here? Baby, you are way less high maintenance than your momma!'

Posted by globalmomma 05:25 Archived in Italy Tagged barletta bari Comments (0)

The Travel Groove

May 14
I am waiting for it to start. The travel groove. Anyone who has ever traveled for more than a few weeks in a row know what I mean... when things begin to just fall into place, you just know the places to go, and providence moves with you. Until that time, the first few weeks of winging it can be trying. Things just don't work out, places aren't open, finding your way is difficult. You can wander around a city aimlessly... hungry, tired, trying to find a good hotel at your price. We look for those hidden gems of restaurants that we like to find; but sometimes the baby is tired and impatient, and we have to settle for a touristy, overpriced, unsatisfactory experience of mediocre food and ambiance. It happens. But we feel like novices! Because once you get used to traveling, this struggle happens less and less. It happens to beginners, but not experienced travelers. Maybe it is an ego thing, when we have a bad experience with a place we are staying or a restaurant, we blame ourselves for our lack of savvy...
One day we forgot to change Bodhi's diaper for about 6 hrs while walking around sightseeing Rome, not sure where to stop or go. With a child it is that much more difficult because you have to anticipate their needs, and their needs can be very immediate. You can't just press on, knowing the right thing will be just around the corner.

I like to think I give him a few "perfect moments" a week. You know those perfect moments, when everything goes right. You are the perfect temperature, you have everything you need, you are in your warmest flannel pajamas snuggled by a fire watching your favorite tv show. That kind of perfect moment. Or the kind where you are sipping on a glass of prosecco watching the most gorgeous gigantic sun slip behind a bubble of blue and pink clouds, enjoying the breath of the sea, and feeling the warmth echo off of your skin on a glorious summer day. Those kinds of moments are the type I hope I give to my son every once in awhile. When I see him looking blissed out, and feel his muscles relax as a hold and rock him, feel him give off waves of heat as he is falling asleep to the sound of my lullabies and the sound of ocean waves on the iPod, I think: I hope this is a perfect Bodhi moment.

I get really really mad at my little boy sometimes now at night, that he can't sleep. I know he tries, I know we are asking a lot with forcing him to adjust every few nights to a new environment. But I still just really want him to learn how to fall asleep by himself, and to sleep through the night again like I know he can, like he used to do. I hear myself at night rationalizing, maybe if I just sit here he will figure it out. Shhh. I say, be quiet! Go to sleep! Those comments fall on deaf ears. He wants to be held, to fall asleep in our arms. But our arms are becoming less willing as we get more tired. I guess he is also working on his travel groove.

Posted by globalmomma 05:16 Archived in Italy Tagged travel of italy a with baby rome month Comments (0)

Italian Rules and Non-Organic Soy Milk

May 14

Italians are funny people. They don't follow the rules that seem perfectly rational to me, like red lights and stop signs. Yet they have all of these other rules and restrictions, some spoken, some unspoken, that they seem to make up and that make no sense. Like not being able to have cheese on pasta with porcini mushrooms. Or only being allowed in the thermal pools for 20 minutes (and they have a guard who strictly enforces this). You also MUST wear a swim cap in any pool or you will be stared down like a criminal. In fact, in general, Italians have no problem staring at you with looks of disgust if they think you are doing something inappropriate, like say, having a baby outside with only shorts on as the weather is getting chilly... As I have done several times - it is Southern Italy after all. When the sun sets, it is not THAT cold. I feel like arguing with these old Italian mothers - look, he was born in Seattle. He can take it.  They have no problem sharing with you what they think. I have had several ladies tell me things I am sure are some type of criticism. This is when I am actually glad I don't speak much Italian, when I can overhear that they are most likely talking about me & my parental behavior. One women in a town square told me, basically, don't feed him that (vegetables from our salad), he's so small, give him milk! I felt like telling her, "look lady, he's actually allergic to cow's milk, and so i can't give him that, but thanks for your concern'. Instead I just smiled and nodded. They are a very un-self-conscious people. Today at the beach, they were loudly blasting the chicken dance, and there were twenty older people in their bathing suits, all out there dancing and carrying on, whooping it up. Most of them heavily overweight, and not a care in the world about their appearance. They are not afraid to look crazy as long as they are having a good time. I have to admire this.

Bodhi and I have both gained a few "Italian pounds". It is good because we probably both needed to. Me with my feeling drained by over a year of continuous breastfeeding, and him from my dwindling milk supply. We were both getting a little scrawny and frayed. Now there is a little plump. In fact, my baby now officially has his first 'roll' of fat on his legs - it's a miracle! I wish for both our sakes it wasn't mostly centered around the middle as Italian bread and pasta tends to do, but 'allora', it is what it is. He's been guzzling European soy milk like it's momma milk.  Probably because it has a load of sugar added, but I don't really care now.  Funny how I wouldn't let a single non-organic thing touch his lips the first few months, and then I let him stick his whole face in a cupcake of bright blue icing on his birthday.  And now he's drinking daily soy milk, no idea if that's a good idea for a boy, and eating non-organic veal. But those are our options here. Hmm, funny how travel really takes away a lot of prior necessities, for better or worse. He's thriving - healthy and full - and that's what's important to me now.  I still remember back to what the teacher of my prenatal childbirth classes told us about birth: the most important thing is, healthy baby, healthy momma. So we wouldnt get too caught up on the process. I repeat these words still often about parenting - the most important thing is a healthy baby, healthy momma, no matter how we all reach that point.

Posted by globalmomma 01:45 Archived in Italy Tagged beaches pool italian term rules Comments (0)

Meals Included at the Terme

May 13th

sunny 24 °C

It's a phenomenon, the way Italians show their passion for life and their love of life by talking in a cacophony of si,si,si,si,si's and ciao ciao ciao! One is not enough. More is better. It's addictive, this hedonism here. I am drinking 2 or 3 caffes a day now. At home, I barely ever drink coffee, I drink green tea.  I tread more softly. Here, saying No is hard to do. You are urged to the Yes. Yes, more wine. Yes, another cappuccino. Yes, one more day. Yes, yes. Si, si, si, si, si.

The cultural norm is very pervasive here. Sunday mornings they go to church. Sunday afternoons, they eat with family. In the mornings, breakfast is a caffe and croissant. Work a little. Close the store. Go to lunch, take a nap, visit with friends, talk and lounge. Most of all, talk. And lounge. A caffe, and work starts again for a few more hours, but the atmosphere is festive. Everyone is out from 5-8pm: kids, parents, grandparents, lovers, friends. Everyone is shopping, drinking, walking around town, eating gelato. Then close up again, and everyone goes home or out to eat. It's dark out, and time for dessert, caffe, socializing some more, and then to bed. The daily schedule is a cultural phenomenon. To fight it is futile, so best for you to conform. We alter the baby's schedule so he goes to sleep later, at 9pm, so we can eat dinner. For Italians, still a ridiculously early bedtime. The children here stay up past my usual bedtime...

Italians seem to move in flocks, like migrating birds. They don't seem to mind the crowds, lines, waiting. In fact, they seem to enjoy and even to prefer it, like to be alone or first in line is unchallenging or boring. They like the bustle and energy of a crowd, even if it means fighting to get your caffe behind a line...when you could wait 15 minutes and skip the line altogether, but you would also skip the experience of 'coffeetime' in Italy.

We are at an inclusive spa 'terme' in Puglia right now (a spa with medical, thermal baths), where meals are included, buffet-style. We are eating at the buffet having a real Italian experience. The tolerance for noise here baffles me. So does the amount of food consumed. At dinner it gets so loud I would have to yell to be heard, but we really don't know enough Italian for a regular conversation, so there isn't much to say. But if we spoke Italian, we would still have to struggle to be understood above the storm of noise.  They seem to talk all at once - there is a constant chatter of voices and exclamations. And even at the beach here, there is commotion. We have our own "spot": numbered chairs and an umbrella, spaced one meter apart from the next and the next. Sandwiched in among rows of similar chairs and umbrellas, all filled with vibrant conversations and tanning people. There is no such thing as peaceful quiet vacation space. Their beaches are for parties, friends, socializing, liveliness. Their ideal must be something along the lines of a party on the beach for vacation, while Americans dream of 2 lounge chairs, empty ocean, and nothing else. In our perception vacation = seclusion. They seem to prefer conversations overheard with neighbors, discussions, being in a lively atmosphere. For this reason, I wish we could speak better Italian because there are plenty of opportunities to interact and make friends. In fact, we did make friends with another family we shared our table with during the few days at the spa. Even though we didn't talk much, we managed to know each other well. I think we have plans to meet up again somehow in Caserta.

I feel shy here, like a mussel in its shell.  Sometimes I want to close up and be still, alone. But Italians are not shy people, not lonely either. We are amidst mostly older people at the spa, and they are all enjoying vibrant conversations and meals with other couples and friends...they all seem really alive: enjoying life, drinking wine, soaking up sun, and talking animatedly. It seems to be a nice place to grow old.

Posted by globalmomma 06:31 Archived in Italy Tagged spa thermal puglia terme Comments (0)

Slow Tourists

a day on the terrace

Today is a quiet day. When i wake up it is raining, but the sea is still beautiful. Roberto and Guisy, who are running the bed & breakfast, bring us cappucinos and an amazing assortment of pastries, fruits, meats... a gourmet breakfast. our goal for the day consists of buying more supplies for Bodhi, diapers and baby food, and some food for dinner; and other than that, just relaxing on the terrace and enjoying the day. I was thinking a word for us would be slow tourists..like slow food. It's how we like to travel, taking our time, not really seeing too many things. Or lazy tourists. that sums it up as well, since we have yet to buy a guidebook or really have any idea where we are headed next. They have a book here about Puglia and I am flipping through it trying to figure out what we should see, if we are trying to get in the major sights. We learned a long time ago that what tends to stick with you when you travel is not usually the sights you see, but the other experiences you have along the way. So now we mostly try to fill our days with those other things.

So far we have learned that Bodhi loves foccaccia and European soy milk. He likes all fruits, including oranges and kiwis, and even likes veal and prosciutto. He isn't such a fan of spaghetti sauce, but does like fresh tomatoes. He won't eat dry Italian bread (can you blame him?) but dipped in olive oil or juice = yummy. I have seen children and babies eating here but all I have seen them fed is fried bread, other kinds of pastries and cookies, and pasta. I will definitely keep on the lookout for more information. What I have found out re: baby food is that Italians mix their own combinations. So they sell the baby food in jars as single items: - mixed vegetables, chicken, veal, etc. You mix it with small pieces of pasta and broth or milk or cheese, and have a complete meal. So the chicken baby food is only chicken and water/oil, nothing else. A really interesting concept overall b/c the combinations are varied.

I am watching a fisherman in an old bright blue wooden boat pull in his nets for the afternoon. It's truly old Italy and fills me with a contendedness and nostalgic romance for the simplicity and beauty of watching this man in his small boat on the turqouise sea, fishing the old fashioned way. There are also younger men with fishing rods and buckets catching fish along the rocky shoreline below my terrace. What a stunning place to spend an afternoon.
Bodhi is sleeping, Chris is on the computer checking the stock market, I am up here typing, and this is the life we love to have...
In a few minutes when baby boy wakes, a prosecco, a walk through the square and along the beach, a relaxing dinner on the terrace: orcchiette with brocolli rabe and sausage, a local specialty. ciao, A domani ('til tomorrow).

Posted by globalmomma 08:17 Comments (0)

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