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The Outlet Mall

rain 20 °C

Two weeks ago, while staying with my sister-in-law and visiting my husband's family, we went shopping at the outlet mall in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Myself, Bodhi, my mother-in-law and my niece Jenna. It was going to be a great day shopping. We arrive and I soon realize that I have forgotten all things essential for Bodhi. I forgot the diapers. I forgot the wipes. I forgot food and snacks and milk. And the raingear. In short, I totally misplaced my mind, and had nothing I needed...

So, I went about trying to find a solution. First, we drove around the small town of Wrentham trying to find a supermarket or drugstore. No luck. We found a Cumberland Farms convenient store, but they didn't sell baby supplies. We went to the outlet and I was determined to find something. I looked for a baby store, I asked in Carter's and another kids' store if they knew where I could go. I asked where you rent strollers if they had any extra supplies for sale. No luck. So then I did what I thought best. I walked up to another couple pushing a stroller and asked if they knew where I could get diapers. I had left all of mine at home and was desperate, I said.

The woman looked at me. Her baby had the tightest black curls and the brightest smile. Bodhi and the other boy were grinning at each other from their respective strollers. "No, I Don't... What size is your baby?"
"Size 3", I replied.
"So is mine", she said, "And I have an extra here, you can have it". Her husband handed me a diaper that looked like blue jeans, complete with fake pockets in the back.
"Really? You sure you won't need it?"
"We are on our way home anyway," the Dad said.
"You are a lifesaver!", I said, and I meant it.

What a blessing, and what a lesson. I felt that day that motherhood really is a community. And when we are willing to reach out, admit our needs, and connect with it, wonderful things can happen. I only hope I am able to help out another mother and return (or pay forward) the favor. Bless you, mom in Wrentham...

Posted by globalmomma 14:44 Archived in USA Tagged shopping baby massachusetts trip community diapers Comments (0)

Our karmic bank account just ran out

An Evening at the Orly Airport

semi-overcast 17 °C

We had been traveling for nearly three months with not really any major glitches. Minor ones, of course, but no real major calamities. Then...it all hit us at once...

Why do I say that? Well, it all started with a routine trip to the airport to catch our flight back from Paris Orly to Pisa. We had just sent a nice morning at the Louvre art museum, seeing a few more sights in Paris before we had to head back to Lucca for my husband's Italian class. We get in the first metro and then have a fairly long walk to the connecting metro at Notre Dame that takes you to the airport. It is raining lightly, and fairly cool. We have all of our baggage rolling along with us. We are walking this route, and I am feeling incredibly uneasy. We NEED to get there! I am not usually anxious like this about arriving to the airport in ample time, or getting seats...usually I am just fine with waltzing in without too many minutes to spare. But for some reason, this time is different. I rush through lunch, spilling half on the floor in my haste. I want to go. Now we are walking on our way, and I still feel this urgency.

We arrive at the metro to take us directly to the Orly airport, and the trains are running behind. First it says 5 minutes, then it switches to 10 and then to 12. We have to do something, I tell my husband Chris. Find another way. So we trek all of our bags and the stroller back up the escalator and out of the metro. We try hailing a cab, but we need to walk a few blocks to the taxi station. We arrive and hop into a taxi and head to Orly. When we arrive, we have about 25 minutes until our Easy Jet will take off, and Chris runs ahead to the checkin desk, while I follow briskly behind, pushing Bodhi. As I get there, Chris is at the desk, and I rush up there hoping to plead our case. But when I arrive I realize that Chris is already being told that in fact, we do not have 25 minutes until our flight leaves...it left 25 minutes AGO.

OOPS. So turns out, we were not kinda late, we were extremely late. In fact, we never had a chance of making the flight. We had written the time wrong; the flight was at 2:30pm, not 3:20pm. Discouraged, we asked about our options. There were, essentially, none. No more flights out today. One at 6am tomorrow, but we would have to pay the full fare again. Any other flight to any other city would be a ridiculous price based on highest fares. Hmm, no stand-by, no 'change fees', no just switching us to a new flight from our old one without any cost? nope. We were stuck. We had to pay and stay overnight, so we did, after a little whining and kicking and screaming.

So now, on to find a hotel. We resigned ourselves to stay at the airport due to our earlier issues with trying to leave the city of Paris, so we would spend the evening in Orly at a random airport hotel, instead of in our lovely apartment (that we were already paying for!) in Lucca. It was an expensive mistake. One that wasn't funny to us then, and now, it can actually get a smile and a shake of the head, but still isn't very funny. Paris had kicked our butts, and we were paying much more for our weekend excursion than we had bargained for, and I was resentful. Why hadn't we been more careful? Why had things gone this way? After questioning and questioning, the only satisfactory answer I came up with was that our karmic bank account had finally ran out. It was time to refill and rebuild it, and that was really the only explanation there was.

Posted by globalmomma 15:58 Archived in France Tagged paris travel transportation weekend trip bad airplane luck jet easy orly karma Comments (0)

Pompeii

Pompeii is an impressive sight. if you can get past the entry way. As you walk toward the ruins of the "Lost City', there are throngs of salesmen in tiny booths selling useless touristy items and guidebooks. "Signori", "Sir", "Madam", as they try to guess your nationality and draw your attention into their marketplace. Best to keep your eyes down and walk quickly as if you know where you are headed. I am having flashbacks to time spent in India with similar situations of sales people at every sight, grabbing hold of your arm, 'please', 'take a look'. Eyes averted, NO, thank you, No. You have to be firm, you have to be short and direct. I am not interested in this, it makes me squeamish and uncomfortable. It is a large barrier to seeing these types of mega sights, but this is one we have to see.

Pompeii was once a thriving metropolis that had changed hands in many wars before becoming part of the Roman Empire. It was finally destroyed and partially buried in 79 AD by a giant eruption from the volcano Mount Vesuvius that also destroyed the nearby city of Herculaneum. Mount Vesuvius still looms menacingly over Pompeii and the whole Naples area. In Pompeii, you can see remnants of ancient Roman life, from the villas that the wealthy people inhabited, to the Roman Bathhouses, to the Coliseum or amphitheaters and temples. It is really quite amazing, the sophistication of the buildings and the grandeur they once had. The size of the ruins, comprising an entire town, is also impressive. Definitely worth a visit, but like the guidebooks say, it is wickedly hot in midday and there is no shelter from the heat. Go in the morning or late afternoon, take your time, and savor the experience of palpable history.

Posted by globalmomma 07:58 Archived in Italy Tagged history ruins city day roman trip ancient lost naples pompeii Comments (0)

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