October 12-20, 2011
I was SO excited for my parents to arrive; to be able to expertly show them around the city, impress them with my ability to get us our desired lunch items, and to prove to them how much I have grown and matured. That’s what they want right? To see that their money is going to good use sending their only child to another country for a semester?
Well, all of the above was much harder at times than the three of us had anticipated. Dad is a real tourist at heart, wanting to get pictures of everything, at every moment, leaving Mom and I in the dust most of the time. Mom wanted to taste the infamous red wines and marvel over every intricate door we passed or every crack in the beautifully aged streets. SO, this left me seriously burning at both ends, trying to keep them happy and me, sane.
Mom of course had things planned for us, so most of my thoughtful outing ideas were dismissed. On friday we took part in a WalkAbout tour of some major Tuscan sights. We traveled to Siena, San Gimignano, and finally Pisa. We were fortunate enough to join in with the rest of the tour go-ers in getting to wear Whispers! ( the ear piece contraptions that quickly signify a tour group, in which we usually secretly laugh at). I tried avoiding it altogether, but Mom insisted! that I be apart of the rich learning experience.
Dad LOVED Pisa, repeatedly claiming that he had been there before in some sort of past life deja-vu. And of course he HAD to do the mandatory Piazza Miracoli pose, as if he alone was holding the Leaning Tower from it’s fateful collapse. Mom and I stood back and laughed, as him and 100 others summoned all of their strength, while holding perfect smiles for the camera.
They went on to see Venice, Rome, and courageously rented a car and drove to find small towns in the Tuscan region to further explore on their own. It was an irreplaceable feeling seeing their faces as they wandered through the blissfully bustling Mercato Centrale, stood in front of the Duomo, and tasted my favorite, and now their favorite, gelato that Florence has to offer. It truly was a special experience that everyone should take advantage of if possible, just know to BRACE yourself, as hosting is never a completely easy task.