Highlights from the weekend of 3/18/16-3/20/16 :
- flower crowns
- eating home-cooked food
- warm weather
- casual meet-ups at casual landmarks
My friend Solis, who I’ve mentioned before, came home from Madrid for the weekend of 3/18/16. And fortunately, we got to hang out for a bit and run about Rome together. The Thursday night of her arrival, St. Patty’s Day, we met up in Piazza Navona and went to an Irish Pub called “The Abbey” for a drink. There, we quickly discovered that the green beer we ordered was not for us, so our group of four peaced out pretty quickly for some gelato instead. 🙂
We stopped by Giolitti’s, which is a favorite gelateria of mine here in Rome, because it has many flavors for pretty cheap prices.
Kiki and I met up with Solis again the next morning and stopped by the Knights of Malta Keyhole and Aventino (the Orange Garden). At each, we took our time as we talked, sported a communal flower crown I made, and took pictures until we decided to head off in the direction of Solis’ apartment.
Side note: Below is a street just beyond the Keyhole that on our walk toward Solis’ neighborhood. When I took the picture, I was abuzz with happiness at the presence of my friends, and I can still remember my excitement when I look at it now. Plus, springtime in Rome does crazy things to a person. Super intense allergies aside, everything suddenly seems ten times more beautiful. And our walk seemed especially majestic then so, here it is.
Now comes a major highlight from the weekend. Dinner at the apartment of THE fam of Solis. Extra emphasis on THE because they’re all really cool and smart. Anyway, once we reached their apartment, we started off the evening with coffee, and a tour of the apartment. Then, the cooking fun began. Most of the cooking was done by Solis and her mom. I did cut up some fruit, but I otherwise stood back and watched the pros. Actually though, they made it look so effortless. I swear, if i tossed in a bunch of spices with some potatoes without measuring them out like they were able to, you’d get something pretty funky. I’m sure of it. But with them, no, no. Such is not the way of Solis’ fam.
Two other friends from Jforce, who also go to SLU and are in Micah, arrived at the tail end of our cooking. The aroma of the food filled the whole apartment, effectively taunting our tastebuds as we got ready to eat. Seven of us sat around their dining room table topped with warm tortillas, beans, beautifully seasoned potatoes, taco meat, fruit salad, and red wine.
Dinner was fabulous. And so was sitting at a full table of happy folk. Ahh food and people. Get a group of people together, put some food between them, and wonderful things can happen. Happiness. Laughter. A purposeful way of slowing down to catch up with people we care about.. Molto bellissimo!
The next morning, our first order of business was breakfast at the Secret Bakery. That’s right, hitting up those .80 cent nutella donuts once Again. #noregrats
Then, our trio walked from the Secret Bakery to the castle and jumped up on the wall hanging above the running trail and Tiber river below. There we sat and talked and ate our snacky snacks. Tourists flooded the grounds surrounding the Castle and made for some prime people-watching. The sound of a street performer’s violin filled the piazza with calming notes as the sun rested on our backs from above the Tiber.
Because this semester is almost at an end, I’ll allow myself to a get a little sent-y now. I’ve learned a lot throughout this semester abroad. I could go on for hours about what I’ve already taken from this semester. But for time’s sake, I’ll mention just one tidbit that’s been important for me. This semester has reminded how important it is to relish the sweet, simple moments. I’m sure such general statement is a no brainer for some, but I’m also sure that some, like myself, often struggle with this when we become too wrapped up in exams, deadlines, work, and other sources of stress.
And for this reminder, I owe many thanks to the Italian culture. I’ve grown to love and hate different aspects of it, but even now, I’m continually falling for the relaxed attitudes so prevalent in this culture. Want to go out for a dinner that could potentially last three hours? No problem, we can make that happen easily. How about a stroll? Where to doesn’t matter, let’s just walk to talk and maybe catch a glimpse of the sunset. Va bene? Va bene…