The beginning of the end

So I survived my mom and Ro’s visit and trip to Rome.  I have to say, Ro’s enthusiasm for/photography of food was probably my favorite part!  Not to mention her impromptu public performances of “That’s Amore” and “Speak Softly Love” complete with accordion accompaniment.  (Note that the latter was meant as a not-so-subtle warning to Alex…those Sicilians leave their discretion at the door).  Overall, the trip was a success.  They seemed pleasantly surprised by Almeria, the weather behaved, Rome was amazing, and we were able to spend some time in Madrid as well (we were able to meet up with Therese and Francisco!).   One thing we were not not prepared for was the rudeness of the Romans.  I think the world title of rudest people needs to be handed off from Parisians (I actually love them and don’t understand why they have that reputation).  Just an illustration: We had just arrived in Vatican City and I stopped at an ATM.  When the person in front of me finished their transaction, I stepped up, inserted my card and was instantly faced with a decipherable Italian message: This machine is temporarily our of service.  I could hear the money being replenished just on the other side of the wall.  While Ro stood guard and shooed people away, my mom and I went inside (thank god the bank was connected and that it was open!).  Anyway, how to make an already much too-long story short(er)…we were ignored.  A woman came in behind us with the same problem, she explained her problem, we tried to say that we had the same one, tried to follow the banker as she retrieved the other woman’s card, were shooed back to the line, waited while again being ignored (no one else in line), finally acknowledged by the other worker, were told that our story was impossible by the bitchy woman, and then were left alone without a word.  She finally returned and silently handed my card back to me.  Ridiculous.  Anyway, we still loved it!

Many of my American friends here (in Almeria) have started playing the, “I can’t wait for…” game, our senses tingling with anticipation.   Mexican food, pizza, black coffee that doesn’t taste like $%*&, Strongbow, ‘good’ beer, English muffins, local music, Baxter, etc.  On the other hand, weather here has really turned a corner and we’ve been enjoying the beach: playing Frisbee (and teaching curious little Spanish kids), shoeless night walks along the coast, drinks at the chiringuitas…it will be hard to leave, although we’ll be coming back to Minnesota at prime cabin time, so that will help.  And I suppose seeing our family and friends again won’t hurt either 😉

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