Sunday Morning

So easy – I’m hankering for summer holidays. Just a week and a bit to go. I can’t wait for sleeping in and episodes of The Lord Of The Flies in the backyard. We have a few weekend trips planned over the next few months but nothing on the scale of #scotland or fucking #italy, and so backyard shenanigans are practically guaranteed. We do have a wedding in San Francisco – fingers crossed for positive shenanigans only.
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Shenanigans aside, our summer is going to be the shit. This time last year, however, I had lots of fun things planned whereas this year I have precisely dick planned. I’m expecting similar results, though. Maybe I’ll think up themed day activities, rather than weeks.
We certainly aren’t having successful gardening camp this year – I’ve used up all my time writing rather than weeding or seeding or mowing or plowing or anything, so it might be a jungle camp if anything. The grass is literally as high as 7yo in places.
We could give the hideout another going over, and possibly the “paths” on the hill, but it might just be dragging the kids around to the gym and then bike riding and then who knows what else every other day during those deliciously hot weeks.
I’m trying not to think aloud about these things because Husband merely points out opportunities for finishing things I started many moons ago that I may or may not be interested in continuing. He might term such a thing Flotsam and Jetsam Camp. While he would no doubt love it, I’m not sure the kids would be as enthusiastic. Planned activities would include clearing paperwork from various surfaces, a good amount of shredding said paperwork, weeding, deconstructing the backyard fort, planting seedlings and weedlings in various states of rooting that have languished on the bathroom window sill for I’m not going to mention how long, updating the chicken accommodations, and opening cans of whoop-ass on the encroaching blackberries. At the very least, all of the above might very well improve the curb appeal of the house and Husband LOVES watching things change on Zillow. Maybe there would be an econonics camp in there somewhere, too.

All roads lead to home

Day 7
I was worried about the walk of shame from il camper in the morning, but we woke up at about 8 and no one else seemed to be around. We would not try going to breakfast locally after last night – even if there were somewhere and they were aperto. Heading to King Drive (burger king, gross but seemingly our only option), not aperto either, sheesh. Heading to campeggio area for freshening, packing and boys running, sans cattivo attitude from la genta towards il camper. We spread out the blanket and feasted on scrambled uovo with la cipolla, cornies and fresh air. Il figlio also ran out some of their wiggles. Simpatico marito became spooked by passing polizia since we didn’t pay for the parking (we were only there for an hour!), so we decamp and just head sud su autostrada. Spontaneous high fives for spotting sign to empty il camper bagno before Rome.
Il figlio were lucky enough to receive soldi from Nonna before we left, plus some extra for nearly 5yo, whose compleanno is in due giorno, so we found a grande la bottega on the way to the aeroporti. After pagare all the lego we could afford, we rearranged il camper and have safely arrived back at ‘il-ton to a particular signor for handover of il camper, finding nonsense items to gauge simpatico marito. Marito is tired and in need of a shower, plus molto sonno from driving, so good luck signor! Marito will eat you for breakfast. Showers and naps are imminent, then onto the Colosseum. Colosseum – just wow!
Dinner at cafe in Roma run by Bangladeshi gentlemen. Middle child is usually the frenetic one at dinner, but tonight he gobbled his dinner and un gelato. His il fratella were less helpful. Nearly 3yo was allowed to mangio his cup of gelato while in the backpack carrier, while simpatico marito walked around; needless to say, all and sundry needed a thorough wipe-down before we got onboard. No one slept on the autobus back to ‘il-ton, but that just made for an easier bed time.
Later, having packed everything better than I did before we left home, we are ready for the morning, and – dare I suggest it – a sleep in?! Day 8
We are at the airport on time! We are through security!
Nearly 3yo numero due in il bagno – twice! Perfetto!
Had a nap, but still 4 hrs to go, boo.
Landed on time in Washington but all those lines has reduced our layover to toilet time and run to the gate, yikes! And then there was a problem with the radio and we were delayed for 45 minutes. I might as well call him 5yo and brother 6.5yo got to meet the pilot, whereupon Husband commented that “it must mean we will be awhile” before being airborne. 5yo was called by name over the loud speaker since he made friends with a flight attendant before boarding. It would be great if making friends was as easy for me as talking loudly near other people. And a side note to the lady next to me, phuck off, he is not yet 3 and he is really not that bad.
We have ‘deplaned’, and Husband has alarmed me with the notion that we will not make it home tonight. So we are back in the airport.
A lady came over to us and commented about our lovely and well-behaved children – after nearly 3yo had a tantrum! That’s not quite a fist pump, but I’ll take it. …And now we will leave on another plane in 2.5hours time, wah!
But the new plane has a broken audio system, and then only one side works, and what about the curfew at PDX? No first day of school tomorrow, that’s fo’ shizzle.
Now the pilot has brought her luggage back to the gate area, I assume we will not be flying on this plane tonight.
Not that plane but a different one. We will still be late leaving, but should arrive home at just the right time to let the chickens out. What a fucking day.

La Strada a Piza

Day 6
Affrettati! Il figlio awoke unnaturally early considering they went to bed after 11. But oi recovered after some proscuitto e uovo, no formaggio, though. Bags packed, la casa emptied, ciao ciao ciao and noi sono away.
We stopped at another small cafe for some colazione (just realized I’ve been pronouncing it incorrectly, any wonder she didn’t understand me), and we managed the order without using the phrase book very much, that’s a personal best for Husband. Sandwiches, pizza e proscuitto e formaggio, of course. Plus due caffe for simpatico marito. Gelato for il figlio then back in il camper and on la strada.
This is the first giorno threatening rain, but at least we would get use out of the rain jackets I packed. We didn’t end up using them. The Leaning Tower – just wow!!
We have run out of prosciutto, how has this been allowed to happen? Husband is awed that every shop everywhere has the finest sliced meat in the world.
Great il pranzo with la famiglia at spiaggia ristorante – Canessa BARistorante – but the service was awful, as was the whole town of Baratti. Everyone seemed put out that our party had small children and wheels to transport them in, and the staff in each of the 3 places we tried were almost complete assholios; did they think that a party of 9 would not have to spend a pretty penny to dine?. We were out of places to go and out of time, so we had gelato first, then pulled out the ipad again for the bambinos so we wouldn’t upset ourselves or the rest of the assholio customers, even though some la genta were blowing il fumo into la ristorante and still others had large cane at their table, wt?!
Vino with la famiglia in their piccolo la casa, then creep back to il camper for sonno. It started raining later and it was so loud, I thought 6.5yo would wake in fright, he doesn’t like that sort of thing. The assholios of Baratti were also openly disdainful of il camper, I didn’t sleep properly as I was half expecting the locals to, I don’t even know, but I was slept uneasy.

Il Matrimonio

The boys were superb during the ceremony, and messing around but only to the point of cuteness a few times. After some photos, we took them back to il casa for naps, and we woke them for il pranzo. In the mean time, Husband and I were able to swan around the pool with bubbles and fancy clothes; the whole thing looked like a fancy party from Mulholland Drive.
I have not seen many grande sized italianos, and I just can’t figure that out since the standard meal service includes a pasta dish, a rice dish, then the main meal, then dessert. Plus wine for all, but that part is pretty easy. Anyhoo, il figlio were mostly well-behaved. We had flashlights for running around in the dark plus the obligatory hot wheels, then the thoughtful bride and groom had colouring books for all the bambinos. Then towards the end of their patience quota, we set up a movie on the ipad for them.
We are all tuckeredeedoo, but Husband and I plan to head back for some more beats and booze. I am quite getting the hang of this up-all-night business.

Apparently, I am famous around la villa per mia hats! But isn’t it amazing what the drunk will bring out in people. Such poignant words, heartfelt and all that. And then we all go our separate ways. But travel is special, and we shouldn’t let ties to loved ones stop us from going. I’m sure that vodka is not good for my head cold, but perhaps the mint is good.
Tre hours later, Husband and oi making our own after party, which will end up looking like sheet.

It gets better, really!

Day 2
il figlio were awake late, and I woke early when nearly 3yo was dreaming loudly in il camper, so Husband let me sleep in, oh, what a feeling! The italian sun was shining and the air felt so lovely and fresh, even before we went outside. We had an authentic breakfast with la agritourismo la genta – cake and fruit! Boys loved the cake and the fruit was picked off the trees on the property. I would love to be able to do that. I’m not sure if they grew the wheat to grind for the flour, that sounds like a lot of work.
We managed some half decent phrase book conversations with signora at breakfast, and il figlio were felice a play with la signorina. There were a few sharing-related scuffles, but when bambinos can’t talk it out, that would be pretty standard.
Driving later, we saw what I thought at the time was a monastery, but may have merely been an uber picturesque montagna villaggio in the distance, I wished we could investigate. Perhaps we should come here for a month next year and just live it.
We stopped in Grosseto and determined the place to be abandoned, or la genta were taking itialiano siestas. We found a small cafe that was open, and frankly the parking situation was bad, so we stopped at the first place we could find. La signor was very helpful with il cibo for mia figlios, and had some broken english of his own. He loved it when Husband hit him up with a “thanks mate” and a horn toot or two when we found our way out of the confusing street grid.

Husband surprised and frustrated that bagno su il camper is almost full after only 24 hours. Photo ops go begging due to lack of sensible car spots and pazzo drivers.
Nearly 5yo always hungry therefore not enjoying himself. 6.5yo always screen time and disinterested in gorgeous la montagna villaggios.
Made it cross country to San Gimigniano, or san jimmy johns for the uninitiated. Gorgeous la montagna villagio, dinner w famiglia, carina il cibo, and I ordered all in italian!
Then still il figlio shenanigans in bed, wt, it’s after 10! We didn’t bring a corkscrew, so marito opens the 2nd bottle of vino in as many days with a knife that we did remember to bring. Making swear words w animals and the word bottom.
Day 3
We are a little bit nasally this morning, but husband let me sleep til 9.30. I demanded smooches from nearly 3yo in Italian, and coached Husband in ordering te e caffe. Boys seemed to wake at about 6, so I expect them to be shits most of the day.
We drove through, or rather, around San Gimigniano – after I tried my hand again in a superercato and bought some mele aceto for our sinus – and saw a table with la bottiglia di vino on the side of la strada, so we had to pull in. The ristorante was hidden amongst the trees, but plenty of spazio for il ragazzo to run around. Simpatico marito and oi had bello bruschetta, plus a slice of torta with marmalade – la genta seem to have marmalade in most of the la dolce. The proprietor was head to tow in linen and somewhat flustered as the chef – Nonna? – hadn’t arrived yet. He had some broken english but we managed pretty well with the phrase book. Il ragazzo didn’t think much of the bruschetta, so we had to eat all the eggplant and foi gras ourselves, what a shame. Nothing senza glutine, but nearly 3yo was happy enough with the gelato, as were his il fratello.
We found il Castagno easily enough, and the view is carina! Stunning bello casa, but we are staying in a different – less bello – casa, woe. No gilt furniture for us.
Negotiating bowel movements for swimming w nearly 3yo after we are unpacked, then everyone into the pool.
Everyone outside and I have time to wrestle with some bikini maintenance, egad! Waxing was never so painless as when the italiano nuotare acqua awaits tu!
Came in to check on il figlio and heard piccolo ma forte snoring, carino bambino! Nearly 3yo has wicked snores most nights, like his grandmother. Day 4
Dreamt last night, of course, that I was struggling to find the right words in my phrase book
Went to bed after 1.30, husband woke me at 4.30 rummaging for anything to soothe a sore throat, and now I can’t get back to sleep. (Aceto is already working for our sinus, but we need something more for our throats.) I lay awake for a bit but my brain had started whirring so, I have stayed up so I don’t fall back to sleep, only to be woken 17 minutes into a sleep cycle and feel worse than if I stayed up too long bere vino. New bed feels like sturdy cardboard, not great since my lo stomacho feels like a tin box with benzina sloshing around inside. Add in a polite piccolo headache, this is going to be a grande il giorno.
Its super hot, naps for mama e nearly 3yo, then il figlio watching la televisione, flicking channels we see italiano Happy Days, and now they are watching The Penguins of Madagascar, italiano edition. Pazzo pazzo!
Change of air, perhaps, we are feeling a leedle worse for wear, and while I did pack imodium and fever reducers, I did not bring vitamins. A trip to la supermercato did not produce any vitamins, but i have written (a crude, I’m sure) sentence for Husband to use on la genta in la farmacia when he gets on la bicicletta. In the mean time, we are dosing up on the vinegar I bought for our hair, as well as some Ricolas, and now blessed Echinacea. Day 5
I suppose when one goes to bed uber late all the time, one gets used to it and can do it pretty often. Case in point: although I felt pretty poorly when I woke up this morning, and have developed some gnarly congestion, I was not tired at 1am before going to bed. I am in need of a nap already, though, and it’s barely past 8am. I do not want circles under my eyes to detract from my carina vintage ensemble, oggi of all days! It is the most advantageous day for a family portrait today. Sure, BIL is marrying the woman of his dreams, but my il figlio will be wearing bow ties and suspenders e il matrimonio is in the Toscana montagna. A better photo op there could never be. So I have taken some more vinegar, echinacea and water, and I’m off to catch some winks before it all starts.

It gets better, really!

Day 2
il figlio were awake late, and I woke early when nearly 3yo was dreaming loudly in il camper, so Husband let me sleep in, oh, what a feeling! The italian sun was shining and the air felt so lovely and fresh, even before we went outside. We had an authentic breakfast with la agritourismo la genta – cake and fruit! Boys loved the cake and the fruit was picked off the trees on the property. I would love to be able to do that. I’m not sure if they grew the wheat to grind for the flour, that sounds like a lot of work.
We managed some half decent phrase book conversations with signora at breakfast, and il figlio were felice a play with la signorina. There were a few sharing-related scuffles, but when bambinos can’t talk it out, that would be pretty standard.
Driving later, we saw what I thought at the time was a monastery, but may have merely been an uber picturesque montagna villaggio in the distance, I wished we could investigate. Perhaps we should come here for a month next year and just live it.
We stopped in Grosseto and determined the place to be abandoned, or la genta were taking itialiano siestas. We found a small cafe that was open, and frankly the parking situation was bad, so we stopped at the first place we could find. La signor was very helpful with il cibo for mia figlios, and had some broken english of his own. He loved it when Husband hit him up with a “thanks mate” and a horn toot or two when we found our way out of the confusing street grid.

Husband surprised and frustrated that bagno su il camper is almost full after only 24 hours. Photo ops go begging due to lack of sensible car spots and pazzo drivers.
Nearly 5yo always hungry therefore not enjoying himself. 6.5yo always screen time and disinterested in gorgeous la montagna villaggios.
Made it cross country to San Gimigniano, or san jimmy johns for the uninitiated. Gorgeous la montagna villagio, dinner w famiglia, carina il cibo, and I ordered all in italian!
Then still il figlio shenanigans in bed, wt, it’s after 10! We didn’t bring a corkscrew, so marito opens the 2nd bottle of vino in as many days with a knife that we did remember to bring. Making swear words w animals and the word bottom.
Day 3
We are a little bit nasally this morning, but husband let me sleep til 9.30. I demanded smooches from nearly 3yo in Italian, and coached Husband in ordering te e caffe. Boys seemed to wake at about 6, so I expect them to be shits most of the day.
We drove through, or rather, around San Gimigniano – after I tried my hand again in a superercato and bought some mele aceto for our sinus – and saw a table with la bottiglia di vino on the side of la strada, so we had to pull in. The ristorante was hidden amongst the trees, but plenty of spazio for il ragazzo to run around. Simpatico marito and oi had bello bruschetta, plus a slice of torta with marmalade – la genta seem to have marmalade in most of the la dolce. The proprietor was head to tow in linen and somewhat flustered as the chef – Nonna? – hadn’t arrived yet. He had some broken english but we managed pretty well with the phrase book. Il ragazzo didn’t think much of the bruschetta, so we had to eat all the eggplant and foi gras ourselves, what a shame. Nothing senza glutine, but nearly 3yo was happy enough with the gelato, as were his il fratello.
We found il Castagno easily enough, and the view is carina! Stunning bello casa, but we are staying in a different – less bello – casa, woe. No gilt furniture for us.
Negotiating bowel movements for swimming w nearly 3yo after we are unpacked, then everyone into the pool.
Everyone outside and I have time to wrestle with some bikini maintenance, egad! Waxing was never so painless as when the italiano nuotare acqua awaits tu!
Came in to check on il figlio and heard piccolo ma forte snoring, carino bambino! Nearly 3yo has wicked snores most nights, like his grandmother. Day 4
Dreamt last night, of course, that I was struggling to find the right words in my phrase book
Went to bed after 1.30, husband woke me at 4.30 rummaging for anything to soothe a sore throat, and now I can’t get back to sleep. (Aceto is already working for our sinus, but we need something more for our throats.) I lay awake for a bit but my brain had started whirring so, I have stayed up so I don’t fall back to sleep, only to be woken 17 minutes into a sleep cycle and feel worse than if I stayed up too long bere vino. New bed feels like sturdy cardboard, not great since my lo stomacho feels like a tin box with benzina sloshing around inside. Add in a polite piccolo headache, this is going to be a grande il giorno.
Its super hot, naps for mama e nearly 3yo, then il figlio watching la televisione, flicking channels we see italiano Happy Days, and now they are watching The Penguins of Madagascar, italiano edition. Pazzo pazzo!
Change of air, perhaps, we are feeling a leedle worse for wear, and while I did pack imodium and fever reducers, I did not bring vitamins. A trip to la supermercato did not produce any vitamins, but i have written (a crude, I’m sure) sentence for Husband to use on la genta in la farmacia when he gets on la bicicletta. In the mean time, we are dosing up on the vinegar I bought for our hair, as well as some Ricolas, and now blessed Echinacea. Day 5
I suppose when one goes to bed uber late all the time, one gets used to it and can do it pretty often. Case in point: although I felt pretty poorly when I woke up this morning, and have developed some gnarly congestion, I was not tired at 1am before going to bed. I am in need of a nap already, though, and it’s barely past 8am. I do not want circles under my eyes to detract from my carina vintage ensemble, oggi of all days! It is the most advantageous day for a family portrait today. Sure, BIL is marrying the woman of his dreams, but my il figlio will be wearing bow ties and suspenders e il matrimonio is in the Toscana montagna. A better photo op there could never be. So I have taken some more vinegar, echinacea and water, and I’m off to catch some winks before it all starts.

Worst. Ever.

We finally got on a bloody plane! Nearly 3yo took a solid nap, and I think I might have as well, not as long, though, because others were awake.
I finally started reading The Wind Through The Keyhole and am nearly finished, I LOVE Stephen King. It kept me sane after I finished watching After Earth, because 6.5yo refused to nap until much later and my other movie choices were too much for a little sausage, and he had been sneaking glances at my movie as it was.
We alighted in Rome, what a ruckus! No lines, no cordons, no passport checks or customs! America would have a heart attack. We walked through the tunnels with anyone and everyone, including a Franciscan monk! Roped belt and all. We walked forever with our trolleys and troublesome bambinos to the hotel a long time after finding our luggage because one of our car seats had not made it onto the plane; showers and naps ensued.

“In some european countries, they don’t use toilet paper, they sit here and wash their bums.”

Waking them up afterwards was pitiful, especially when we had to wait an hour to get our il camper, because Husband is not so hot with the phrase book and the il camper la genta had no english. Meanwhile, there were typical italian senors wandering around in trendy leather la scarpa and la fumo, nasty! Husband also left some bags on the curb!
Finally in I’ll camper and everyone has to use the on board bagno, nearly 5yo says it is the best bathroom ever, Husband is already counting down the hours until we need to find a dump station.
Then, to really cement those days as the Worst Holiday Ever, cattivo vacanze, we had un poco accident, involving narrow roads, parked cars and a wing mirror (insert italiano swear words). I’ll senor was not upset and with the phrase book, a lot of non-committal but apparently universal noises and the requisite hand gestures, all was taken care of, Worst Ever!
Cut to the fuel station, pump grande benzina, the credit card was declined. That could have been catastrophic, thanks to Husband for bringing an alternative.
Cut to dinner time, il figlio do not like the rustic (authentic) pizza, but they like jumping around the van while we aren’t driving. Husband and I – of course- love the stinky formaggio. Then we get back on the poorly lit roads and peer at the small signs, take a few adventurous turns and eventually find a nice agriturismo, where we can settle for the night. The la genta were very accommodating and understanding with our then stunted phrase book conversations. Eventually il figlio settle down in their beds so simpatico marito and oi can bere our vino. We spoke briefly to the farmhouse husband and practiced our phrases on him, but I don’t think he understood us moltissimo, our pronunciation was poor, I’m sure. We tried to ask him to teach us some swear words but he didn’t understand. Since then, the best I can come up with is “il cavallo fondo”, horse bottom.

Crap! Crap! Crap!

Crap! Crap! Crap! Crap! Crap!
We missed our flight.
The alarm clock didn’t go off, what a rookie mistake! We only used one alarm clock, we didn’t shower again before we went to bed, we didn’t speed completely recklessly and there (apparently) weren’t enough staff available to help us get our As into G. On the other hand, while we were late, we were still early enough to start the bag-drop process, but the staff at the ticketing counter weren’t super duper helpful to my “business pro” and his family who were late for their flight, so, phuck ’em, we missed our flight. We had great service from the valet guy who ended up helping bag the car seats, but wouldn’t accept our tip. We had great service from the waitress at the cafe afterwards, and we had great service from the people at the airport hotel, but that’s all after the fact. We also had a little lip service from nearly 5yo a few times, just to keep things real. Bah!
We spent a good amount of time at the airport playground to burn off the steam, since the boys were dragged from their beds by somewhat frantic parents and jammed into the car, sans clothes, no time to powder their widdle noses (nearly 3yo pooed in the airport toilets!!), no breakfast and barely a sip of water. They were patient, as well, while Husband sorted out the mess at the ticketing counter (I saw some sniffs and raised noses behind it, phuck ’em) and they could only sit/stand/bother each other in a small area between a pillar and one of those belt/cordon pole thingies. So they played and were noisy, but then we got the (5) bags (and 3 car seats plus a hat case) back to the car, and Husband drove it down the road while we had a short ride in the shuttle bus, and all arrived at the hotel and could sit in proper chairs. There was trendy 80s music piping throughout the hotel when we arrived – one would never know that we aren’t somewhere more exotic, but as nearly 5yo said emphatically after dinner – “Daddy, this is not Italy”.
What could we do all day? Driving anywhere – especially home – was out of the question because messing around with car seats can drive a man to drink when there are whiny kids nearby, and same for Mama if she has to shepherd them !away from the car! So we went into town on the train, surely they would love that. And they did, for about 15 minutes, then it was all “why is the train taking so long”. We went to Powell’s, but got waylaid by ankle-biters demanding food, so we went across the road and had everything…and then it was quiet, *sigh*.
So Husband took the big boys to buy books but came out with stickers and lego, wt? And I went to the shop across the road and a looked at the clothes. We didn’t stay long, obviously. Nearly 3yo was hiding inside the circular hanging stands a few times and I did lose him at the end, because he doubled back on me, cheeky sausage. We waited for the others in the Doc Martens shop, and I’m pleased to say that *bashful* I got my first pair of docs, awww, isn’t that sweet. Husband also got a pair but there were no cherries in his size, oh dear!
We traded a visit to a somewhat expensive playhouse for a ride back to the hotel and the promise of swimming after naps. Which is how I am able to be a little succinct, today, as my clan is in the pool while I lay around on scattered pillows and bedding in the afternoon sun, watching occasional planes come in. I will save my energy for when they need to change back into dry clothes for dinner.
A tough afternoon ensued during which kids shat parents to tears, so we had alcohol for dinner. We will definitely shower again before bed to save time since we will be making another early morning dash, but frankly, I have to say that I have looked fabulous during all this crazy nonsense! I had my hair cut and flat-ironed yesterday and I have been waltzing around with salon smooth hair. I am, however, looking forward to the bouncy curl setting back in, and just as I like a dalliance with my other man (husband is beardy mcbeard right now) and Husband is happy swanning around with a smooth-haired lady friend, he is also awaiting the return of big hair.
Boys are winding down now, in front of the box – or laptop, as there was nothing to watch on tele. Hopefully there won’t be too much silliness after lights out because we are right in the next room and I do not want to listen to that stuff anymore today – what happened to those quiet boys at the airport?
I’m just hoping that when we finally get there, the Hilton in Rome will shit all over this place. And now it’s bedtime; let the wailing begin.