So, for the second year in a row, the family is doing a house swap. As we speak, four strangers from Rom are living in our abode for the next two weeks. As we speak, for strangers from New York (us) are living in Rome.
I know … I know—how can you let people you don’t know live in your house? Answer: Faith. Actually, more than faith. I just don’t care all that much about our possessions. We have a pretty nice TV, a DVD players, a bunch of kids toys, my Mike Greenwell-heavy baseball card collection. I mean, what can they steal/ruin that would scar me for life? Nothing. Everything I value is here, with me.
Anyhow, we arrived this morning, got picked up at the airport by the parents of the man staying in our house. They spoke little-to-no English. Extremely warm and friendly, just not much communication. As we were driving, I asked the man how far it was. “Oh, five minutes,” he said.
Then—CRASH! A car was turning, our car was heading straight. Collision. I immediately spun around, because my son didn’t have a seatbelt and was sitting on the wife’s car. He sat silent for a moment, then began bawling. The wife and I both felt horrible for the man, who got screamed at by the other guy. Awkward, ugly, weird.
Anyhow, upon arriving at the apartment we were thrilled to find a pretty sweet dwelling. Fifth floor, great views, lots of space. Spent the rest of the day napping, then roaming, then eating gelato (the daughter had vanilla with Nutella), the son had strawberry with coconut), then more roaming, then a pretty lame dinner (the wife ordered a pasta with artichokes. The artichokes were, shockingly, canned), then a tad more roaming, then a (gasp) second gelato stop before bed.
As most people with kids will tell you, traveling with kids can be h-a-r-d. Moodiness, whininess, always hungey. But, bottom line, the wife and I want our tykes to live adventurously; to see the world; to taste and smell and experience all that’s out there.
Even if the artichokes are canned.