Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bonus Post: Dinner with the family!

Tonight, Cristina had to go to a birthday party for two of her best friends, so I was on my own with the rest of her/our non-English speaking family. Boy, I've never spoken so much Italian in my life. As little Italian as I have, they had even less English.
Ezio is my dad's cousin. He picked me up with his wife, Rosanna, and his daughter Milena. Milena had her 16 month old son, Lorenzo, on her lap (oh, yes!) in the back seat of the car. Her husband, Gianfranco, was in the front. We drove to a very nice restaurant around the corner from the Castel di Sant'Angelo.
Lorenzo - a very happy little guy!
Gianfranco, Ezio, Bianca

Milena and Rosanna
We enjoyed a multi-course meal that featured seafood in practically every dish.  Now, I'm a gamer when it comes to trying new food and I ate almost everything that was put in front of me. I really like mussels, and most of the seafood I didn't recognize was just fine. But one fettucini dish I really had to work my way around. There was a congregation of sea creatures on top that I simply couldn't manage. You know those Sea Monkeys that you see in the back of the comic books? I swear, they looked for all the world like big versions those critters. I could almost imagine one of them with long curly eyelashes. But the rest of dinner was great.
We were joined at dinner by two of Rosanna's best friends. One of them was intent on giving me as much historical context as she could for many of the buildings in the area. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what she was saying. The other had many stories to tell, most of them hilarious, apparently, and at least one of which involved cats. Also, she seemed to know a lot about Quebec. And she assured me that Toronto doesn't get very cold. What a relief to hear. I was worried about the upcoming winter. Guess I won't need those woolies after all.
Ezio told a couple of funny stories about driving in Toronto with my dad and their cousin Rino and something to do with getting pulled over by the police. I definitely will need to get the English version of that one when I get back since it had everyone in stitches.
After dinner, Ezio insisted on giving me a tour of the neighbourhood. Now, I have been walking around Rome for two days straight. Both times, I wore very comfortable shoes, sacrificing fashion for practicality. Tonight, I dressed up for dinner and wore the new shoes that I bought the other day. They are reasonably low-heeled but DEFINITELY not worked in. In short, I was not at all prepared for midnight walking tour. But off we went.
Castel Sant'Angelo
View from the Ponte Sant'Angelo

Honestly, it was worth it. Ezio showed me the Castel Sant'Angelo (the history of which Bianca had detailed over dinner) along with the Ponte Sant'Angelo.
We arrived at the car on the other side of the bridge and piled in. From there, a whirlwind, Mario-cart style tour of the rest of the city began. Fortunately, one of the sights we stopped at was St. Peter's, which Cristina and I hadn't had a chance to visit. So I got a picture there, at Ezio's insistence.
It was insane how much traffic there is in Rome at 1:30 in the morning!! It took forever to get back to Cristina's apartment, though Ezio did his darnedest to floor it whenever possible. It was a bit of a surreal experience with the lights and the speed and the Lady Gaga on the radio.
My totally awesome birthday presents from my parents.
So now, it's almost 3 am and I have to get packed and be ready to leave for the airport by 9:30 am. But as I have been saying to everyone here - I can sleep when I get back to Canada. For now, I'll just take in every moment I can.

1 comment:

  1. OH, I LOVE the shoes!! AND the purse. That settles it, Craig has to take me back to Rome so I can shop this time!