We have been dragging the kids to many an Italian trattoria for lengthy lunches and dinners. Vance drinks water out of wine glasses and uses big utensils that can hardly fit into his tiny mouth. The meals have been fantastic…to an adult…but to a three year old it must be a bit of a bore. Sure, he is excited when we go sightseeing in new cities…he likes the bridges and the old buildings. But he can’t really understand the history just yet. To him, Italy must just seem like a lot of walking, a lot of eating, and a lot of keeping quiet.
We knew he needed to feel like a kid. Don’t get me wrong, we have had plenty of park mornings and gelato afternoons here. But his willingness to try so many new things and become a small version of an adult had to be rewarded with a weekend of child-centered activities. Therefore, on this rainy weekend, we decided to forgo travelling to a new city and instead do a few things that would make Vance think that Italy is awesome.
What is it that lures him in? On Saturday, we headed to lunch in Modena and walked around the city for a while before heading to a movie theatre in Rubiera. Turbo was playing. Not our ideal way to spend an afternoon in Italy but Vance was thrilled. And I guess any TV or movie watching here can automatically be considered educational because he can pick up some new Italian vocab words. At least I keep telling myself that. In case you live under a rock and DIDN’T know, Turbo is a heartwarming story about a snail who wants to be a race car and compete in the Indy 500. Someone got high on SOMETHING and wrote a screenplay.
Just figuring out the timing of the movie was exciting, but actually trying to buy tickets was even better. Did you know that here they assign seats? They do have popcorn at Italian movie theatres as well as M&Ms. We let Vance get BOTH. He looked at us like an alien had abducted his formerly nutritionally minded parents.
About 45 minutes in, the screen went blank. JW and I were preparing for a devastated toddler. Then Intervallo appeared on the screen…meaning intermission. Seriously? Yes, they do intermissions for a 90 minute movie. A great idea for people like me (and every toddler on the planet) who has a bladder the size of a pea. A few minutes later Finito Intervallo appeared and we watched the rest of the movie. Vance had a lot of fun and it was a great way to spend an afternoon together.
On Sunday, JW took Vance to the Ferrari museum about an hour east of here. I spent the morning in because Caroline took a marathon nap. I worked out, did some yoga, drank some tea, and read American blogs. It was exactly what I needed to feel human. Vance got to run around and touch real race cars with what he called “twin turbo engines”! He and JW had fun and it was cute to see them bond over cars.
We all felt a little better even though the weather was dreary. That is what Accuweather is actually calling the weather here…”dreary”. Ugh. Hopefully it will clear up for our trip to the Mediterranean this weekend. If not, we will be some very soggy tourists.
In other news, I have a loaner laptop from JWs company that I am currently using to access the Internet and write this blog. The keyboard is an Italian keyboard. But the control panel underneath is American. So it took me two hours to figure out how to do an @ symbol. <—- But I did it! Oh Italy, why does everything have to be so hard? At least this country makes up for any hardships with ample gelaterias.