Saturday, July 31, 2010
The true story of American vacations
Some days I think to myself..."Am I really living the way God intended for my life?" And before I persist any further in that thought process I get lazy because even trying to figure out the way that God thinks of how He wants me to live, and figure out whether in most circumstances I have pulled through for the Big Guy I get my panties all twisted in knots. Then it came to me as it has before but then I forget again and again. It's almost like watching a great movie with an intense ending and coming back to watch it years later happy that you have forgotten what happened and the whole experience is new and exciting once again. That's the feeling I mean when I open up the Bible, and read the mind of God and the people He spoke through and somehow I had forgotten how yes, I should love my enemies, and yes I should be patient and kind, and yes it's not all about me, and yes I do need to trust God. All of these things I have learned over many years and still everyday God reminds me in His word that no matter how hard I try to live how I think God wants me to live, all I have to do is surrender to Him and He will do the rest. Well, first you surrender but that doesn't mean you sit at home waiting for God to physically make something happen in your life. I have to move forward, trusting Him with every step even if that means I could stumble from time to time.
I am eating frosted mini wheat's while I am writing this and I am very disappointed in myself because I know better, eating them at a slow pace causes the white delicious sugary side to disintegrate into my milk. All I have left now is sugary milk and soggy wheat blocks.
I am sometimes mad at myself for not writing down in the moment all of the funny and interesting things that happen in my life. I forget so easily. But here is one, or rather a series of some events that mostly include my parents visit to Europe. While they so kindly visited us and slept in our living room for one week in Germany, we also had the pleasure of enjoying a wonderful short trip to Italy just the four of us. You know how I feel about Italy so I don't have to explain it again. The only part I would like to repeat is the "Stripes of chicken's chest" translation of good ole plain chicken strips. We went to the same restaurant where I first saw this. Entertainingly enough the German's are also at fault for this "Lost in Translation" series of words. Whenever traveling through Europe you must pay attention to the translations, they are priceless. So we ended up taking my parents to Lake Como, knowing that since that had never been to Bella Italia this would be a wonderful first experience for them as it has always been for us.
Now, if you know my parents you would agree with me in describing them as "True Americans," straight down to the two large SUV's they drive and the American flag proudly flowing in the wind on their front porch. Once I caught my dad marching around the house, flag in hand, yelling the Declaration of Independence. Just kidding, but I did see him walking around with it in the house and it looked very much like he was marching....anyways. Now that I am older and MUCH more mature I can say that things like this make me love my parents all the more rather than embarassing me. Except when my mom fake's a German or Italian accent. Well, even that is pretty great. I love that they are "True Americans."
Welcome to Italy. One of my favorite parts of going to Italy is the amazing drive through the Swiss and Northern Italian Alps. It will take your breath away. Four hours of this, and you will almost be looking forward to the drive back already. We got to our hotel, and while the gentlemen waited in the lobby for our room's availability, us ladies got straight to it and soaked up the sun on the lakeside pool. You had the option of cooling down in the hotel pool, or bading with the fishes in the crystal clear mountain lake that was the perfect temperature. Another thing about vacations that I love is people watching. We were mostly surrounded by Dutch people, which is a language I am not used to hearing and before Christoph told me who they were I was straining my ear in confusion hearing an English word, then a German word thinking..."what the? Are you English or German, figure it out!" Apparently that is exactly what Dutch is, a mixture of the both. Silly Dutch. If their personalities are also a mixture of the two, I would like to get to know some Dutch people.
After the poor guys waited in the lobby for a couple hours they soon joined us, and like little boys they jumped right in the lake in the most dangerous way possible. Every vacation I can ever remember growing up, my dad has in some way or another tried to kill himself (figure of speech) in doing something stupid. If we are on a water vacation it usually has to do with swimming to the most dangerous place possible like the middle of the ocean, and swimming back. If we're on a mountainous vacation he would be jumping across cliffs having all the bystanders staring with jaws dropped, calling him crazy. He likes it. My dad is neither Micheal Phelps nor George Mallory (He died trying to climb Everest and yes I just googled that) but he thinks he is.
So that's "Vacation Kelly" in a nut shell, and "Vacation Josh" (my brother) was always following right in his footsteps. Of coarse since then my brother has probably exceeded my dad's series of stupid events by one thousand. My brother is no crocodile hunter but very very close. He once caught a 100 lb snapping turtle and kept it as a pet, so I guess we could call him turtle hunter.
That night we enjoyed a delicious meal or should I say series of meals, 3 coarse, my dad had it in his mind it was a 5 coarse but he got over it. We enjoyed the Italian wine, Italian music, and Italian servers. 3 hours later, because this place was no Texas Road House, we were wined (well not me I am prego), dined and to finish it off my husband ordered the snops to settle his food (Apparently it's good for the digestion process) and my dad was a big fan of that so he tried some too. I don't know if it was the wine or the fact we were in Italy but my dad did a wonderful "Vacation Kelly" thing that night. We had a beautiful candle on our table, and my dad as he is trying to stomach this snops had a bright idea to stick his finger in the snops and then proceed sticking it into the candle starting his finger on fire. A four or five star restaurant mind you, and my dad the American is lighting his finger on fire. We were all laughing hysterical and I said. "If Josh were here he would take a drink and blow it on the candle." Totally true fact, I wasn't even kidding. I think the more Christoph hangs out with my family the more he can understand me. I once at a very nice place when we were with his parents at a furniture fair in Milan, thought the flower decorating my desert was edible. Christoph's mom caught me eating it and trying to hold in her laughs told me to just spit it out. There I am while we are making some important decisions in what furniture we are going to buy from our Georgetti sales guy gagging on a flower and spitting it out. Hopefully no one noticed. I felt like what's her name form Princess Diaries. It's not like I do it intentionally though, it's genetics of an American father.
The next day in Italy we roamed through the city of Lake Como and enjoyed the day just laughing and spending time together. It was wonderful, not only to have a little piece of America with us but to have fun with my parents again. They are so easy to hang out with. I miss that so much. Oh and they were so kind to get Christoph and I our very first baby stroller. When everyone got together, the Germans an the Americans we all tried it out before we had a lovely dinner together. I think our baby is going to be pretty spoiled by it's grandma's and grandpa's:)
I love you mom and dad!