This September like many Septembers the family headed to Gaeta, Italy for vacation! We visited family and friends, but I think its the life lessons that I learned on the vacation is what really makes the trip worth it!
First off let me start by saying that the culture is completely different and sometimes I would see things that would actually shock me, and for those who know me well I don’t shock easily. For starters I would see people showing excessive signs of affection at the strangest places for example the cemetery, the local merkato and the beach! Turns out that you can fit two people on a lounge chair and really there is no need for privacy! Clothing is pretty optional at the beach or really anywhere. You can stare at people, because really you are the odd one if you are not staring! If you drink camomile tea at any time of the day, you are the jerk! The only acceptable beverage to drink at any time of the day is espresso even if you are a child!
I grew up in a pretty strict household where most of the time my father only had to give us “the look” and we knew he meant business, however while vacationing in Italy I realized there has been a shift in the ranks! Turns out in Italy if your grandmother or really any elder that is watching you, you are able to kick and yell and hit! In return that elder will give you a beating in the streets no questions asked!
But I think yet the best lesson I learned this year is this! If you are a male child in a family you are king! Here is what happened to me on this wonderful beach day in beautiful Gaeta, while I was enjoying breathtaking views and embracing all that my vacationed had offered me. When you go to the beach you are given this lovely section that gives you 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella and table so you can really enjoy yourself. On this particular day we had neighbors, these neighbors took the cake! They had a little boy maybe about 6 years old and this little boy whined and yelled and continuously got his way. His mother made a comment to his older sister who was maybe 14 or 15, that really do you want to listen to him whine, just let him have his way. He was playing in the sand pretty much in our area and decided that he did not need a bathing suit and continuously pounced in the sand and made sure that sand was in EVERY part of his body! When the boy looked at us he threatened us with a shovel full of sand. Finally this boy would go down to the water to get a swim, here is the part that truly confused me. The boy would put his bathing suit on to go in the water. So of course I had a few questions: 1. maybe he should rinse off before getting into the water with sand everywhere in his bathing suit, 2. I am pretty sure this boy has some sort of rash from this activity, 3. why were the parents letting this happen.
In conclusion I came up with this. Why not send my parents (who were in attendance on vacation) a postcard, explaining some of the things that I saw on “My Summer Vacation” and if for no other reason, the mailman might think we were nuts! (photo of the postcard is attached).
Vacation was great, tons of laughs and at the end of the of day who better to spend it then with your equally crazy family members!