My parents are busy people. Entrepreneurs who love to travel, but presently can't let their businesses go too long without them. They work on a variety of projects, both within their own ventures and out in the community as well.
Therefore, I wasn't surprised when I learned that they were coming for less than a week to visit us. They had promised us before we moved that they would visit and we were looking forward to it. Some time with mom and dad, enjoying my family, and with a few items from the States that we have been missing.
They arrived on Thursday afternoon 2 weeks ago (yep, I'm late posting again!). Alex has planning periods all day after lunch that day, so he went downtown and met them at the train station. After dropping their bags off at our house, the three of them made the short walk up to school to meet me after students went home. We gave them a tour of the school, introduced them to the few people who were around school, and went back home. That evening, we took them to one of our favorite restaurants, Sole Luna, for dinner. Everything seemed to be going well.
The next morning I got up, showered, and started to get ready. And then the texts started pouring in. For the next hour.
"Check your email. School's canceled."
"Lots of flooding downtown. Got this photo from a friend."
"Don't think you should go downtown, Ellie."
"Nothing to do here. Lots of devastation."
"I guess this means you get lots of quality indoor time with your family."
And then these photos came from a friend who lives downtown. He decided to get out and walk around. He's a great author by the way; you should check out his blog to get his perspective on things.
We stayed in most of Friday relaxing and enjoying each other's company. We took my dad to the panini place by school, showed him the grocery store (he really seemed to enjoy that post), showed him our neighborhood. But that was about as far as we went.
On Saturday, we wandered over to the next town of Nervi. It's a posh little suburb filled with expats. We thought we'd stop for lunch and take my parents to look in the shops. It sounded like a good plan, but not without it's problems. We walked up the boardwalk; usually filled with people today it was completely empty. We found my father some real coffee - not just the instant stuff we'd been feeding him all weekend. We enjoyed our cups while the air around us continued to drizzle. Then we thought we'd go look at the shops. But nothing seemed to be open. At first we thought it was just because of the time. Could it be that we timed our visit right when everything closes for an hour? But upon closer look, we learned that just half of the street was closed. The reason? Half of it was without power. Hungry now, we began searching for food. Nothing seemed quite right. Except for Sole Luna. Back we walked to the same restaurant we had visited just two days prior. This time we dined on pasta. And it was good. Melt in your mouth and warm your tummy good. The type of meal you can't help but smile and eat.
The next morning, knowing they were leaving soon and we couldn't venture too far, we made our way to the sea again. This time walking toward town along the beach. The sun was poking through puffy clouds and warming your skin. You could smell the water. Fresh and clean. We found another seafood place. This time with a waiter that wanted to practice his English. We dined on focaccia formaggio, a mysterious seafood platter, and two pasta dishes loaded with wonders from the water. It was a perfect meal to end a great time with my parents.
As for the city? School was canceled for another two days. People poured onto buses headed toward downtown, all pitching in and helping those affected. A true picture of caring for one another.
It made me think of the family and friends who helped us clean and dry out our basement a year ago. I'm so thankful that we have these people in our lives. Thankful that these people travel across the globe just to see us for a few days. Thankful that amid their busy schedules and high demands that they are willing to fit us in. To make time for what really matters. Just to make sure that we know how much they love us.