Monday, May 25, 2009

10 days with my AMERICAN parents :D

As most of you readers probably know my American parents came to visit me in Sardegna from May 1st through May 10th (my daddy's birthday: D) but now I'm going to tell you about all of the adventures that we had while my parents were here.

First off let me tell you how nervous I was to see them. I know that sounds weird but really all of you right now imagine not seeing your parents for 8 months and then preparing yourself for seeing them for 10 days and then having them leave again and not seeing them for 2 more months. It’s an odd feeling. The whole morning of the first I was really nervous and I kept checking my watch for when we would have to go to the airport. The host mom of one of the girls was nice enough and she took me to the airport in her car so that I wouldn't have to try and find a bus that would take me to the airport on a holiday. While I was sitting in the car all I could think was "OMG in less then an hour my parents are going to be here!! What is it going to be like? Are they going to be different? Am I going to seem different? Will they get along with my host family? Will it be weird having both my families here? Will it be hard to translate for them all the time?" my mind was running a mile a minute and I couldn't think about anything else. When I got to the airport I thanked Paula and went in to the airport only to find that the plane had been delayed 20 minutes.

I found my host dad talking to one of his friends (who was also waiting for someone in the airport) we had to wait because my parent’s plane had been delayed. I decided to watch the TV (that says the status of the planes that are coming in to the airport) and when there plane landed I went and told my host dad but before I could wait for my parents by the door I had to go outside and add money to the “meter” for the car because its only for 20 minutes at a time and because there plane was late landing our half hour was up so I had to go add a new ticket. I did it really fast because I was afraid that my parents would get there. When I got inside I found out that no one from my parents flight had come out yet so I just waited, I talked to the other people waiting to pass some of the time. I started to get nervous that my parents had missed there flight because people from the other flight after heir’s were starting to come already and my parents had not yet come out. After waiting for ever I finally saw my parents and when I did I ran through the gates and gave them both a big hug. The guard seemed really mad at me because I ran through the gates. I said I was sorry and we went back through the gates together.

Then came the first weird part: Introducing my real parents to my host dad!! We walked up to my host dad and I introduced them then we all got in to the car and I found out why it had taken them so long to get through baggage pick up. They didn’t know that they had an international terminal because they were coming from Rome (but their bags had been checked all the way through from Chicago to Cagliari) so they waited for their bags in the national place and then they went to claim them missing and the lady told them that they had to go to the international place. So they went there and then finally got their baggage and well I told you I had made great friends with the airport guard.

In the car mostly me and my mom and dad spoke in English catching up a little bit. They were obviously really really really tired because they had gone a whole 24 hours with out sleeping. They got on their plane at 5pm in Chicago and got to Europe at 8 am the next day. So they had gone a whole day with out sleeping because when they were in the plane it was night in Europe but the evening of the USA so they weren't tired enough to sleep so they didn’t end up getting much sleep. I'm sure that they felt like that hour long flight was just as long as I felt like it was that first day I got here 8 months ago!! When we finally did get back to the house my parents were determined to stay awake because they didn’t want to suffer from jet lag all week so they were determined to stay awake the first day so that they could get in the habit of the time in Europe.

I showed them around them around the house so that they could get used to it a little bit. And then I helped them unpack. While I was helping them unpack I realized something. Almost all of the stuff that they had in one whole suitcase was ALL my clothes. It was all my STUFF. They actually brought a whole suitcase full of my stuff haha. I knew I shouldn’t have been surprised because I knew that they were going to be bringing me clothes and stuff but I was still slightly surprised as to just how much they did end up bringing me. I was really happy though because I really needed some summer clothes which are what they brought me. Up until that point it hadn’t really gotten that warm but my family said that it was going to start getting hotter so I knew that I would need some clothes. So I was really happy that my parents brought me some clothes. We got all of their clothes put away in the spaces that we cleared for them so that they wouldn’t have to live out of their suitcases for the whole 10 days that they were here. We decided that we would stay home that night because we were sure that my parents would be really tired, and they were, and we wanted them to have an easy night at home. Then we did something that was VERY un-Italian. We ate dinner at 7:00p.m. So that my parents could go to bed early that night. Now I know your all thinking WHAT 7:00p.m.?? That’s early?? Well in Italy it’s VERY early to eat dinner. In fact it was very strange for me to eat dinner that early. I and my dad watched a movie and then we all went to bed.

I know that I normally do a day by day recount but I've decided this time (mostly because I don’t remember exactly what we did on what days) that I will spare you all that and give you a general recount of what we did with the 10 days that my parents were here. With telling you some specifics and some highlights in specifics.

Well on the first day we gave them a choice about what they wanted to do. Because it was Saturday and their first day they decided that they wanted to see my city. But first we had to get through breakfast. My dad tried cafĂ© for the first time. His reaction was that it was just like normal coffee but that he prefers American coffee. And my big news about breakfast I had CAPTAIN CRUNCH for the first time in 8 months. I must tell you that it tastes AMAZING especially after not eating it for 8 whole months. Man was it AMAZING. I never thought that I would miss something like breakfast cereal (even thought it’s not something I realized I missed until I started eating it) but you end up missing the little things a lot. Anyways because that it was Saturday there was the market in my town. I don’t get to go to it very often because normally I have school but obviously because it was the first day with my parents my host parents let me miss (plus none of my classmates went to school either because we had planned to just make it a holiday) which was really nice of them.

We took them in to the centre of town and then we decided that we would walk around the market. The market is actually pretty cool. I like it a lot. You can find a little bit of everything there which is really nice. My mom really liked it a lot which was good. We walked around the market one time and then we had to go to the bankomat but its obvious that everyone decides to get all of there money out on Saturdays because there was a line for every one that we decided to go to. We then went for another round of the little market because mom wanted to: D.

We went to A LOT of different beaches while my parents were here. I will tell you some of the more memorable stories that we have from while we were here. Well I would have to say that the most memorable beach that we went to would have to be the one where we had to ROCK climb to get there. Yes I (and most importantly YES my parents) said it right I ROCK Climbed to get to a beach. Basically you drive up to this one beach (which is really pretty in itself) and then there is this small path that is on the side of the mountain that is really really rocky and there is a pretty steep fall to the water if you were to fall. My host dad tells us that we are going to go on that path and we will be arriving at another beach. My host dad went first so that he could help my mom and me and my dad went behind him. It was really hard to do especially because I and my mom were in flip flops and not tennis shoes so it made climbing a mountain a little difficult. Well basically when we got there the beach that we saw was BEAUTIFUL and small and we had it all to ourselves!!! It was one of the prettiest little beaches that I have ever seen in Sardegna. My host dad told me that the only way to get to that beach was to do what we did or to swim so alot of the times there aren't alot of people on the beach because they don’t know about it or just didn’t want to go to the hassle of going over there. We stayed at the beach for a while and I and my mom put our feet in the cold water because we were hot from climbing the rocks. Then... bum bum bum... We had to GO BACK on the same path that we came on so that meant more rock climbing. Although going back was a lot easier then getting there was. So that’s good!!!

One of the other good "beach" stories is when we went all around the coast of Sardegna right north of where I live. It was so beautiful. My dad kept comparing it to the coast line of California because the roads were carved right in to the mountains and all you saw for miles was the water that was right to your left (or right depending). They said that it was one of the most beautiful coast lines that they had ever seen. We then went up to this little town that is in the mountains that is sooo beautiful. Honestly when you see it you think of the stereotypical fishing towns in Italy. All of the small low houses with red roofs that are all close to the sea. I can’t imagine waking up to see that view every day. I would LOVE to see that view every day as the first thing that I saw when I woke up in the mornings. We went to a Sand dune while we were in this little town. Basically REALLY high up in the mountains there is a few really huge sand dunes which means that at one point the ocean arrived at that point in the mountains because it is sand from the ocean. My parents were really tired at this point but I decided that I was going to run up to the top of the sand dune. So I started running, but I realized that running up sand is very difficult, and when I got about half way I was already really tired but I was determined. I was determined to make it all the way to the top. Well when i did make it I made my mom take my picture: D just to prove that I did really climb that giant sand mountain. Well when you go up something really high coming down is always more fun but then there’s the thing that it always takes soooooooo much less time to come down then it did to actually go up so it doesn’t seem like it was worth all of the work that it took to go up the mountain (wether it be a real mountain or one of sand) but it was fun anyways!!!

Those are a few of our fun beach related stories now i'll move on and tell you a few other stories that we had while we were here: One day while they were here me and my host dad decided that we would take them to the middle of Sardegna so that they could see the Nuraghe. Nuraghe are the old houses that the ancient Sardi people lived in. These houses are made entirely of stone and are older then all of the Roman things that exist in Italy. They just started finding and uncovering them in the last 50 years because in the thousands of years since they were used the land has changed and covered them up and until about 50 years ago no one had ever bothered to uncover them. I had seen Nuraghe before but I had never seen these particular ones that we went to see that day so it wasn’t boring for me either which I was glad about. It took about 2 hours for us to get to the middle of Sardegna where they were so we decided to get on the road early in the morning (at around 8am) And when we got there we paid for our tickets so that we could see 3 different things which ended up being a really good idea.. We got our tour guide and we were in a group with one other Italian guy who came from northern Italia and he was going around Sardegna on his bike. The tour guide was really nice and he gave me all the time I needed to translate all of the stuff to my parents because he didn’t speak English. So he would explain in Italian and then I would explain it to my parents in English.

I've decided that the Sardi people were even short then when they made these houses because the ceilings were really short and on the stair cases the ceilings were really close to the floor. And let me tell you that it made it very difficult for my dad who is 6’3” (almost 2 meters)!! We walked up and down the different floors of the Nuraghe while the guide explained all of the different parts and what they were used for. For this kind of thing you really do need a guide because if we were to have done it alone we would have had no idea what we were looking at and it would have seemed to us like a bunch of rocks put together with out much sense. But because he was there to help us know what we were seeing we actually understood what we were looking at which was good. We then went to the other 2 museums that we had paid for and one was really neat. It was this old house that is of some famous Spanis person and they found a Nuraghe UNDERNEATH of the house. But the house is a land mark they can’t just tear down the house to get the Nuraghe so they are digging underneath of the house to dig out the Nuraghe but they have to slowly support the house as well so that it doesn’t just cave in... It is really cool to be inside of the house that seems like it is balanced on nothing and you are floating. Plus all of the floors are made of this like glass materiel so you can see the Nuraghe underneath!!

That very same day we decided that we were also going to go to this wild horse reserve. So we kept driving closer and closer to the middle of Sardegna so that we could go see this reserve. It ended up being really cool because it wasn’t all wild horses it was also normal horses that were so used to people you could just go right up to them and pet them and stuff. And my mom had brought apples for US to eat but she decided that she wanted to give them to the horses instead (thanks mom!!) so then the horses really loved us because we kept giving them food. There was even one who kept following me around because he thought that maybe I had more food even though he had already eaten all of the apples that I had to give him. We went around the rest of the reserve and even saw the wild horses too but those ones you cant touch because well there wild so we just saw them from a distance. After the reserve we were all tired so we decided to head back home especially because I and my parents had to get up early again the next day so that I could take them to Cagliari to show them around and so that they could meet my friends!

Me and my parents got up early and got all ready so that we could catch the train to go to Cagliari. They wanted to see exactly how I did it so that meant going by the train and not going in the car. So we went to the station so that I could get the tickets. We got our tickets and we got on the train. They were lucky because the early train in the morning from Carbonia to Cagliari is a direct train that is one of the new trains so their first thoughts of the Italian trains were that they were really nice (even if that’s wrong mostly haha) Well when we got to Cagliari we decided to go in to the McDonalds so that my dad could get a cup of “American” coffee. Although we found out that really what they do for “American” coffee is they just dump 5 Italian espressos in to 1 cup and they call it American coffee. When in reality it’s really nasty!! Then we went outside and we waited for Lilla. I had decided to ask her to help me show them around because she knows Cagliari way better then I do so I figured she would be a better tour guide then I would. WE decided to go the Bastione (the fort of Cagliari) and to the church (which I have explained in the week exchange to Cagliari post) But by that point my parents were hot and tired (and so were me and Lilla) so we decided that we wouldn’t go anywhere by foot any more and that we would buy bus passes so that we could take the busses to go around.

This turned out to be the BEST thing that we did because we ended up going really far to see the next thing that we saw. We decided to go see the Ampitheatre of Cagliari. It is an ancient Roman theatre so it’s really pretty and really old. After that we went to this church that has the BODY (yes I said the real body) of Sant’Efisio which is the Saint that was born in Sardegna. I must say it was really weird seeing a dead body of a very short man in a plexy glass box and imagining all of the people that come here to worship a dead body. I know that it’s a church thing but still its a little bit creepy how they keep the body on display for people to see. At this point it was almost time for lunch so we decided to walk back to the centre of town (it was all down hill and it had started to cool off) so that we could meet up with all of my other friends so that we could all eat lunch together.

We ended up getting back to the centre earlier then the other kids got there so we sat down and took a much needed rest and we waited for them all to get there. In the end we all (Me, My parents, Lilla, Hendrikje, Maddie, Sofia, Marga, and Bruna) all decided to go to “La Cantina” to eat lunch. We decided that if my parents really wanted to see how we students lived that we would take them to the best (and cheapest) sandwich shop that we always go to. And let them see how we live the cheap student life. WE all went there in a HUGE group so it eneded up being a little hard to get a table but we did eventually find one which was good and my parents were really surprised that we at a VERY VERY good lunch for 10 people and spent less then 50 euros. That’s not possible in the states even in McDonalds. After lunch we went to a place that we could get ice-cream and we then went and sat down in a park and waited until the stores started to open so that we could go walk around the shopping streets. When they started to open, we got on the bus and we went up to the shopping streets while we were there my mom bought herself a Sardinian ring. There is this type of jewelery that is only found in Sardegna. It’s really pretty too. Almost all of us (girls) exchange students have something from there because it’s just so pretty and it’s something that can only be found in Sardegna. We continued to walk around with my friends for a while and then I and my parents had to go so that we could catch the train to go home to Carbonia. While we were on the train going home my parents told me that they really liked all of my friends and that they really enjoyed there day in Cagliari so that made me really happy.

One other thing that we did that was also really fun was that we went out to dinner with my host parents so that my real parents could taste Italian pizza. It was really fun because it was really hard to decide what kinds of pizzas to order for my parents because there were so many choices they couldn’t decide. Plus they couldn't believe that we had to order one pizza for one person instead of like we do it in the states. They ended up really liking the pizza in Italy though even if it is a little bit different it still is really good and hey pizza CAME from Italy you cant knock it until you try it!!

Now I will tell you a little about what we did in the nights. We would always have dinner with my family every night which always proved to be really fun because I would basically have to be the translator for my family because my real parents don’t speak Italian and my host parents don’t speak much English so when ever we would have to have big conversations I would have to translate but when my parents just wanted to get something small across (like when I was in school the few days that I went and they went around with just my host dad with out me ) they could normally get all (or at least the point) of what they wanted to say with a mix of English and my host dads knowledge of English and the use of my dictionary which my dad took to carrying around with him at all times. That way they wouldn’t have to translate every single thing that they wanted to say. Well after dinner I and my dad usually would watch a movie together like we used to when I was at home. That was something that I hadn’t realized that I missed but I really did miss. It was really nice to have that again.

Well I helped them pack up there luggage (which was A LOT of my stuff) and they ended up within one pound of what they had to be at because of all of the stuff that I had added to their bags and of all of the stuff that they had bought here in Italy. It was really hard to pack up all of the stuff because we had all of the stuff that couldn’t be broken so my dad had to pack it up so that it wouldn’t break on their way to home. Well on the morning that they were to leave we all woke up early so that we could drive to Cagliari. It was me my parents and my host dad. We got to the airport and they got all of there stuff checked in without a problem which was good because we were worried about them being over weight with all of the stuff that had to be added. Then we walked over to security. Then we had to say our goodbyes. It was really sad to say goodbye to them because honestly it had been 8 months and I had forgot how much I missed them then I saw them again and then had to leave them again for 2 months and wait to see them again until I got home. It felt like I was just leaving again. Well we said our good byes in front of security and I and my host dad waited until they were through security until we left and then we left the airport. I was sad...

It was sooooo nice to have my parents here in Italy. It was so nice to show them my life. I'm not goin to lie there were times that were a little strange but over all I would not change them coming for ANYTHING I loved having them here and I loved showing them all around and about my life here in Italy. I am so glad that they came to visit me here: D it was one of the best weeks of my exchange. And I hope that they had as much fun as I did: D

Thanks for reading guys.. Love and miss you all!!!

Coming soon: My experience with Italian soccer

1 comment:

laura. said...

Hey, I'm Laura, and next year I'm going to Spain for the year... So, even though it was sad to see your parents go back and stuff, would you recommend other exchange students to have their parents visit?