Well, it turns out I am all talk. Remember my brassy, sassy little sentence about how I would blog during my trip because it helped me enjoy and remember it? Yeah, didn’t happen. I ran into a little problem and the name of the problem was Internet = .75 per minute and pictures take a LONG time to download. Therefore, nothing got posted. However, this gives me a chance to relive my trip-of-a-lifetime and I’m so glad you’re along for the ride. We now join our adventure in progress in the city of Livorno, Italy. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.
Well, Barcelona was just lovely. And our ship is lovely. It’s the Norwegian Epic and it’s GIANT. Giant enough, in fact, that I still spend a fair amount of time every day trying to find whatever it is that I need to find. That’s okay, though, because I have nowhere else to be.
Truthfully, I think that’s been one of the most wonderful and strange elements of this vacation. Except for some pre-arranged tours, we really have not had much on our agenda. It’s been great, but – as I mentioned – strange. I am an American and we are GO culture.
In Europe, the food comes slowly with lots of time for coffee and conversation between courses. At the end, you have to ask the waiter to bring your check because they don’t want to rush you out. Today, as we finished a leisurely lunch in Livorno, Italy, we asked the owner of the cafe about good places to shop. He looked at his watch, shook his head and said, “Everything’s closed. It’s siesta from 1:00 til 4:00.” At first I didn’t believe him…then we started wandering the streets and discovered that, yep, they close up shop every day for THREE hours and reopen at 4:00. Can you imagine? I felt myself sort of cringe inside at the idea of all that wasted time. Wasted money. Wasted energy.
Now, however, as I sit here at a cafe in our ship, looking out across the beautiful Mediterranean, I’m rethinking my position.
The world is full of things to see.
But more than that, the world is full of people to see.
To love (and love well.)
Bottom line: loving well just takes more time. It takes days and trips and talks and weddings and birthdays and getting lost and fighting fights and standing together and hoping against hope.
There are no short cuts for the long haul. Loving well takes time.
And it’s easy to think that time will eventually find us.
But I’m learning that it doesn’t. We have to find it, pursue it…maybe even fight for it.
Because time to love is worth all the tea in China, all the fish in the Mediterranean, and all the cappuccino in Italy.
Something about taking a trip like this with the underlying awareness that we might not have all the time in the world makes every part of it more bittersweet, but also more beautiful.
Livorno, Italy is not the most famous, exotic or breathtaking city I have ever seen. It is, however, a place that marks a moment in my love story.
And that makes it indescribably wonderful.