(San Flaviano, my great-grandfather's church, is located in old town Giulianova.)
(This monument pays tribute to Italian Navy War dead.)
(Cesare Puliti is my grandfather's cousin. Why haven't we passed down this awesome name?!)A few days prior, our host in Pratola Peligna was kind enough to call Mario, my grandfather’s cousin who lives in Giulianova, and arrange a time for Justin and me to meet him at his home. Nervous doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt leading up to our meeting. I mean, what would we possibly do if we couldn’t so much as talk to each other? I scoured my family's Facebook photos and made an impromptu slideshow, writing down key words in Italian, like dad (papa), brother (fratello), grandpop (nonno), uncle (zio), cousin (cugino), great-granddaughter (pronipote), etc. When at last our wheels turned onto his street, anxiety got the best of me and I could think of every excuse to keep riding--away from the house, away from the social awkwardness. Thank goodness for my always calm and collected husband. “This is it!” Justin slowed to a stop. "Are you sure?" I hesitated. "Look!" he pointed. Seeing my family name on the mailbox and hearing Mario's wife call—or rather yell—for her husband in the same way my grandmom yells for my grandpop was all it took. I was no longer at a stranger’s house in a foreign country. I was at a family get-together. I was home.
"Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open." - Albus Dumbledore
Beth, it is so lovely to read about your biking trip, and especially about meeting your family! And your photos are gorgeous. I feel truly fortunate that our paths crossed through that long-ago internship, and that I can follow your adventures in this way! Wishing you travels that continue to be illuminating, exciting, and, of course, safe.
Linda, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so happy you are enjoying following our journey. I, too, am glad our paths crossed at Valley Forge! Hope all is going well with you and your family!
Beth just saw your photos of Giuilanova and you guys with Mario and his family. How cool was that to see our family name and my fathers name. By the way we did pass Cesare name on ,we had two dogs name Cesare 1 and Cesare 2 . Travel Well! Uncle Al.
Yes! That was definitely one of my favorite days so far. I totally forgot you guys had those dogs. Too funny!
OMG! Beth, this one actually brought tears to my eyes. Amazing!! And so happy for you! You go, Girl, how many people talk about doing something like this but never really DO it! Kudos for you! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
You are so sweet! This was my favorite part of our whole month in Italy. I think I may still be daydreaming on my couch if heart surgery hadn’t given me a much-needed push to make “some day” today! 😉
I don’t think you could write poorly of any of your experiences but this is my favorite post yet! I look forward to the story & photos of you riding atop a Thai Elephant 🙂
Thanks for making my day, E! We’re on the lookout for the elusive elephant. So far all we’ve come across is questionable dung. 😉