Friday, July 18, 2008
An Offer I Couldn't Refuse
Franca, Franco, Lucia and Laura are on a three-week vacation from their home in Northern Italy near the French border, and they're making the most of every moment. They had arrived from Baja where they had put in considerable beach time, and were on their way to El Fuerte, a historic fort town, and after that to the train tour of Copper Canyon. We met them when they were looking for a restaurant in Guaymas, and gave them a ride to their hotel in San Carlos.
They had one day to take in the sights in San Carlos and I was their self-appointed guide. I had other things to do, places to go, but I made an abrupt decision to sweep all my commitments aside and concentrate on enjoying my day with the Italians.
The pool pass for the Marina Terra Hotel came in handy, as they were in the mood for swimming and lolling in the sun. These folks seem to have no fear of Ol' Sol, and other than slathering on a little sunblock they took no particular precautions. They played in the pool like waterbabies all morning, doing somersaults, playing leapfrog, synchronized swimming and water aerobics, and I went right along with them. They all seem to be thoroughly in touch with their inner bambinos. In spite of two sunblock applications, I came home with a bit of a sunburn, but it was worth every moment.
Then in the evening I met them back at the pool and they offered me a home-cooked Italian meal. An offer I couldn't refuse! An hour later they showed up at our house, banished me from the kitchen, and proceeded to put together a pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, olives and tuna, while Almita and I practiced singing together. (When I told Almita I had a houseful of Italians for the evening she was eager to meet them, and I thought she'd enjoy their company, especially since she has expressed an interest in learning Italian.)
All four are teachers: Laura teaches physical education, Franca teaches Italian history, Lucia teaches a general curriculum in primary school, and Franco is a retired professor of engineering. Our conversations tended to drift into language differences between Italian, Spanish and English, and I found a lot of my newly-acquired Spanish was useful in understanding their rapid-fire chatter. Franca also has excellent English and acted as interpreter for the rest.
Franco loves jazz, so we wound up in the studio, where the Capt and I did our reworked guitarless version of "Take Five" with Franco singing along. Laura, sporting the Capt's porkpie hat, and Franca danced and clowned, not the least inhibited by the cramped space. These people really know how to make the most of a good time.
They were leaving this morning at the crack of dawn for El Fuerte. We've been invited to visit them in Italy and stay in Franca's daughter's guesthouse, and I'm starting to think, "Perché no?"
Sometimes you just have to drop what you're doing and let life have its way with you.