Photo- Josh Harwell
This photo of this vintage Fiat was taken by my brother Josh, who is an amazing photographer and graphics/web designer who just launched his own blog. While clicking through his photos, I found myself remembering some funny things about our family trip to Rome in 2000. It's amazing how photos have the ability to transport you back to the sites, smells, sounds and great memories.

Photo - Josh Harwell
Ok, this is one of those quirky things you never forget. Across from the apartment we stayed in, there was this tiny little fountain with this statue we dubbed "mossy guy" that was adjacent to the sidewalk and apparently quite a famous landmark in the neighborhood. I found a reference to him on the web, so you can see him in context. Hope you have better luck reading Italian than I did!

This is me all poofy-headed on the balcony of our apartment on Via Babuino before the advent of the flattening iron. There was a Greek Orthodox Monastery and Church across the street (note beautiful church in background). My dad had secured a place online in a great neighborhood and close to everything. Small problem when we arrived - the surly agent who rented us the apartment had lied a little in his description of the place. You should've seen us trying to get our luggage up to the place in the elevator, one bag at a time! I wish I had my mom on video trying to ask the non English-speaking landlady for a washcloth. Hilarious. Well, we certainly learned the name for it-"asciugamani" I think it was. I am probably spelling it incorrectly, but Italians don't use them. Well, we survived with insufficent toweling and our hair was dry after using our blowdryer for about an hour on half-power. Word to the wise - never bring US appliances and try to use them with adaptors. If you don't blow a fuse (like I did) you will only get a dribble of electricity. Why am I telling you this? My readers are all savvy people who are smart enough to stay in hotels and not try to live an authentic experience in a flat.
The bones of the apartment were gorgeous, but the furniture looked like something that had been hastily snatched from the Goodwill for the American chumps. My sister and I slept on this sleeper sofa that wreaked of vomit and had very hard buttons sewn onto the mattress. I tried to sleep between them, but inevitably ended up with one boring a hole into my hip bone. The linens were like 20 thread count and the blanket was one of those woolen numbers people spread out for a tailgate party. Prickly. My sister spiked my water bottle with Italian beer from the fridge (thanks, Sis) and by the end of the week, I had almost figured out how to do a load of laundry in the womb-sized washer. I had at least learned not to hang my underwear on the outside line too near the eaves. Pigeons like to leave surprises on clean laundry. They think it's funny. My jeans took about 3 days to dry, but had soaked up so much pollution by then that it smelled like I had never washed them! LOL. We had a terrific time and I came home thanking God for a full size washer and dryer. Yes, we Americans are spoiled. But it's always a good thing to go outside our own world and experience the good and the bad about the way other people live. Just don't forget your camera!