“He is Like Baby”

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As we wandered around Rome we continued a common theme of our trip – lost.  Ross and I had been perpetually adrift for the past 3 months…pleasantly and happily lost but lost none the less.  We often strolled the streets choosing our path at random, curious of what we would find around each corner.  We used this method of chaotic drifting frequently and sometimes we won while other times we lost.  The day prior we won the gamble when we stumbled upon a little nugget of a place that served the best gelato either of us had ever had.  I thought Ross was going to combust from pure joy as the friendly girl behind the counter offered him sample after sample.  Apparently this was a life changing event for him because I found him still discussing the gelato as we went to sleep that night.




We greeted another day in the Eternal City in a similar fashion yet this time I found Ross to be a little more systematic with his wandering.  He was uncharacteristically taking control over the directions as we walked about the town and I was relieved to have him take the reins.  I wasn’t aware of an intended destination but he seemed to be on a mission.  I started to notice some familiar architecture and store fronts.   As I brought it to Ross’ attention an expression crossed his face like that of a child with his hand caught in the cookie jar.  It was at that moment that I noticed the entrance to the gelato place from yesterday just a few steps away.  Ross acted as if it was a coincidence and feigned surprise when he stated, “Look, it’s the same place as yesterday.  Let’s go inside!”

As we entered, the same smiling face greeted us from behind the counter, “Ah, welcome back!”  We laughed and went about stuffing our faces with samples again.  Ross wasted no time choosing his flavors and digging in.  He was grinning like a Cheshire cat while digging into the ice cream.  The girl from behind the counter laughed and pointed towards Ross, whose head was bobbling like a toddler’s, and cried out, “He is like baby. So happy.” I looked at the massive smile on his face and veneer of gelato on his face and couldn’t agree more.

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Chinese Charades


As we travel through Asia I can’t help but be reminded of and grateful for the many camping trips to Ginnie Springs that I’ve taken with family and friends.  Squatting in the woods and the countless games of charades have proven to be a beneficial training course, in particular for our time in Beijing.  As we ventured out each day to explore something new we undoubtedly found ourselves caught up in a huge and endless game of charades.  Ordering off a menu, asking for the check, requesting chopsticks, getting directions, purchasing soap at the convenient store, negotiating prices, asking for a to go box – all of these simple tasks were accompanied by many smiles, laughter and tons of hand gestures sometimes resulting in what we were hoping for but often times not.

Ghost Street

I love picture menus!







On one of our nights in Beijing we were enjoying a dinner of kung pao chicken, shrimp egg rolls and soup on Ghost Street.  I decided to go out on a limb and request some dipping sauce for the egg rolls.  Ross got the waiter’s attention for me and when he arrived I did my best attempt at forming a little bowl with my fingers and pointing at the egg rolls then back at the side dish.  While motioning I repeated slowly “sauce?”, “sweet and sour?”  He seemed to pick up on something I’d said and excitedly walked away while letting me know to wait one minute by signaling back with his pointer finger.  A minute later he brought back a small dish of sugar.  He looked so proud and triumphantly asked, “Yes, is okay?”  Ross and I maintained poker faces and assured him this was what we wanted.  He walked away with a huge grin.  We gave it a shot while laughing and discussing how stupid he must have thought we were for wanting sugar for our egg rolls.

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