Tears, Sweet 16, and The Hard Rock Cafe!

I’ve just got home from a lovely visit to Florence.  My Dad Joe, and his wife Fina were there, and as it will be Annabella’s 16th birthday this Thursday (and Dad returns to Australia on Friday) it was decided we’d have a get together with my sister Lisa & family for a birthday lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe!  I had never eaten at the Hard Rock in Italy, and I thought it was a fun alternative for Annabella, Joseph, Lisa’s boys…. and us! The trip to Florence hadn’t been without dramas…. I first travelled to Viareggio from Rome to accompany Joseph to a doctor’s visit.  I then got back on the train with Annabella & Joseph and we arrived in Florence at 8pm, to cold weather and pouring rain! I was feeling an emotional wreck and couldn’t wait to have a comforting hug from my adorable father. Why was I an emotional wreck?  Well, when I left Rome in the morning,  I caught the underground Metro to Roma Termini and it was only once I sat down to wait for my train did I look down at my hand, and felt sick to realise I’d lost a diamond from my ring.  It wasn’t just any diamond either, it was one of the diamond’s from my mother’s wedding band that I was given after her death. (And that I’d had made into another ring).  I felt inside my pockets, carefully emptied my handbag, looked in vain around me, knowing that only a large miracle would bring that diamond back to me.  I’d walked from home to the Metro stop, caught the train, taken three escalators and walked through Roma Termini station.  I knew deep in my heart that that diamond was lying somewhere in the bowels of the Roman public transport system. I was devastated, and when Dad called me as I sat down on the train, I burst into tears. So.. throughout the day… on and off… I was a teary mess.

When we arrived in Florence, Dad showed me a photo on his iphone.  Alberto had found something sparkling in a crack in the floorboards at the entrance of our bedroom! A large miracle had indeed happened, and I burst into tears again!

Thankfully the rain had stopped on Sunday morning and we had a beautiful wander around together, including birthday shopping for Annabella at H&M and ZARA.  I seriously don’t know how my mother had so much patience to have whole shopping days in the city with twin girls.  Ten minutes into H&M and my patience and enthusiasm had dissipated.  It may have to do with the fact that every item of clothing I suggested Annabella try on, was met with a horrified look and a roll of the eyes.  (That’s not my ‘style’ mummy)!

At lunch, a fantastic time was had by all at The Hard Rock Cafe.  I felt like a weight had been lifted, and I relaxed and enjoyed being surrounded by my beautiful family. There was live music, the food was great (although portion sizes were ridiculously large) and Annabella was also suitably embarrassed when the staff noisily sang Happy Birthday to her.  There is something very special about being surrounded by family, and mine always makes me feel secure, protected and loved.