That morning dad & I hopped on the motorcycle and went up to Mineo for breakfast. After a very chilly ride up the hill I was ready for a warm beverage. I had a cappuccino and my dad had a cafe americano, his usual. By the time we arrived at the bar there wern't many sweets left to choose from. I honestly don't remember what I had, but dad got a pastry that is covered with thin slices of apples and is filled with cream. We had a good laugh when he took his first bite. It was a very flaky pastry and he wasn't expecting quite so many flakes. It was nice to be able to just sit and talk for awhile with dad. We don't get much one-on-one time but when we do it is always special and I treasure those moments.
After breakfast and our ride we finished getting ready, loaded up the car, and made the drive to Acireale so dad could return the motorcycle. After the paperwork for the bike was finished we still had several hours to kill before they were due at the airport. We decided to drive another half hour up the road to Taormina. Mom had been wanting a Sicilia sweatshirt and Taormina is the one place that I knew we could find one. Taormina is a very touristy town, but beautiful, overlooking the Ionian Sea. Before shopping lunch was a must. After a decent meal (not bad, but not superb either, certainly overpriced) we set out searching for mom's sweatshirt. We quickly found a souvenier shop and the perfect sweatshirt. Mom and dad also picked up a few other goodies - a t-shirt for me, a model Fiat 500 for Les, a t-shirt for my brother.
Our next stop was a sweet shop with all sorts of local specialties.
Several types of stuffed anchovies
Marzipan - Mandarin Orange & Apple
More Marzipan - Watermelon and Banana
After purchasing some sweets and other treats we had a little bit of time to just meander. We walked the length of the main part of Taormina to the square that overlooks the sea. We snapped a few pictures, grabbed a cappuccino, and then it was time to go.
Mom & Dad, with the Ionian Sea in the background
A guitar and hat, just sitting the closed doorway of a church
The drive from Taormina to Catania was a quiet one, I know I was contemplating the immenent goodbyes and dreading them. All too soon we arrived at the airport. We found a parking place and I helped my parents into the terminal. They got their boarding passes and then the inevitable goodbyes began before they got in line to go through security. I stayed and watched them go through the line, waving and blowing kisses every time I caught their eyes. I held it together, for the most part, until they were out of sight, then ran to the car before the dam broke. Once my sobbing subsided I started the car and headed out of the airport. I wasn't far when my phone rang, it was my mom, just calling to say goodbye again. We chatted for a moment, I struggled to hold my emotions under control. As we were getting off of the phone my voice cracked, I know she heard it but luckily she didn't say anything or I wouldn't have been able keep from sobbing.
Saying goodbye was so hard. It always is. It seemed even harder this time because I'm not sure when I'll see them again. While they were here we found out that our time in Sicily will be extended for an additional year, putting us here until around November of 2010. I hope my parents come back again, or that at least my mom comes, and I hope to make another trip back to the states, but nothing has been planned yet. Without another visit to look forward to saying goodbye was exceptionally difficult. Thank God for telephones, email, and skype...