Texans do Rome

By Kelly Moad
Native Texans turned Israeli residents cross the Mediterranean Sea to Rome around. Living in Israel has been an incredible experience. We had big plans to hop a jet every few weeks to all of the nearby destinations while we lived closer to them. However, our plan for living abroad was abruptly adjusted with the onset of Covid. International air travel is not easy…covid tests, entry and exit requirements, different regulations for each country that change daily, and more covid tests. The planning is doubly difficult but in the end, beyond worth it.

We made it to Rome, Italy this past weekend for five days of exploring and eating, eating, eating. The kids are the most perfect age to handle all the walking while seeing first-hand these incredible historical markers they’ve only seen in books and online before now. Rome is a prominent tourist destination. Most Italians speak English and can tell immediately that we are Americans by the way we dress (despite our efforts to blend in). Their kindness is genuine though, and everyone knows Texas! Covid has hurt these tourist attractions so they are hungry for visitors and we are starving for the adventures.

We walked miles each day while taking in views of the Pantheon, the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Sant Angelo Castle, and many more amazing structures crafted so long ago. We took in the many real-life history lessons and relished in the fact that we are so lucky to live abroad and experience other cultures. We broke up the sights with delicious gelato, pasta, gelato, pizza, and more gelato. Hey, even the locals eat gelato daily (true story)!

During our final Italian dinner, we shared our favorite parts of the trip. The youngest loved the Colosseum and realized how much he loved gelato, having refused to try it before this trip. The fact that gladiators fought vicious animals against all odds in one of the great wonders of the world…wow! The middle loved the Trevi Fountain. The idea that his tossed coin meant he’ll return to Rome again someday resonates with his spirit for adventure. The oldest loved St. Peter’s Basilica and all its glory. She was born in Italy over 13 years ago and was taken to these destinations in a stroller or backpack carrier. She only knows through pictures that she attended her second Easter Mass at St. Peter’s celebrated by the Pope himself. She sure loved taking it all in with her developed memory this time.

Mom most loved the views of all of Rome from atop Castel Sant Angelo, and the pizza and pasta making experiences with genuine Italian chefs. Sure hope we can replicate it back home (already bought a pasta maker and ravioli cutters on Amazon)! But of course Dad takes the heartfelt award with his favorite part – exploring together as a family. There’s nothing better than Rome-ing alongside your most favorite people in the world.


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