Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Well, it was bound to happen. I mean, we’ve been haunting Rick’s favourite spots for nine months. Today, we finally caught up with him.

We were visiting Ostia Antica today; a recommended visit, I might add. It's an ancient Roman town, similar to Pompeii without the ashes. We had downloaded Rick’s self-guided tour to our Ipod’s and were taking a break at the cafeteria. The children had decided to eat at a separate table, (you try being with the family 24/7 for nine months) when Rhys came running out to our table to say he thought he had spotted Rick Steves. We gave him the book to check the picture but you know, when you’ve been staring at a guy’s face for nine months, you pretty well have it memorized. Or maybe it was the large TV size camera on the table near him.

By now, he’s part of the family; a sort of silent partner. You remember your childhood imaginary friend? Well, today our imaginary friend stepped out of the book and sat in the restaurant eating lunch near us. Being the thoughtful stalkers we are, we waited patiently for him to finish his lunch before mauling him. At least, two of us waited patiently. The other two vibrated excitedly in their seats. I’ll let you imagine who is who.

Tom and I stood up and began to approach from opposite sides of his table. I’m sure THAT wasn’t threatening at all. How DOES one approach a person of note? Surely not as though one was tracking a rabbit. He seemed to understand immediately that we were headed to him for some reason and greeted us quite pleasantly. His camera crew and guide also had friendly, easygoing personalities and as I gushed on about how much we loved his books, yada, yada, yada, he endured it all with grace and good humour. He even posed for a picture with us. I am thinking it might be the cover of our photo album when we get home.

They all smoothly extricated themselves from our fanatical clutches and we went on our way, excited and energized. We went into the museum to finish the self-guided tour and there they all were again! There was not even any eye-rolling when they saw us coming! I’m pretty sure they thought it was simply coincidence. Rick told us he is doing a lot of filming now for more videos. We’ve seen lots and they are wonderful but we are obviously not the only ones who think so or he wouldn’t be making more. One of the camera men asked if we wanted to stand in the room while they filmed. We would be extras in the background to give the shot more authenticity. Our first film debut as a family! Make sure to look for us in the new Rome video coming to shelves soon! We’ll be the ones in the background studying the sculptures with the intensity of four people who want desperately to look at the camera.

Julia recommended Rick list more gelaterias which his guide, Francesca said she had been recommending for years. Personally, I think he doesn’t need anymore. He has Giolitti’s and that has to be the best strawberry ice cream I have ever had in my life. We have been there twice. The first time we all tried a variety of flavours and I tried strawberry. The second time we all had strawberry.


Rhonda Staples said...

Wow..I'd say, 'no such thing as coincidence', your meeting Rick was totally "meant to be"!!

Steve said...

and anyone with the name Steves clearly is noteworthy... said...

Love all the pictures! Am home from convention...totally hilarious, wonderful, wonderful P.E.O.'s...saw Rene who also teaches in Burnaby...Love Mom