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Gelato Moments Our feet blistered and our backs ached as we wandered around Rome and idly wondered whether Italians ever sweat. This was my first trip to Italy, and my two friends and I had decided to take two days exploring Rome’s cultural and historical sites—a choice that, in the sweltering heat of August and with my flimsy shoes, I was starting to regret. Even my initial awe at the Colosseum began to wear off once the tour began. We weren’t allowed to walk on the crumbling arena—the place was crawling with photo-snapping tourists just like us—and I realized that this historical edifice just wasn’t fascinating me the way it was my friends. “It’s just old,” I thought wearily, and wondered whether the whole trip was a mistake. We finished our tour and staggered back out onto the street, debating how we should spend the rest of our evening before heading back to our hostel campsite. Unwilling to walk anymore, we looked around for a place to sit. Then one of my friends spotted a gelato stand nearby. “I’m getting some,” she announced, and returned with a cone stacked high with strawberry gelato. My parched mouth began to fill with envious saliva. I leapt to my feet, ran to the stand, and almost hurled my money at the small Italian vendor. The vendor handed me a cone laden with chocolate gelato. I licked it immediately. The sweet, cold taste of it flooded my mouth and filled me with pleasure. As I returned to my seat on the curb—loving my gelato, loving the shade, loving the feeling of sitting—I heard a dulcet melody from beyond a nearby wall. There must be a concert somewhere on the other side of that wall, I thought. And I was enjoying it for free. This moment was perfect. Each golden thread of felicitous coincidences—the Colosseum, the singer, and most of all the gelato—was woven into one spontaneously flawless moment. Gazing at the Colosseum, amber-colored now in the light from the setting sun, I suddenly realized that people could love their traveling experiences uniquely. The joy of the journey for me wasn’t in the monuments from time and history; it was in the present,. It was the unexpected bursts of pleasure; the gelato moments like this one. Even though the rest of our trip was scorching hot, it was full of those precious “gelato moments.” Like finishing Where Angels Fear to Tread beneath clusters of hanging violets that E. M. Forster talks so much about. Or following the sound of an accordion playing “Tocatta and Fugue” into the shade of the Siena Cathedral. Or meeting Sam the street artist and buying two of his tiny pictures of Florence. Or riding a train for the first time—through fields upon fields of Tuscan sunflowers. These were enough gelato moments for me to fill up my heart—and ignore the holes in my shoes.

3/21/13 7:56 PM Comment [1]: Checked Courtney Feinauer 3/26/13 10:21 AM Comment [2]: Checked in Merriam-webster Courtney Feinauer 3/26/13 10:19 AM Deleted: we’d started the tour…he tour... [1] Courtney Feinauer 3/26/13 10:22 AM Deleted: briefly Courtney Feinauer 3/26/13 10:23 AM Deleted: hotter than ever …nd staggered ... [2] Courtney Feinauer 3/26/13 10:33 AM Deleted: , who …anded me a cone laden ... [3]

Courtney Feinauer 3/26/13 10:29 AM Deleted: bu…ndt…most of all the gelato— ... [4]

Courtney Feinauer 3/26/13 10:34 AM Deleted: and we returned to our campsite every night with swollen ankles 3/21/13 7:56 PM Comment [3]: Checked 3/21/13 7:56 PM Comment [4]: Checked 3/21/13 7:56 PM Comment [5]: Checked 3/21/13 7:56 PM Comment [6]: Checked 3/21/13 7:56 PM Comment [7]: Checked


Edits for Gelato Moments