When our little brother, Tod, graduated from highschool, the three of us went to Europe for a few weeks. It was his reward for graduating. It was an elaborate trip and an elaborate secret. We told our mom we were all going to Tahoe to stay with friends. We had to keep the secret from Mom because-well- she was crazy. She was jealous of us liking each other and she would've been jealous of us going somewhere that she wasn't. And mostly if she knew we'd been secretly saving money, it would've really made her mad that we had money we were not spending on her. That we were going to Tahoe together was making her mad as it was, but we'd change the subject to be about her and all was right with the world. Mom did not fear for her children alone in a city without her. She feared her kids might have something better than she did. Since Mom could not know the truth, ever, we told nobody except our older brother where we were really going.
By the time we were ready to fake leave for Tahoe, mom started dating a new guy and could not care less what her kids were up to. What a blessing! We told her we'd call her from Tahoe in a few days and off we went to Milan.
We went from Milan to Florence and spent our first day in Florence at the Mercato Centrale buying leather jackets in the heat of summer. We tried gelato for the first time and found out that pizza isn't really all cheesy. We walked back to our tiny, cheap hotel room with three twin beds and opened the window to let some air in. The hotel room had a tile floor, many of the tiles cracked and old. I remember the floor well because after we opened the window, I tried my jacket on then laid down on the floor where it was cool. I heard the sounds of Florence below us, my sister and brother in the room with me, and I fell asleep right there in my leather jacket, on the tile floor, free and happy. We all fell asleep where we'd plopped down and didn't wake until the next morning, still in our clothes. It was the best night of our lives.
There was nobody yelling at us, nobody we had to hide from, nobody we had to do anything for, nobody we needed to calm down. We were just three kids in a hotel room in Italy who got up and called their mother in Palm Springs to tell her they were doing fine Tahoe. She was too busy with her boyfriend to talk to us. And we went on to Venice.
1.Mom believed we were in Tahoe until a few years ago when Tod accidentally started talking about the time we were in Europe. She was not happy. It's not the only trip she didn't know about.
2. I still have the leather jacket.
3. In every city we went, for some reason MTV was filming and we had to keep avoiding cameras. It was so weird!
(That is Tod from our photo album. It was the 80's!)
Visit Linda Woods Artworks for prints on canvas, paper, or wood for all size spaces and budgets.