As I leaned against a post to take some deep breaths, I noticed that the restaurant two storefronts down had a sign advertising quiche (even though they’d told me they weren’t serving eggs when I asked a few minutes earlier). The server at the door was surprised and delighted to see us return to his restaurant, and in true Italian fashion, he couldn't help but be charming to two women.
After lunch, I gathered the nerve to ask if he knew that quiche was made with eggs. His surprised "No!" seemed genuine, and in fact he insisted on checking this with the chef (and owner), who set him straight, then sat down with us for a glass (or two) of wine. Although this quiche lunch wasn’t the finest meal we had in Italy, it was certainly the most challenging — and one that established a baseline for our travels ever since.
Since that first trip, Mom and I have had many adventures both inside the USA and in such faraway destinations as China, Cambodia, Thailand, France, England, and Australia (to name just a few). I've found eggs for breakfast in every location and always factor in plenty of time for meals without annoyance. Those constants remain even in the face of many other changes, including my mom being pretty much confined to a wheelchair during our last trip abroad. But we’ve managed to adjust to all the changes and still treat every trip as a new adventure!
Our travels together these last two decades have increased my respect for my mom and strengthened the overwhelming love I have for this person who has become a friend in addition to being my parent. Mom still doesn't like my lipstick choices (though at least she's pretty much fine with any man I introduce her to now), but travel has brought us together in a way that no number of phone calls could ever equal.