They’re here!!!! Or, were?

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday of last week prepping for my parents’ visit by cleaning, laundry, dishes, homework, etc., so that, come Thursday night, I could focus on food, family, and fun. You can just feel the excitement here!

The taxis were on strike, so we had to meander our way throughout Bologna, but lucky me got some early birthday presents from the sister for a distraction, of which included Trump toilet paper, Chick-Fil-A sauce, and a Texas-scented candle, among other things. Many thanks, lady.


Because of their exhaustion, we ended the night merely with a nice Italian dinner and one tipsy father.

Friday I decided to show my nearest and dearest a little piece of my home away from home (and home away from the Dome). First, we headed to the hospital where we met up with the cardiologist I’ve been working with, and he answered all of my dad’s crazily planned questions like a pro (since, you know, he is). After, I showed them the BCSP office, where I ACTUALLY heard Danielle speak English…it felt dangerous.

It was a beautiful day, but after a delightful lunch at Eataly, the jet-lagged parentals needed a nap. Adults, out!

I dabbled in a little siesta myself then got ready for a fancy group dinner at Al Pappagallo, supposedly the most famous restaurant in Bologna…and did the food (and the price) meet the hype! But alas, our favorite gelateria was the only way we wanted to end the night (a few bottles deep).

But no vino was too much to keep us from the exciting Saturday we had planned…a trip to Tuscany for wine tasting!!! Cece joined us, and we spent a few hours in Florence around noon, got a delicious lunch, and then found a taxi to take us up to Il Castello di Nipozzano, one of the Frescobaldi estates in Pelago, Italy. Is the entire country always so picture-perfect?

We got to take in some ~views~, tour the cellars, and taste the sweet, sweet nectar of the ‘baldi gang. Momma doesn’t drink wine, so Cece, dad, and I had to pull some extra weight, which we obviously had ZERO problem with.

Bottom right is the “wine library”, where you can definitely find me studying for the rest of this semester.

We sat, drank, and ate for hours, then took a walk to the restaurant about three kilometers away, taking a quick stop with some cows on the way.

After a short and sweet dinner, we headed back to Bologna and passed right on out, blissfully in a wine and cheese coma.

Sunday was, of course, sleep-in day, which was followed up with a late lunch at Yoshiko, our favorite all-you-can-eat, conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Had to show the fam the other half of my heart in the city!

It was a beautiful day, so we walked around the centre more but, as weather generally does, our day was cut short with gloomy rain clouds. So what did we do instead, you ask? Ate more, of course.

After tartare and tagliatelle, we got some more gelato, and Cece, Ada, and I actually closed up shop with the worker. And the best part of it all? No, not all quality Facebook Live material (shoutout to my fans!!!), but instead the endless free taste-testers. Peep my feed to see the little party.

Today I had classes, but that didn’t stop my dad from getting a little fun out of the day: climbing The Tower on his own and sitting in on Benevolo’s teaching. Entirely in a different language, he somehow had fun?

We decided to end my parents’ trip with a bang, so we whipped out our tennis shoes and trekked up to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca, the church at the top of a (mountain?) in Bologna. The hour and 15 minute walk there and back (half of which was uphill…) kicked our butts, but it prepared us for a carb-filled dinner at Nicola’s. Much deserved!

After picking up our last gelato of the weekend (how could I still have a tolerance left in me?), I had to do the most feared thing yet…say goodbye!

For those of you who know my parents, you know they’re two of the most supportive, dedicated, successful, hilarious, crazy-loving people you could meet. They work as hard as humanly possible to provide for us, to provide for their patients, and to provide for the world, but somehow still have time to love. They can drive me insane, and yes, sometimes I may have to create a list of “off-limits” topics when dad has wine in him, and sometimes I may even wanna scream at their over-planning and demands, and even sometimes I may have to text them from across the table just to get them to cut it out, but no matter what, they’re my two favorite people in the world.

Mom and dad, thank you so much for visiting me. This trip was short but it was oh, so sweet. Thank you for taking all of the energy out of me, and making these past few days some of my favorite yet. I love y’all so much, and I cannot WAIT to be back home with you again. Safe travels in the morning…I miss you already!

If you want to check out some more of the excitement from the Snyder Takeover (and you should), click the link below and look through this awesome album:




– Alex