05 August 2010

LIFE: Travels with Vicki

SARONNO, Italy - I learned an important lesson last week. Keeping up with an 8 year old is a lot like trying to keep up with cricket. In a word: tricky.

Vicki in Savona, Italy

It all began when friend Tracy asked me if I would “hang out” with her daughter Victoria while she and husband Daniele went through and cleaned out their recently sold apartment on the Riviera. Since I am always happy to spend time with them, and I wanted to write some articles about the Riviera of the Palms anyway, I figured it was a win win situation.

Park near Savona Harbor Photo by Victoria R.

Before I left for the Riviera I looked around for a couple of disposable cameras to give to Vicki. I figured she might like the idea of taking photos and then writing something about them in a journal. It would be a nice way of remembering her time in Italy since they live in New York and there is no telling when they will make it back to Italy now that the apartment is sold.

Bridge to Who Knows Where Photo by Victoria R.

It was a good idea, but both Kodak shops in Saronno were out of disposable cameras. No problem I thought. Surely I would find some at the Milan train station, but I struck out there as well. But there was still hope. The Riviera of the Palms is a happening place in the summer and certainly I would find a disposable camera or two there.

Savona is Home Port to Costa Cruises Photo by Victoria R.

But I didn't even have to look. Vicki's father came to the rescue and offered to loan her his digital camera. She was thrilled and immediately began snapping photos and pressing all the bits and bobs, rewinding and deleting and doing only God know what else like she was born with a digital camera in her hand. I was starting to feel like I’d been living in a cave.

Her Favorite Site: Leon Pancaldo Tower Photo by Victoria R.

So the plan was to go into Savona, walk around and take photos. Simple enough. Or it would have been simple enough if I had had two heads, four eyes, six arms and eight legs. Vicki, aka Little Lois Lane, would not be slowed down. She was here, she was there, she was up the stairs and over the bridge as quick as a spittlebug, snapping photos like she had a 2 PM deadline and it was already 1:58.
Painted houses of Savona Photo by Victoria R.

But what was really getting my goat is that her photos were coming out way better than mine. The kid really has an eye. Of course my excuse was she didn’t have to guard herself, she was free to flit and fly wherever the wind took her, while I, as guardian of this angel child, was snaggled down with a serious responsibility. My dreamy idea of calmly taking photos of Vicki skipping merrily though the cobbled streets of Savona was quickly replaced by the emergence of some ogre guard lady who was verging a migraine trying to keep tract of a whirling dervish child.

Another Tower in Savona Photo by Victoria R.

While we stood in the middle of Via Paleocapa, Savona’s main street, her yelling that I was “so mean” because I insisted on holding her hand as we crossed busy streets, hundreds of Pulitzer Prize winning shots were passing before my very eyes. If I could have figured out how to take photos with one hand and one eye while keeping my other hand and other eye on her, as she somehow manages to do, I might have been less distressed. But then again, maybe not.

Vicki doing her One Hand One Eye Trick

In the end we both got some great photos. The ones you see on this post are all by Vicki, except for the photos of Vicki of course. And if you think her photos are as good as I think they are, please leave Vicki a comment of encouragement to continue taking photos, with or without me.

All comments and observations welcomed, post below or send to thisitalianlife@yahoo.com

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