It’s a Hot Chocolate Morning

Hot chocolateBuildings of the Baroque era were built with paper thin walls. Either that or God gave Italians exceptionally loud voices. Regardless, I never got a full night’s sleep in Florence. I was continually awakened by bursts of laughing and cheering. These folks love to celebrate life, I understand that – heck I even admire it, but it begs the question – don’t they ever sleep?

I awoke one morning with my usual droopy eyes, pulled on some clothes then staggered over to the bathroom to tackle the mess on top of my head. From the other room I heard Donna tell me that Chris wanted to join us for coffee. I nodded my head while dragging a brush through my hair.

We ventured out to the morning air toward the place that had become our routine café. The black-vested barista greeted us at the door as if we’d known each other for years. I placed our usual order, including a hot chocolate for Chris. Within moments we heard the clink of two coffee cups hitting our marble table. “Café Americano” the big man confirmed with a broad smile. As Donna and I sipped, he returned to the counter and got busy foaming something in a large stainless pitcher. Chris watched him intently and the man looked up and gave him a wink.

Bambino” our barista said. The young girl beside him suddenly looked up and scanned the café. Her dark eyes stopped when they spotted Chris. She smiled and grabbed a tulip shaped ceramic cup. Donna and I were nearly half finished with our coffee by the time she delivered Chris’s special treat. You’d have thought it was his birthday. The cup was piled high with whipped cream and topped with star-shaped chocolate sprinkles.

It was nice to see how much Chris enjoyed being with us. He got into the spirit of our morning ritual and seemed to appreciate getting our undivided attention. As he spooned at the creamy mountain atop his cup, he chatted away. He gave us insight about his take on this journey – what he liked, how he saw things. It was precious and I wondered why we’d not spent alone time with him more often.

NEXT: Where Did I Get This Nose

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