Ode to my mojito-loving pal

31 Jul

There’s something about leaving a place that is causing me to want to gather up all my memories, all my friends, all the things I cherish, and heap them into a grand pile and then sort them all out again one by one. Like after trick or treating, coming home and dumping all the candy out on the linoleum of the kitchen floor with my brother and friends, putting all the candy into piles (“good” “full size” “chocolate” “non-chocolate” “crap” “scary stuff from religious neighbor”) and then trading it, talking about it, deciding where to start and where to end up.

That’s basically where I’m at right now. Deciding where to start and where to end up and trying to do it all in the span of the next 20 days.


(I know, there has been far too much sighing going on around here lately. Chiedo scusa.)

But let’s not get too sentimental here because this is surely not the time nor place for it. No, indeedy! We are toasting today a most extraordinary woman.

None other than…


NYC/Caribbean Ragazza!!!!

Oh my gosh Arlene please I’m not trying to embarass you but it’s true! You rock!

So as many of you know, Arlene made the “big leap” in moving to Rome without knowing whether or not there was a safety net to catch her. After watching her grow and thrive since April in this rough and tumble city, I’d say either she had a pretty good safety net or, more likely, she’s just pretty amazing.

Take for example her penchant for aperitivi. I’ve lived here for 7, 8 years, or whatever it is, and yet Arlene in a span of just a few months has already introduced me to two very cool aperitivi bars in my own neighborhood that I didn’t know about. No, this is not a statement about how much we drink, stop that! It is merely a statement that when in search for the perfect mojito, one must do lots of research.

So here’s us the other day, sipping our cool drinks while half-naked men fanned us we dripped and sweated in the impossibly Roman heat. The first thing we both spotted with our blogger eyes was this ridiculously small chair. You see, the bar we were at, Mr. Pucci, has an assortment of cool and various chairs, including old movie seats.

I got an Aperol soda and Arlene continued her quest to find the perfect mojito.

When I look back on this blog up until now, I am amazed and humbled to think about all the connections I have made. All the bloggers I have met, the friendships, the insights and discoveries. Amazing stuff. I remember when Arlene was simply visiting Rome and we went to get a drink together, chatting about my life here and her future life here. Rome has this effect on some people, it just draws you in and never lets you go.

Well sometimes it lets you go. Or sometimes rather you decide it’s time to let go. But I think that if you throw coins in the Trevi Fountain it pulls you back.

So Arlene is going to keep the flame burning for me while I’m gone, I’m sure! Passing the torch, woman! I expect great things from you! Keep the Rome blogging up. And, IN BOCCA AL LUPO. I am proud to categorize this post as both “Fellow Italy Bloggers” and “Meet the Locals” because you are one and are in the process of becoming another!

We did the whole “MIB” thing for our photo. We accosted a poor woman who was sitting by the fountain in Piazza Mastai. She told us to take off our sunglasses and we had to laugh. “There’s a reason for them.”

Well folks, here’s an excerpt from Arlene’s mojito research notebook, take it and run with it:

Freni e Frizioni,
Via del Politeama 4-6
Mr. Pucci, Piazza Mastai 18


18 Responses to “Ode to my mojito-loving pal”

  1. romerican July 31, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Love those two bars, me & my peeps go to them all the time!

  2. nyc/caribbean ragazza July 31, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    As my fellow Americans would say OMIGOD!

    Shelley I’m verkelmpt. I’ve been working since 7:00 this morning so I didn’t come over here until “moscerina” told me about your lovely post.

    I could go on and on but meeting you, Sara “aka Ms. Adventures” and Tracie B. played a big role in my decision to quit my job and move here. Sometimes I don’t believe that I actually did it.

    I remember that day we met in Trastevere. It was during that trip that my friend G. said to move already. Easy for him to say he’s Italian. Seeing other expats make the leap when they were single and with no regrets was very encouraging. Your friendship and advice has helped make my move to the Bel Paese one of the best experiences of my life. I’m glad you youngins don’t mind hanging with an old broad like myself. haha

    I will miss you!

  3. Sherry July 31, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    I cannot believe you are leaving Rome! Your blog inspired me to make Rome the destination of my first trip to Europe. Your postings informed what I did on my trip as well, visiting the restaurants, churches, etc. you suggested. I felt like I had this American friend in Italy who paved the way for me and made my trip an amazing one unbeknownst to her. I was even going to stay in one of your apartments until our friends decided to come with us and we needed somewhere bigger. And, if all that wasn’t enough, your blog introduced me to nyc/caribbean ragazza’s blog, which I love. So anyway, THANKS for the awesome blog and GOOD LUCK with your move back to the States! Although I know you are considering doing a “reverse blog” of sorts and I don’t speak/read italian, I have a feeling I’ll be learning too just to keep up with your blog!

    P.S. Your little boy is just too cute.

  4. Jeff July 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    You’re almost moveddd… How incredible! I’m verkemplt and I’ve never even met you but I did hear you on the radio!!! SOME day you will be in Rome the same time as me. One of these days…

  5. Shelley July 31, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    Romerican: Maybe when I get back if you still manage to resist the madness that is Rome for another year, we can get together with the other Rome bloggahs and have a good old fashioned bitch session. πŸ˜‰ I read your latest about the AC at Warner. Assurdo.

    NYC: Girrrrrrrlllll I’m gonna miss you!

    Sherry: Wow, what an honor! And our names are just two consonants and one vowel apart. πŸ˜‰

    JEFFY!!! JEFFY JEFF! Man, what is up with us just barely missing each other like 3 million times? WHAT UP? Dude, you are one of the only people who heard me on the radio, yay! My future career that never happened. Sob, sob. Hope things are well down where you’re at.

  6. Shelley July 31, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    PS I’m thinking about keeping up a blog both in Italian and English because … just because.

  7. Rose in Cali July 31, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Excellent post! Arlene e una brava ragazza!

    I am looking forward to your new blog. Just think…there’ll be a new president so that in itself will be worth a post. Not to mention all the reverse culture shock situations.

    But I know that leaving is still hard. Chin up, soldier! Vincente’s laugh is a good, albeit temporary, antedote!

  8. SunnyInspiration July 31, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    Wonderful post! I love the picture of that patio! And, did she discover a perfect mojito? I love mojitos! So gald you’re blogging again more regularly! ~D

  9. Deborah July 31, 2008 at 6:22 pm #


    I am going to miss your blog on Rome. Ever since my mother & I rented one of your apartments in 2007, I visit your blog to re-connect to Rome. You have touched sooooo many people with your insight and wicked sense of humour on Italy/Rome but also us zany Americans.
    But I look foward to see your take on the US, especially the Northwest corner. At least we will be in the same time zone (CA).

  10. janavi July 31, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    I’m surprised there are mojitos in Rome!

  11. romerican August 1, 2008 at 6:22 am #

    Shelley- YAY, hope you do keep blogging from the States about reverse culture shock for you & your man. And if I’m still in the ‘hood next year, it’s definitely a date.

  12. My MΓ©lange August 1, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    Shelly, you are leaving? Where ya headed?

    Good to see both you and Arlene….and if you are interested in a great Mohito……my man makes one of the best at home…your both invited πŸ˜‰ Though the plane ride may kill you!!

    Good luck to both of you on your adventures.

  13. erin :: the olive notes August 1, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    yay! What a fun assignment – to find the best Mojito in Rome. Looks like you had a great time, and that place looks so cute.

  14. Gina August 1, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    Ciao Shelly–
    I was sad to read you are leaving Rome but know the joy of returning to family. Wanted to wish you Buon Viaggio. I also wanted to thank you for creating a fantastic, interesting and inspiring blog about one of my favorite cities. Didn’t want to miss thanking you for turning me on to Giovanni Allevi and I loved being part of the International City Swap last November. If you get to Boston when you are in US–get in touch–I would be honored to provide a tour of our North End. Don’t forget to visit the Trevi Fountain and drop in your coins before you go. In bocca a lupo a te!


  15. collette~all over the map August 2, 2008 at 2:41 am #

    Oh my goodness! First, congrats on your beautiful baby boy. He’s a cutie pie and I can see he’s yours with those big blues.
    I hadn’t stopped by for so long and wow! I’m sure your move to the States will be a wonderful adventure and a great time to reconnect with your family and friends. I will miss your blog. Please post in English. In case you do decide to go the Italian route.
    It must be comforting to know that you will be back in Italy and it’s only a temporary stay. I’m sure you will have lots to say.

  16. Shelley, At Home in Rome August 2, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    Lots of people didn’t know I’m leaving! I’m getting verklempt, again!! Here’s the link.

  17. michelle of bleeding espresso August 2, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    Dang it, why is Rome so far?! Someday we’ll all meet up though, I know, and when we do…look out Roma!!!

    You know I heart NYC/C gal too; in fact I posted about her as well yesterday πŸ™‚

  18. girasoli August 3, 2008 at 3:13 am #

    Good luck on the move. I was pleasantly surprised to see that your blog is still active for now. I do hope you continue to blog – in Italian (it will help me improve my Italian) or better yet in Italian & English. And if you are ever in Hawaii to visit your brother, look me up πŸ™‚

    ps…I have also been a fan of Arlene’s blog. It was great to see you passing her the torch to carry on.

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