Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mike's Mom Visits Malta

My mother, Jan, (a.k.a. momma G or Dranet) came to visit Malta in mid-May. This was Jan’s second trip to Malta; she also visited in 2008 while I was an exchange student at the University of Malta.

Before Jan came to visit us she requested a quiet, fun, and safe holiday. This isn't unusual, most people want "quiet, fun and safe" holidays. But Jan had put particular emphasis on the "safe" part. Why, you ask?

Jan is a special mother. While my siblings and I never questioned whether or not we were loved while we were growing up, she did practice some interesting, safety-first parenting methods. Like tieing me to a tree in the front yard so I could watch the garbage truck go by (I liked trucks). On second thought, I'm not sure if she really had safety in mind there...

But she did have other creative and effective safety rules. Such as the mandatory lifejacket rule at our lakefront family cottage. This lifejacket rule applied until her children passed the 'swimming test' which consisted of swimming from our dock to our neighbour’s dock wearing adult-sized clothing and shoes. And it was enforced even while I was playing in a shabbily built tree fort located over 300 feet away from the lake. So I wouldn't drown in the trees.

But Jan's safety concerns are valid given her siblings' behaviour while growing up, and, I suppose, certain things that I did growing up. Like tieing my mother's couch cushions to trees so I wouldn't smash my face into a tree trunk while I was playing on my homemade zip line. Or free-style skiing off of the roof of my parents' two storey house. Or jumping off of cliffs in no-dive areas. And so on. Because of these things Jan frequently employs the age-old mom expression: “Have fun and BE SAFE!” (with a large emphasis on the latter part).

We were happy to deliver Jan a quiet, fun and safe holiday. We had a great time showing her more of the island than she had seen in 2008, and we visited some of Malta's WWII Shelters which we would highly recommend seeing if you ever have the chance.

Jess and I failed miserably at taking pictures while my mother was visiting with us. (We do that a lot when we have visitors here.) And we forgot to get a copy of all of her photos before she left. As a result of our forgetfulness I have been battling with her to transfer photos to us online ever since. Jan recently learned how to share her screen with me over Skype and we have now been remote-fixing many of her technology and “I'm a new Mac user” issues over the past few weeks. I finally managed to get a copy of her pictures and I can now share with you my mom-visits-Malta post, three months late, but better late than never.

- Mike

Thank you, Jan, for visiting Malta again and for sharing your photos of your trip with us. While Jan was visiting Malta she also went on a one-day ferry and bus tour to Sicily while we were studying and working. If Jan's pictures of Taormina don't make you want to go to Sicily right now you are crazy! A gastronomic tour of Sicily + a weekend in Taormina are in the books for us next year, for sure.

- Jess
pretty bay malta
pretty bay, malta

malta war shelters
malta war shelters


destroyed house at mount etna, sicily
mount etna, sicily

bus tour by virtu ferries from malta to taormina sicily
jan at taormina, sicily

amphitheatre at taormina, sicily
amphitheatre at taormina, sicily

taormina, sicily
taormina, sicily

mount etna, sicily
view of mount etna, sicily

taormina, sicily
taormina, sicily

bus tour of sicily from malta virtuferries vinyards
sicilian vinyards from the tour bus

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