2010 has almost passed, with 2011 looming ever closer. I've given a lot of thought about this blog post and have not been able to come to any conclusions about what to write. I decided to just start writing and see what happens.
This time of year is a point of ending and beginning. It also marks the start of a year that will once again bring big change to our lives. 2011 looks to be fantastic and bittersweet, all in one.
In six months we will be returning home to Corvallis OR. I must be honest. Over the past year and a half, I have looked to this time with a bit of anxiousness and trepidation. I love it here. I love Italy and I love Europe and all that it has offered us. On the other hand, I know we are living in a time of....well...it almost feels like suspended animation. We are living life, yet we are sort of taking two years off from our normal lives and that can't last forever. What has changed in the past few months is that, as we begin to make plans for returning home, I have become much more excited about it. I look forward to being back in OUR house in our neighborhood. I look forward to camping and visiting the ocean again. I look forward to seeing our friends and reconnecting.
It will also be a sad time. I will miss our new friends here in Italy. I will miss the continuous adventures of living in a foreign country. I will miss the history and culture. I will miss the pizzas and gelato. I will miss the fantastic cycling culture of Italy and Europe. I will miss the neighborhood shop keepers - the butcher, the baker, our gelato guy (ha, how many of you said 'candlestick maker'? I don't know anyone who does that!). I will miss the convenience of flying away to another country for the weekend, for far less than it would cost to fly to another state in the US. I will miss the ringing of the church bells and driving in Italy. I love driving here.
So, what can you expect to read and see on my blog in the next six months. I won't be writing about what I will miss or what I look forward to that often, but occasionally when the mood strikes me. It's just where we are right now in life. I will continue to write about our daily life and our travels (we are planning quite a few trips before we leave - Madrid, Lisbon, London, Sicily, Sermione, Parma, Lucca, Berlin, Prague, Greece, Hamburg, Norway, Ravenna, San Marino and return trips to Venice and Verona). Some of these are week long trips, some are weekend and some are day trips. As we make plans and go through the motions of getting ready to return home, I will also write about that. I also plan to write about and take pictures of our friends and the business people that we have dealt with over the last two years. We've met a lot of fantastic people here who have shared their part of the Italian culture with us.
So now, back to daily life:
I spent the morning prepping for our trip. Tomorrow morning we are heading out for a week in Madrid and Lisbon. We have become pretty efficient and quick at packing. The biggest change we are making this time is to bring 3 carry on suitcases. We usually only bring two and a backpack. EasyJet only allows one carry on item per person (purse, camera bag, suitcase, computer bag, etc). On the last two trips we almost ran out of space because of the souveniers we bought, so this time we bring the third suitcase.
I spent part of the afternoon researching for our February trip to Sicily. The first step is the hardest. Figuring out what to see and do and narrow it down so we can see as much as possible, yet have a relaxing trip.
Tomorrow we fly to Madrid!!!