About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Settling into Contentment - Sometimes Missing Italy

It's been a long time since I've blogged on this site.  I officially ended my daily blogging last fall.  Since then, I have written a couple of posts about life after Italy.

It's now coming up on 11 months that we have been back in the United States, Oregon specifically.  We've had our ups and downs.  The Christmas season was the most difficult.  There was something magical about Christmas in Italy.  I think mostly, it was due to much less commercialization.  Sure, the Italians buy presents and the stores are full of holiday 'cheer', but overall, it is so much less prevalent than here in the US.  In Italy it seemed like the holiday spirit was more focused on community rather than individuals.  Not many Italians decorate or light up their apartments, but most cities, towns and villages have beautiful light displays for all to enjoy.  And, most every town has a Christmas market.  And while you could argue that a market is 'commercialization', it truly did not feel that way at all.

Since Christmas, life in the US has settled more and more into a daily routine.  Work, school, groceries, laundry (although this is not a daily routine like it was in Italy), etc.  Overall, I am feeling more and more content in my surroundings and in life as it is.  I don't miss Italy as much as I did last fall.

That said, there are still moments when I yearn to be back in Italy, or Europe.  When we have pizza, I miss Italy.  When we go out to enjoy some drinks, I miss the family atmosphere of bars in Italy (here in the US children are not allowed in many places that serve alcohol.) When I get my email Rick Steve's blog updates, I miss Europe.  And lately, while I watch the European bikes races online, I miss actually being able to see them in person.

We are enjoying life in Oregon now and I am content with that, but deep down inside I will always have a strong connection in my heart for Italy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Miss Pizza

I was wishing for Italian pizza last night.  When we lived in Italy, Thursday nights became pizza night.  We would each order our own pizza:  Pugliese for me, Marinara for Brandon and Margharita con aglio e origano for Katrina.

Last night, Thursday night, I wished for pizza.  I miss Italian pizza and have not found anything like it around Corvallis.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Blog Post

Wow, today is August 31st.  Time to write my last 'regular' blog post.  I've been writing this blog for a little over two years now and I have a lot of mixed feelings about its end.

Almost three years ago we found out we would be moving to Italy for a two year assignment.  It took almost 9 months to process all the paperwork and make all the arrangements to live and work in Italy.  It seemed to take forever to get to Italy.  Time flies.  Now we are home and our time in Italy almost feels like a dream.

We had an amazing experience.  Italy was all that we hoped it would be and so much more.  So much more!  It was truly the opportunity of a lifetime.

I would highly suggest to anyone reading this to seize the opportunity to live abroad if it ever presents itself.  It will change you.  It will change your view of the world.

We were able to experience so many places and activities while living in Italy.  We climbed and toured more castles than I can count.  We toured more museums than most people get to experience in a lifetime.  We viewed many marvelous cathedrals.  We successfully navigated subway systems in over a dozen European cities.  We marveled at all kinds of architecture, from modern to early centuries.  We rode on trains, planes, boats, gondolas, alpine slides, mine cars, funiculare, bicycles, buses, taxis, tour buses, and much more.  We saw the Mona Lisa, the statue of David, and so many other greats I can't even remember them all.  We cruised the canals of Venice in a gondola.  Drank wine on the Grand Canal.  Enjoyed the views from the Eiffel Tower.  Walked through the Red Light District of Amsterdam.  Watched the Tour de France, the Tour di Suisse, the Giro d'Italia, the Milan San Remo, and many other professional bike races.  We cruised the waters of Lago di Como and walked the ancient streets of Pompeii.  During our two years in Italy we traveled 201 days.

I could go on and on.  In short, we lived two years of life to the fullest.  NO Regrets!  That was the motto Katrina came up with and lived by it.

So, with sadness and excitement for the next chapters in our lives, I sign off from our home in Oregon.  It's been an amazing two years and I thank all of you for joining and sharing in our journey.

Mike (our friend and Katrina's coworker), Katrina, Me and Brandon celebrating our last Friday evening dinner out at Mexicali.  

Arrivederci e grazie amici - Goodbye and thank you friends.

Patrick, Katrina and Brandon

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Unpacking and Softball

I spent much of today unpacking, assembling the second part of our new entertainment center, grocery shopping and helping Brandon rebuild his Lego town.  

This evening we had our second softball game.  What a difference a week makes, in more ways than one.  Last week we were sweating profusely due to high temps and humidity.  This week it was cloudy and pretty chilly.  Last week we won 13 - 11.  This week we lost 18 - 2.  It was still a ton of fun and good exercise.  I am really enjoying softball and hope to keep playing with this team.