God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Time for Goodbyes

Our time this year in Bella Italia is finito. Suitcases are packed and most are in the car—a laborious affair when places must be found for wine, olive oil, ceramiche, 00 flour, Italian books and dvd’s and gifts. No wonder we have one more duffel than arrived in France with us six long weeks ago.

Note though—the absence of clothes, shoes and purses in the list. Impressive? Not really.

I found a wonderful little ceramiche shop (warning site plays music) Galleria Machiavelli in Firenze. So, I used whatever I might have spent on clothes for an exquisite bowl and a couple of other little things that are being shipped home, hopefully not to follow in the footsteps of last year’s table disaster.


Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of these delicious new things before leaving the store so will provide them later for those who care.

We leave our Italian home at 7:30 tomorrow morning to arrive at our California home at 10 pm tomorrow night--which will be 7 am here. Our flight doesn't leave until 10 o'clock but there is all that stuff that needs doing before boarding.

We fly from Florence to Frankfurt with a two hour layover there. Then on to San Francisco--11 hours and then a 3.5 hour layover before heading to San Diego. To say I envy people who live on the East Coast is an understatement! Now there is even a direct flight from Pisa to New York a couple times a week--paint me green!

Tonight our landlord is having a barbecue for the families--ours and theirs. There will be hamburgers for Casey who believes Alessandro makes the best hamburgers in the entire world; pork for Nicoletta and me and who knows what else--maybe salmon as Camilla and Alessandro like that.

I just returned from the gelateria with 1.5 kg of stracciatella, fragola, limone and cocco which will be the dulce. And, of course, since we live on a vineyard, there will be excellent Chianti or maybe a Super Tuscan. So we will end our stay as we began, but this time it is a farewell dinner poolside rather than the welcome home meal which greeted us when we arrived.

Marcella the owner and chef of our favorite restaurant in the piazza, Il Portico, knows that Casey loves lasagna and had promised him that she would make it for him this year. Yesterday she sent word that today at lunch was the day.

It is so hot here now that this was a really specially nice thing to do for Casey. Of course, it was then on the menu for other diners. And..I must say, Marcella's lasagna is by far the best I have ever had. So, when you are in Greve, check and see what's on the menu.

Meet Marcella

This is Bruno whom you have met before. He has the gastronomia next to the forno on the piazza. He is Marcella's husband.

And, this is Sylvia who always waits on us and makes sure we get "our" table outside--except today was too hot so we ate in under the fan.

So tomorrow we leave until the next time. The surprising thing this year is that as much as we don't want to leave here, we are all looking forward to being home. This has not happened before. It must be that by now, we do really have two worlds and both welcome and delight us.

As far as next year, we just aren't sure what that will bring. We may skip a year here and show Casey some of his own country for a change. This is a difficult decision, for sure.

Right now, I'm going to go down and watch the children in the pool one last time. It is sheer pleasure.

Here They Are



brazitalian8984 said...

Have a safe and uneventful journey back home. Welcome back!


barb cabot said...

Lovely tender post. I hope your travel home is safe and as effortless as possible.

Barbara said...

Safe travels to you 'other' home! And yes, we DO want to see photos of those ceramics!

Anonymous said...

Maybe next summer Camilla can come and see some of America with Casey. Safe travels home.


Anonymous said...

Welcome home Jane, Ken & Casey.
You've been gone a long time. Missed your twitter posts.
Will check back to read your blog when we return from Br. Isles.

Vicky said...

Bittersweet for all; I'll miss the posts from Italy. Welcome home, Jane-Ken-Casey!

nancyhol said...

I am sad for you - and happy too because you will be back in San Diego (not such a shabby place).

A bittersweet farewell, though.

janie said...

Safe travels-at least you have beautiful San Diego to return to!

Rebecca said...

Welcome home, Jane!

Gil said...

I can't believe that Summer is over already! I hope that you arrived home safe and sound. Will write again.