Monday, July 15, 2013

Final Thoughts

A few days ago we made our journey back to the U.S. Our two year stint in Italy is finished and we are back on American soil to stay. We had quite a day of traveling - for those of you that remember our initial photo when we left for Italy we had an exorbitant amount of luggage... this time we were able to remove one bag from the mix, but with Maya it still seemed like a ton of stuff! Maya did well on the plane and we're happy that we don't have to put her on another flight again. Albeit a little jet-lagged, she is adjusting very well and is enjoying the wide sidewalks and grass to walk on again.

Our going away picture two years ago. This year we were able to do without the bottom bag.

Everyone has been asking us how we feel about moving back. The perfect phrase to describe it is "bitter-sweet". There are so many things that we loved about being in Italy, so many things that we are going to miss, and I know that we will hold those things dear to our hearts for the rest of our lives. We may even sound a bit snobby if we decline going to the chain Italian restaurants in the U.S. or pronouncing bruschetta as "brusketta" when ordering the appetizer. We'll miss the proximity of the many different countries, hopping on a flight under two hours long and ending up in a completely different culture, even if just for a weekend - and not needing to squeeze everything in on a vacation, knowing that it is so easy to come back to if we wanted. We'll miss the fresh produce at the markets, still dirty from being picked out of the ground from someone's garden. We'll miss being able to converse in Italian, trying to perfect it each time we speak again... and just when we had gotten over a plateau, it's time to leave! We'll miss our neighbors who made us homemade food to take with us for lunch, and in return we made them tacos, brownies, hamburgers, and roasted marshmallows for smores. Oh and the view! We'll miss our view!

View from our house. Capri is in the far back.
But the sweet part overtakes the bitter part. We really have been on a two year vacation (me especially) and we're itching to get back to reality. We still couldn't get used to the three hour dinners that start at 9 - we would at least like the option of having something shorter or earlier... sometimes you're just hungry at 7! We can't get used to everything being closed from 1-4pm. The inefficiency of Neapolitans drives us crazy and it forever feels like people are dragging their feet in order to get something done. We're excited that doing laundry doesn't involve an entire day of washing, hanging, and fluffing. What am I going to do when the laundry is washed AND dried in one hour?! The constant crime, trash, and gruffness of the Neapolitans makes us wonder whether living somewhere else in Italy would yield this same urge to come home. We think not. Taking a walk down the street became a contest of whose locked-up, non-exercised dog would yield the loudest bark - from every house - and if their gate happened to be opened you better have a water bottle or squirt gun to protect yourself with or you'd be looking at a nice dog bite (3 bites in 1.5 years for me, 2 for Jon). And the ever classic question, "Will our car fit down the road we're going through?" is not something we want to experience with our new cars at home. We just never realized how much easier everyday life is in the States and I don't think we'll ever take it for granted again. Internet down for a few minutes? Meh, try living in Italy with their abysmally slow and spotty internet. Electric bill high? Is it really? Try 750EUR (~$1,000) per month in the summer with only the air running at night in one room. See I told you, we already sound snobby. Will we be back to Italy in the future? Definitely, but not for a long time! Back to Naples? Most likely not.

We are forever grateful that we had this opportunity to live here and of course we will never forget it. Thank you to our Italian tutor Giusy who for almost two years has taught us Italian, cleaned up what we learned outside of her lessons, and became our friend. We hope we're able to cross paths again with you in the future. Thank you to VIP Pet Sitters and Laura Lounsberry for taking such good care of Maya while we traveled around Europe. Most of these experiences would not have been possible without your care. Thank you to all of you readers out there, however many. We enjoyed documenting our time here and it was so nice hearing your words of support. Finally, thank you to the beautiful country of Italy for allowing us to be guests in your exquisite land - we will miss you greatly. Grazie mille a tutto e non vi dimenticheremo mai!

Arrivederci Italia!

5 comments:

  1. Alan E. FeinbergJuly 16, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    I will miss your blogs immensely but are glad you are home. These blogs were well done. I look forward to your book.

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  2. WOW! Can't believe that it's been two years! Where did the time go?! I enjoyed so much reading every one of your blogs and seeing all the beautiful pictures that went along with each of them! I have learned so much over the last two years, not only about Italy, but all the different and beautiful places that you visited in Europe. I really looked forward to your trips because I knew that once you got back, you would be writing a blog about it! I totally agree with Dad's comment - I will miss your blogs greatly, but I am so happy, excited, and thrilled that you and Jon are back home! Thank you, Cher! It was a very interesting, exciting, and fascinating journey!

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  3. Nice last post guys. I will miss your European adventures but know that your life is about to enter the BEST adventure yet - parenting! :) Love you guys!!

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  4. We will also miss visiting you in Italy!

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  5. Great blog I've just visited.!! keep sharing visit soon again.!!

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