I've been trying to figure out what to write about on my first blog in months- there's always the trips we've gone on, he newest things Parker is doing, or the struggles of raising a toddler and a puppy at the same time, but I've decided to write about what's been on my mind recently...Italy! Karl and I are getting down to the last few months of our Italian tour and every day that goes by, we think about all the things that we're going to miss here. This week I'll try to touch on all the amazing things here that are going to leave a hole in my heart when I leave (next week's blog will be the things I won't miss so much!)...so here goes it (in random order):
1. THE FOOD. Mozzarella, WINE, Peroni Beer, fresh pasta not to mention two aisles of pasta at the grocery stores, spices, bread, proscuitto, fresh seafood, PIZZA...the list goes on an on. The best food on earth is in Southern Italy!
2. OUR FRIENDS. Our friends have become our family; we celebrate holidays together, vacation with each other, and take care of one another when the hubby's are out of town. This is such a special group of people and we will miss them so very much!!!
3. OUR VIEW. Never again will we have the chance to live in a house with a view like this. Just looking out our kitchen window or having wine on the terrace seems like vacation.
4. THE LOVE FOR CHILDREN. The Italian's love babies...I mean LOVE babies. Never do you hear of a kidnapping/child stealing- I feel so safe with Parker! If he's fussy in a restaurant, they'll take them into the kitchen to give us a break and Italians constantly approach us to tell us how handsome Parker is and to ask us his name (they can't pronounce Parker, so we tell them his name is Carlo....seriously).
5. COLA. Cost of Living Allowance how I am going to miss you! Due to the high prices in Europe, the government pays us this special allowance when living here...it's going to be sad to say goodbye to this perk!
6. HOUSEKEEPER. What am I going to do when I have to clean my own house again??? Rosa is our beloved housekeeper/babysitter/grandmother to Parker. She has become a part of our family and I think I'll have to ship her back with us! She is perfect and wonderful and she makes living here so very special...yesterday she brought me lunch/dinner because she knows I've been craving Broccoli Rabe with Sausage and she's the best cook ever!
7. CLOSE PROXIMITY. We love being able to drive to places like Germany and Austria or just take a quick weekend trip to Southern Italy. When we move back to Virginia, it will take about 3 hours to drive to Dad and Marianne's...we can get to Tuscany in 3 house while living here!
8. CRAP CARS. I love that the crappier your car, the more you fit in here in Naples. Whenever we see a really nice car on the road we always think the person is either crazy or just passing through town. I drive a beat-up 1996 Jeep Cherokee that is dinged all over (we call them 'Napoli Kisses') and Karl just upgraded from his 1997 Honda Civic to a BMW to bring home (we will have to get the dings out before we get back). I'm looking forward to my new Volvo, but it is fun for now not worrying about hitting stuff :)
9. VESUVIUS. I love that almost anywhere you drive around here, Vesuvius is always looming overhead. Each time I pull into the commissary, Vesuvius is right behind it reminding us of the history that surrounds us here. Around every corner in Naples is something historic and remarkable (there's even Roman ruins under the Navy Exchange!).
10. THE LITTLE THINGS. I will miss Italy for everything that I can't put into words (or that has slipped my mind at this moment). I will miss the place where my first child was born and took his first steps. I will miss the little pastry shop down the street. I will miss the open affection that Italians have for each other. I will miss driving up a volcano rim to our home. I will miss the things that I never even got the opportunity to see and that will bring me back for a visit in the future. Thank you Italy for everything and I look forward to my last few months with you!