Hello all and welcome back. I just thought it would be an opportune time to share some recent events since it has been a few months since I last updated.
A large reason for the holdup was the happy arrival of my wonderful parents to Italy. First time and hopefully not their last. It is a hard trip when you really think about it. A full days travel from Idaho. Definitely not easy, but well worth it.
So the details….
My parents came mid June and stayed about three weeks.. (until they couldn’t handle us anymore I am sure haha. It was long awaited whereas I have now lived here for four years and they hadn’t yet the chance to visit us. Luckily for us my mom is now OFFICIALLY RETIRED, that on top of us having a second kid that they needed to come meet, made a perfect justification to endure the long plane ride.
They had originally hoped to come in December whereas Italy in the summer can get pretty hot. Idahoans and hot temperatures don’t agree so much. Maybe because the potatoes go bad 😉 hehe. Well, turned out Ela and I had some free time to spend with them this past month, so out they came.
For those that don’t know me as a youth, let me just paint a picture for you. From the age of 8 I spent most of my time with cousins. Up until age 11 I probably slept more at my Aunt’s house than my own. Starting off high school, being a part of Marching Band, I made fast friends with the upperclassmen which were of good influence on me, yet at the same time drew me away from my family ever more. With drums soccer and friends I rarely spent time with my own family.
On this trip my dad even reminded me of a time where I had abandoned a family vacation for a day on the lake with friends. On into adulthood I spent my 20’s running around having fun, chasing dreams, (and girls) occasionally stopping by to visit my mom at work and most weeks, eating Sunday dinner with the family even if for a mere 30 minutes.
Perhaps my father said it best when he told my wife that this was the most time they had spent with me in the last 20 years.
I share this because though I have many fond memories of family vacations. I had not been on one as I recall since 1997. So I wanted this one to be memorable. And that it was!
Ela the kids and I had already begun a fairly eventful summer in Lecce Italy with her parents throughout May. My parents arrived in Milan, which was perfect, since we had some appointments near home for the same period. It would probably be best if my parents shared their feelings upon entering Italy. From my point of view, upon seeing them, I was held in awe from the shock of seeing them so far from home. After some much needed rest, our travels began.
With the help of airbnb, we were able to stay in Florence, Padova, Rome, and Pompei. Fun experiences, great Gelato, and way too much walking. In addition to the cities we called home for an evening, we were also able to see the beauties of Sirmione, Venice, Pisa, Portofino, Milano, and Lodi. Enjoying the pleasantries of food, architectural, and good company.
To jump back to a highlight of our trip:
Upon leaving Rome, I had decided on arrival to Pompei, that we would only look at Mount Vesuvius and grab a pizza from Naples, perhaps even from a distance and drive on to our final destination in Lecce. We had already covered miles on foot, in the blistering heat. As we prepared to leave Pompei, we discovered national park for the ancient city of Pompeii. After four years living in Italy, I am used to seeing crumbling buildings from decades ago, but Pompeii was truly a sight to see. An entire community from centuries past, preserved under ash. My mom was kind of enough to watch Kenyu to keep him from the heat while we hiked the stone roads, viewing amphitheaters, bathhouses, and brothels.
At the end of our trip we planned a few days of relaxation at the in-laws. With the promise of beaches, sun, and good food, Albanian hospitality didn’t disappoint. The only complication being 102 degree humid-heat upon arrival. Hey, at least we had an excuse to eat Gelato frequently!
I don’t know if it is normal in other families to mix the parents and in-laws under one roof. Typically parents are given the opportunity to meet and mingle at wedding celebrations. We however held separate celebrations in their respective countries, so this vacation served as informal introduction of mine to that of Ela’s parents.
At the conclusion of the trip the thing that remains are good memories and thoughts toward future reunions. Truly the thing I appreciated most was seeing my own children playing with my parents who have never been anything other than loving and respectful of the choices I’ve made in my life. If I could wish anything upon others it would be that they stay close to their family. I know some family complications are too great to resolve, and to those I would say you can always start anew bringing peace into your own family.
I’m excited for the next few updates. Some of which occurred during this same period, but deserving of their own attention. Including an upcoming project….. Stay tuned!