Category Archives: memories

The Chase Is On

The chase is on…chasing Italy is moving from central America to central Europe. We’ve decided to move up our plans to Europe. Originally we thought that we’d spend a year or two in Costa Rica. Learning Spanish, teaching English, exploring near and far. We’d had plans for Nicaragua and eventually Panama. You know what happens when you make plans. They are subject to variables sometimes out of your control. We are trusting that although we had a plan, this is what we are supposed to be doing. Moving to Prague.

Moving to Prague. Why Prague and not Italy? Well it’s all about the jobs and the cost of living. Currently we both need to work and we have plans to write more for the blog and otherwise. We just need a place to halfway settle in. Moving every month isn’t good for the kids or us. A little stability goes a long way. Prague looks like it will be the place. More jobs and affordable housing. What more could you ask for… how about history, architecture, and culture. Prague has it.

So our hope that we’ll both find jobs in Prague. That these jobs don’t take up all our time and we’ll get see Prague and other places with kids. We’ll take lots of pictures and write about our adventures. And hopefully we’ll get  to Italy sooner vs later.

Prague is an awesome place to start our European adventure. Historically and architecturally intact through World War II. It’s centrally located to lots of other countries we want to visit. Germany and Italy are just a train ride away. Not to mention the rest of Europe. Our kids really want to visit the UK and my understanding is that flights to and from can be highly affordable. So that could happen.

The chase is definitely on. We are indeed chasing Italy and meanwhile we are enjoying the adventure.

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Sámara, A Love Letter

Dear Sámara,
I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed meeting you. At first I was a little nervous about flying so far to meet someone new. You never know with the internet nowadays. You could have been so pretty and fabulous on a website but horrible in person. I’m glad you are former not the latter. From the first moment I saw you I was in awe of your beauty. Or your warmth. Of the many facets of your personality.
When I first arrived your beauty and laid back nature set me at ease immediately. How can anyone not enjoy your company with such vivid colors and intriguing attributes. In fact, I was amazed that even when we first met you held me with such warmth and grace.
Not to say everything about you is perfect. It’s not but that makes it better. Our first meal together had points of bliss and some uncomfortable points as well. You are gracious host and I appreciate your effort in making me feel at home.
After our initial meeting our relationship began to develop at profoundly comfortable pace. You’d greet me on the mornings with happiness and send me away at night with sweet thoughts. Over the course of the month I began to really begin to see how easy you are to love. Thank you for all your time and effort in this relationship.
Sadly, I have to move on. I truly wish I could stay with you. Life is calling me away. If I didn’t need to earn a living or could figure out how to stay with Sámara I would. Know this, I will return and I don’t expect you to wait for me. I would love to visit you again. I hope we can part as dear sweet friends.

Love always,
Me

Things to Do in Colorado

I have lived in Colorado off and on for nearly twenty years. And yet I’ve not skied in Colorado (Kurt has in Colorado and Italy, lucky guy) or done all the things you do in Colorado. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, I’ve been to a handful of places like Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks, Chautauqua and Roxborough parks, and Guanella Pass. We’ve been to the botanical gardens, Butterfly Pavilion, both zoos, and the aquarium. We’ve definitely done stuff. But there are a few things we would really like to see and experience before we leave the country. And my youngest son has made a list. The list includes Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, Sand Dunes, Royal Gorge, Botanical Gardens, Manitou cliff dwellings and Garden of the Gods.

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Garden of the Gods, Rocky Mountain National Park and Roxborough Park. These are places we’ve been before but the boys don’t remember or really want to see again. It’s been years and they haven’t changed but are amazing and a must to see if ever in Colorado.

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Manitou Cliff dwellings, Royal Gorge, Mesa Verde, Four Corners and the Sand Dunes are among the places we like to visit before our departure. These are classically Colorado sights that Kurt hasn’t been to in decades and my boys and I have never seen. Great places to take pictures and have a little adventure.

Outside of Colorado are two places we’d like to squeeze in over a long weekend. Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. My son would like to see buffalo in their natural habitat. That being said Yellowstone is pretty cool with Old Faithful and all. I was there as a kid and still remember how spectacular the geysers were and how amazing the buffalo and moose were to see roaming around.

So I’m beginning to prepare for our life outside of these United States and planning a few fun things to do before we get out of dodge. So over the next several weeks we’ll be going places and taking lots of pictures. Get out there and do something because it’s a big world.

Ready to rock and roll…Passport to the World

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A Few of My Favorite Things

We’ve got about eighteen weeks and counting. Every week I try and make some kind of progress. My list of things to do is somewhat different than the overall list that Kurt and I written down in a notebook (yep, old school). My goals for the month of February are sell massage chair (check), sell treadmill (working on it, moving from bedroom to living room was this past weekend’s goal), organize and sell elementary homeschool curricula (sorta check). So over the course of the week I located, posted, these items. Still working on getting them sold but we’re making progress.

As I go through my home with a fine toothed comb I get to evaluate all my possessions. Do I want to take this to Italy? Do I want to store it? Can I sell it? Is it worth anything? And my most favorite thought is, why in the world did I keep this for so many years and drag it across the country etcetera, etcetera, etcetera?

I’m practically an expert mover of my life. I can move my household across the United States without any emotional upheaval. I’ve moved from house to house, town to town, and state to state. No problem. For the most part we live fairly light after fifteen years of marriage, two kids, three states, and almost  a dozen households. But this time it’s different . I have to really lighten the load and be diligent about things.

 

What are my favorite things?

1. Family

I’m taking my favorites (husband and boys) with me but I also have albums of pictures, framed pictures and art as well as videos of family, friends, and of a lifetime that will be stored away. Being the digital age, I can bring someone it with me but there is a fair amount of stuff that’ll be stored either at grandma’s or with our other precious things in a container for the long-term.

The one thing I discovered is I have a lot of frames. Big ones. Small ones. Most for photos. Some for art. And I don’t need to take them with me. I’m fairly certain I can get new frames in Italy.

2. Books

We are a family of readers. We have lots of books. We also love a good library but that’s a different story. We have so many books that we don’t actually have enough bookshelves for all the books. So our favorites are out and the rest are in boxes that get shuffled through now and again. Some of these books we’ll sell; old homeschool stuff and various other manuals that aren’t being used. Most will be stored in long-term storage. And a precious few will make the journey with us. Books are heavy as I’ve noticed through the years of moving back and forth.

3. Heirlooms

This is a small but necessary category. I have an antique dresser, bed frame, and a clock that will be kept but not taken. I could not bear it if these things were lost or broken. There are some homemade quilts that my mom made for me as a child and as an adult and for my children. These are some the precious things that need to be saved because of the memories of family.

4. Linens and Things

There’s a lot I’m willing to part with including my iron and old towels. There are things, my nice things, that I’ll be keeping in storage. Being in a house full of boys and moving a lot I haven’t collected a whole lot of nice things. For some reason stuff gets broken and you learn that it’s just stuff. Even if your first reaction is hysterical and over the top. After all, it’s just a sugar bowl. My nicer linens and my nicer dishes will be kept. But most everything else falls under “We’re going to Italy, let’s sell it”.

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The Camisano Market

One of my favorite memories of my 3 years of childhood in Italy (1983 – 1986), is the famous Sunday market in Camisano, where we lived.  I remember the great foods and clothing for sale and all the people.  One of my biggest memories of the market are the food carts selling bratwurst. Being that bratwurst is a German food, I was surprised how incredible it was.

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The Camisano market with definitely be one of the first places I want to visit when we get to Italy.

Do you have any favorite places in Italy? Off the beaten path? Write us in the comments. Give us your opinion. Thanks for reading.

Why Italy

So why have we made this crazy decision to leave our lives here in beautiful Colorado to move to Italy?  To answer that we need to go back 30 years.

In 1983, as an eight-year old boy, my family followed my father to Italy.  The U.S. Army stationed him at the army post in Vicenza, Italy.  He preceded us by a couple months to get living arrangements squared away before my mother, brother, sister and I made the move.  When we got there, we learned that he made the major decision to rent a house in the Italian economy, instead of moving into the neighborhood with all the American military families.  We were to live among the Italians in a small, lovely town just outside of Vicenza, named Camisano.

Vicenza is located in the Veneto region between Verona and Venice, and is just a short train ride from each. While living there I got to see some pretty amazing sites.

Ever since we moved back to the states in 1986, I have looked back on that time with wonder and an unshakable desire to go back some day. My wife has shared this vision with me for as long as we have been married (our 15 year anniversary is tomorrow!). 12 years ago, I remember driving around the Virginia countryside with our 2 boys in the backseat, constantly listening to a Family Circus cassette tape with children’s songs to help learn Italian. I still have many of the lyrics stuck in my head.

Now we have an opportunity to try to make this dream a reality. Our vision is to get training in Italy to teach English and then find employment. We would like to travel around to see the sites and experience the culture and share everything here on this blog.

It begins…

When my husband got word that he might have a little bit of money from his beloved grandmother, we didn’t think much of it. We figured that it probably wouldn’t change our lives. Then we learned that it might make a difference if we allowed ourselves to dream a little.

After some contemplation, my dear husband, Kurt, says that he has a couple of ideas. Now you should know that we never back down from a challenge or adventure. We have moved across the country with very short notice for a job with a newborn and two year old. That adventure landed us in northern Virginia right before 9-11 and the sniper shootings. We moved back to Colorado to be near family and six years later did the cross country thing again.

Back to the idea and the dream. In his reasoning, (being way more logical than myself) we could invest in a future, like a restaurant. We had discussed this before but without means didn’t seem possible in our lifetime. So we spent some time investigating this option. The quality of restaurant we wanted was beyond our means. We still held onto the hope that it could still be possible but in the end came to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to happen.

So I begin to imagine option B. What is option B? Option B is Italy. Yes, the entire country. Actually, we had dreamed for years of going abroad. We have many countries we’d like to visit but Italy has always been at the top of the list. As a child, Kurt, lived in Vicenza while his father served in the U.S. Army. He has very fond memories of Italy and he wants to share Italy with me and the kids. I’m all for it. Can you imagine, the food, the wine, the art, the architecture, the history?
So we’re getting out of dodge and chasing Italy. It begins…