Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

AMERICA! Well, it took me long enough but I made it back to the land of the free..the home of the brave. I didn't think jet lag would get me but it definitely creeped up on me. I got come on the 3rd around 1:55. Customs wasn't as bad as I had thought and I made it through with my Italian veno! My parents were teary eyed and excited, as was I.

I noticed many changes though that I am still overcoming... My ears were really confused because all I heard was english... English? So you mean I dont have to decipher one word at a time? I dont need my little pocket translator anymore? Then the money. You see, when we first left, euros (pronounced correctly A-oo-rose) seemed like monopoly money and the coins were big and heavy.. Now dollars look like crazy small pieces of paper and the coins (especially quarters) feel like I could bend them in half they are so thin.

Food is definitely different here, but I knew that would be a compromise. I guess the difference is that food there is so simple compared to here. There isn't much meat, but lots of carbs and vegetables. Drink options are generally water or wine, plus a few sodas. Coming back the first thing I wanted was good ole Texas Barbeque. We chose a bad place though, because it wasnt the best and my stomach agreed.

Using a phone before this trip was a necessity for me. I was always calling/texting/checking/updating/etc. Sure it would have been a convenience on the trip. but it wasnt THAT important to have. Well now I couldn't be more distant from it. I have called and texted a few people to tell them I am home but besides that I am not attached to it like I once was. There is life outside of texting and I am so glad to be living as phone-free as possible.

Alas, from all the changes I noticed, I made it home to the Burg safely. There were a couple surprises.. Italian flags on the ranch entrance and on our little house with signs saying "Tuscany in Texas" and "Benevenuto a casa Nina"..I am sure the guests were a little confused but I felt so welcomed and excited! I almost took one of the little hand-held flags to the 4th of July parade but I resisted..

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

Today is the last I will spend in the beautiful town of Castiglion Fiorentino. Its weird because my body is in the habit, I feel like I am here for longer but my mind is like.. no, you are leaving today. Its weird trying to convince myself that I am leaving. I am SO excited to come home though.

If anything this trip has made me appreciate the beauty of Fredericksburg more. There are SO many parallels between the Hill Country and Tuscany.. It really is the Tuscany of Texas. I am so lucky that I get to call Fbg home and I am so excited to see my friends and family. Also I am so glad that its 4th of July when I get home, what better welcoming party to America!?

Anyway, I haven't gotten really sad about today yet, but as soon as I see someone else start crying or being sad I will probably be drawn in too. Or it will all just hit me like a slap in the face when I am back in my bed at home. Either way I wouldn't trade this trip and experience for the world. I have learned so much about myself and I have changed for the better- more optimistic and outgoing for sure... I plan to use some Italian phrases (out of habit and just for fun) when I get back and maybe continue my Italian studies.

I had planned to go to Florence today while we are to be packing and stuff but decided I should not be rushed to get back. I would rather spend my last hours with my favorite people, in my favorite place, eating my favorite food, looking at my favorite view. Its no wonder Italians dont travel, there is nothing in this earth more beautiful to see.. but then again, maybe the Texas Hill Country...