On the road. After all the months of planning and packing we are finally on the road. Right after Christmas we put our house on the market and within days had a buyer. The visas finally arrived the end of January after 3 months of biting our nails (not to mention Bob’s trip to the Italian Consulate in L.A. to prove to them that we had enough resources to live in Italy). We spent all of our free time going through our things, getting leaner – not physically (I wish!) but in terms of our “stuff” – we got rid of so many unnecessary things. We held 2 garage sales and gave truckloads away to charity. Now only the things we really want or need when we return are away in storage. That was quite an experience. Watching all of our things being put into giant wooden crates and knowing we won’t see them for another two years. Very strange. Not to mention the sadness of leaving our little house and saying goodbye to our dear, dear friends in Phoenix. As excited as I am to have this great adventure, I have shed many tears over all that I have to leave behind. But, living is Italy has been our great dream and now is the time we have chosen to have this experience. Life is too short to wait any longer.
We moved out of our house on February 14 and moved into our friends’ John & Sally’s little “casita” and spent the last two weeks there. I worked until February 18 so the brunt of all the packing and moving and planning landed squarely on Bob’s shoulders. There have been lists and sublists and more lists just in trying to make sure all the loose ends were tied, since we were not planning on coming back to Phoenix. We are using our daughter Jessica’s address as our forwarding address since we don’t know how long we will stay in Perugia and where we will go from there. I vacillate between thinking that we are the most brave and daring people, to thinking that we are completely insane!
In our last week, we had to play tourist and ran around town with our cameras, snapping photos of the downtown “Copper Square” and going to all of our favorite places, including the Botanical Garden and up to Carefree and El Pedregal. We shared a dinner with our friends Jeff & Janet at Rustler’s Roost, just to enjoy the beautiful view of Phoenix and the twinkling city lights after dark.
We had a lovely time with John & Sally and offer them more love and gratitude than can fit on this page. They helped make our transition easier and the time we spent with them, relaxing on their deck and enjoying good conversations and delicious glasses of wine will be among our most treasured memories.
Too many goodbyes. We filled our last weeks with dinners, breakfasts, quick visits and lots of hugs with all of our wonderful and dear friends. I wish I could have spent time with everyone but unfortunately, in the end we simply ran out of time and hope those of who we didn’t get to give “one more hug” understand and forgive us. Our promise is that we will come back to Phoenix for visits and hope all of our friends will visit us, either in Italy or in Delaware upon our return. It’s been quite a great run for us. A very large chapter in the book of our lives is coming to a close and a new one is unfolding before our eyes.
On the road in the U.S.A
This morning, February 28th, 2005 at 6am we packed up our little Jetta, and, after waving goodbye to Sally & John, headed north. We made great time and by noon we were at Glen Canyon Dam, drove through the incredible landscape of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument and arrived in Zion by 2pm. We checked into our Best Western just .5 mile outside the entrance to Zion, unloaded all the suitcases and hit the trails. This park is beautiful beyond belief. Like the Grand Canyon, I am sure the photographs will not do it justice but we tried our best. Tomorrow I hope to do some sketching before we leave for Bryce Canyon, the next stop of our “Farewell Tour of the U.S.A.” We spent a lovely few hours exploring and driving through the park here and are convinced that this time of year is perfect for visiting, since the amount of visitors is far less than there would be in the height of summer. The colors, the textures, and the shapes of these rock formations are breathtaking and cannot be described adequately by this tired traveler.
That’s about it for now. I will keep you all posted on our continuing adventures as we make our way east towards Newark and our flight to Italy on April 1. It still seems quite surreal but the suitcases I am surrounded with remind me that this is all very real and most exciting.
Rosemary & Bob