Thursday, July 23, 2015

Italy - Day 41 (Milan to South Bend)

I headed for my farewell run to say goodbye to the city, for now.  A few final pics of the area we came to know and love so well.

This shows our #9 train heading off.

Our balcony
 We had the last of our coffee, put the bags by the door, and then woke the kids about 8 to get ready for our 8:30 pick up.  Pretty early start to the day for them, and definitely some mixed emotions about leaving.  Lily cried the entire way to the airport.

The farewell shots of our apartment...

The steps in the foyer.  The sweet apartment attendant gave us a hearty arrividerci that tugged at my heart and stung eyes with tears.  She loved watching the 'bambini's' come and go and would count off 1 - 2 - 3 to me as they walked by.  Three kids is a rather large family by Italian standards.
 Once at the airport, the kids kept themselves busy.  And funny enough, we ran into some friends from South Bend that were flying home too!  Such a small world!

Gia hard at work on her letters

Lily looking wistfully out the window.

Caden drawing the plane.
The flight from Milan to Toronto was just shy of 9 hours.  The kids did great as usual.  Short stop in Toronto then we landed in Chicago and headed to Avis to pick up our one-way rental, trying hard to keep the kids awake on the last bit of this 19-hour journey door-to-door to tackle the impending jet-lag.  At this point, it is a bout 3AM for them.  It was tough, but we made it the car...

The backseat - Caden fell first, Gia enjoyed hearing her favorite songs and singing along before tipping over, and Lily hung in with the air guitar before falling over the other way :)

They slept the entire way to South Bend and woke in their own beds the next morning right on schedule.

In closing, spending 6 weeks together in Italy has been such a blessing.  We loved every minute of the journey!  Around the dinner table when sharing our favorites it really came down to just having the time to be together walking, exploring, swimming, boating, playing games, and experiencing a different way of life that not only encourages but demands a healthier lifestyle for the people and the environment with  the the emphasis and support for biking and walking everywhere, fresh wholesome foods available at outdoor markets at every turn, and the emphasis on being responsible to do good for the environment too with 5 different trash receptacles for sorting your trash, the smaller cars, and the wonderful public transport.  Hopefully these will become habits for us now that we are home.

And while Italy certainly has made its mark on us, I know Italy will never be the same either.  I mean come on.  How many 4 year olds can pull this off?!?

Ciao per ora bella Italia = Goodbye for now beautiful Italy!

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