If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Madame Butterfly was great! The set was wonderful, costumes wonderful, music phenominal. I definitely need to check out more Puccini operas. The family was less than impressed and a little bored, but the kids didn't fidget or disrupt the people around us and I made it a point to tell them I was proud of them. They did like the music, though, and Alex enjoyed watching the conductor bouncing around in the more lively parts. :) If I get a chance to see the opera again, I'll definitely do so, but I think next time I'm going to shoot for somplace inside where you can't hear car alarms. The Arena is a great venue, but it's open air. It was something you have to experience, though, during a visit to Verona. Man, I'm going to miss this place.

Having said that, I think I'm about ready to go. It's been a wonderful year and I'm taking a lot of good things with me. I'm looking forward to being able to visit again when we don't have to work around work schedules and can be 'just tourists.' We want to go back to Rome and Venice, and we missed Naples and Pompeii this time around. I have new respect for people who immigrate to the US, not knowing a word of English or knowing anything about the culture. I used to think it was foolish to move somewhere when you couldn't communicate, but that's essentially what we did. We thought we knew enough of the language to get by and quickly found out how wrong we were. We were lulled into a false sense of security, knowing there were other Americans here to help us settle in. There were, but when it's cold outside on a Sunday afternoon and you suddenly realize you haven't seen a thermostat in your house and don't know how to turn on your heat, the American support element isn't much help. Thank goodness our friend Lonnie had turned on his heat earlier in the week and knew how to do it!

In a week, we'll be back in the States. I've ordered all of our homeschool curriculum for this fall, and somewhere in a box at my mom's house is Spanish I. We'll be studying dilligently so we can help people who were in our position. I'd forgotten that my granparents did that once upon a time. When I was a teenager, a family from Vietnam immigrated to Michigan and joined their church. Grandma and Grandpa took them under their wings and taught them English. They still live Kalamazoo, I think, and my mom hears from them from time to time. I guess it's time to carry on the legacy.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

We're going to see Madame Butterfly tonight!  I hope my nail polish lasts the night...

Details tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It has occurred to me that someone might somehow stumble on this and the time gap will make no sense whatsoever.  If this is the case, you can find the in-between stuff at www.dragonsroost.net

Today was fairly low-key.  We thought Chloe escaped.  Housekeeping left the bathroom window open, and she frequently goes into stealth mode to slip outside.  Thanfully she was under the couch.  Poor baby is still not quite used to being in the hotel, but that's all to the good if it keeps her in the room where she belongs.

Tomorrow I go to Vicenza to take care of various travel and leaving related junk, put the microwave and transformers in the thrift shop, and show the car twice.  Tomorrow night should be more fun since we're going to the opera.

That's pretty much it right now and it's about time I got back to the hotel to feed the family.  Being a mom is so much fun!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Ciao!  It hardly seems possible, but here I am in the internet cafe, fighting a European keyboard, blogging the end of our tour here.   We're back in the hotel and we leave in ten days.  Tomorrow is Alex's birthday, and Eric's is Thursday.  Tomorrow is swimming and pizza, and Thursday we'll get gussied up and go to see Madame Butterfly at the Arena.  That will be cool!

Anyway, there isn't that much going on at the moment.  We're just taking care of little details like closing out utilities and such.  We're also going for gelato and walks almost every day, enjoying the area as much as we can in the time we have left.  I thought the novelty of downtown Verona would wear off over time, but I'm as enamoured today as I was the first day.  Maybe more, in fact, because I know some of the history now.  All I can say is that I'll be sad to leave and look forward to coming back to visit.  It will be on my dime next time, but there was so much here that we didn't get to see that we've decided to come back anyway.  More details and musings later, when I have a little more time!