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Living in Florence, Italy: Thoughts Two Months Later

Living in Italy, Moving AbroadKate Hash3 Comments

Well folks, we've been back in the U.S. for just about two months. The time has flown by. We've been bouncing from place to place; sometimes for extended periods of time and sometimes for quick visits. We'll be moving on to the next and almost-final destination soon, but in the meantime I wanted to pull together my thoughts on what the first few months back in the U.S. has been like for us.

The biggest surprise? There hasn't been much reverse culture shock. I remember that sensation big-time after studying abroad ten years(!) ago, but this time around there hasn't really been any...at all. I think we've just been basking in the convenience of, well, everything too much to be bothered even in the slightest by any culture shock. 

Pleasant surprises abound! You forget about how much joy little things can bring you. It's walking into a Target and seeing adorable makes-life-a-thousand-times-easier-products. It's finding Garden of Eatin' Red, Hot and Blue tortilla chips and biting into one for the first time in three years. It's unpacking some of our stored boxes and seeing photos, mementos from college and other things we'd forgotten about.

Speaking Italian is more fun here. It's like Italians in America have a radar for us, because we've met a handful of them and all they want to do is chat, hear about why we were in Italy and, of course, talk politics. If I'm being honest, it feels like there is less pressure to be perfect with our language. The people we meet are just so excited to speak with us. It reminds me a bit of the first few months in Florence when we initially moved there. Just excitement and a simple love of the language.

I miss the little things about Italy. I miss walking to the grocery and bread shop each day. I miss the little piazzas that always felt like the essence of the city for me. I miss Livia stopping to explore nooks and crannies that kids her age have been fascinated by for centuries. 

I miss our friends more than anything. Was it nice to walk across the Ponte Vecchio and past the Duomo every day? Sure. But, I actually don't miss those anywhere near as much as I miss our friends. We met some amazing people during our time in Florence and not seeing them for a few months has been a big hit. It just reaffirms a very important fact about life: people make a place feel like home.

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I'm going to be putting together some final guides and recommendations for Florence in the coming weeks and months. I want to get all of my favorites "on paper" before I start forgetting things. Stay tuned!

Never thought I'd say it...

Kate's FavoritesKate HashComment

...BUT, one thing that I really miss about Florence/Italy is all of the adorable little motorini (scooters) whizzing by. Sure, sometimes I felt like there was a strong chance I'd be run over by one of the darn things, but they are so quintessentially Italian. I confess to taking more than my share of touristy scooter photos during my time in Florence.

The newest Vespa models are not only well-designed and stunning, but so is the marketing! I signed up for their email list years ago and just can't quit it because 1) I love seeing the new models and 2) I love seeing what their designers cook up each new season. The design nerd in me is in love with their newest promotional work.

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I can totally picture myself zipping around town in one of these! The cream colored model with the red seat has my name all over it. Until that moment comes, however, I'm satisfied with living vicariously through my photos from Florence.

Happy Weekend

Weekly RoundupKate HashComment

A few bloggers that I love and adore do these regular weekend link roundups. Essentially, they share their favorites articles, products and findings from around the web each week. I love these posts because I'm able to find some really neat things that simply didn't cross my radar during the week.

So, in that spirit, here are a few things that I read this week and just have to share...

 

A science-y article from Time about the secrets of living to 115 years old.

I call 'em hoagies, which explains why I love the Phillies, thank to the New York Times.

One of my faves, Rifle Paper Co, has even more amazing illustrated city prints.

I love Danielle LaPorte and her core desired feelings library is so pretty and fun.

These jersey dresses from Old Navy are fast becoming my spring/summer uniform.

The marketer in me loves deconstructing generosity by the always enlightening Seth Godin.

Mad props (yeah, I said it) to Young House Love. Been there, felt that. Blogging isn't always easy.

Future grandfather has the most wonderful, heartwarming reaction ever.

 

Photo of Bali found via Pinterest.

Life lately

LifeKate HashComment
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We've been busy bees lately over here! I swear, sometimes I wake up and wonder what city and whose house I'm in. We're having a blast, but starting to get the itch to get settled in our next destination. Currently we are living la vita retirement down in Florida with Rob's mom, so I guess we really can't complain too much.

I can't wait to share all of our exciting goings-on soon. Until then, I hope you're all having a great Spring so far...I know we are!

Our Family Photos from Paris

Family Stuff, TravelKate Hash1 Comment

To say I'm happy about our family photos from Paris would be the understatement of the century. Katie Donnelly is so talented and lovely -- I can't recommend her highly enough if you are in Paris and want to capture your visit to the city.

If you need any reassurance about how awesome Katie is remember this post where I mentioned that the Hash family was barely sleeping in Paris. It was a nightmare! But, somehow, some way, Katie managed to capture us at our best (and maybe even worked some PhotoShop magic on bloodshot eyes). That's some serious photographic voodoo magic right there folks.

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As an FYI, if you're looking for a family photographer in our old home of Florence, Italy, I can recommend both Mollie Pritchett and Birgitte Brøndsted.

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