Sometimes living abroad is hard. Like when you miss a good friend’s wedding in upstate New York – an event that turned out to be the social gathering of the year (according to Facebook pictures and word of mouth). Thankfully Dave and Jill completely understood when we declined to come. Or when one of your best friends tells you that he’s planning on “popping the question” via email, because there’s really no easier way. Those are the types of conversations that should be reserved for a late night in a neighborhood bar, complete with lots of back pats and free rounds for the groom-to-be. Thankfully, Josh was great about keeping me in the loop, sending us pictures of his wonderful proposal to Abby in Charlestown earlier this year (and even calling us via FaceTime shortly afterward). So, yeah – living abroad can be hard when you miss these special moments in your friends and families lives. However… when we’re able to host our friends and family here, we are always grateful for the experience abroad.
Abby, Josh, Jill, Dave, Jen and Julia
For that reason, we were absolutely thrilled when we heard that Josh and Abby were going to come visit us. We coordinated the timing of their trip so that they would be visiting during a beautiful time of year and the start of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. As soon as they booked their airfare, I reserved our train tickets to Munich, which I’ll write about in the upcoming post. Continue reading The Perfect Recipe – Great Friends, Food & Tons of Fun→
I don’t know who was more excited… Jen to see her parents or Jen’s parents to see their granddaughter. It was close, but judging by the suitcase of presents exclusively for Julia, I would give the edge to Jen’s mom, Diane. Of course, this suitcase (along with the 42 other suitcases Jen’s mom, dad and sister brought) got lost somewhere over the Atlantic and didn’t arrive for another two days (the airline had to hire a Mack truck to deliver everything in one trip).
Julia playing with Nonna on Day One
As you’ve no doubt surmised from above, Jen’s family came to visit recently. They wanted to see the country they love, their second home that has been overtaken by three squatters, their kids and their granddaughter (not necessarily in that order). And we were thrilled to see all of them. Since the timing was right with their work schedules and nursing school (Jen’s sister, Jessica had just graduated), they were able to stay a full month. We had plenty of down time relaxing and plenty of time on the go-go-go. Since so much happened during this month, the story of their visit will most definitely be broken into a few posts.
We’ll just call this the “prequel” or maybe “part one of two“. As the title suggests, our day in Brunateshould have given us spectacular views of downtown Como since it virtually sits atop the city on a mountain. But since the fog wasn’t cooperating and decided to stick around – we didn’t get to see or photograph some of the most amazing views our lake town has to offer. So, perhaps a better title might have been…
“Brunate – we’ll focus on the town this time and show you the views next time… the Prequel”.
Welcome to Brunate
Brunate is a small town of about 1,700 residents in the provence of Como and sits [based on my speculation, vertigo and body tempeture] at the highest altitude in the immediate area. It is for this reason that you get the most speculator views as well as an intimate and charming old-world feel.
There are three ways to get to Brunate. First (and my personal favorite) is by helicopter. This is reserved exclusively for George Clooney (a “local”) and the Italian Prime Minister. I’m hoping to get on this short list. Incidentally, there is no helicopter pad in Brunate – I just imagine if they wanted to travel to this way… they could.