Productive afternoon, getting ready to head out

It was such a treat to have a few quiet hours with Tom. We have always traveled well together, enjoy 'sploring (exploring), finding off-the-beaten path places, and employing the "see it or so be it" attitude we coined while living in Amsterdam. We returned to a few old haunts and went to the market to get some foodstuffs to bring home: two bags of chestnut flour, a bottle of vin santo, some sepia pasta and a Nivea body lotion I love. Once we get home and unpack, it is always a delight to look over purchases made, remembering when and where you bought and/or tasted them. Tonight we're going out for a final round of drinks and then a last supper, so to speak. Michele's family is joining us, and it will be nice to have a proper chance to say goodbye. I remember when my family and Tom's first started getting to know each other; being the bride-to-be, I wanted so much for everyone to get along. Everyone did, but those initial meetings had some anxiety about them simply because of the expectations. Here, I have been struck by how much easier and calmer it is to meet a family that will, in some respects, become my own but in which I am not one of the primary linchpins.

Most of our packing is done -it's so much easier to pack for your return- and it's starting to feel like the time to get home has come. The kids need to get back to school, back on their schedules, and I need to get back in the kitchen. Catch you stateside.