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Suddenly. Already. Like any single event you plan for months, it’s over too soon.

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At the train station Sunday waiting for them to arrive.

My only sister, Andrea, her husband, Tony and their seven-year-old daughter Sophia arrived here in Arezzo on Sunday evening.

Our five-year-old daughter Lulu had been talking with Sophia pretty regularly on Skype, but only when I saw them again together playing like no time had lapsed, did it hit me how much time actually had come between these play dates and their last.

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It’s been two years!

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We walked hand-in-hand around Arezzo’s cobbled streets.

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Tasted wines together at the Podere di Pomaio vineyard while the girls played on the rolling hills of Tuscany.

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Visited Arezzo’s famous “Magic Tree!”

Andrea and Tony "keep the tree from falling" as Lulu and Sophia pretend to lose balance!

Andrea and Tony “keep the tree from falling” as Lulu and Sophia pretend to lose balance!

We even braved the sweltering heat and teeming crowds and took the train to Florence for the day.

In front of Florence's Palazzo Vecchio and.. Ah-choo!

In front of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio and.. Ah-choo!

On the last night, Scotty and Tony helped the girls light a Rapunzel-like paper lantern on the steps of the Duomo.  It floated into the sky while Andrea called out, “Make a wish!”

Make a wish.

Make a wish.

I wish I could find a way to have the adventures of living in Italy – without having to live so far away from my family.

So, as the girls hugged goodbye yesterday in front of our house, we promised we won’t wait another two years before we see each other again.

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I love my Italian friends dearly, but I miss my American family.

Til next time, where are you in relation to your relations? Close by geographically and emotionally? Or worlds apart?  I’d invite you to share!

Love, Gina

 

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