This Week in the USA

Buongiorno!

Most of you have seen my blog yesterday about an Afternoon in Salento, a tiny hill town we discovered while standing on another hillside while exploring nearby on our first visit to Italy after purchasing Villa Velina.

I just want to take a few minutes to update you regarding why there was a “no blog” space of almost a month before yesterday and why there will be another week to possibly two week long space before the next blog in this series. We are relocating from the Philadelphia, PA – Wilmington, DE suburbs to New Port Richey, Florida (Tampa, FL metro area). Just like Villa Velina and Italy, we didn’t see this coming. . .

About two years ago, we did a major downsizing from a 3,800 sq. ft. home to our current condo. We thought we would live in our current condo forever and so we spent $30K making it what we wanted from a design perspective. As you will learn in blogs yet to come (my blog is for the most part a chronological story), this downsizing was heavily influenced by our experiences in Italy. Now, we are doing another form of preparation for spending much more time in Italy combined with family reasons.

Between George and I, we have 5 daughters and twin sons, so we are the Brady Bunch on steroids. I brought the 5 daughters and he came with the 2 sons. All together, we have 15 grandchildren!! During 2015, we had a couple of surprises – the two daughters with the 8 youngest grandchildren were both presented with wonderful opportunities to relocate, resulting in a better lifestyle and job opportunities for their families. We were so happy for them!

First, Jeanan and Kevin decided to leave their longtime area of Alexandria, VA (Metro Washington, DC) for New Port Richey, Florida. Kevin’s mom and dad lived near there and while visiting, they fell in love with the area and saw what their money could buy real-estate-wise and so, they built a house. Their jobs were independent of location, so better cost of living for them, not to mention better climate to raise their twin daughters (the Princess Twins) who just turned two and they would be closer to their son, Trevor as he attends Florida State University. (Please note: the Princess Twins DO NOT control our minds.)

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Next, Lauren and Mike lived in Newtown, CT (Fairfield County) and Mike, who is a restaurant management executive, was presented with an incredible opportunity to move to the Gulf Shores, Alabama area to run The Hangout, Gulf Shores and The Gulf, Orange Beach, AL. (Check these out on the internet). They moved to the wonderful town of Fairhope, Alabama. So, off went our 5 youngest grandsons.

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While George and I were truly happy for both of these daughters and their families, our minds began twisting into a pretzel as we tried to imagine how we would live near Philadelphia, visit Alabama and Florida often enough so our small grandchildren would know us AND still have time for Italy. After much mind-twisting thought, we decided to sell our PA condo and buy two smaller condos – one in Florida and one in Alabama.

Well, my friends, our Florida home is ready and it’s freezing up here in Philly, so this week, we’re “getting out of Dodge”. See you all on the other side!!!

Goodbye, Philadelphia!

 

Hello, New Port Richey!

A presto dalla Florida (see you soon from Florida),

Giovanna (Jo)

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