Tonight was wonderful. We walked the streets of Florence and had a wonderful dinner. Talking for hours, we finished the evening sitting in the roof garden at the top of our hotel. Arden and I felt like we were a long way from home and then we saw a small bar called the “Burian Bar.” We both grew up in Burien, WA, so it seemed funny that we had been here a week and hadn’t seen that business until the last night. It was a sign to us that it was time to go home.
This has been a wonderful vacation, we had extended time to reconnect and relax as well as set down our responsibilities. The problem now is that we need to pick those responsibilites up again when we return home. At this minute the thought of that is daunting.
Oh we will be fine, as we always are, but it has seemed so delightfully normal to be strolling around in the evening passing other retired couples enjoying their time in Italy. We have visited with strangers sitting near us in restaurants or on buses.
I am sharing these experiences to encourage other parents. The times that Nick has been too ill to travel have been difficult for us and I have felt hope when I have read the stories of other people who were able to travel and see different parts of the world.
We wouldn’t want to always be on vacation, of course, and we are looking forward to returning to those things that are cherished and familiar: our family, our home, our friends. At dinner tonight we talked about what we would want to share with those we love.
As I leave Florence, I am grateful for the time here. The art I experienced was beyond description. The opportunity to just be with Arden was priceless. I will cherish these memories.