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What I look forward to in the U.S.

26 Oct
26 October 2016. One day to go! We walk around Rome alternately maudlin and delighted. While we are ready to move on to the next adventure, we will miss many things about this magnificent city. Walking to dinner in any number of neighborhoods, enjoying the architecture, stopping in any little bar for a good coffee. Pizza. But the romance of Roma and thoughts of staying can be dashed in an instant by a tangle with bureaucracy, and as we try to depart there are daily tangles. Save me from service businesses that close for lunch just when I need to run an errand, like at 2:00PM two days before we move!
This is part four of my four-part series on what I will miss and not miss in Italy and the U.S. Here’s what I am looking forward to in the U.S.
My clothes dryer in summer. In the winter the "dryer" is in the second bedroom.

My clothes dryer in summer. In the winter the “dryer” is in the second bedroom.

  • Clothes dryers. Hanging clothes out to dry is not too bad in the summer. In the winter it can take 48 hours for jeans to dry and I have to set up a drying rack in the second bedroom. Doing sheets and towels without a dryer is a chore I would gladly skip. And without a dryer, one has to do a lot more ironing. Dryers also take the lint and cat hair off my black tee shirts.
  • Running multiple appliances at the same time. I cannot iron while I wash clothes. We cannot make coffee and toast at the same time unless we are really lucky. The washer and the electric tea kettle running simultaneously can also pop the circuit. The cure is a trip down four floors to the basement to reset the breaker. We are looking forward to electrical service that can handle multiple appliances at one time, as well as to less ironing.
  • Ethnic food. Mexican, Tex-Mex, Thai, Sushi, Vietnamese, Indian, and HALIBUT! Oh, I have missed halibut! We have great food in Italy. GREAT food. But I miss having some good alternatives.
  • Using my superb English skills. My Italian has gotten pretty good but I still do not understand much about the culture and how things work. Politics defies understanding unless you grew up here, I think. It is difficult for me to stand my ground, to argue when something isn’t going my way. It’s a national past-time here. I do that VERY well in English.
  • Netflix and Vudu got all cranky a few months ago and will no longer stream dependably through a VPN so we cannot get all the American content we want in Italy. Luckily Amazon Prime Video works most of the time.
  • Family and friends and easy visits with the people we love. We have had a wonderful time hosting people here, but it’s not as easy as having a monthly dinner date. I miss my girlfriend time (Voyageur Femmes, I am speaking of you!). Looking ahead to Thanksgiving in Seattle and Christmas in Durango!
  • The Portland Farmers’ Market. While it’s only held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and it’s only there for 9 months of the year, it’s a lot of fun. I am looking forward to finding more options to buy direct from the farmer and not only the produce but also meat and poultry. Santa Rosa-style burrito, anyone?
  • Talbots, Nordstrom, Zappos, and Amazon.com. I love online shopping. Period. Nothing more to say.
  • Pinot Noir from Oregon. There is wonderful wine in Italy, of course, and it is inexpensive, but Oregon Pinot Noir is something special. In the U.S., we can get wine from anywhere in the world. In Italy, you get wine from Italy. 
  • Going out to breakfast now-and-then. (Hashbrowns and bacon!) No one in Italy knows how to make a decent omelet. Frittata, yes, but not omelets. Hashbrowns do not exist outside of the commissary at the U.S. Embassy, and I don’t have access to that anymore. However, I don’t think Ric nor I can down the big breakfast these days. We’ll have to split a portion. 
  • Reading the Sunday paper. Such a nice thing to do on a Sunday morning. I might wait until after the election, though. Well after. 
We are packed. The last shipment through Mail Boxes Etc. was dropped off today. We have the travel certificate for Janie Gray. Now, what have I forgotten?
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36 Responses to “What I look forward to in the U.S.”

  1. graciamc October 31, 2016 at 20:20 #

    Welcome back! We’ll miss your Rome blog but look forward to your next adventure.

    Like

    • GoodDayRome November 1, 2016 at 01:41 #

      Thank you Gracia! I am planning to continue to blog. Just not sure of the details….

      Like

  2. mvaden1948 October 31, 2016 at 15:11 #

    When I live on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean I was never homesick, never had any culture shock but when I came back to the States (and I was only gone seven months) I suffered major culture shock. Things were a lot different than I remembered them. It didn’t help that I had moved to Grenada from the mountains of Western North Carolina and flew into LAX,,,,it had been many years since I had lived in California.
    I hope you aren’t too disappointed with the changes in the Sunday papers.
    Just relax and take your time to settle back in.

    Like

    • GoodDayRome November 1, 2016 at 01:40 #

      We have been amazed at how easy it is to get back in the flow in many ways. Driving, which we have done little of in the past few years, has been a breeze, Amazing how easy it is when everyone follows the rules and there are no motorini buzzing around! But then we walk into Fred Meyer and BAM! we are giggling at the opportunity to buy almost anything we want in one giant store! Just the other day in Roma, we needed some over-sized band-aids. The Farmacia had only little ones out. I had to ask for the large ones which were secured in the back. Why have things displayed that someone might want to buy? In Fred Meyer not only are they displayed, but there were half-a-dozen choices! And we could buy wine and yogurt at the same time! But the coffee is horrible!

      Like

      • mvaden1948 November 1, 2016 at 05:14 #

        When I came back to the States (from a very poor country) I was overwhelmed by supermarkets. All of the abundance when so many people are hungry.
        You can get Lavava (I may have spelled it wrong) at Safeway… espresso roast. Probably as close to Italian coffee as you can get. You’ll need to buy one of those DeLonghi espresso machines and make your own coffee at home.
        I’ll have a few cappuccino for you in Venice in March.

        Like

        • GoodDayRome November 1, 2016 at 12:19 #

          Of course we know the Italian brands available and perhaps you have missed postings about my love affair with the Nespresso, but having a nice coffee out — especially a well-crafted cappuccino — is a delight. I think I understand why people order 400 calorie flavored lattes at Starbucks: to cover up the flavor of the coffee. Oh, and it is “Lavazza.”

          Liked by 1 person

        • mvaden1948 November 1, 2016 at 15:50 #

          I did remember the spelling….in the middle of the night.
          Yes, it is impossible to get good coffee out. Sadly even in Italian restaurants run by Italians.

          Like

  3. ckleonard October 30, 2016 at 05:20 #

    Welcome home! By the time you are reading this, I will bet you are safely tucked in here in Portland! Yea!

    Like

    • GoodDayRome October 30, 2016 at 13:39 #

      Thanks, Carolyn. In Seattle now and home by lunch time!

      Like

      • ckleonard October 30, 2016 at 17:09 #

        welcome! When I saw the news of the earthquake this morning, I said to myself, I’m so glad they missed it. Trust me, don’t even let yourself watch TV until after the election. Campaigns are insane.

        Like

  4. gayleseely October 30, 2016 at 00:36 #

    What a lovely idea, actually. When Italy comes and tracks you down, insist on a month’s stay to acclimate to the situation, before you go to court or the federal office and clear the whole thing up. You could ask for first class airfare, I suppose, based on your sensitive nature. Probably wouldn’t work. Hope you did feel the earthquake before you took off.
    Enjoy the north Atlantic – icebergs should be in abundance.

    Like

    • GoodDayRome October 30, 2016 at 13:39 #

      We missed the earthquake! I think we left at the right time, although American TV politics coverage already has me crazy!

      Like

      • Marcia October 30, 2016 at 18:06 #

        I believe Italy has a third earthquake yesterday or late last night at 6.6. I personally think the ‘earth moved’ when you decided to return to the USA.

        Like

  5. Chloe Erkenbrecher October 27, 2016 at 18:19 #

    I am sure that you have mixed feelings today. Will miss your blog. First the blog from Sicily disappears and now yours. A dark day. Bon voyage and I know that your time in Oregon will be wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 28, 2016 at 14:18 #

      Chloe, I will keep blogging, but no doubt the subject matter will change. I will use GDR as a transition until I figure out what to transition to.

      Like

  6. John Henderson October 27, 2016 at 14:25 #

    I think it’s a good sign that I’ve lived in Rome nearly three years and your blog didn’t make me homesick. Still, you point out some true pluses about America. The U.S. isn’t a bad place. Take advantage of the advantages. And yes, when I went to Denver on personal business last month, I really, truly enjoyed Denny’s. You may have left out parking garages. One of the major deterrents to me owning a car in Rome is the total parking hassle. In America, stores have parking lots. What a concept! Good luck. Mark down the date in Portland when you start missing Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 28, 2016 at 14:20 #

      I never thought about the garages. Huge missing link, isn’t it? No wonder people flock to Porta di Roma!

      Despite not having a clothes dryer, I have never even once been homesick. I have to say, the Asian food I had for lunch in Frankfurt today was a welcome change. But then I dread eating Italian outside of Italy.

      I am already missing Italian coffee. I hate these pushbutton machines in Switzerland and Germany!

      Like

  7. Ken October 27, 2016 at 07:55 #

    Laurel,

    It’s hard to believe that your wonderful adventure in Bella Italia is coming to an end. What a incredible experience that must have been! I’m sure there will be a “period of adjustment” as you get used to life in the U.S. again, but I can certainly understand how much you’ll enjoy having a clothes dryer and being able to run more than one appliance at a time. Safe travels and best of luck in your new home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 28, 2016 at 14:21 #

      Thank you Ken! One day we will meet in Portland!

      Like

  8. krumkaker October 27, 2016 at 07:51 #

    Bon voyage!!!! Great list — loved the multiple appliances point. In Rome I always say it’s rock, paper, scissors: iron, washing machine, oven? There can be ONLY one. When a visitor puts the kettle on and the dishwasher is on, you run across the room saying NOOOOOO…….! to try unplug it before the fuses blow. Enjoy running lots of things at once, and best wishes with the transition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 28, 2016 at 14:22 #

      Love your rock-paper-scissors analogy! Thanks for your kind wishes. I will reunite with my krumkaka iron (shipped back from Rome in 2015) so I can make them for the holiday!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Derek October 27, 2016 at 05:53 #

    While I am (kind of) happy you are coming home, I am definitely going to miss having a place to land on future travels overseas. I have sent many people over the last 5 years to this blog to get some insights on what to see, do, and expect when going to Europe. In the end I guess turnabout is fair play, so you’re welcome to my second bedroom as long as you need it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 27, 2016 at 05:55 #

      You can always come along for a part of our future trips! Meet us in Paris or Switzerland! We are grateful for the use of your guest room. See you real soon!

      Like

  10. karen October 26, 2016 at 21:49 #

    Oh my gosh, the time has flown and I can’t believe you’re already coming home!
    It will be great to have you back in town.
    I remember the return culture shock after 2 years in Spain, but fortunately it doesn’t take long to get comfortable again. But alas, the coffee problem does not go away!
    Buen viaje!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 27, 2016 at 05:56 #

      Thank you Karen. So many changes in 4 1/2 years! We’ll have to get together over a glass of good Oregon Pinot Noir and skip the coffee. 🙂

      Like

  11. sanderphotos October 26, 2016 at 21:36 #

    Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sarah Campbell October 26, 2016 at 19:44 #

    Have a safe trip home – I will miss your blog from Roma! Enjoy your family & friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 27, 2016 at 05:57 #

      Sarah, I plan to keep blogging. Might start a new one…hard to say. Stay tuned|!

      Like

  13. Bill Walls October 26, 2016 at 18:02 #

    There is definitely a culture shock returning to the U.S. – the amount of choice walking into an average size grocery store, the mega highways, and the lack of a GSO. The costs here are more expensive but I have finally figured out the budget for ‘US based’ living and it is not that bad – just have to figure out how to do inexpensive trips.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 27, 2016 at 05:58 #

      Caro Bill, We miss you guys! We will settle in a far less metropolitan area than DC. I cannot imagine how hard that would be on my provincial self! You must come see us in OR once we are settled! Love to you both!

      Like

      • Bill Walls October 27, 2016 at 13:44 #

        Come see us anytime – we have a 4 BR and we are just off the metro, Safe journey and enjoy your travels/return!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Marcia October 26, 2016 at 17:43 #

    After visiting you, Ric and Janie in Rome I can just feel your conflicting thoughts of returning to the USA as you spend your last day in Rome. It even brings tears to my eyes. Yet, I picked up on some of difficulties you’ve mentioned living there just in a few short days. It did complicate daily life and take longer for many activities.

    Marc and I will be thinking of you as you board that plane for the LOOOOONNNNNGGG
    journey back in so many ways.

    Keep us posted!

    Like

    • GoodDayRome October 27, 2016 at 05:59 #

      We are so happy you were able to visit, Marcia. Janie says “hi” and appreciates your good wishes.

      Like

  15. gayleseely October 26, 2016 at 17:34 #

    Aha! I know that feeling. I always tell myself it is just normal to feel that way but I have really NOT forgotten anything. I even have a travel list now, just so when we make our various weekend junkets I can review before we leave. But in spite of all this, usually I DO forget something. And it is usually not on the list, of course, because why would I need to remember THAT? Whatever it turns out to be, someone can send it to you, or you can buy one, or perhaps go back and get it next year.
    Bon Voyage!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GoodDayRome October 27, 2016 at 06:01 #

      Hahaha! One time, many years ago on a trip to the coast, Ric forgot to pack underwear. We had to stop at JC Penney in Tillamook. Since then, things we have forgotten to pack have been minor. I am more worried about loose ends I might not have tied up. Trying to make sure Italy doesn’t come and hunt us down for some bureaucratic process we neglected!

      Like

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