We, Ken and I, are implementing a dream we have nurtured for a long, long time--an         
extended visit to Italy where we can settle in, settle down, see what life is really like in this
country we have come to love.

The dream began when we were foot-loose and fancy free; when we thought that by retiring,
we could freely do what we wanted, when we wanted, how we wanted. You know, those
foolish thoughts we have when we think we really are in charge of life. Then--that life brought
one of its unexpected twists and we became guardians of our then 4 year old grandson--whom
we adore, love, treasure and who rules our life more completely than our children ever did. But,
we thought that signaled the end of our dreams for Italy and travel.

Happily, as we came to terms with our new life and thought things through, we realized that if
we adapted our dreams some, they could enrich Casey’s life immeasurably. Since then Casey
has traveled with us to the Galapapos Islands, the Amazon Rain Forest, the high Andes of
Ecuador, Amsterdam, Spain, France, Hawaii, Alaska, several of the 48, a second trip to Italy,
including Sicily and other shorter, closer to home trips.

After all of this, it is not surprising that he already has a love of travel and after a few weeks
home begins to ask about our next trip. He can find his way around airports like a pro; his first
question is always “where is the Red Carpet Club?”; he thinks that everyone gets to ride in the
big seats and have white linen tableclothes; he is on his second passport; he is amazed if we
are ever on a one-plane trip and he has been in almost as many different cockpits as there are
planes. He has friends all over, including budding romances in Guyaquil, Ecuador and
Montepulciano. He believes that gelato is meant to be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner;
he knows how to say bruschetta correctly and knows that a margherita is a pizza. And--he is
still just 7 years old. What a life!

Now we are preparing for his biggest adventure yet--the opportunity to, for a short time, truly
live in another country, another culture; the opportunity to establish a core appreciation for
human differences; a chance to learn to be comfortable in and relish the new and different; a
chance to define whom he will become in a manner differently than growing up with his only
experience being the fast pace, new world mentality of the United States.

Our dreams have focused on the Tuscany/Umbria area--maybe because we have good friends
in Montepulciano, Chiocchio, Greve, Citta di Castello and having friends is important, maybe
because we love the landscape and the sunrises and the mystical light, maybe because our
"new world" framework longs for a sense of the old, maybe...maybe...maybe.

So, in July, 2006, we move to Greve in Chianti for a year; although, the consensus among
friends is that chances are high we will be there longer. Casey will be attending the local public
school—yes, in Italian. We have an apartment overlooking gorgeous Chianti vineyards and life
holds great promise.

This blog chronicles the journey this far—the planning, the dreams, the Italian bureaucracy,
and more.

And then---------as the title says, much of it is just about Casey—the child that lights our live
plus an occasional foray into some unpredictable territory.  
Casey, Italy and Other Good Stuff
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