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I fully expected my return to the States to be emotional and difficult, and it’s proven true. After all, the first time I visited Italy in 2005 I cried for two weeks upon returning home.  I felt that a part of my heart stayed behind.  Each trip more of my heart remains in Italy. This summer Spencer and I spent nine weeks in hopes of finding our future home. Not only did we find our future home but made friendships that will last a lifetime.  We consider Bagni di Lucca in northern Tuscany our own personal paradise and Spencer and I are counting the days until our return. (106 to go)  In the meantime, I keep encountering reminders of Italy around every corner, some that make me laugh, others that bring me to tears.

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During my first trip to the grocery store after returning to the States, I found an imported entree and lost it in the frozen foods isle.  Luckily since I shop around 8am very few people witnessed my embarrasing emotional outburst.

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Then around the next corner I burst into laughter as I came upon a Minons display. A friend in Bagni di Lucca has some rather strong feelings towards these yellow cartoon characters. I immediately flashed back to a conversation we had that she would un-friend me on Facebook if I posted any Minon pictures on her wall.  (Of course I did. Thankfully she’s also a forgiving woman).

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Spencer spotted something we did not expect to see in our hometown, a sushi train. After dining at similar restaurants in Lucca and Florence we came home convinced our next scrumptious sushi train experience would be back in Italy.  It’s incredible that one trip to the grocery store could force my emotions on such a crazy roller coaster.  Not to worry, I have now passed the three week mark of being home and I’m able to navigate the grocery store isles without weeping.

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