Home is where love resides, memories are created. Friends always belong, and laughter never ends. Author Unknown
No matter how much beauty we are surrounded by on a daily basis or how much awaits on the next hilltop there is always a pang of longing that is beckoning us home- not to the building that houses our beds, but to the people (and fury babies) that hold our hearts. On a day or season that reminds us of our many blessings in life- I'm certainly grateful for the love that we have awaiting us when our journey brings us back home but I'm equally as grateful for the welcoming hearts and extensive kindness that we are surrounded by here in beautiful Tuscany.
We are forever beholden to our friend Pamela. This amazing journey only came to fruition because of her. We met Pamela awhile back, during a cooking experience at her home, Poggio Etrusco. Looking back, when we were driving to our cooking class, we had no idea what to expect and didn’t realize that this beautiful woman and her husband Johnny would be a part of our lives in the future. Something about that day and about this journey has made me appreciate and embrace the fact that on any day and at any time someone unexpected can walk in and place a stamp on your life in a marvelous way (and hopefully you on theirs). One of the deepest impressions Tuscany has made on me thus far is that we keep getting stamped by the most dynamic and loving people. Keep your heart open and say 'yes' to challenges because you never know how those choices will have an impact on the future you.
When we accepted our invitation to come housesit Pamela invited our family to Thanksgiving. I was honored, excited, and nervous (because how was I going to cook for her amazingness- THANK GOODNESS FOR JON). More than any of those feelings, however, I felt that cozy feeling like we belonged somewhere in this beautiful boot of a country. Poggio Etrusco is that cozy, come home, feel comfy, get real, kind of a place. Pamela and Johnny belong in Italy-their home is like your favorite blanket. Her artisan cooking is bellissimo (there really is not a word that can capture how silly awesome it is)!! His capucinno’s and hot cocao are worthy of having them transported to the states (no joke)!!!
We arrived at Poggio Etrusco with excitement and truthfully a little a sadness not to be with our own family for this holiday. We all have traditions and you realize when you aren't a part of them how very much they are a part of you. As you approach their home, however, you are struck by the beauty that surrounds you. Rolling hills, olive trees, and a quintessential Tuscan landscape. You enter the gate to go into their home and immediately the warmth of their place envelopes you. We were greeted with love and compassion (everyone there was missing someone in their family). With each new person we met we heard a new story, new excitement, new passion, and found a new connection in life. My children witnessed people coming together and celebrating in such a familial way even though many of us met moments before. I'm struck by the beauty in each connection we create and feel. We felt welcome and in love with everything about this place, again!
They created a meal that was full of tradition and home. Our children were welcomed and loved on in a way that warmed our hearts and touched our souls. As parents, we pray that this journey was the best choice for our kids. That our desire to give them opportunities is based on their best needs and not our own (I know many of you have wondered the same thing). I watched our children converse and connect with new friends (their elders) in ways that I'm quite certain that these imprints will forever be a part of who they are and how they dream. Poggio Etrusco, Pamela and Johnny, and all of the wonderful people that we were so blessed to have met provided our family a slice of home through their love, laughter and sense of belonging that is innately in who they are and what Tuscany embraces.