We arrived back at the boat after spending three months on land. There were long good byes, 21 hours of travel, two planes, a rental car, traffic jams and wrong way streets. The pizzeria near the marina eased us back into life on board with 3 euro beers, 5 euro pizzas and Italian karaoke. We decided it's impossible to get a bad pizza in Italy and all Italians have great singing voices.
How did we feel about being back? In all honesty, we were really torn leaving home after our extended visit, family and friends have such a strong pull. At first it did take a little while to get used to all the conveniences of home, grocery stores down the street, a car in the driveway, no job to break up our days, and ready conversations with everyone we saw, strangers and friends alike. Funny the things we no longer take for granted. And we were reminded that our life was really back home, this travel is just a fun interlude until we return back to that life. We take so much of home with us everywhere we go, but we also realize how much we want to get out of the new places we visit, our time seems so limited now and we came back determined not to waste a minute of it. This is an opportunity we may not get again, but home is gently pulling us back with kids getting married and parents aging, and we want to be there for all of it.
I write this sitting in the lavanderia, the self service laundry mat. Sometimes there is work to be done and my limited Italian is being tested trying to figure out the directions to run the machines. While we were gone we had the boat pulled from the water, the bottom sanded and repainted, waxed, and a litany of odd jobs performed so that Spindrift would be ready for the upcoming year, hopefully with little maintenance to do along the way. Fingers crossed. Everything down below had to be washed though, thankful we live in such a small space, it was like someone had sanded with all the windows open (had they?) or is it the "Scirocco", the Sahara winds they say blow through here bringing with them the sand? Tony is busy adjusting the rigging and polishing all the stainless, and we are both looking forward to pulling away from the dock in the next couple days when all our jobs are done.
We also seem to have forgotten during our time on land just how compact space onboard is and unpacking has been quite a challenge. What were we thinking? We not only had to bring back another sail, a symmetrical spinnaker for the sail back across the Atlantic when the wind will be to our back, a suitcase full of courtesy flags for the ports we will visit this spring, summer and fall, an endless surplus of yarn for all the knitting projects ahead, pictures and foot stools for redecorating, new games, because you can never have too many games when there is no TV, the list goes on and on. We'll need to do some spring cleaning to make room for it all. And we need to restock our freezer and frig, it's so tempting to load up on all the things we will not readily find once we leave Italy, the pasta, prosciutto, parmesan reggiano, hand made ricotta and mozzarella, and Italian wine. But we remind ourselves that we need to save room for the all the new food in ports ahead. We are ready to move on, we have loved our time in Italy but our sights are now set on Greece and all it has to offer, seafood, greek salads, ouzo and yet another new language to learn.