If you came to California for the first time, what would you want to see and do and eat?

We are loving having our Japanese student with us.

Today she wanted to see an American grocery store to buy chocolates. We visited Trader Joe’s and she was very curious about s’mores and gummy candies.


We decided that we would make our own pizzas for dinner, as she loves to bake. We bought the dough to roll out, shredded cheese, pizza sauce,pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms and onions, She never made pizzas before and I think she had a good time.

We invited friends to join us and we all enjoyed each others’ company and sharing a meal together.

Afterwards, the kids all performed the cup song, after learning it at school today. We all loved it!

We ran out of time today, but we plan to take her to a Safeway and to Costco. I can’t wait to see her expression and what she likes.

This weekend I think she will see San Francisco and the beach and maybe the redwood trees.

For breakfast and lunch, I have served her comfort food, which is rice. she seems quite happy here and I hope the rest of the students are having a great visit to the USA. If you have ideas of what we should share with her, please post in the comment section.

Day 90: Rome

It’s been 90 days since we became Expats, and gained this new title. Along with being expats, comes the expectation that we will travel every chance we get… because everybody’s doing it (and because we want to, too)!! And in Holland there is a lot more time off for vacation than in the States, so we’re going Dutch again.

Our first big vacation is to Italy. I have always wanted to see Italy, because my grandma was born in Sicily and I’m half Italian. My dad has never been either, so I wanted to share this with him too. So we are all here for a big, family, European vacation. That’s the good news. Want to hear the bad news?? There has been a stomach virus going around, that lasts for 2-4 days. First Char had it, then Christian had it and last night Juliana got it right in time for our trip. We were debating whether to go or not, but we didn’t buy travelers insurance and we were all filled with anticipation and excitement that we didn’t want to stay home. So we came anyway, and Juliana has been sick all day!! Stuck in the hotel room, waiting to get better. We have taken turns watching her and staying with her but it sure has changed our journey.

The lesson for me (because I’m always trying to learn something new) is that we don’t get to write our own story the way we want it to be. We might have a script and can have expectations and dreams but really, life is out of our control. And when the script changes, can we adapt? I feel like life is constantly about adaptations – some easier than others… Right, girls?

And as for our family story, being sick in Rome really is a high class problem, or let’s be real – it’s not a problem at all,
just an inconvenience and change in plans. I’ll just be thankful for the journey today and for my Mama and Jeff who watched Juliana in shifts, so we all got to see a piece of history and culture. And for Juliana, who has been resting and trying to feel better! I hope the night is good for her, and the rest of us, and that she feels better in the morning.