Sunday, June 24, 2018
Italy 2000-2018, In Pictures...
With us leaving Italy again, possibly for the last time, I thought I would write all kinds of flowery prose about our time here, try to capture the essence of our 15 years here in words and such...but in the end, I figured pictures would tell the story much better than my addled brain ever could. And so I present my/our life in Italy 2000-2018...
Summer of 2000. Shortly after arriving in Italy I was whisked off to PLDC in order to get promoted to Sergeant. Here's me at my graduation.
Upon graduating from PLDC I was immediately promoted to Sergeant.
Me and Mike Rayfield, the first good friend I made here in Italy. I was so lucky to meet Mike as he introduced me to so many places in the area and things to do. He was a Godsend.
My first ever trip to Venice, September 2000. Little did I know at the time what a huge impact Venice would have on my life in the years to come.
Some of the other early friends I made here, Mark and Jane Santaw. This was taken in 2000, before they got married. Mark and Jane and their boys are still some of our closest friends, they live in DC theses days.
Me in the office, somewhere around 2001. This is where I first learned how to do JOPES, the career field that I've worked in since then and that I am going back to in Korea.
Cinque Terra, September 2001. Mark and Jane and my friend John Pitt took me my first time and I was instantly smitten. Cinque Terra was different back then, before all the Rick Steves zombies discovered it. The trails were open and free. Paradise.
Me and my good friend John Pitt. He introduced me to many facets of Italian life and culture and I'm forever grateful to him for that.
Cliff Jumping in Arsiero, about an hour north of Vicenza. At some points, the Astico river is barely 5 feet wide but it's so deep that it's popular with scuba divers. A popular pastime is to jump off the high cliffs on either side.
The so called "Bridge of Death" in Arsiero. We considered it a test of manhood to jump off the bridge and more than one person climbed over the rail, looked down and climbed back over out of fear. I myself made the jump several times, it was exhilarating.
My first foray to the beautiful and historic city of Florence, 2001.
Re-enlisting in the summer of 2002. Doing so kept me in Italy so it was a no-brainer.
Colosseum in Rome, January 2003
Virginia and my first trip to Venice together, spring 2003. The first of many...
Swimming in the frigid waters of the Brenta River in Bassano del Grappa, 2003.
Hiking to Vernazza, Cinque Terra, 2003
Vernazza, Cinque Terra, 2003
Me and Steve-O at the Devil's Forest Pub, Venice 2003
Virginia, 5 months pregnant, getting ready for our friend's wedding
Preparing for the arrival of the X Man, 2003
The X Man has arrived, December 2003
The beautiful walled city and castle of Soave, birthplace of the X Man.
Adele, me, Agnese and Monica with a baby Xavier
Holding my first born at our old apartment in Caldogno. So many great memories in that place.
Giampi and Angese with Xavier. They practically adopted him as their own the day he was born. It's a bond that will never be broken.
Virginia, me and Xavier at Arsiero, summer of 2004
Grammy meets Xavier for the first time, spring of 2004
Visit from Grammy and Tracy in the spring of 2004 with her kids Brianna and Logan
Virginia and Brianna in Venice, spring 2004
Memorial Day ceremony at the American cemetery in Florence, 2004.
With our good friend Monica and her baby Maristella, 2004. Monica and her husband own the restaurant "Il Castello" in Vernazza.
Xavier trying to steal my beer, Innsbruck, Austria, 2004
Italy-Sweden, European Championships in Porto, Portugal, 2004
Daddy and Xavier on our 'laptops', early 2005
Pub crawl in Venice, May 2005
Hiking Cinque Terra, summer 2005
Fly Fishing the Brenta River, summer 2005
Me and my Italian fishing buddy, Fausto.
Virginia's first Thanksgiving meal, with Giampi and Agnese, 2005
Weekend in Milan, on top of the Duomo, 2005
Monster trout taken on my fly rod in Bassano del Grappa, 2005
Me and Danny Arrowood, St Patricks Day in Venice, 2005
Dinner upstairs with Giampi and Agnese, Agnese's pasta with shrimp
With my Masshole buddy Kevin "Elvis" Boucher. Everyone who has ever been to Vicenza knows Kevin, he is a legend here and he's from Sutton, Mass., just outside of Worcester
Returning to Italy after 2 years in Heidelberg, Germany, it was time for Xavier to start school at the Italian scuola materna (Kindergarten). Giampi insisted on bringing him on his first day, he was so incredibly proud.
Xavier's first teacher, Beatrice
Xavier's first best friend, Daniele. They are still best friends to this day and I have a feeling they always will be.
Me and Xavier at the Devils Forest Pub in Venice
On our terrace in Caldogno, 2009
Me and dad in Venice, 2009
Cinque Terra, 2010
Daddy and Luca, asleep on the couch
Xavier trudging to school
Playing foosball with Luca after work at the Enal Bar in Caldogno
Day out in Vicenza, 2012
Welcoming Maximus Amadeus Thibodeau, December 2012
Luca and Xavier welcoming their new brother
Luca's first trout, San Pietro in Gu, 2013
Fulfilling a lifelong dream; taking Luca and Xavier to see our favorite team, AC Milan at the San Siro in Milan, April 2014. We would depart Italy only days later.
Returning to Italy and visiting Giampi and Agnese, 2017
Reuniting with Mauro upon our return in 2017
Max at his first ever soccer match. He would dominate his league, averaging 10 goals per game. He is a natural.
Max with HIS first ever trout, San Pietro in Gu, 2017
Me and the kids having a snack at Tazza d'Oro in downtown Vicenza, spring 2018
Vacation on Lago di Garda (Lake Garda), Memorial Day 2018
Family hike up Mt. Berico, Vicenza.
Thus ends our adventures in Italy. Looking forward to making new memories in South Korea!