Busy visiting and eating

Since we've arrived in the States a few weeks ago, we've been busier than ever. We have flown to different cities (and states), stayed in our relative's and friend's houses, and driven around a little bit. We've been to Las Vegas, Denver, Breckenridge (CO), Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Los Gatos, and Sacramento. We've done a lot in such a short amount of time and have visited almost everyone we came here to see.

So far, we have eaten a lot of different types of foods, like Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Korean, and American. People always ask me if we can't get any of these different types of foods in Florence, but they are not prepared as I like them here in California. In Florence, there aren't any Thai or Korean restaurants, but I can buy many of the ingredients to make certain dishes myself.

We have over ten Japanese restaurants and only a few Mexican restaurants in Florence. The Japanese restaurants mostly make sushi, which is quite good, but nothing compares to our favorite place in the Sacramento area, Mikuni's where we ate last night. The Mexican food we get in restaurants in Florence is not what I'm used to. I make a lot of Mexican at home out of necessity nowadays to curb my and Dave's craving.

Now that we're on our third week here, I just reviewed my list of things we have yet to eat before we go back. I got through many of the individual items that I craved, which were as trivial as a Rueben sandwich, a caramel apple, a Cinnabon(r) cinnamon roll, and a corn dog. I still need to go eat dim-sum, which I'm hoping to do this weekend, and drink a bubble tea (the Chinese milk tea with tapioca in it).

I'm just getting my fill of a few of the things we can't get in Italy. I hardly ever ate a corn dog when I lived in the States. I just miss it now because I can't get them in Italy.

The only other task we both do before we go back is buy a lot of items we can't get in Italy or that we can get much cheaper here. Would you really spend $100 on a pair of Levi's jeans if you can get them here for $30?

I have a few other items that I want to buy, like Mexican spices and chocolate chips. I use a lot of Italian and French chocolate to make chocolate chip cookies, but it's really not the same. There's something different about the Toll House chocolate chips/chunks that we get here. Maybe it's a taste I'm used to, maybe I like that they are a little sweeter, or maybe I love the way they melt a little and are softer to bite into. All I know is that I love them and I'm not willing to spend $10 in Italy for the same bag I can get here for $3!

The longer I'm here though, the more I am missing my life back in Florence. I miss going to the mercato (market), cooking, and walking around town. What I truly miss the most however are my friends back home. Many of them do not have Internet and are not used to emailing me, so I haven't talked with anyone since I left. I feel a sense of loss because we are no longer in contact, but I'm sure when I go back we'll reconnect as if no time has passed.

For now, I am going to continue enjoying my stay in my home state where I can visit my friends and family and eat to my heart's content!

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