We are back! Sorry that it took us a while but the last few months have been absolutely crazy to say the least. Like hurricane or tornado crazy! Or Leo & Mila crazy!! So, let’s rewind a bit and start from the beginning…
After finishing our amazing, life changing journey around the world, we flew to Poland, where we spent some quality time with my family and friends. We had a lovely Easter (even though it was freezing - yes, we had some snow and were able to even make a snowman,ha!), ate tons of delicious polish food, and just relaxed after an unbelievable year of travel. After few weeks in Poland, we took a train to Hamburg, Germany and invaded my sister’s apartment. Rick flew back to the USA in search of employment, while the kids and I stayed behind for 3 more weeks and continued to travel between Germany and Poland.
The following weeks were truly insane and felt like a wild ride on a rollercoaster. While Leo, Mila and I were indulging in the european food and culture, Rick was already back in Pennsylvania getting ready for job interviews. It didn’t take him long, and he ended up with 2 offers for employment. The options were to return to Florida in Fort Lauderdale or embark on something completely different, and somewhat risky; Denver, Colorado. The kids and I officially ended our travel fun on mothers day, May 13. I will not go on and explain what it felt like to be back in the USA because it was the biggest cultural shock I have yet to experience (even the bed bugs in Thailand were much more easier to deal with). I had one day to unpack and adapt to our new and strange reality. A day later, Rick and I were on a flight to Florida in a search of a home/apartment for our family. After two days, we repeated the same process in Colorado. We always thought that if we came back to USA (we held a slimmer of hope trying to stay in New Zealand or Australia), we would settle down in Florida (and that was our intention). But life, as we know it, is never a straight line and we were given an amazing opportunity in the Rocky Mountains. After a long sleepless night, we chose the mountains over the ocean…
As much as we love Florida and the easy flip flop lifestyle, we could not pass this opportunity in Colorado. Our year around the world has taught us that our time is limited, things can change in a matter of seconds, and the worst thing you can do is to wait for things to happen and be afraid of a change. I won’t lie, starting a new life in a new state, without knowing anyone or anything, and preparing your kids for school, well it is a bit scary…but, when in doubt I always go back and remind myself of my first year in the USA, all alone, without knowing english, no family, friends or any sense of comfort, tearing my ACL during a basketball game…if I could make it through that I could make it through anything - that train of thought is my daily mantra, haha.
Moving to a new state required us to get two new vehicles (I think Rick’s heart stopped when he was signing the checks for the cars), pretty much all new furniture (we still don't have living room pieces but who cares, being a minimalist is our speciality), kitchen supplies, towels, bedding, pretty much everything you need to live and exist…the chunk of money we have spent so far could easily buy us another year or two of world travels…it’s definitely not easy living in the consumption world but we are slowly adapting to the new speed of life. Rick started his job at the beginning of June, while the kids and I have been living with my in laws back in PA. To make things more complicated, we also acquired some personal injuries.
Leo, while playing outside with a soccer ball tripped and fell into papa’s landscaping wall. He cried frantically so we took him to a local urgent care (oh yeah, health insurance, it’s nice to meet you, won’t lie but we did not miss you at all). The doctor, after examining Leo concluded that he badly bruised his shoulder and it will take 5-7 days to heal…ok, not a problem, but what do you do when your child still complains about the pain two weeks later??? You go back, and so we did…after obtaining the X-rays it turned out that Leo broke his collar bone…this child was walking, running, biking, swimming with a broken bone for two weeks! All I can say is that he is a one tough cookie, a real trooper. He was so cute, after he saw his X-rays and ran (yeah, he was not supposed to run with a broken bone, but try to explain “no running rule” to a 5 year old, good luck!) through the door and screamed to Annie: “I have bones!”, hahaha, this child is too much :) Luckily, he has been doing amazing and recovering at a speed of light.
My second patient happened to be my husband, who attending the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff hockey game (side note: he did not play the game, he was just watching it) and at one point, a large man felt forward creating a domino effect of people falling eventually onto Rick and as a result, Rick tore his meniscus. Please, somebody tell me how is it possible that we traveled for one year around the world, completed plenty of difficult hikes and nothing ever happened to anyone. And now, we are back in America and already are paying healthcare bills, wth??!! Rick injury happened way before he started to work (and we couldn’t get ACA - so much for affordable care) which meant, we did not have health insurance yet (well, we did have a global insurance but it did not cover the USA). During our short trip to Florida he managed to get a MRI but his surgery took place in Colorado. I came down for a week to help him after his arthroscopic surgery, while Leo and Mila stayed in PA. Rick is also doing great and slowly recovering from his surgery…we will be hitting the hiking paths within the next few weeks.
Fourth of July we spent away from Leo and Mila and we missed them terribly. Since we did not want to spent the whole day sitting in the house, we chose to drive to Colorado Springs (about 45 min south of us) and make it to the top of the Pikes Peak (elevation 14, 115 ). Obviously, we could not do the hike since Rick just had his knee surgery. Pikes Peak is one of few summits where you can actually drive your car all the way to the top, amazing, right?! So that was exactly what we did. I must say that tons of people had the same idea as us for the holiday, so it was a bit crowded on the top, but the views made it up :) Seeing the spectacular scenery from the summit made us super excited and we are so ready to explore the whole state of Colorado with our two rascals!
One the way back we made a quick stop at The Colorado Mountain Brewery and relaxed with a glass of beer - hey, the air is super thin and dry up here so you gotta stay hydrated :) Our final destination was The Garden of the Gods Park. We only stepped into the visitor center and grabbed a map. Since Rick should not be doing any major physical activities for another 3-4 weeks, we decided to hold off and visit this part of the mountains once he is all healthy. We snapped several pictures and boy oh boy, this truly is a little slice of heaven…
Yesterday, July 16th we officially moved to the Colorful Colorado!!! The joy and excitement on Leo and Mila's faces when they saw their own rooms was priceless! After 15 months of sleeping in different beds they can finally have their own cozy space :)We decided to keep Leo and Mila with Rick parents till then because there are several family events that we will be part of. We already registered Leo in school and August 10th, he is starting his kindergarten - I may cry just thinking about it, time please slow down. It has definitely been a very challenging situation for us - we spent a whole year together, every single day, and during the last several weeks, we have been separated but thank goodness, it’s only temporary. So this is a short update on our current state of mind : ) We are planning on continuing the blog and will be posting our adventures in Colorado and the rest of the Wild Wild West!!! So dear friends and family, if you are ever planing a trip to the mountains, we are here for you! Let’s just hope we can cope with the snow and much cooler temps than we are used to (although it’s July and it’s hotter here than in Florida!).
Cheers, to a new life and new adventures!