There really is no place like home. No matter how interesting it is to discover new places, I breathe a sigh of relief and relax when I step on to U.S. soil. A few weeks ago, we went to Ohio for our home leave. I know how things work in the U.S. I can speak English freely and I understand how people behave….and the space. There’s so much space to walk, drive, park and play!

The trip over can only be described as the trip from hell. We should have taken it as a sign when we saw a tornado when we arrived at the Rome airport. I won’t bore you with the gory details. However, it took two days to get to Ohio and we missed stopping to see family in New York for a couple days :-(.

A tornado in Rome? We were traveling to the Midwest where there are always tornados, yet we see it one in Rome!

Once we arrived, we had a great time. The boys experienced their first country fair in Lancaster, Ohio. This fair is a big deal. Some kids get a week off from school because the animals that they have raised are competing for prizes. Our boys loved the rides.

Some good-looking chickens

Their first Ferris wheel ride

Look at Russell’s expression…

Like me, I think Duilio will love rollercoasters.

We also went to Old Man’s Cave, a beautiful hiking area in Hocking County. Here are a few web sites that about Hocking Hills in case you ever happen to be in the neighborhood. It’s well worth a visit.

http://www.hockinghills.com/old_mans_cave.html

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/743/default.aspx

Duilio exploring

Checking things out

Old Man’s Cave

Nature is beautiful

We got to see foliage!

My Mom’s new home is lovely. The boys enjoyed riding bikes outside. Duilio mastered riding without training wheels so he was excited. We also got to see many relatives. A really happy trip!

Now here are pictures of some things you probably won’t see in Italy.

Not much call for deer skinning in Italy….

Not too many religious bumper stickers, either. I liked this one.

$4.00 take-away coffees. Insane, but as you can see, I really needed it…looking tired.

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