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SO Happy, but Need SLEEP!

I am high as a kite! On Saturday, we couldn't have asked for a greater arrival day for Federico. He was excited, enthusiastic, and maybe a little overwhelmed by EVERYTHING new. He was surprised by so many things, from all the palm trees and golf courses he saw from the plane upon arrival at PSP to our "Italian-looking" house. He said his room and huge bed was "a room for a king", and was surprised that I spoke and understood Italian. (I held out on THAT until about an hour after we got home.) He arrived with thoughtful gifts for all of us. Luigi is wearing his new collar with an Italian flag scarf attached, and when he found a baseball while "helping Federico unpack", he was given his favorite new ball!

Sunday morning, I was WIDE awake at 4:09 a.m., up and drinking coffee in our dark courtyard. I TRIED to go back to sleep, but no way! I was SO excited to start the day and learn more about Federico. After 15 hours of travel, I knew he would be sleeping late, but he was up and drinking a caffe latte by 9:30. (He left camp in Vermont at 12:30 a.m. on a bus to Boston for a 6:15 a.m. flight to Phoenix, a 4 hour layover, and short flight to Palm Springs)

I know we are in the "honeymoon" phase, and he is VERY eager to please, friendly, outgoing, polite, neat, responsible, and helpful. He did his own laundry from camp, hung, folded and put away everything, made his bed with precision, and has impeccable manners. He asks lots of questions, and has that gorgeous smile on his face most of the time.

Sunday morning, we Skyped Federico's family in Italy from my i-Pad. They were SO excited to "meet us" and get a video house-tour. What a BEAUTIFUL family! They have done an AMAZING job of raising their son. Federico's little brother, Lelio (5), misses him, and kept saying "Hi Palma, Hi Brad, Hi Luigi!" His older brother, Luca, is currently taking final exams in Roma. They plan a visit to California later this year.

After morning coffee cake, we went to Keedy's, a 50's diner, for a late big American breakfast for eggs, bacon, hash browns and pancakes. Federico learned what American coffee with half & half tastes like. He is sticking with my espresso pot at home for breakfast! He has also now experienced home made chocolate chip cookies! : )

Our next stop was the Apple Store. His family decided he needed a new laptop, and he should buy one here. We browsed at Macbook Airs, Macbook Pros, and he marveled at the half-of-Italy's prices of the i-Phone 4s and i-Pads. Then went to Best Buy to look at PC equivalents. He has decided on the Macbook Air. We will be returning to the Apple Store soon. We did a brief driving tour of the neighborhood and Palm Desert High School (which he thinks is HUGE). His high school in Pescara is the size of one building.

We had a relaxing afternoon of Olympics and then went through our list of "Family Expectations" (Rules). We discussed honesty, trust, communication, chores, curfew, homework, etc. There were no shocks, and he appeared to think it was all very reasonable. We had a long discussion on alcohol, drugs, sex, and how American teens
and American high school will be different. He was shocked by some of our stories, and it is clear that his "normal" behavior and family values are all we could hope for.
He is very open and comfortable talking to us. We were so pleased when he said, "I feel like I am at home with my family!"

Finally, dinner was all-American with BBQ steaks, baked potatoes with the works, Caesar salad and corn on the cob. Later, we had birthday cake (his birthday was during his stay at camp and went unacknowledged) and presents. His new Palm Desert High School sweatshirt was a big hit! The "American Flag" cake was also fun! The evening ended with many thanks, and he is generous with hugs, affection, thanks and finally warm "Buona Nottes".

I am in MOM HEAVEN, and finally slept like a baby. I will enjoy the calm before the school year begins and the young women of Palm Desert find him...

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Comments (13)

Ida:

What a great smile! His whole face seems to light up.

Cake looks like it worked out well , I was trying to envision it as you were explaining to me how to layer the colors. Cool looking!

Jo:

You know what you are doing!! Just invite his new friends over often and keep them all well fed.

He sounds like such a gracious young man. I love his reaction to his bedroom! The high school sweatshirt was a great idea!

I bet Luigi is in heaven too.

Barb Cabot:

He sounds like such a nice, well mannered young man. It honestly makes me teary reading your posts. I'm very very excited for his year in the States. This is a true gift for him and for you and Brad.

connie:

I am as excited as "mom & dad"! And Grandma CoCo knows Federico is going to fit right in with our whole family. Love him already!

Sheri:

Like Barb, I was also a bit teary. It will be such a great year ahead. You & Brad are providing such a wonderful opportunity for Federico.

Colleen Kochman:

What a great blog post and a great first day!
He sounds awesome and wow is he adorable. I am quite sure he will be a very good boy compared to American teens. I agree that welcoming and feeding his friends is a great way to keep a non hovering eye on him and see who he chooses to hang with.
Great start MOM!! have fun and keep us posted.

Irene :

Lovely! Thank you for sharing. I can't to read updates.

Kathy:

Palma, I've been so excited to read about all this. What a wonderful experience for the two of you and Federico!!

Diane Vigilantr:

What a great beginning. Wonderful to hear about events as they happen. I have some granddaughters.......
Diane

Krista Harris:

Palma, I am so happy for you! What a wonderful experience this is going to be for all of you. I will be following along and enjoying the fun to come. Federico sounds like an absolutely wonderful guy and I hope I get the chance to meet him sometime during the year.

Susan Millard:

Hi Palma,
So very happy for you and Brad! Federico is just darling, so very fortunate to be in your home. I just know it is going to be a great experience for each of you.
I had a wonderful weekend with Connie at Frosty's home. So wonderful to share our memories of college days.
I so enjoy your blog...
Hugs,
Susan

wendy and Rob Mari:

Palma and Brad, what a terrific beginning to a long relationship. And, how nice to be able to meet Federico's family via technology, and be able to stay connected. Have a great year! ! ! How can you not...

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