If you ever wondered how my au pair adventure ended, today I’m here to tell you everything about it.
If you were following my blog, you probably know that I haven’t posted anything after my 11th month.
In my second year a lot of things changed, I started working more hours and I travelled like never before. Weekends were always busy, if it wasn’t travelling it was hanging out with my friends or spend time with my host family. That resulted in me abandoning my blog.
During my second year I met a lot of new people, americans, but also au pair.
However, I soon realized that my real friends were the ones I met in my first year. I don’t know if it depended on the people or it was just the mood, but I found myself spending more time growing the friendships I already had instead of searching for some new ones.
Right at the beginning of my second year, Carolina ended her time in the US. Few weeks prior her Farewell party we went to Broadway to see Aladin. No doubts why it is so famous. It was an amazing show. The special effects, the music, the actors, the stage…. Just breathtaking.
Then summer came, and she organized a super cool party at her host family’s house: pool, BBQ and so on. Everything was framed by lots of hugs and tears. With her departure I lost one of my best friends. Lost is not even the right word, we are still in touch today and when we have the chance, we spend hours skyping. With lost I simply mean that, of course, I couldn’t hang out or travel with her anymore, go visiting her and the kids and have her home for dinner on Sunday. Yup, Sunday was basically our weekly appointment. When she left, nobody took her place.
Later in the fall it was Harry’s turn. Harry, together with Ron, were the two Americans I hung out with the most. An incredibly number of memories is with them. Board games, hikes, Halloween, bars, parties, bonfires, drinking games…
Well, back to Harry, he got a job opportunity in Boston, so in the fall he had a big Farewell party and then he moved. Sure, he still had friends and family back in PA, but of course he was coming back only on vacation, so I saw him a couple of times in about 6 months. The crew wasn’t the same without him. We weren’t hanging out all together anymore, but luckily I still got to see Ron every once in a while.
Around spring, but I can’t remember the exact period, it was time for Li Shan to move. Allen (the husband) got his residency in Pittsburgh, of course, on the other side of Pennsylvania. Li Shan was the au pair before me, and even tho she was always super busy with work and her married life, it was nice to have her around, knowing she was in town and also have dinners, hikes and talks with her when we had the chance to do so.
And now she was gone too. Like I said at the beginning, I didn’t spend much time in my second year searching other friends, so I had few weeks in which I felt sort of sad/lonely because everybody I cared about was leaving the valley.
But my year wasn’t only departures and sadness. Many happy things happened too.
I’ll start talking about Thomas. He wasn’t only my neighbour, he was one of the best friends I had. He is the only one that was there from the very beginning to the very end of my experience. He was my gossip and party pal, the guy I loved go walking with around the neighborhood to just relax and catch up, going to movies, having lunches together, going to weekend classes and so on and on. We basically didn’t go longer than two weeks without seeing each other, even if it was for only 5min.
Then, there are Anna and Elisa. They became my best travel buddies. While she was there, I travelled mostly with Carolina, but one day, I met Anna on a fb group and we went to the Niagara Falls together.
We had a really good time. She was an amazing companion and it was nice and easy to agree on budget and itinerary.
After the first good experience we kept in touch and decided to tour Miami, Keys and Everglades together for new year’s eve. It was on that occasion that, still thanks to fb, I met Elisa. She was just like me and Anna, in fact I can only say that one of the best vacations I had was with them. Easy to plan, cheap, relaxing, beautiful places. Couldn’t ask for anything better. Unfortunately Anna left the States and moved to Australia, but Elisa and I kept travelling together. We visited Boston and New Orleans and both times I was really happy I was there with her.
My host family is, without any doubts, part of the happy memories. My host parents were the best, just like in my first year. They always helped me, advised me, or offered me wine when I needed it. My kids were the ones that very often made me smile and brightened my days. Their spontaneity and genuineness is something amazing, able to change a bad day in a good day. In this second year I saw them growing even more, getting more responsible, more mature and more independent. Maybe they don’t realize that, but I can see the difference. Some of the best moments I bring with me are:
- The day I brought my kids fishing: we were all excited about that and I thought it was like in Italy. Well, fishing in the States with worms was more difficult than I thought and we ended up catching just tiny fish. Not even enough for a dinner for one. They loved it tho and asked me many times to go back at the fishing area.
- The day Lily learnt to bike ride: we struggle for many months because she didn’t want to learn, but, she was sort of jealous I was riding with Sam. In the end I convinced her, we worked really hard, she learnt, and I felt the best au pair in the world because now she loves it.
- The trip and the Philadelphia’s zoo and at the Laurel caverns: two amazing trips with the grandparents. It was lot of fun
- The days in which Sam gave me a hug when I went to pick him up at school: During my second year I felt he got much closer and opened with me. So a couple of times I went to pick him up at school, he ran to me for a hug. Things that you don’t forget.
- Running, bike riding and walking around the neighborhood: My favorite afternoons were with the kids. I think kids have to spend a lot of time outside when they are young, so basically every afternoon during the good season we were outside for a bike ride or simply a walk to the park.
- The school recital, the Halloween parade, the piano recitals, the open house and the international day at school: Seeing your kids happy that you are there, seeing that they search for you among the crowd, and then their smile when the see you, is the best
- The runs: the first color run with Sam was the best. It was our run and I a blast with him. We did it again the following year with Lily and John. Another amazing time.
- Orlando: I think among everybody I was the happiest in the group. Going to the Disney’s Parks it is something I thought I would have never had the chance to do in my life. Well I was there with my host family and it was simply amazing. I was more of a kid than my kids and I loved being there with them. We did every possible ride and meals with the characters.
- The Holidays: I spent every single holiday with them. My host family and their friends and family are wonderful people and I always had a good time gathering and celebrating holidays with them.
- Snowboarding: I kept snowboarding in my second year and my kids got better and skiing. The best memories I have on the snow are us going down the slope all together with John as well.
- The ballet: I had again the opportunity to go twice to the ballet in Philly. I love it every time I go and I’m happy I got to be there twice again.
- The weezer, panic! at the disco and Andrew McMahon in the wilderness concert: I was there with Fran and my host dad. Awesome seats. simply a blast! the show was amazing and so was the company.
Then we have my Italian friends. Gabry came from Orlando to see me for a weekend and I met Alberto and Erika back in NYC. Speaking your language again, being able to make jokes and everything with people you are close to felt really good.
Last but not least Andrew. If you remember in the beginning I said Harry moved to Boston. After about 6 months I planned with Elisa to go visit him. It was in that occasion that I met Andrew. We had a really good weekend together, he toured us around Boston, we went to cape code, experienced Boston’s nightlife and had a BBQ in their backyard.
After that weekend we kept in touch and he became my current date, that unfortunately, due to the distance, I don’t quite date. :’(
After Boston we had a couple of dates back in PA and then I came back to Boston to spend some time with him before going back to Italy. He was the last gift I got from the States and I miss him a lot.
2015-2016 were also the years of yoga, and like I mentioned at the beginning ,of travels: Colorado, California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Florida and my beloved Alaska. I will tell you all about these in some other articles.
I know this article is very long, so if you read all the way down here congratulation! Unfortunately a year is very long and lots of things happened, as you probably now know too. :p
I wish I could mention everything and everybody, but it is impossible.
Last thing I wanna tell you about is my Farewell party. After all the adventures it was time for me to end my Au Pair life, but not without a proper goodbye.
My host family organized with me the best, and only, party I had in my life.
The date was to me already special. Susan and Lee (Anja’s parents) were celebrating their wedding anniversary and since I Love them so much I wanted to be there for the occasion. So the date of my Farewell party was also the date of their wedding anniversary, as well as Fran’s welcome party.
All the people I wanted to be there, came from all over the States, to have one last party with me.
Andrew and Harry from Boston, Li Shan from Pittsburgh, Freddy from DC, April from Michigan, and then Thomas, Julia, Dave, Bob, Ron, my entire host family, colleagues of my host parents, other au pairs…
My host dad built me a frame I wanted so badly, and I made some signals to have a perfect photobooth. I took millions of picture with everybody, ate and laughed a lot.
We kept parting all day and all night long.
I couldn’t have a better party. It was the perfect coronation to the two best years of my life.
Unexpectedly I didn’t cry, but don’t worry I kept all the tears for the day of the flight.