The Boy Returns…

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in New | 5 comments

The Boy Returns…


Nearly nine years ago I knew someday we would  have a knock on our door.

Today we greet a guest to our home for Spring Break.

Meet Federico Papa.

In 2004 when Federico was 10 years old his parents, Stefano and Corinna arrived with Federico and his younger sister, Laura to vacay in our home for 3 weeks.  MP and I jetted off to Reggio Emilia, Italy in a well orchestrated house swap.

Fast Forward to 2013

Federico has graduated from the equivalent of 12th grade and is spending a gap year near Chicago as an exchange student.  Federico is living the life of an American high school senior—even anticipating the upcoming prom.









As we played in their converted Italian farmhouse and garden, we exchanged e-mails with the Italian family amusing themselves at our home base in California.

This is one of the stories MP sent to the  (I am sure) flummoxed children.

Today we heard a small voice near the garden calling for Laura and Federico.











Do you know this vegetable? He says that he is weary of lying in the garden for weeks.  He says he is your friend and wants to play in Federico’s room and sleep in Laura’s bed. We will not allow him into this house without your permission!











He does have a familiar medal around his neck--he says he won in a competition. This overgrown courgette claims he beat Federico in an important race and that he is "stronger and faster" than Federico.

He also says Laura is a cry baby and only plays with Barbie’s.









Please look at the pictures and tell us if we should be kind to this fellow and let him sleep in Laura’s room tonight.


coco & poppy

August 2004









Silly poppy.





  1. 3-22-2013

    Love this post. That Poppy – what an imagination and what a tease! Some things never change. May your visit with Federico be filled with joy! I’m sure there will be some broken hearts when he returns to Italy – good looking young man!

  2. 3-22-2013

    He has arrived hungry 🙂

  3. 3-26-2013

    Good thing he arrived at your house and not mine! There is no better place to satisfy hunger than at your house.

  4. 3-26-2013

    OH, golly… the passage of time…Only Bob would go to such lengths to amuse & delight. Made me smile. I know you will have a good week, as will Federico.

  5. 3-27-2013

    Very, very sweet story. I’m sure he is very grateful to have friends like you Stateside!

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