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  • My Handsome Papa,

    It is almost your birthday and you are still the same and seem as strong as ever. I hope the sun is out on your day.
    Thank you for your last letter in regards to the college struggle. Your words were nice to hear as always. I save each letter from you. I think mom does too. We love that you write us letters. It is nice to cling to something tangible in our world of technology. I cherish your honesty and wisdom. I know that I can always trust in what you tell me. You are a wonderful figure in my life papa. You have consistently been there, all my life and years. In many ways you are my father figure as well as grandfather. You have taught me so much in your humble way; thank you. I like that you are quiet. I think I am too. No one else is in our family! We have become closer as I have gotten older and we connect in our soft spoken ways.

    I had a wonderful trip Papa. Traveling is so healing. I want you and Nana to go on another trip soon. It is so good for a person to go away. Perhaps Ireland, so Nana can relate to her background too. She'll stir things up over there.

    My favorite place was Segovia. It is inland and north of Madrid, a small town and very quaint. It has a two thousand year old aqueduct running along one border and a high stone wall around the perimeter. Segovia is where Isabella's castle is. She was the Queen who gave permission to Christopher Columbus to journey to America. I was the only one to climb the rickety spiral staircase to the roof of her castle. On the top, I saw a beautiful view of the sacred heart church and the snow peaked mountains of Milan. There are convents, monasteries, and churches scattered all over Segovia. It is a very religious part of the country. I have never felt such a strong spiritual force as I did in Spain. I think because I was really happy in the warm weather and among the beautiful architecture. I felt very protected and I found it very easy to pray. I admire your faith.

    Yes, I had a glorious time in Espana. I am glad to be home too, Mom missed me a little. In Italy, we had a lay over. The view from the airplane was breathtaking. More mountains. We were right at the foot of gigantic hills. Customs was a breeze. The man said, "Hello ma'am." (Not Miss.)
    He looked at my passport and said, "Chiviello! Ciao." He was happy to see a fellow Italian. We have a great last name.

    I love you. More.
    Amores,
    Julie

    P.S. Mama got you a book. I was in Spain on the 23rd of April. It was their Valentine's Day. The women give the men books. And the men give the women red roses.
    P.P.S. I have a postcard for you and Nana. It is of a cathedral in Barcelona. My favorite was the Sagrada Familia. I'll tell you about it when I see you. xo
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