March 20, 2016

California, here we come!

Dear friends,

Happy First Day of Spring!

Hope you've thawed and are sprouting fresh pedals. Here in Florence the sun is back, the mercury's leapt, and everything is sprinkled pink, yellow, and violet.

As you know, we've been away since September and while our time is long from finito in Italy, we do have news to share with you about our plans for the upcoming school year. After much travelling from interview to interview, weighing of opportunities, and a good round of negotiations, California State University at Fullerton has made Aitana an offer she can't refuse. She starts as a tenured-track professor in the Department of History, at the campus 30 miles south of Los Angeles, in mid-August.

It is bittersweet we won't be resettling in our community in Guelph but exciting to have this new adventure to brave. Aitana will be joining a young and growing department whose research interests are similar to her own and will be teaching students from every corner of the globe, while I will be, well, in the image-creation centre of the world, whose visual arts scene is second to none, I've been told. As for the girls, schools are strong in Fullerton and the Pacific is near, so we plan to invest in surfboards.

Our plan is to return to Canada in July, stick around for a few weeks while the girls attend a camp or two, and then make our way to L.A. If they accept me, I'd like to participate in the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square. And of course, we want to hang with all of you beautiful folks.

I know a few of you have experience with California. We'd love to hear your tips and advice. If you have contacts, even better. We're hoping to rent as near to the university as possible to start and right now we're dealing with visas and other paperwork. We're planning an advance trip to scout out housing, schooling, a studio for myself, where to score the best tacos, and other necessities in mid-June.

Peace and big hugs from us all,

A, I, O, and M