The Maney & LauRen Morning Show

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I came home sleep-deprived, exhausted, and sore … but damn, was it worth it! From the time Elena picked me up from the airport in Milan, it was go, go go!

If you’re new around here, Elena was my first ever Aupair. An Aupair is someone from another country who comes to live with you and study in exchange for child care. During Elena’s two and a half years with my family, she became like a sister to me. She cared for and loved my boys as I would. She was there when I needed a shoulder to cry on, and she was my biggest cheerleader (next to my husband Dallas).

I am typically a big control freak and micro-manage vacation itineraries, but Elena is as type A as I am, so I knew I was in good hands, letting her plan every detail of our “best friend’s trip.”

Elena picked me up in Milan, and we immediately headed for Lake Como to kick off our trip. After 2 days, it was on to Cinque Terre, where we visited all 5 towns that make up the cluster of perfectly nestled coastal villages. Then as we drove the coast in route to Elena’s hometown of Biella, we decided to call an audible and stop in Santa Margarita and Portofino and it was worth the detour! Portofino might have been my favorite part of our entire trip. It was unexpected and glamorous.

After hiking to the castle where Kourtney Kardashian got married, we hopped back in the car and headed inland to Biella, where we arrived just in time for dinner. Mind you; dinner is a little later than what we eat in the states, about 9 pm. For dinner that night we attended a town festival that was raising money for autism (a cause close to my heart). After eating a plate full of local “street meat” we danced the night away to American 90’s music. The dance floor (aka the town square) was packed! These cats really know how to throw down!

The next morning, Elena showed me her hometown and took me on a beautiful hike to a quaint mountain top restaurant for lunch. I got to meet all of Elena’s family and friends, who were as warm and welcoming as she is! Before we departed for our final destination of Milan, Elena’s parents took us for a fabulous 5-course pairing wine dinner at a Michelin star restaurant. I was so thankful to spend a lovely evening with them and thank them for loaning me their incredible daughter for two and a half years.

The next morning we piled into the car and hit the road to Milan. Where we spent my last 24 hours in Italy.

During our time in Milan, something special happened. I got to meet my next Aupair in person! That NEVER happens. Typically, even after you match,  a host family doesn’t get to meet their Aupair in person until he or she arrives at their home. Chiara was sweet enough to jump on a train and meet Elena and me for lunch. What a special moment to be able to host lunch for my first Aupair and my next Aupair in their home country. I felt like I had to keep my heart from exploding out of my chest! What a way to close out one of the best trips of my life.

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