It was a whirlwind and fantastic 30-day trip to the West Coast this summer visiting friends and sharing Casal Cristiana Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (CCEVOO) through numerous events, dinners and tastings. The cool, green forests and valleys of vineyards of the Pacific Northwest certainly contrasts with our life in the sub-tropical Italian region of Le Marche where it is blue as far as the eye can see with little separating the Adriatic and the sky. The air, energy and vistas are charged so differently. While Oregon was home base for most of our activities, we also traveled up to Seattle, Washington and all the way down to Carmel Valley, California on a research and fact finding mission. Our sold-out First Year Anniversary Celebration Dinner at The Dundee Bistro was a big hit as were the tastings and educational programs at Barrel Wine Bar, The Cheese Bar with Portland Culinary Alliance and the Portland Italian Ferragosto event. We are thrilled to announce our agreement with Madison-Lane Specialty Foods, located in Wilsonville, Oregon, to be our sales team for CCEVOO. They are on the ground, selling our product and telling our story to specialty stores, wine bars and gourmet shops in five states -- Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. Already, CCEVOO is available at Pastaworks in Portland, Carlton Bakery in Carlton and Kookoolan Farms in Yamhill, Oregon. CCEVOO will always be available for purchase direct to customers on our website www.casalcristiana.com and we will soon announce the details for the 2014 harvest membership to our Viva Verde Olive Oil Club. We are grateful for a very productive trip, but those road trips and eating a variety of different foods (Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, American) had us coming back to Italy just a little bit heavier..... members of my family each gained about 10 pounds, "piu o meno". We'll touch more on that later as we are easing back into our Italian lifestyle because the reality is, the Mediterranean Diet is not just a way to eat .... it's a way of life. So stay tuned, I'm still shifting gears into my other life as I contemplate the series of tasks that are ahead to continue living in Italy as an American....but at least I can enjoy my morning caffe under the veranda with a relaxing and beautiful view. A prossima!