Started from 2009 Easter Sunday on, every Easter now has a very special meaning to me and my family. This Sunday evening, as I was siting in the restaurant and looked around, the noises, faces, happenings, voices…life is so different from the 2009 Easter Sunday, when Ruggero and I just arrived to L’olivo from Vancouver Washington.

On last Easter Sunday, the name L’olivo was not even existed. To many of my new blog followers, let me take you back to the beginning of our journeys started in January 2009. One of my sister (Nga), Ruggero and I decided to come to Palm Springs for a short vacation and to visit “Magie Ristorante”, the business Ruggero and I sold to a business man in 2003.

As we arrived to the place, we were shocked to realize “Magie” restaurant was gone. Nothing left, except some old abandoned furnitures and equipments. Astounded, we contacted the neighbors and were told of some bad stories related to the closing of “Magie’s”. It was closed actually just three weeks before we arrived. We then contacted the landlord (whom we knew very well) and only to hear more about sad stories that happened at Magie’s during the five years we were in Vancouver. Of course, the landlord was happy to hear from us again (after so many years losing contact) and was glad to negotiate the contract in order to bring us back to the desert. We were a little confused at the time and were not sure of the sudden opportunity. So we left Palm Springs to return to our home in Washington.

Back home in our beautiful neighborhood, Ruggero and I spent couple weeks thinking over and over the situation and conditions of our personal life. Our lives were very peaceful during the past years. Not much activity except some small businesses we did on the side, very little stress, little worry, but no hurry. We used to have more time for our personal enjoyments like cooking dinners together every evening, walking around the neighborhood in the afternoon or visiting friends and family members every couple of week, even had time for dinning out with my children once in awhile….Now, going back to restaurant business means no more personal life. Beside, in this recession economy, it is a huge risk. But Ruggero was ready for a change. He was not happy with the weather condition in Washington state, too much raining and too much snow. So, we decided to take the chance.

March 29th 2009, a twenty-five feet long U-haul truck carried the entire family on the trip back to Palm Springs again.

I still remembered the powerful feeling when Ruggero and I opened the door and walked again into the dark and cold place which used to be called “Magie ristorante” for the last fourteen years. We felt like we were coming home after so many years travel far away. The building structure was pretty much the same except the chaos inside and of course no light, no activity, no clients…lifeless and silent. I knew we had quite a battle here in this place to bring this place back to life again. And what a battle it was!…

After three months working tirelessly and intensively, we started to see the change happening. The name L’olivo was invented by both of us in May 2009, and as you all know, the rest is history.

A major Earthquake (7.2) today was felt by everyone in California that got me nervous for five minutes. But as this Easter Sunday evening came to a close, Ruggero and I are so grateful for all the blessings and yes, we are ready now to face any challenge that comes with the new life ahead of us. As the saying goes: “Where there is a will, there always be a way”.

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