Episode #13: On Location in Florence, Italy

This week, we are presenting a very special episode on location in Florence, Italy.  Russ and Mika are recording this week’s episode on location in Florence, Italy. In past episodes of this show, they have spoken at length about traveling with children and what it means to make travel a family tradition. On this...

Russ and Mika are recording this week’s episode on location in Florence, Italy.

In past episodes of this show, they have spoken at length about traveling with children and what it means to make travel a family tradition.

On this week’s episode, they are sharing a glimpse into their current Italian vacation, including why they chose Italy as a family destination, what kinds of foods they have been enjoying, the logistics of planning an international trip, and much, much more.

Bonus: Stick around after the credits for an exclusive look at our very first 30-day Sobr challenge.

In this episode, you will learn:

• Why it is important to consider space when planning a long trip with your family.
• Tips for international flights with children.
• The challenges of balancing business and life when you’re away from home.
• How to manage your childcare when traveling overseas.

Mentioned in this episode:
Russ Perry on Instagram
Mika Perry on Instagram
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
The Russ Perry Show
Getting Back to Happy by Marc and Angel Chernoff
Marc and Angel Hack Life
Optimal Living Daily
Binaural Beats
Insight Timer
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Dr. Gabor Mate
Cops Shot the Kid by Nas (feat. Kanye West)
Essentials For Traveling Well –
Air France
International Babysitters


Russ Perry: Hey, everyone. This is Russ. I just wanted to let you know there’s an exciting announcement at the end of this episode for a new project Mika and I are launching, so stay tuned, listen to the whole episode but don’t miss this announcement at the end. Can’t wait to share. I’m Russ Perry.

Russ Perry: Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of Good To Be Home. My name is Russ Perry.

Mika Perry: I am Mika Perry.

Russ Perry: This is a special edition episode. We are recording here from Florence, Italy. Mika, how’s Italy so far?

Mika Perry: [Foreign language]. As you can see, we’re still learning how to speak Italian. I don’t think we’ll ever master it any time soon. However, we did take some lessons before, so we’re trying to learn the language.

Russ Perry: Yeah, we’ll get to that shortly. But as you may or may not have listened in our earlier episode, we did one all about travel. Travel is a core value of ours. We feel that it’s pretty important for us to get our kids and ourselves, and our family our of the normal routines and expose to new cultures as well as just really having a lot of time together as a family. We decided that we were going to do two, maybe three episodes that are really focused when we do travel on our lessons learns, just experiences we’re having, and hopefully that can be some encouragement to all of you listeners out there to get out there and either head out to Florence specifically or just try something new for you and your family.

Mika Perry: You can kind of use these as travel guides for yourselves. Like I go on TripAdvisor and read summaries and people’s trips and experiences to get tips for myself. If specifically, you want to get to Florence, this is a great way for you to listen to some tips of suggestions for your travel itinerary.

Russ Perry: Awesome. But before we get to all of that, as per the norm now with our episodes, we’re going to jump into our lists of what we’re reading, listening, eating and loving. If you haven’t checked this out, you can go to our site,, put in your e-mail, and get out complete compilation of everything we’ve listed in previous episodes, as well as links to different things we listed. Mika, do you want to go first? Do you want me to go first?

Mika Perry: Sure, thanks. Okay, so for reading, I’m currently reading a book called, Getting Back To Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials Into Triumphs. It’s by Marc and Angel Chernoff. They have a blog, they’ve run for a while, they’re life coaches called Marc and Angel Hack Life. I’ve actually was introduced to them through other podcast that I’ve listened to, one being Optimal Living Daily. They have great blog posts on all sorts of life hacks, but having to do with really changing your thoughts, and how your thoughts affect your actions and your life, really. I’m kind of reading this so that I can be better here at the podcast and be better with my blogging, and be better with helping and sharing with you guys so that I have a better way to communicate certain ideas and things that we’ve learned to you.

A lot of what they believe, I also believe too. This is just another way to get more inside and perspectives from others who are doing the same, and being encouraged by their experience as well. Listening, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, binaural beats, have I on here?

Russ Perry: I don’t think so.

Mika Perry: I don’t think I have, which is something I listen to often. I have not found myself with big chunks of time so far on this trip to listen to podcast. The kids are around us, we’re constantly on the go doing something, so I’ve only been able to have short periods of listening time and I have been using binaural …

Russ Perry: Binaural, like neurological.

Mika Perry: But it’s not neuro, it’s like an aura.

Russ Perry: Well.

Mika Perry: Anyways, these are scientifically proven audio tracks that use sound waves to affect your brain waves. I’m not a super science-y person but this is something that I’ve used just to chill out and calm down, and if it does anything to actually improve my brain waves and the structure of my brain, I’m all for it.

Russ Perry: That’s the bonus.

Mika Perry: That’s the bonus. That’s what it’s saying it can do. I don’t know if it has, but it just sounds nice. I either listen to it via my meditation app called Insight Timer, you can search for it there, or I think they have some on iTunes as well that you can listen to just by searching.

Russ Perry: Very scientific here on the Good To Be Home Podcast. We really recommend just whatever we like. Science may or may not be proven.

Mika Perry: Well, it’s out there and enough people use it.

Russ Perry: Actually, I’ve used them a lot. It’s really great for sleeping or kind of meditation, although you can quickly fall into a nap.

Mika Perry: Well, I haven’t done that yet. Eating, prosciutto with melon, which is prosciutto e melone, or something melone. Anyways, it’s summer here in Italy and Tuscany and it’s on all the menus. I’ve just been buying it at the local grocery store at [Salunga], and it’s delicious. Matty tried it last night at home for the first time, and he was like, “This is really good.” It’s sweet and salty altogether, it’s amazing. Loving, the morning cappuccinos we’ve been having at the bar. We just had one a few hours ago, and by the bar I don’t mean we’re going to like a dive bar where everyone’s drinking beer and having cappuccino really randomly. Here in Italy, they have like a pastry shop/coffee bar/bar-bar, all rolled into one. It’s kind of like a one stop shop. In the mornings, everyone’s by a bar, a counter drinking their coffees, chatting with each other, having a cornetto, which is like a croissant, like a little pastry and that’s their breakfast.

Russ and I found a spot down the street from where we’re at right now and we’ve gone there a couple times, and it’s absolutely delicious. One thing is that dairy, I typically try to avoid. But here in Italy, I’m going along with the flow, and I don’t have a severe allergy to it or anything, so I am just having a cappuccino made with whole milk and enjoying it.

Russ Perry: All right. On to my list. What am I reading? In my pursuit and journey in understanding sobriety and addiction, I’ve fallen into just a really amazing book by Dr. Gabor Maté. It’s called In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts. He is a doctor, really an interesting part, I believe of Vancouver, where it is a safe haven for addicts, it’s a safe haven for people who, I would just say, have accepted their life of addiction and their belief in this area is that everyone still deserves healthcare and the right to human services. I’m only about halfway through this book, but I’m learning just a ton around what is addiction, what causes addiction, both from a neurological standpoint, as well as a sociological standpoint. It’s eye-opening.

Speaking of science, what’s kind of nice about this book is I have been running and talking about addiction more from my own philosophies and my past experiences with alcohol. However, this is backing up a lot of my theories with actual science. It’s kind of nice because I’m validating certain beliefs that I have had around, like one, for example, is people who suffer from addictions don’t have a connection, they don’t have a tribe, they don’t have a community. That is absolutely the case from a biological sense, and he goes into that. Highly recommended I might talk a little bit more as I wrap it up. All right, what am I listening to this week, Mika? It’s Cops Shot The Kids by Nas’ new album, NASIR. What’s cool about this album, he hasn’t released an album since 2012. Nas, legendary rapper. He’s kind of the rapper’s rapper. He’s not always so mainstream, but everyone who’s into hip-hop and other rappers really like Nas.

This is his album that’s been produced by Kanye West, or Kanye, and actually, Kanye has a line here. Really good, really eye-opening obviously talking about police shootings with kids and telling both sides of the story there. Definitely check it out. What am I eating? I fell in love with pasta the first time we came to Italy, just you and I, and I’m back on the pasta train. I recently had Gnocchi with truffles, and we’re talking like half dollar size shavings of truffles on my Gnocchi. That was it, and then the sauce. I don’t know what the sauce was. Kind of like a buttery …

Mika Perry: I don’t know, more truffles?

Russ Perry: More truffle sauce.

Mika Perry: Blended truffles. This was for lunch.

Russ Perry: Yeah, right. This was for lunch, by the way. All about that. I really, before coming to Italy, if you’ve never been, you think, “Oh, it’s kind of hyped up, how good could possibly, how good could the food be.” But I was overwhelmed with my expectations and how much better it actually was by the time I got here. I remember that the first time we came, and it’s just coming back this time again. What am I loving? My new red bike that I purchased. Creating in your head this vision of getting a scooter. However, with about 45-minute conversation with one of the scooter rental company guys, really nice guy I met, trying to find one and rent one. It’s the high season, so it’s pretty much impossible to rent one more than a day or two. However, in our conversations, he sold me a bike. I bought a bike. It’s a simple bike, if you will, one gear, one speed, it’s red. I got it for 60 Euro which I didn’t think was that bad of a deal. It’s been working really great, and I’ve been riding it around everywhere.

I think it’s my [Rosa] bike that I’ve been using and loving. Not sure what I’m going to do with it next, maybe we’ll have like a giveaway or something before we end our trip. Let’s dive into the main meat if you will. The main piece of this episode and we’re going to just talk a little bit about why we chose Italy. If you haven’t again listened to our episode on travel, that’s more the philosophies and beliefs that we have, and also some tips on there. But we chose Italy this year, we actually chose it over a year ago, and we’ve been planning this trip before it, but we chose it for a few reasons. Mika, I’ll let you kick it off. Why Italy?

Mika Perry: Well, I first came here when I was in college as part of a study abroad thing for a month and a half in the summer. Like you mentioned about your prior beliefs in Italy and then when you come here how you’re blown away, when I came here, it was like my eyes were opened to food. It was a really impactful moment in my life. With how much food is a part of really everyone’s life, I think, and for us, [Reese] is really into food, Matty will eat anything. I’m really working hard on getting Paige to eat and expand her palette. She’s a two-year-old. I thought that Italy would be a great place for them to open their horizons for food as well. They love Pizza, they love pasta, so why not let them try an elevated version of either of those.

Russ Perry: Bread.

Mika Perry: Bread. That was the first time I experienced it. I want to pass that along. You and I came here when Reese was little for about 9 days, 10 days, and that was a great experience as well. We wanted to find a place where we could enjoy the outdoors, have some space, and also where it would make sense for current ages for our kids. Place where we can have enough room to push around a stroller for Paige, and be comfortable in moving around, like logistics. The other place we had in mind was Japan. I’m part Japanese and our kids are a quarter Japanese. That’s a place that we’ll definitely go to once, and again, in time and again as they grow up, but it’s really small. Everything there is really, really small and compact as you probably would imagine. In looking at homes there for rent for an extended period of time, they’re really small for our family of five. We just felt that this year, we still wanted the space.

Russ Perry: I think I want to add, because it does seem sort of so American to be complaining about home and a space because most of the world lives in a smaller space, but there really is, especially for long trips, so we’re not talking about a week. We did a brief stopover in Paris because we had to lay over there with our flights and everything. We were in two small hotel rooms, like it wasn’t this huge extravagant experience, but when you’re traveling for a longer period of time and really wanting to settle in and get into your routines, it’s really important that wherever you’re going, it has the space that’s appropriate for your family. We have five people, we have five people of varying ages, varying needs, so when we were looking at the space, it’s not just about trying to recreate the American comforts, it’s making sure that there is a place that fits where you’re at, and you’re not spending four weeks in a sardine can more stressed out than before you even got to wherever you’re headed.

Mika Perry: That’s just going to naturally create stress, and with a two and a half year old that bugs our six year old and 12 year old, and then a 12-year-old who is definitely in that girl teen, give me privacy, moody stage at her life right now, you really need actual physical space so that you have mental space and you’re happy. That’s why we picked Italy, because we found a place that was, checked off all those boxes for us. Space, outdoors, culture, food, and we’re really happy with our decision.

Russ Perry: One more thing specifically to Florence, and why we picked Florence, say Rome, which is the only other city in Italy that I’ve been to, is it is a smaller town. You really have the city center area, and then where we’re staying is a little bit south of the river. It’s technically the countryside but it’s no more than a 30-minute walk to the outskirts of town, and then maybe another 10 to 15-minute walk from there into the main part of the city. We’re able to get that space simply because we’re not having to navigate a big metropolis. If we were to go to Rome, or like Mika was mentioning in another country like Tokyo, you’re having to travel so far just to find something that is affordable but also the size that you’re looking for. That’s just a super practical reason why we picked Florence, aside from the art, the food, the beautiful stuff that comes along with the city in Italy.

Mika Perry: Also, this is the first time we’ve traveled to a country altogether that doesn’t speak English. Last year, we went Belize, and they speak English. Everyone there speaks English. That was easy for us. This time, we wanted to go somewhere that was foreign and didn’t speak English. However, this is a great entry point into that experience for our family because it’s very tourist friendly here. While we don’t want to feel like tourists and do all the touristy things, being able to pop in the store and communicate broken Italian with a broken English back to us and have that be okay, is useful. It’s helpful. When I’m at the grocery store somewhere buying something or at a restaurant, and they can tell I’m not Italian, they’ll accommodate or do their best to try to communicate with me. Likewise, I do it back to them. It’s a good middle meeting point.

Russ Perry: Yeah. Before we jump into the rest of the tips that we have, just about Italy itself, we just completed a big long airplane sequence to get here. We flew from Phoenix to Washington, Washington to Paris, Paris to Florence, what are some fresh things in your mind on that experience that’s been new that we can share on just how to manage that with a family of five?

Mika Perry: First tip is go to my blog because I have some posts on travel and actual items and tips and strategies on traveling with kids. Whether it’s making snack packs and certain headphones I like to use, and how to pack for them. That just makes it smoother travel experience.

Russ Perry:

Mika Perry: I actually am posting a blog post today called, The Essentials of Traveling Well. That’s a little bit more towards me and the wellness practices, and tips for travel. Be sure to go on there and check that out. I’ll have links to everything as well on there too. Definitely, items to bring along, strategies to implement that can be helpful. Not to sound super flashy, but flying the whole family business class here was awesome.

Russ Perry: Yeah, I want to add that this was possible because of the business points that we were able to cash in over a while.

Mika Perry: I was going to say that, that’s it’s not like we’re fine with dropping thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars, I guess we could save for that, but one tip is see what you can do with your mileage points. It’s one thing to fly just Russ and I on business but then the whole family of five, a two-year-old in a business class seat might seem extremely unnecessary and extravagant. However, it was awesome in my mental state of not being stressed out because I knew that Paige and every kid would have their own space, again, like personal space, and then the ability to sleep lying down and just have a screen in front of them when they wanted to watch TV. They were served delicious food. Really, I knew that they would be well taken care of on our long whole flight. That was a huge stress relief for me. Not stressing out about how am I going to entertain them for eight hours on this straight flight. They had it all there.

The flight attendants on Air France were so gracious and so amazing, so I highly recommend that airline. The kids thought it was really fun and cool. They had never flown business class before. I will say that now that we have all flown business class, you can’t go back.

Russ Perry: Oh man, can’t go back.

Mika Perry: You can’t go back. I think we’ll continue to strategically use points and credit card points and different ways to navigate that, so that we can continue to fly our kids business class.

Russ Perry: Absolutely. There’s like a whole subculture out there, if you’re not aware, on how to leverage point systems the most efficient way for airline travel. That tends to be the best value. You can cash in points for hotels, you can cash in points for rental cars, but seemingly airplane tickets and business class tickets international are the best way to do that. We used American Express points from the business. Another, another, another reason why having your own business and having some type of mechanism to generate these points, we use our AmEx for our paid advertising, so we get a lot of points there. I use it for my team to fly them places, and fly us, but without that, without the business, yeah, it would have been probably like $15,000 to pull this off. I want to be there one day, but it’s much easier to do that using the points that you’re accumulating from the spending you’re already doing with those kinds of things.

Awesome, so as we got here, I wanted to share just a couple things around just the logistics, like how do we set things up, what did I do, because if you’re traveling to Florence, this is going to be exactly the way I would do it. If you’re just traveling to Europe, I think this is still going to be helpful for you. Finding a home. How did we find our place? First, actually, I found not the right place. It was kind of challenging because I was looking on Airbnb, which is just a great resource for international travels, especially when you have a family, because you can often find a home with rooms and a kitchen for the same price as a hotel. But I was striking out here in the Tuscany area. I eventually succumbed to some website, I forgot the URL, like, and found something that was pretty far, really in the hills, and I just was not loving it, but I was starting to get stressed by not having something locked.

One morning, I remember in Arizona, I was just like, “you know what, I’m not going to give up.” I went on to Airbnb and we found the place. Just happens that there was a spot south of the city. It’s a home, may or may not be available down the road, but that someone was selling and they were renting it in the meantime. But it restored my faith in Airbnb. I would always start there when you’re looking for a place. Lots and lots of opportunities, Airbnb, great company, you’re going to have tons of ratings and information wherever you’re going. We’ve used it in Rome, I’ve used it in the United States. Now, the next thing was okay, we’re going for such a long time, total about five and a half weeks, it’s not a five and a half week vacation. Where are we going to work, how are we going to figure that out. I found a great coworking space that we’re actually at right now. It’s called Nana Bianca, and it’s just in the Porta Romana area of Florence, which is the little south kind of …

Mika Perry: [Ultro-Arno]. I think.

Russ Perry: Okay.

Mika Perry: It’s the neighborhood.

Russ Perry: Okay.

Mika Perry: It’s south of the river.

Russ Perry: Got it. As you can tell, we’re still working on our Italian, but it’s a great space. It’s where Mika can come, great wifi, and that is always going to be your biggest hang up when you travel, where you stay, is the wifi, unless you’re at a hotel, and even then it could be questionable. The wifi’s never going to be as good as you think. Make sure if you do need a lot of work, conference calls, whatever it is, you identify a coworking space. They’re really popular everywhere. I mean, there’s probably six that we could have chosen. We just chose this one because of the proximity to our house. Then, the other area that I want to add in terms of getting ready for here is really understanding the difference in time zones. We’re nine hours ahead of Arizona, so I actually was able to create kind of the unique schedule where we come in the morning before anyone’s awake, it’s midnight and back in Arizona, get a couple hours of work done, and then take the afternoon off and then come back in the evening with everyone as back online.

Depending on where you’re going, you can actually have some really great time zone advantages that allow you to still have time during the day for tourings, spending time with your family, whatever have you, and then still working around that. This was actually a challenge in Belize, because Belize, I think was only an hour difference than Arizona. If I was not working during the day, I was missing out on the rest of the team connections and meetings, and I had to spend a lot of time during the day at a computer at a coffee shop. Here, I could take the afternoon off, come back around 7 or 8PM and work as late as I can muster, because everyone, it’s only midday back in Arizona. The final thing I’ll add in terms of getting ready for the trip, how do you prep, we have your finding place to live, finding a place to work, understanding the time zones, it’s also the language.

As Mika mentioned, this is our first trip where we’re really spending a lot of time in a country where we don’t know the language. Mika failed to mention she’s completely fluent in Japanese so when we go to Japan, it’s kind of cheating because we have a native language speaker. I use the site to have one on one private lessons leading up to it. I’d really, really recommend it. Even though I was a terrible student and never did my homework, and my teacher Melanie, if you ever listen to this, thank you so much for your patience always, but it just made me feel really comfortable getting here. Comfortable reading, comfortable deciphering things, comfortable with common phrases, hello, goodbye, all those kinds of things. Definitely do it. What’s awesome about Verbling is you could get an hour long tutors for 10 bucks an hour. I was like the high roller of spending $20 an hour for Melanie because she’s a professor and teaches a lot professionally. But you can find college students who are just looking to make some money to practice, depending on where you go.

Those are the practical tips, and I would say regardless if it’s Florence or wherever, those core things, those core basics are going to be really helpful to get in alignment and setup before you arrive.

Mika Perry: Well, we’re here for a long extended period of time, which means that we are kind of like living here. We’re living our normal life too. Just like at home, we have to balance our business and life, and so [Russy] just went over some strategies and practical tips for the business, for me on the home front, while Russ is working, I am helping our family adjust to living in a foreign land. Luckily, where we found the Airbnb is up on a hill, and down at the bottom of the hill is a really great huge grocery store. We have a house, and the bonus of that is having a kitchen, and we also have a washer too. We don’t have a drier. Most Italian homes don’t have a drier, so you hang all your clothes outside. A lot of the things, the comforts of home, of managing a home, home making, I guess, is available here, and it’s great. Adjusting to historical old home, I mean this is made … Do you know the actual year of our home that we’re in?

Russ Perry: I don’t.

Mika Perry: But it was used by the Medicis. I can only imagine. I have no idea how long ago that was.

Russ Perry: Hundreds.

Mika Perry: Hundreds. Yeah, so this is not like our home that we built in Arizona last year with all the modern technology. This is like a home that has been converted to accommodate as centuries have gone on. Trash systems here, there’s four different types of trash you have to separate. You don’t have to do that in Arizona. I think maybe other more urban cities in the states has to do this. It’s new for us. In doing that, I am realizing how much trash we create on a daily basis. From an eco standpoint, it’s blown my mind. I’ve been really starting to be a little bit more mindful of that, reusing things and saving bag to reuse later, all that. We’re really spoiled in Arizona and the United States with the accessibility to resources and how much we go through. Grocery shopping is different and same at the same time as back home. A lot of American brands are here. If you’re a mom, I was able to easily get diapers here, wipes, everything. There’s a lot of things I brought that I shouldn’t have brought. I could really buy it here.

I brought it because I didn’t want to waste time shopping here, but because we’re here for a long time, I should have not brought it and just bought it here. Then, jet lag. Adjusting to the flow of life here, and we had to tackle it upon arrival in Paris, which is where we landed, and had to lay over, and ended up staying for the week. A tip that I heard is to just as quickly as possible, acclimate you and your family to the local time zone. Luckily when we left DC, it was the evening, and so we were up for a few hours, and slept, and when we arrived in Paris, it was 9am. We had a little bit of a delay but it was still the morning. We got a little bit of sleep, definitely not enough, and then had a whole day ahead of us. I know the kids were super tired. Also it’s further north from where we are in Arizona, so it’s light out longer. The sun was gone at 10PM, which is so late for kids. But we try to stay up as long as possible, and the put the kids down at the local bedtime, 7:30-ish, 8:00, maybe a little bit later because it was like bright out.

That’s one way that I have tried to quickly and easily get ourselves used to being here.

Russ Perry: You got to power through it. It’s easy to talk about it, but make sure you’re really planning a couple of buffer days when you get here. That you’re not having any crazy tours, you’re not doing anything that’s time-sensitive, specific to having a regular routine, because everyone’s going to have their own experience getting adjusted. I think Paige had a easy time, [Maddox] didn’t. I did initially but then in third and fourth day was really hard. Now, I finally like a week plus in, that I’m okay. I can get up at a normal time and I’m going to bed at a regular time.

Mika Perry: Yeah. I think finally now everyone’s more adjusted. We’re kind of back to normal. It takes a while. Plus side of entrepreneurship where you have your own business and you can take off and be gone for a long extended period of time, is that you have that time to adjust. We’re not here for five nights, six days, and have to jam pack everything. The stress of that would be hard, I think. We’ve done that before. We went to Belize for a week, so we’re like, “All right, today we’re here, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that and jump right into it,” whereas this time we can really ease into it and not feel the pressure to go see all the museums and go see this monument immediately so that we can do it all before we go home. That’s definitely a plus to an extended trip away, for sure.

Also, from a mom’s standpoint, let’s talk childcare. We mentioned before in our travel episode that last year, we had a nanny at home. I was working full time, and so we ended up having the nanny come out for half of our trip in Belize. This year, rather than bringing a nanny from home, we utilized an agency here in Italy. We have a young lady named Emma, she’s actually British, that we found through a company called International Babysitters, is that right? It seems that locals like expats and people we spoke to that are American or whatever, they know of this agency, so it’s well known in Florence for babysitting, whether it’s a night that you need. Say you’re here for a wedding or something, and you need childcare, they do just regular babysitting. Emma, our person here, she also does that for families too. But for us, she’s here with us, like right now the kids are at home with her, and she comes in the morning and we leave so that we can come here and do podcasting, Russ can work, we can get some things done, and then we head back home, and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening with the kids.

What we’ve structured is that she’s there Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday is our time with the kids, going doing the exploration, the excursions, all that. So far, I feel like this is our first week doing it. I think this is going to be a really good schedule.

Russ Perry: Yeah. I think we’ll do a second episode at the end of our trip here in Italy, and we’ll report back on Emma’s performance.

Mika Perry: Yeah. Emma, if you’re listening, you’re on the spot.

Russ Perry: Nanny-ing is something I never thought I would be so invested into, but when we’re looking at where our time is best spent, because as Mika mentioned, it’s like a relocation. We still have to work, we still have to produce content, we’re still working on a ton of projects, so we definitely try to package all of that now into three days versus five, and then have that extended weekend while we’re here to spend time with the girls either one on one, or as a family, or whatever it might be.

Mika Perry: One thing that I have gotten questions on, on DM’s or whatever, is people who are understandably hesitant about leaving their kids with other people, we used a babysitting service in California that was setup through our hotel to do a date night while we’re in California before we came here to Italy. [inaudible] I wish I could do them. My kids would never be okay with a babysitter here at home, let alone a stranger when we go somewhere else, and really, I think I get that. Our kids definitely, Paige will cry is I leave the first time, but it’s just doing it, pushing through the uncomfortableness of leaving your kids with someone else, and seeing them, “Mom,” cry out for you, getting past that hurdle, you realize that they’re okay. Our kids now, this is our third day with Emma, Paige clapped this morning when she heard Emma’s voice. She was loving on them, they were doing something, and I saw Emma stroking her hair, and snuggling with her. She made breakfast, and it’s not as scary as it seems. It’s really jumping over that hurdle and helping your kids get used to other people too.

I know this is a really charged topic with moms, and the mom guilt you have of leaving your kids with other people and going to work, or not working being with them all the time, but like you and I have mentioned before, one of our roles as parents is to help them be independent, and by leaving them in the care of other people is helping them to practice being independent without us.

Russ Perry: Right. Actually a friend in [The Warrior], Joel Portman said it the best, I might have mentioned before, I can’t remember. He said, our job as parents is to prepare our kids to not need us. If we can do that successfully, we have been successful as parents.

Mika Perry: It’s important to vet your candidates for childcare.

Russ Perry: Correct.

Mika Perry: We use an agency, with a good reputation, references.

Russ Perry: Background checks.

Mika Perry: Background checks, everything. It’s not like we’re finding someone random when we get here and saying, “Here you go.” Absolutely not. Safety’s paramount. You need someone with experience. Emma actually was a nanny for pretty high profile family back in England, and so knowing that, if she’s okay with them, then she’s fine for the Perrys.

Russ Perry: All right. We’re just about done here, but I’m going to talk about a topic that’s been really charged in our last 48 hours of being here in Italy.

Mika Perry: Between you and me.

Russ Perry: Between you and I. We’ve gotten in the most arguments ever about this topic. This is the dreaded rental car. We’re going to introduce this issue, and then we’re going to have a little point, counterpoint, and then we’ll end the episode, and we’ll come back to it to see what the truth was about the decision to get a rental car. Here’s my issue. I decided, okay, we’re in Italy, it’s easily accessible, countryside, other things, other towns, we’re here for a long time, I want to get a rental car. I set up this rental car, and two days ago, we go to get it and it has literally been the topic of arguments throughout the last 48 hours. Not only are we walking through the beautiful Tuscan countryside in the morning, Mika is stressing out about our use or non-use of this rental car.

Mika Perry: Okay, we are having an argument on air basically. We’re mid-conversation on this topic. Cars in Italy, and specifically Florence is a challenging situation. It’s not like driving in the states at all. There’s a zone around the entire city of Florence. I don’t know how to say it, but it’s like ZTD or something. You’ll know if you look it up, if you Google it, but it’s to help the pedestrians in this historical cities so that you can get around and see everything, and not be in a traffic jam or hit by a car or something. It’s nice from a pedestrian point of view, but from a driver’s perspective, you can barely drive around Florence without being photographed with your license plate, and then fined tons of Euros down the road. I’ve heard of people who are getting fines 12 months later back in the states. I have no idea how the Italian government finds you, but they do. They have a photograph, and they’ll get you.
I am the worrier of the two of us, for sure. Russ is …

Russ Perry: Fact.

Mika Perry: You are the big picture guy, you went and got this amazing car, you’re like, “Let’s have it.” Me, I’m like, Okay, how much is it per day? How much are the fines if he crosses limited zone, and we get photographed, what are we going to pay? Is it going to be double this price? Is it going to be worth it? I was up really late couple nights ago researching the crap out of this. It’s challenging for Italians and so for me as a foreigner, and you as a foreigner to drive, I am just worried that we’re going to have this car that we are not going to be able to take anywhere, or take everywhere and get fined left and right.

Russ Perry: How did you get to the grocery store yesterday?

Mika Perry: I drove.

Russ Perry: How was that experience?

Mika Perry: That was fine. But here’s the thing, did we get this rental car just to go down this hill? Our house is on a hill, here’s another …

Russ Perry: Mind you, Mika’s been complaining about the hills, and not wanting to walk the hills, and I get the car so she doesn’t have to use the hills …

Mika Perry: But then, so our house is on a hill and there’s three streets down kind of. One that goes to the grocery store, and that’s fine, I drove that yesterday. Even though I saw cameras because speeding is another thing in, they’re really crazy about that here, speed cameras. Anyway, the hill’s fine. There’s a middle hill that takes us to the bus stop and to town, but there’s nowhere to park. There’s a third road that comes to this coworking space, but again, parking, you can’t. This spot, this third spot is at the edge of the zone. You guys, I’m trying to paint this picture for you guys, but it’s not easy and I don’t want to leave Italy with a million dollars in fines.

Russ Perry: All right. This is just a setup, ladies and gentlemen, and we will conclude the saga of the dreaded rental car when we have our final follow up episode of Italy. But I wanted to open it and really, to rent or not to rent, is the final closing thought of our episode here in Italy. I’m of the opinion that this is going to be a huge value, we’re going to love it. Mika’s just worrying about it nonstop.

Mika Perry: I am.

Russ Perry: I think this is a good stopping point for our first episode on Florence and Italy in general. We’ll conclude as well as get the true verdict on the rental car here shortly in a couple of weeks when we record that episode. But if you have any questions on travel, questions on Florence specifically, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Instagram. I’m Russ Perry, and Mika’s handle is just Mika Perry. Also, check out our website, it’s really cool. You have all the links to past episodes. As I mentioned before, also the list to get our favorites across the board. Then you can see what else Mika and I are personally working on, on our own individual brands. Whether it’s me with sobriety, and Mika with lifestyle, and all the things that she’s doing. Our site is

Mika Perry: Thank you guys for subscribing to this podcast. I love seeing our audience grow. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your ratings, and reviews. They mean the world to us. It’s really fun to connect with you guys on this platform. We really appreciate it.

Russ Perry: Thank you. Well, only thank you to the five-star ratings. Anyone else, no thanks. We’ll talk to you next time, everyone. Take care. Have a great rest of your week.

Mika Perry: All right, ciao.

Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good To Be Home.

Mika Perry: Don’t for get to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.

Russ Perry: See you next time. Hey everyone, this is Russ.

Mika Perry: And Mika.

Russ Perry: We have an exciting announcement for our first ever challenge that we’re launching here very soon this summer, it’s a 30-day sober challenge. Mika, what’s this challenge all about?

Mika Perry: As you may or may not know, Russ and I are a sober couple. This is where the idea came from. We want to encourage you to join us on a 30-day challenge of removing whatever it is in your life to lead a healthier, more clear, more mindful life.

Russ Perry: A lot of us do this in the new year’s but this is an opportunity to shift your trajectory this summer and end the year strong. All we need you to do is go to That’s, scroll down just a little bit and you’ll see a link to the challenge right there to get signed up. Don’t wait, we’re starting soon and we can’t wait to have an amazing group of people supported every day for 30 days in order to change their lives.

Mika Perry: We’re going to be with you every step of the way. Remember, it’s 30 days, you can totally do it. It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be positive, and we guarantee, you’re only going to get positive things out of this. I promise.

Russ Perry: All right everyone. See you inside. Thanks.