Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Amazing Landlords

Whew... we finally got our Internet and house phone hooked up. Being without Internet for that long just sucks, unless you're on vacation!

We have amazing landlords! They are such nice people and we are so thankful for them. Dan asked me just a couple of days ago, "Why do we have such nice landlords?" My response was something about it being time for something to go our way. I know that may sound crazy coming from someone that has recently moved to Italy, but it's all relative, right?! 

I've never had to do a PCS move, basically a move from one base to another, so I really have nothing to compare this move to, but according to Dan, this has been the worst PCS move he's ever experienced, and he has done a few. Sure, I was in the military, but as my old Chief reminded me recently, everything I owned pretty much fit into one sea bag. Not to mention the fact that I was single when I was in the Navy so I really didn't have that much stuff at all. 

This move has been hard, but it's not just the moving that's been difficult. There were issues with Dan's orders to come to Italy and we almost didn't make it here. We got that figured out, but the problems didn't stop there. We had issues getting our car shipped out... thank God for our neighbor Kyley, who drove our car to L.A. so it could be shipped over to us, which we're still waiting on. And the dogs. OMG, the dogs. What an expensive hassle that was to get them both here. At one point we were going to have to leave one behind simply because they didn't have room on the plane. We didn't even get to enjoy the trip to Italy together as a family! Dan and Abs came a week before Ry, the dogs and I did. Yes, that's right. Me with a cold, with a sick 3-year-old toddler, two dogs, and six pieces of luggage on an International flight. And to top it off, when we got to Baltimore for the International portion of our flight, we were delayed 24 hours. See where I'm going here? Problems everywhere! But things are working out, in very messed up and backwards ways at times, but nonetheless, they're getting worked out.

Well, we're in our house finally, with permanent electricity, loaner furniture, dishes and silverware, the bare minimum of clothes, (which in my freezing opinion, is not enough for me), borrowed bedding, and a coffee table for a desk, with no chair, which wreaks havoc on your back when you're trying to blog, haha. As I currently type, I'm sitting on an upside-down paint bucket. I have a lot of things I could bitch about but I don't. Why? I have my family back together, along with our two dogs, and we're happy and healthy. There are a lot worse things that could be happening in our lives right now and I'm just thankful for the life I lead and the path that my life has taken. 

Back to why our landlords are so great, aside from the beautifully wonderful job they have done with the remodel of our house...

We have an automatic gate system for our house with a remote for the driveway gate, and a gate for the walkway to our front door that is always locked. Both are very nice features to have. You have to either open the gate with a key, or press the gate buzzer, which rings the phone in the house to let us know someone is here. We can then pick up the phone and talk to whoever is outside and from there either press the entry button and let someone in the gate, if we know who is there, or we have to go out and open the gate with a key. It is a system similar to what's used in cities such as NYC where you get buzzed into a building. You know, what we've all seen in movies. Anyway, we speak very little Italian at this point, so we don't really pick up the phone to see who is there, we usually just grab the gate key and go see who is here.

Well, we were sitting down to a fabulous beef stroganoff dinner my wonderful husband made tonight when our gate buzzer, well, buzzed. I hurriedly put Lola, our Golden Retriever, downstairs, and Dan put Sadie, our Min Pin, in his arms, grabbed the key, and went out to see who was at our gate. It was our landlord's daughter, standing at the gate, with one crutch under arm, (she sprained her knee last week), and a pan of something that smelled wonderfully sweet. She hobbled her way up the stairs and walkway to come inside, I'm pretty sure Dan had taken the pan to help her out, and presented us with this traditional dolce or sweets for il Carnevale di Venezia or Venice's Carnival.  

Frittelles are a traditional food that is made right around the time of the Venice Carnival and aren't made at any other time of the year. Her mother made them tonight and wanted to share a plate with us. They are what we in the U.S. would consider to be doughnut holes, but waaay better! They're a spongy, sultana or raisin-filled bread, deep-fried, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Right up my alley! Just one more reason why we think our landlords are wonderful people.

They have been extremely helpful throughout this entire process, offering up any assistance they possibly can. It really makes moving to a foreign country much easier. There is a definite language barrier, as they speak no English what-so-ever, with the exception of the word "ok," but their daughter does speak a little bit of English, which she has learned through travel to the United States. 

The night we signed the lease with them, we were huddled over a laptop, on a translation web site trying to figure out what we were saying to each other. We were in their kitchen for about two hours not understanding much, but having the best time laughing at each other's hand gestures and sounds to get our points across, drinking coka or coke, and espresso (the kids had Italian pear juice boxes, which they thought were the bee's knees). 

We are very excited to get to know them better over the next few years, trading recipes, and teaching each other Italian and English. Found out the husband-half of our landlords speaks French, so I'm thinking Dan needs to start brushing up on all that French he learned in HS, haha. 

We got some good news about our household goods, basically all our worldly possessions, which are not in our possession yet. Dan received an email tonight saying that our shipment is in! He's going to call in the morning to see when they can deliver it. Personally, I'm hoping for this Friday, but it'll more than likely be next week. Which means we've got a lot of stuff to unpack and go through and find a place for. I think I'm most excited about being able to sleep in our own bed again. Ahhh (sigh) that'll be so nice again. 

Might be a few days till I'm on again, due to the soon-to-happen invasion of cardboard and packing paper. 

Until then... 


Monday, January 31, 2011

New and Exciting

Well here it is, my first blog.... this new and unknown world that I am very excited to jump right into.

My life has transitioned in so many ways over the past year and a half. I remember the day my husband, Dan, came home with the idea of volunteering to go to South Korea for a year. I had mixed emotions. A whole year apart from him, but I knew we were strong enough to make it through to the other side just fine, unscathed. I was scared, but knew that I was strong enough to make it. It broke my heart to think of everything that he would be missing in our lives during that year. The military doesn't take into account the events occurring in our personal lives, and as members of the military, we understand that and accept it. It is the life we signed up for. But to volunteer to be apart for an entire year, I couldn't help but wonder if we were crazy.

The main reason he volunteered to go to South Korea for a year was because of the option of choosing where his next assignment would be. He had been assigned to Hill AFB in Utah for 8 years, and neither one of us joined the military to stay in one place. As career military, Dan, at that point, had about 6 years before he could/would retire after 20 years of active duty, and we quickly realized that if he didn't apply for an overseas tour then, we would never get there. We put down the top choices of where we'd like to live overseas, did some compromising between the two of us, and ended up with the first choice on our list. A year and some change later, in more ways than one, a few hiccups with the military along the way, and a whole lot of support from family and great friends, we are now residing in Italy!

Some may think we're selfish for making the choices we have, and others may think we're running, from what I have no idea, but we made the decision as a couple, for our family to experience some things that most never get to experience. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, and I am thrilled beyond words that we get to do this as a family.

This blog will be my medium for recounting the favorable, and sometimes unfavorable, combination of circumstances life throws our way. We'll be submerging ourselves into the food, drink, language, and culture, and hope to absorb all there is to possibly absorb. Won't you join us?