Italy Update

Ciao Readers!  I have missed you!  There’s been a gelato-sized empty space since I have had to put this blog on hold.  But, I think enough has happened over the past few weeks to warrant an update…

When we left our story, we were getting us and our cats and our pared-down stuff ready for our adventure.  We spoke a bit about red-tape and the challenges of moving to a foreign country.  Even then, with all my stories about airline debacles and forbidden mail, I didn’t know the half of it!  So, let me sum up…

Getting our cats “Italy approved” turned out to be even more of a project than we expected.  AND, a MUCH more expensive prospect than we could have ever guessed.  When I wrote to one fellow expat/blogger about the ordeal and the cost ($1,300+ so far) she was in shock – believing that MUST be a type-o!  Alas, I wish I could say it was, but it was not.  I am still not certain what all was involved as Steve took on the tasks of two days of vet visits, but basically both cats got tested for any disease any cat could ever get, got updated shots and (unfortunately) some dental work one of the cats needed.  To add insult to injury, Sebastian (our larger, furrier cat) needed a haircut so he won’t swelter in his little carrier and instead of bringing him to a proper groomer we had the vet take care of that as well.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Now, if you think getting the cats to Italy is the biggest hurdle, you would sadly not be correct.  To make a VERY long story short, last Wednesday and Thursday we fully believed some visa issues we are having could not possibly be worked out in time for our departure.  We already came up with a “plan B” (moving to Hawaii).  When I last left off writing, I had NO idea how many more hoops we had to jump through and how much sooner we should have snapped.  To put it in the words of the brusk woman on the other end of the phone at the Italian consulate in L.A. “What were you thinking?!?!?!”   In any case, I feel a certain amount of superstition about saying too much as this story is still in progress.  When Steve returns from his one-day round-trip flight to L.A. to go to the consulate in person next week, I’ll write more…

Other than that, our house continues to be a clown car of never-ending stuff.  Some of it is pretty humorous (like the notebook I kept in high school in which I wrote all of the inappropriate things my teachers said in class), and some of it is pretty age-revealing (college papers typed on old-fashioned typewriters, white-out spots and all).  I have enjoyed giving away and selling more stuff than I ever knew we had, except my bike which kinda made me sad.  On a positive note, I met a college student who just spent a semester in Rome and thus got to converse in Italian for the first time in quite a while.  (My last Skype class is 4th of July, but haven’t had one since Memorial day).

I suppose the final thing of note that has happened since you last joined me are my “last” lunches with folks.  I have been going to lunch with old friends and colleagues on Thursdays (only day I can manage to get out of the law school long enough) and they are majorly bittersweet.  I seriously hope everyone will take us up on our offer of our very cool “guest floor” and thus prove none of those lunches to actually be “final.”  And, yes, I am sure we will eventually make our way back here to our house in Albuquerque….

A presto!

Leave a comment


  1. Margaret

     /  July 2, 2012

    Very good to get an update. WHAT a process! YIKES! May it soon be over, my friend, and may you be sitting in your apartment with your very funny-looking cat on your lap, sipping a thoroughly Italian beverage with a good, new Italian friend, and conversing in Italian! You have been given a Story that will entertain for years, but living it… the process issues can stop completey and let the good part of the adventure begin!

    • Thank you, as always, for taking the time to post such thoughtful and encouraging comments! This is what I missed this past month 🙂

  2. I love Sebastian’s haircut! Wow, I really wish I thought to write down all the inappropriate things teachers have said in class from middle school and up because there were some doozies. Hope everything works out in the end. Good luck, thinking positive thoughts for you both!

    • Thanks for reading! I wish I didn’t already pack that notebook up in a “memorabilia” box – should have posted some of more incredible, non-R rated ones!

  3. the potato wife

     /  July 4, 2012

    it is getting more and more difficult to move between countries, gone are the days one could just arrive and settle down wherever one wanted to. The borders are all getting tighter. The best thing to do is keep paperwork in pristine order, follow all the rules and make a bazillion copies of everything. lol. We traveled with a large ring binder notebook with copies every piece of paperwork we needed, birth certificates, marriage license, letters of references, old mortgage loan payoffs, old rental agreements….all to help establish who you are and your history. Remember that American credit history means nothing to another country, but bring a copy along anyways. If you can, scan all paperwork and put it on a flash drive AND your computer. I can’t tell you how many times we have had to produce paperwork we thought unnecessary. I am now having to get more passport photo’s for my residency permit! So if you have any extra’s, keep them!


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