About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Preview Trip - Day 1

Day 1 in Italy arrived quickly. Brandon slept like a rock. Katrina and I both woke up around 2am and had troubles going back to sleep. We finally did fall asleep again. Morning came too quickly.

The hotel had a nice breakfast. Fresh fruit, crossiants, sausage, meats, cheeses, yogurt, bread, and juices. Brandon loved the special breads and crossiants. Katrina and I are not coffee drinkers and never have been. We decided to each try a cappacino. Katrina didn't care for it. I am willing to try it a few more times before I decided.

Todays agenda was a busy one: Meet Olga and her assistant Rina, view 2 apartments in the morning, lunch, then 3 apartments in the afternoon. We met at a hotel in Monza, about a 1/2 hour drive from our hotel. We met Olga and spent some time going over the plans and ideas for the week, then it was time to visit our first apartment. Olga did not join us, but sent Rina with us. We looked at the first two apartments near Brandon's school. Both were much larger than I expected. The first one was actually too large. The second apartment quickly became our top choice of the day. It was very bright and very cutting edge modern, as well as fully furnished.

Some interesting tidbits about Italian apartments. First off, many Italians own their apartments. What we would call condos. Almost all the buildings have a door man. This is an important person and a link to all that is going on. Most apartment buildings have very small elevators - 3 - 4 person standing very close together. Most windows do not have screens. They do have wood or metal shades on the outside that are cranked down like a garage door, either by hand or by electric. A garage is called a box. There is very little carpet. Mostly tile or wood floors with throw rugs. All the front doors to the actual apartments are literally 6 or more inches thick, like a vault.

We had lunch a very stylish restaurant in Parco di Monza. I had veal that was excellent. Brandon had pasta with pomodoro and parmagian - for the second time.

In the afternoon we viewed 3 apartments in Monza city center. There is a lot of action and so much to do and see downtown. Unfortunately, even though it is only a 10 min or less drive to Brandon's school, these apartments would not be all that convenient for daily commuting to school. Each apartment is interesting and unique. These 3 were each very nice, but didn't meet our needs for one reason or another.

After a long day of apartment hunting we headed back to the hotel to relax and have dinner. Brandon had pasta pomodora and parmagian for the third time!! I had swordfish and Katrina had some risotto.

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