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.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Le colline toscane sono incantevoli - The Tuscan hills are beautiful.

I was the first one out of bed this morning. I don't think that has happened since we moved to Italy.

We had a 10am appointment at the Polizia di Stato office in downtown Monza. This appointment was for our permit to stay in Italy. After getting a wrong address from Olga, our relocation person, we finally found it and actually beat her there. Its funny. We had a 10am appointment yet we still had to take a number ticket and wait in line. After about 20 min of waiting, our number was called. They had a file for Katrina ready, but couldn't find my file! We thought that was the end of it, but thankfully it wasn't. Katrina had copies of all the necessary paperwork. We turned it in and waited again. After another 15 minutes or so, a woman called our name. First off, she didn't understand why we applied for the permit in Milan when we were living in Vedano and were now in Monza trying to get it. She eventually got over that and entered our info for permit processing. We had to give her 3 passport photos for each of us, then Katrina and I had to be fingerprinted. End of 'appointment'. Now we wait. The permit will take about 30 days to process.

Katrina saw a sign near the post office for McDonalds. She had a craving, so we drove in the direction of the sign. After two u-turns and a couple of circles (about 15min of driving) we found the McDonalds only 1 block from the polizia station! We had a good laugh about that.

We found a shoe store next to McDonalds. Brandon's shoes are showing the first signs of falling apart, so he needed new ones. His new shoes are a bit more "Italian style". Katrina found a pair of shoes as well.

This afternoon I went to Auchan to grocery shop. We needed to stock up on a few things.

It was a bit cooler this morning with cloudy skies. This afternoon it began to rain and now it is very humid. We didn't use the AC at all yesterday, but if this humidity gets worse, we may need to turn it back on.

Anna, our portania, is home from her two week vacation. We were happy to see her this morning and she seemed just as happy to see us. She must have spent her vacation at the beach because she is very dark and tan.

Speaking of vacations. They say Italy shuts down in August for vacation time. Its been hard to really understand that, but I'm beginning to see it now. In July we started to see signs in business windows letting customers know when they would be closed. Most places are closed for a minimum of 2 weeks, some longer. We had been told that Milan becomes like a ghost town. Everyone from the north heads to the beaches in August. Like I said, hard to fully comprehend until you experience it. This weekend we started noticing less traffic on the roads. Today the roads are very empty. Auchan was almost completely empty. Its almost a little eerie. Ho sure, there is still traffic, but when you can compare the normal daily traffic with today, there is a huge difference. It will be interesting to see what daily life is like as we go through August. Of course, we are getting ready for another vacation. We leave on the 12th for Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Slovenia.

I spent some time potting the two house plants we bought at IKEA. I also folded laundry and took out the trash and recycling. Isn't daily life in Italy romantic...lol!

I know I've mentioned this before, but its on my mind again. Italians have so many less issues about nudity. Today I saw a semi drive by (same company I saw several weeks ago). The whole side of the trailer was an ad for cotton and how soft it is. I saw no cotton on the ad, only one very nude model. If you go to the newstands you can see all sorts of magazines...from Playboy (and others) all the way to bridal magazines, car magazines, sports magazines and more, with nude women on the covers. Nothing is covered on the rack and none of the magazines are hidden in dark plastic wrappers. Its just not big deal here.

We found this very cool store in Heidelberg while on vacation. Its called Pylones. It has all sorts of household items, office items, and random items in very colorful, wacky and fun decorations. They even had outlets in the US.

My latest issue of Model Railroader came today!

We had bruscheta pomodoro and wine for dinner. Simple, yet very tasty.

Katrina had an online class from 6 - 8pm. I watched Jumper on one of the movie channels and Brandon did some reading of Harry Potter.

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