It has been a whirlwind being here in Vicenza – ever since we got our RFO and then our official Orders we always had a feeling that we wouldn’t end up actually here. We heard the stories of peoples stuff getting shipped and then things changing and their location switching so we just assumed it would happen to us! We looked at each other on the second flight stretch and were like, “This is really freaking happening!!”
It was so much paperwork, and stress and genuine HARD WORK (Chad worked his butt off at Airborne Training in Georgia the entire month of August) in actually getting here that these last few days it’s been nice to just take some deep breaths and realize we are actually here! This is our new home! We live in freakin ITALY! Getting here was anything but easy – but we are here!
Saturday morning started out insane as Presley and I went to the wrong airport (totally my fault) and then had to race over to the correct airport to get checked in. Imagine me stressed with 5 suitcases, a car seat, carry ons and Presley complaining about our pillows being too heavy to carry! We made it on the first flight to Georgia were we met Chad after being apart for 3 weeks while he was at Airborne Brigade Training. Then we got on our second flight from Atlanta to Venice (9 hours). We tried sleeping and relaxing as much as we could because the time change is 7 hours ahead and we arrived in Venice at around 9am. Our sponsors picked us up in two cars to fit all of our stuff and gave us tons of information as they drove us to the Vicenza Base to check into the hotel we will be at for the next month.Sunday we explored base, stocked the fridge with food and unpacked the suitcases we have been living out of for the last month and made our Hotel as cozy as possible. We got a 3 hour nap and got our To-Do list for all the things we need to get done in the next few weeks to get set up here. The Jet Lag(even with a nap) is insane. Presley was up at 1 am (6pm Stateside time) starving and Chad wasn’t able to sleep. SO crazy!
Monday we got tons of stuff done on base, road the shuttle to get Presley all signed up for Kindergarten which she starts next Tuesday. She will be riding the bus from the hotel because 1) we don’t have a car for a few months and 2) the shuttle doesn’t leave that early in the morning. So my mommy heart is kind of freaking out thinking about her being on a school bus with tons of kids (even the Middle/High Schoolers). We met her Kindergarten teacher and she will be in a class of 10-12 students with both the teacher & an aide. The room is amazing and her teacher even gave us a ride back to the hotel so we wouldn’t have to wait an hour for the bus to take us back to the hotel. Presley was very brave and seems excited for school. I hope she stays that way because we had our fair share of hard drop offs at the YMCA where she went to 3 hours of PreSchool while I worked out in Lawton. Most mornings she screamed and kicked and had to be physically taken from my arms. So I’m praying for easy drop offs at the bus and a happy girl in class.
In the afternoon we headed with our Sponsor (who is amazing) via the bus to downtown Vicenza where he showed us some amazing places to eat, we got Gelato and I took a billion pictures because everything here is gorgeous. (see more pictures if you follow me on instagram)
Tuesday we ran some basic errands around base and borrowed some supplies for the hotel room to cook our own meals – although I would be happy eating out all three!
Wednesday was another paperwork/meeting day for us. We are learning lots and trying to get all set up. We visited the on base thrift store, cooked dinner in the hotel room & even managed to squeeze in a mid day nap!
Thursday we got our APO box and went to downtown Vicenza for a coffee date with some of the other spouses from base. The food here is DIVINE! I haven’t had anything gross! That night we got to BBQ with everyone that just moved to Italy and got to meet some new potential friends. Presley is doing great socially meeting lots of new kids around her age and running absolutely wild everywhere she can. She is still super excited to start school in a few days! Friday was another paperwork day (will it ever end?) and we started to look around for housing – which we have heard is a long process and why we are in the hotel for 45ish days!
Saturday we had an adventure day and took the bus to the train to a bus to visit Bassano del Grappa and the Cittadella – I took a ton of pictures so I’ll post those in a few days!
Sunday we went out with a friend to explore some of the nearby cities so we can go into our housing appointment with some cities in mind to try and find a home we will love! The houses here are very interesting and have crazy floors, and NO CLOSETS! AH! Cross your fingers we can find one we love and can turn into our cozy home!
I cannot believe it has already been a week! I think we are finally over our jet lag & ready to start compiling our bucket list!
What we’ve learned about Italy so far:
The people are very kind and lots of people know at least some English
There are bats at night
People drive fast and the parking spaces are tiny
It seems like everyone smokes & so the streets smell like food and lots of smoke
Gelato is insanely delicious and available on every street
The electricity is crazy – most homes can only handle so much electricity so you can either do laundry OR dishes – but not both at the same time!
The people dress VERY nice and are naturally very gorgeous
Wine is cheaper than water
People drink with every single meal and the drinking age is 16 (although we’ve seen younger drinking)
Restaurants at night don’t open until 7 or 8pm & you do not tip your waiter
Public Transportation is not as easy as you would assume
EVERYONE eats Gelato ALL the time