February 25, 2008

A visit to London

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurenwenker @ 10:29 am

Josh and I will be travelling to London on Wednesday evening and will stay until Sunday. This will be our first trip to visit with Sarah, Marty and the kids. We want to make sure that we get to see them before they leave for the States!

Last night we went to Kathryn and Ethan’s house (the couple who are keeping Rosco) for dinner. We had hamburgers and hot dogs… which was awesome b/c you can’t find that kind of food around here! The italian food is great, don’t get me wrong, but the conveniences of good old American food is hard to come by.

Sunday night is also the night when we can watch LOST. The military broadcast system is interesting. They kind of pick and choose what shows they want to play. Typically, prime time shows are played a couple of days after you guys would see them in the States. For those who are also LOST fans—Whoa on the ending! We think that Claire dies….no way that Kate would have kidnapped Aaron.? 

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February 23, 2008

Our Beater & Italian Josh

Filed under: Italy — laurenwenker @ 6:13 pm

random-3.jpgrandom-4.jpgHere are pictures of our “beater” car and Josh wearing is new European style jacket 🙂 We took our first trip to an Italian shopping mall… which shockingly has more men’s stores than women’s!

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Cumae

Filed under: Italy — laurenwenker @ 6:08 pm

Today Josh and I went to a place in the Naples area called Cumae. It is an ancient Greek settlement lying to the northwest of Naples in the Italian region of Campania. The settlement is believed to have been founded in the 8th century BC by the Greeks from the city of Cuma, upon the earlier dwellings of indigenous, Iron-Age peoples whom they supplanted.

It only took us a little over an hour to explore…. and for those who want to see it, it is very close to our villa!  (Also, there is a picture of a “street” puppy…)

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February 21, 2008

Take a look at our villa

Filed under: Italy — laurenwenker @ 5:48 pm

For the past couple of days we have been going through area orientation. A lot of the information we already know, but it is mandatory for us to do. We finally finished this afternoon…yeah! Now, we wait for our inter-cultural relations course to begin on March 4th. We will take a small Italian language class and learn some of the day to day information that we will need to live out in town.

I have uploaded the villa pictures on Shutterfly, so take a look. Tomorrow we begin the pre-contract work with our future landlord.   http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AYuGrhu1bOGOF&emid=sharshar&linkid=link2

Tomorrow, or maybe Monday, Josh and I will purchase our 2nd vehicle. We found a great deal on a 1995 BMW. It will be our ‘beater car’. As long as the inspection pans out, we are good to go.

February 19, 2008

Internet is so-so

Filed under: Italy — laurenwenker @ 7:51 pm

Don’t panic! The Internet in our hotel was down from Thursday night until this morning! We have limited access and get on when we can! It will probably be this way for a while…. definitely when we move out into town. So, just leave us a message on our Skype voicemail and we will call you back.

Our Valentine’s dinner was fantastic. We went to a restaurant called the Arbustum House. They cook with organic food and serve home-made wine. There was so much food that my stomach ached. We had 8 courses….and the course sizes were no joke. All of them could have been an entree by themselves. Eggplant in oliveoil is huge here in Italy. That was one of our favorite things that night. After course 5 we thought the dessert would be coming out soon, but they brought 3 more! The Italians feed you a ton of food!!!!!

Friday we began our search for housing. We looked at several areas surrounding the base and were sad to find nothing that we liked.

Saturday we were set up with an agent, Luisa, who was extremely helpful. She took us all around the Amalfi coast towns to look at beautiful houses. Josh and I saw so many that we liked. That night for dinner was our first sample of real pizza! The Italians cook a pizza like I have never experienced before. The flavors are unlike any pizza in the US. It is amazing… and I think that I could eat it everyday!

Sunday was a day of exploring for us. Josh and I explored Pompeii. Pompeii/Vesuvius is about a 40 minute drive from where we are staying on base. When we first got there we ate at a yummy pizzeria in town. Next we went to explore the old ruins. It was very beautiful. The old columns and buildings set a tone for old Italy. I was on board for the first 2 hours of walking around, but I hit my limit for the third hour. Josh took MANY pictures….and it was freezing out that day. The wind was whipping so hard. Here are a few of the pics:

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Monday was an awesome day. The base was off for President’s Day, so we went out with Luisa again. We saw more houses in the area that we liked…. and we decided to put a hold on a nice villa in a town called Lago Patria. I will post pictures later. We have a long process of paperwork ahead of us to get our place. It has to pass the Navy/US inspections and we have to wait for our Italian social security numbers to come through the system. We are excited to get going so that Rosco can come home to his mom!!!! (and dad :)) The process should take about 3 weeks if everything goes smoothly.

Oh…..we also had pizza again 🙂 at a pizzeria in the historical town of Pozzouli. Yum!

So….. this is good news! Especially for our first house guest, Heather BZ, who is coming at the end of next month. We can offer her a room in our villa 🙂 We will be able to host visitors soon, so sign up for you trip!!!

February 14, 2008

We have arrived!

Filed under: Italy — laurenwenker @ 2:31 pm

There is really only one word to describe our first couple of days here in Italy… overwhelming!!! The trip itself was not too bad. The time transition has been okay. The trick is to sleep as little as possible on the way over (which we did) and then you are dead tired by the time you get here (which is great, because it is almost bed time with the time change!!!)

Our introduction to European driving nearly caused me to have a heart-attack. We had about 6 close calls on the way to drop Rosco off to his temporary home. Rosco is staying with a very nice couple that already have 3 dogs. They have a huge yard to play in.  Also, the live only ten minutes from where we are staying on base. So, we can visit him often. I miss him already!!!!!!!!!

We picked up our car today. It is nice to see my Mazda again… though we are a little nervous about driving around this place! We ventured off base to get some gas… (40 liters at 1.79 per liter!!) On the way we saw our first group of street dogs. There were two puppies with them digging in the trash and I had to look away. We have been told that we will see this everywhere. It will be tough to ignore their sweet little faces.

Tonight we have Valentine plans to go off base to an Italian restaurant. Hopefully it will be delicious.

As an FYI, we do not have internet access in our room. We are having to come up to a public sitting area to use the internet, so if you need to leave a message, you can do so on our Skype In number. We will get back to you when we can!!

 Ciao

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