Sunday, January 1, 2012

Part 2, getting settled!

**warning, I have started and stopped and restarted writing this post going on 4 days now. If it seems choppy, just know that it is! Sorry!**


So we have now been in Italy for two weeks. It's actually flying by already! We have spent these two weeks living in a hotel...it's on the Army post and while you may think "Geez, 14 days in a hotel?" there are others who have been here anywhere from one week to three months! How long you live in the hotel is dependent on how quickly you find a house. Initally, you can't go look at houses right away. It's a ton of briefings, getting ID cards, etc before the actual housing process begins. For us, it was delayed even more due to the holiday(s). So we're getting pretty cozy in the hotel.

It's a 'suite' I suppose; there is a living area, a kitchen area, a bedroom and a bathroom. Rascal is allowed and we are actually in the pet-friendly wing so there are other furry friends around too. Sleeping arrangements are quite comfortable despite the lack of space...Bubba and Pooks are on the pull out couch and Peanut is on the roll away bed, all situated in the living room. B and I are sharing the queen and Sissy is in the mini crib (who am I kidding...she's in our bed. Her blanket and stuffed monkey are in the mini-crib). Rascal sleeps in his crate and it's working out quite well. The most annoying part is the clutter/toys everywhere. It's not that the kids are messy, it's just there is no where for it all to go.

Well as luck would have it, this week B had his housing briefing. Then Tuesday I had to go with and we looked at houses on a website. It  has a pretty specific search and we could narrow down our must haves (pet friendly, extra bedroom) to our would like to have (close to post, not an apartment). We picked two houses that we ''liked'' (honestly I didn't like either but we HAD to choose two. Each day, sometimes several times throughout the day, the pickings change because as one family chooses a property to see, it becomes unavailable for others to view. Once they decide yes or no, it can be released and others can view it as an option).

So Wednesday we went and looked at the two that we weren't thrilled about and needless to say, we were underwhelmed. They were nice but each had an issue (the first had no grass. A yard of gravel and pavers...no grass. We have 4 kids and a dog, we need grass. Even just a tiny bit....the second was on the side of a cliff. Seriously the drop off was intense and the one laned dirt road leading to it was terrifying, I don't think the swaggerwagon could even make it up!). We returned to the office feeling defeated. While there, I hopped on the computer and started a new search to see if there were any new listings. There was one! And it seemed perfect. Four bedroom, 2 bath...it was about 5 miles away which might be too far for B to bike to work like we had hoped but otherwise it was perfect. And it was a house, not a duplex or apartment. We went and saw it later that evening.
It truly was beautiful on the outside and more space than I ever dreamed having on the inside. Seriously it was listed as 4 bedrooms but there is one downstairs off the entryway and another off of the kitchen that were considered ''entry'' and ''study''....in actuality they are just extra bedrooms. It's got everything on the required list (even has a fireplace and HUGE terrace...seriously it's like the biggest terrace you have ever seen. No joke, the terrace is bigger than the living room in our last house. The whole time we were looking at the house, the boys were running the terrace). It also has a private gate and driveway, there is even a little camera on the phone so when someone buzzes at the gate, we can scope them out before letting them in.
The two ''cons'' would be it's distance from post and how dated the tile is on the inside. The distance is do-able we had just hoped to find something closer so B could bike to work. It's not that he can't now, it's just these Italian back roads are narrow, winding and Italians drive crazy. I mean petal to the metal, making two lanes when there is barely room for one. They don't yield to pedestrians, or look twice for motorcycles. It is nuts. (and to think, I have to get a drivers license while here...eek!)

And the tile? Well, Italians love tile...and I don't mind it. Our last house was nothing but tile and I grew to love it. But this house was built in 1975 and it is full of bad 70's tile and it's everywhere. The backsplash in the kitchen is tile but it's not the same tile that's on the floor. And the kitchen tile doesn't match the hall tile, which doesn't match the living room tile, which doesn't match the bedrooms, etc. And it's not a solid color either but a gaudy print over and over and over. I have no clue how I'll decorate! B says ''Rugs...lot's of rugs". And the bathroom tile...geez, just wait til you see pics!

So as you might have guessed, we went with house number three. While it was a no-brainer to B and to our friends whom went with us, it took me longer to come around. I've always lived in a 'cozy' house. Nothing big, just enough for what you need. This house is not cozy. I had pictured a small Italian house that was cozy. This is nice, but big. There are 2 stories...the bottom floor is the entry, the laundry room, the spare room, a small cellar and then you go upstairs to a landing. Off of the landing is several doorways. One is to another spare room, one to the kitchen, one to the living room (complete with fireplace and wet bar), one is the hallway to the bedrooms. Once in that hall, there is a bedroom door, then a bathroom, then 2 more bedrooms, then on the other side another bathroom and the master bedroom which is so big we could EASILY upgrade to a king sized bed. Hell, we could probably fit the king and the queen bed in there together. (I kid but it would fit). So it's a lot of house and I'm not used to that. (Though I am extremely excited that one room will be my craft room/ an office!! WOOHOO, kid free zone!! Once I really talked it out, looked at the pics, thought about the cute cafe down the street, the school close by...I quickly decided that I didn't want to let it go.
We won't move right away. We'll probably be in the hotel for another month. We have a meeting on the 11th with housing for pre-negotiations, then we'll have a lease signing, then we'll get a move in date. Since our household goods probably won't be here til mid February, there really isn't a rush. (The army provides loaner furniture but I'm not wildly excited about that).

3 comments:

  1. Congrats on finding a house! Glad you were able to settle on something so quickly, sounds like it could end up being quite the process! Hope you are able to settle in and make it 'cozy' soon :)

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  2. I'm happy for you! Was thinking there was no way we would possibly get a 4bdrm place when we come in March, but maybe there is hope! My three boys need space! Which area is it in? Does the bus stop nearby?

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  3. Riann we're just north of base but within the bus route. When you go to housing, they'll give you map and tell you if you live inside this area highlighted, you're on the bus route. We're still in the hotel now, so I'm not sure how close the school stop is. The regular commuter bus is also close by. And yes, there are quite a few properties that have 4+ bedrooms. So far, we love it!

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