Wednesday, January 14, 2009

La mia casa è la vostra casa (My house is your house)

Today is the first day since we've been in Vicenza that the sun hasn't been shining. It actually rained on me a little bit when I walked to the library this morning. I'm a little disappointed because I can't see the mountains today, but maybe the air will be clear tomorrow.

I already told Sean that I want to go to Switzerland, stand on a mountain with my hair in braids and do my best Heidi impression. He just laughed and told me I was weird. Seriously though, I really want to start traveling, BUT I have to admit I'm a little nervous. Mainly because of the language barrier. I really don't want to end up lost because I don't know what signs or people say.

There is a sort of travel agency here on post called ITR that puts together trips that you can sign up for. Right now I'm looking at a trip in late February that goes to three towns in Tuscany. It looks like fun and how scenic would that be? I'm thinking I could get some good pictures on that trip.

Speaking of pictures, I forgot to tell you guys how I did in the Army Photography Contest. I won 1st and 2nd on two pictures that I entered and now Ft. Polk has forwarded those pictures onto the national level of the competition. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

My title of the blog comes from the fact that Sean and I went to the housing office yesterday and tomorrow we have an appointment for them to show us a few homes (online I believe) First up is government housing and if we don't like either of the homes they show us then we move on to privatized housing. At least that's how I understood it to be. So, my question is this: For you ladies that are in Europe, what do you honestly think about those options? What has been your experience with eirther one of them? I told Sean I just wanted to sure we got what is best for us. I'm honestly not expecting a lot of room, but after seeing cute places like Casey and Allison's I'd like something comparable. Granted I know both of you ladies are in Germany and not in Italy. Any specific questions that I should ask them when we go to our appointment? I can use all the help I can get.

One last thing, I see that I've acquired some new followers in the last week or so. Hello and thanks for adding me to your blogging list! I promise I'll try my best to get over to your websites and comment soon, I'm just running a bit behind on that since I currently am without a computer.

Well, I'm off again. I'm supposed to attend a Drivers Orientation class with Sean this afternoon so I should get back to the hotel.

Ciao!

25 comments:

Barefoot Military Mommies said...

Yeahhh im so glad you stopped over, at first i thought i bet i just scared her lol. Hum advice...i live in San Pietro In Gu in gov housing and its VERY small for 4 of us. No closets or anything. If your looking for more American housing with space and american outlets, you will want Villagio housing. Hum what else..Definatley check out ITR, its very easy to travel with them. The price is for transportation to and from your spot which is nice. Make sure you have a General POA for anything here. Dont go offpost traveling by yourself EVER. And the restaurants areound post mainly all speak english so dont worry. But always take euro, not many places take credit/debit cards. There are 2 malls veryyy close to post that you will love. Both speak alot of english. The 1st one has alot of cheaper stuff, the second mall is really pricey. lol thats just an FYI. lol. Um the 2nd mall has a MCD's! Yummy!. I think thats all lol. Even if you dont like wine, taste it here. You will love Germany and Austria. They are BEAUTIFUL. Ok think thats i can remember lol
TTYL
WELCOME

Lauren said...

I would recommend private!! We are in govt and its okay. they changed the rules with housing so if you want to go private to govt you can but not the other way around. plus with private you have better options. If you want to travel i have some great advice but its too much to leave as a comment. stop by and see me! im at work almost everyday!

Via said...

Oo goodness, I'm so jealous! I can't even begin to imagine what beautiful mountains you're staring at! I demand pictures!


As far as the Italian goes, I know a bit...and would be glad to help you out if you have any questions on the language. Or, at least, try to help you out!

Casey said...

Hmmm..Okay. Lots of thoughts.

Check out ITR and even your local USO (usually less expensive) for a trip or two, but your best trips will come when you just GO! It is scary at first, but well worth it. The best European guides are Rick Steves. Order one for every country, but order them used because he is a hippie liberal and shouldn't get our money directly. Ha!

As far as language, you will pick up the basics for each country fairly quickly. Rosetta Stone and other similar CDs should be available through AKO or your library.

Switzerland is AMAZING.

Be open to privatized housing. We have a house bigger than the Colonel level base housing. Plus, we can easily walk to lots of great restaurants and shops. I go to base enough, I need a life outside of it as well. Just make sure whatever you get is at your max housing allowance. You don't get to keep any extra, but you don't want to be paying over, especially with the flexibility of the euro rate. See if you can get utilities included except for power. If you pay one utility, you still get all of your allowance. You can then use it for phone, etc.

Travel every month! We are already half way done, have traveled every month, and feel like there is SO much more to see!

Casey said...

PS- Do you have yahoo messenger or gmail or AIM or anything? Now that we are in the same time zone we can chat. Then you won't get 9 page long comments. Ha!

Honey said...

we live off-base as well, and find it fantastic. most people in germany live offbase, but i'm not sure how it goes in italy. as for traveling, get a rick steves book and read up on his tips and such. also, the travel place on post will give you great trips and deals, as well as pretty good deals on airplane tickets home. check them first. and to add to barefoot mommies, get a poa in case you lose your id, they won't accept a general one, at least not here. so glad you're here.

and, i'll make you a quilt anytime. let me know what colors and/or pattern you like.

Kebi Cedawna said...

Congratulations on the Army Photo Contest. You really have great talent, I'm glad everyone else knows it too! Keep us posted on the national contest, I'm excited to see how you do.

Mojito Maven said...

ok i have no advice with your housing situation, but I CANNOT wait for you to post pictures!!!!!!! please? haha

Gwen said...

Congrats on the photo contest!!! Never had a doubt that you would do well. :) Hope you have a good time at "Drivers Ed." Can't wait to see photos. {HUGS}

Lauren said...

well if the girl behind the desk was a stunning blond lady..then that was my boss! ha ha! Im usually the one behind the desk all day.

kd said...

Congratulations on your photos! Can't wait to see where you get settled!

Mrs. Newlywed said...

I am glad to hear things are moving smoothly!

Email me on the side, and I have some extra info for you...I just don't want it to be public knowledge.

SassyEngineer said...

I obviously have no housing advice, but I want to see pictures of the new digs once you are settled, and I hope it all goes smoothly! Also, I think you should go to Switzerland and also sing some Sound of Music songs too! I can't wait to see beautiful pictures and hear about your wonderful travels while I'm stuck here in my 8 x 6 cubicle. Congrats on the photo contest, too, but I'm not surprised!

Allison said...

I agree with Casey and Honey...I initially thought I'd want to live on base (I thought I'd feel safer, more "at home") but I am SO glad that we live off base in private housing. You get really sick of doing everything on base all the time, and I think if I lived there too I'd go crazy :)

Abbie said...

Congrats on winning the photo contest! How fun! I can't wait to see the pictures of Italy...sounds like it's pretty beautiful there!

Mrs. Cup said...

I can't wait to see pictures!!! Speaking of...congratulations on your photo contest! SO exciting!

Shea said...

We live off base and love it, our appt for two is bigger than friends who live on base with a family of four. Traveling may be a little scary at first but check out ITR (I'm assuming it's the same as out SATO) but that way its more of a group.

zentmrs said...

My advice is second-hand, from a former co-worker whose husband was recently transferred to Italy. She said her best advice was to go with private housing - you will end up much happier! Just my 2 cents (second-hand, so maybe only worth half that?)...

What an exciting adventure! Good luck!

Mary Teresa said...

Hi! I'm one of your newbs. I'm always excited to meet others who are a.) military wives and b.)are in Europe. We're in Germany and live in Government housing off base. Its nice because we have someone to call anytime something breaks but we still get the perks of living off base. I'd say go with the off base housing.

Don't be scared to travel. As long as you're generally polite to the people they try to work with your "language weaknesses." Enjoy Italy!

LyndsAU said...

congrats on your pictures :) that is awesome!!
And I can't wait to see pictures :)

. Becca . said...

Hooray for your pics!

Which side of the road do they drive on there? I'm assuming the right side, like here. Man, I have SO many questions for you, but I'm sure you'll answer all of them in the course of your blogging :) I'll just enjoy reading and live vicariously through your exciting Italian life! Say hello to Donatella Versace for me! :)

. Becca . said...

Oh, and can we see the gorgeous pics you won with!? Did I miss a post somewhere? Lol!

Lindsay said...

Congratulations on your photos! I'm so jealous that your there and I'm not. :-( Don't worry, I had *R* put "extended long tour" on his dream sheet so I'm really hoping we can get over there sometime in the next...oh say....15 years.

Be safe!

aka_Nik said...

I'm new to your blog but I'm so glad I caught you at the time I did. I live in private rental and if you don't have kids that's the way to go. Government housing is dependent on your husband's rank and the number of people in your family. My husband and I got a 3 bedroom townhouse through private rental and we would have had a tiny one room place.

If you have any more questions or need help with anything please email me at nikki.demarco@gmail.com

aka_Nik said...

p.s. I currently live in Vicenza!