2017: A Year in Retrospect and A Look Ahead
I can’t believe 2017 is coming to a close. Didn’t we just begin 2017? I will agree that the older we get, the faster time flies. People tell me that all the time and now I completely agree! So as most people do, here is a look back at our 2017 events and a bit about what we are looking forward to in 2018.
We started 2017 by spending a few days in Las Vegas, Nevada. We have gone there many times but never stayed at our favorite hotel – Caesar’s Palace! There is something about this place that we just love. Perhaps it reminds us a bit of Italy!
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- We left for Italy in early February and was going to spend our next 90-days in Bari, Italy. We wanted to investigate the Adriatic side of Italy which is on the east coast. Bari didn’t quite be all that we expected. In fact, we spent about 24-hours there before deciding to leave and spend our time in Florence instead. You can read all about this adventure from our post: http://ouritalianjourney.com/another-90-day-adventure-italy/
- So as I said previously, we were in Florence for 90(ish) days and were able to spend overnight stays in Siena, and Lucca and did day trips to Pisa, Cortona, Assisi, Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalciano with a tour of Chianti. We loved Lucca as we found it similar to Parma, Italy which we also loved staying in our first 90-day adventure.
- We took part of a 400 year old tradition as we were in Florence during Easter. It was truly amazing and we loved every part of it. You can read more here: http://ouritalianjourney.com/easter-display-traditions-florence/
Still in Florence….
- It was an great day when we met a fellow blogger that I had been following for quite a while. We met Karen Mills (An American in Italy) for a glass of wine one evening before she left Florence where her home had been for quite sometime. Her and her husband are now living in Moracco. It was a difficult decision for her to leave Florence.
- While in Florence, we participated in the Gelato Europe Festival! Our favorite actually won the Florence event! It was a wonderful experience trying all different gelato made especially for the event. Good thing we walked back to our apartment to try and work some of those calories off! Read more here: http://ouritalianjourney.com/gelato-festival-2017-europe-participating-in-the-fun/
Returning to the USA…
- After we returned from Italy in May, we headed to LaJolla, California in July and celebrated my 60th birthday with the sea lions! Gary’s daughter and family joined us there and we had a fantastic couple of days at the beach. I truly miss the beach as we don’t have that in Arizona.
- Another really nice event was that Gary and I promoted from Distributors to Managers in our SendOutCards business. This amazing company allows us to make money while being nice to people. We had decided to start using their service when we first went to Italy so we could stay in touch with cards, postcards and gifts with family and friends. It is easy and affordable and you can find out more here: http://www.sendoutcards.com/188663
- The Gelato Festival we participated in while in Florence came for the first time to America! We brought some family and friends to experience it with us. It was an amazing day and we got to meet Daniele who organized both the events. Here is our post to read more: http://ouritalianjourney.com/gelato-festival-first-time-in-america/
- We have been blessed with so many new subscribers this year from countries like France, China and Italy! We can’t thank you enough for your interest in our journey and are always looking for ways to help people with their travel. If you have any suggestions on posts you would like us to consider, please email us and let us know! That is what happened recently with our post about purchasing groceries in the USA and in Italy http://ouritalianjourney.com/bottom-line-price-comparison-italy-usa/. We had been asked about what it costs living in the US vs. Italy and so we did a little comparison that proved to be an eye opener.
Of course there are many more things that occurred this year. We found out that we are going to be grandparents again next year with grandchild #9. This thanks to Gary’s son who will then have 4 children total, eeeekkk!
Dual Citizenship and Looking Ahead to 2018
The dual citizenship journey has taken very few turns until recently. We did finally hear from the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles, California. It seems that Gary’s father’s name is not consistent in several documents and they requested we amend birth and death certificates to reflect the exact way it was on his birth certificate. Of course anyone who has parents and grandparents that came from another country will know that names were “Americanized” when they got to America. The Consulate didn’t like that and we are in the process now of changing it through the court system.
We have been waiting for a little over two years for our dual citizenship. We sold our home, cars, possessions in anticipation of getting our paperwork put through the Italian government. In retrospect, I don’t think we would have done things the same with the knowledge we have now.
But on a brighter note, Italian law has changed yet again. Our Italian lawyer tells us now that once we receive back the amended papers that the Consulate requested us to do, we can actually pull our application and go to Italy and register with the local commune and ask that we be allowed to stay as we are requesting citizenship. We have been wanting to stay in Italy (town to be determined) for one year to see if we truly want to retire there permanently. We have enjoyed our two 90-day stays but as any traveler knows, it’s not the same as living someplace. The most difficult obstacle we still face is only using Skype to see our eight grandchildren and four children. Will that be enough?
We know now that 2018 will be the year we get to stay in Italy – but for how long?