Our trip so far

14 Aug
We have our Elective Residence Visas! We applied at the Italian Consulate in San Francisco on July 29 and they arrived August 3, much faster than we anticipated. We organized this trip for a month in the States to ensure there would be enough time for the visas to be processed and sent since we can’t get too far without passports. Of course, they arrived immediately. It is a relief to have that process over (although more processes await) and we are thoroughly enjoying time with family and friends.
Click on any photo in any of the following galleries for a better view or slide show.
We have been in the U.S. for almost three weeks now. Sometimes living in Italy seems very remote to us having slipped back into the American lifestyle. I am becoming used to enormous stores and selection and have enjoyed shopping for clothes in stores where I am familiar with the brands and sizing.  We run errands in borrowed cars. As it is time for end-of-summer sales, we have scored some good discounts.
Dining out continues to amaze us. We are loving the selection of ethnic and Northwest cuisine. We’ve had Thai, Peruvian, Japanese, and Mexican food, as well as fresh salmon and halibut, and the best hamburgers. I have not found halibut in Italy and I do miss it.
Prices are very high. When did it become so expensive in the U.S? It seems like a huge change in only three years. Add tax and tip and lunch or dinner out becomes an a line item on the budget. At lunch, the by-the-glass wine options are $11.00 and up. Seriously? And yet restaurants are full and reservations necessary. 
As you can tell, our visit has been a flurry of meals with friends and family.  Our Portland schedule was packed tight, but still we had time to help our son with the initial stages of his move to a new home. I did not take nearly enough pictures, at least until we got to Seattle, where we are currently wrapping up a stay with family. Mount Rainier National Park was beautiful and busy. Unfortunately, there are no rifugi to hike to and no strudel as we have when hiking in Italy. Rifugi are so civilized!
Thanks to John & Janet, Carolyn, Julie, Bernie & Peggy, Will & Gracia, Sander & Amethyst, Veronica & Barry, Susan, John & Debbie, Heather & Chris, and finally Derek for the glorious meals and good times! I highly recommend the Dale Chihuly Glass Gardens at Pacific Center in Seattle. Sono bellissimi! I will leave you with some photos from the Seattle portion of our trip. 
 Alla prossima!



23 Responses to “Our trip so far”

  1. Julie August 20, 2015 at 03:04 #

    I’m so happy to hear you got the visa. That will be Italy’s (and your followers’) gain for the next few years.

    It was wonderful seeing you. By the way, your stain removal tip works on the upholstery of rented vehicles, too – that was a godsend!


    • gooddayrome August 20, 2015 at 04:27 #

      Hooray for WetOnes! I buy them in bulk! Had a great time seeing you in Sausalito and that was the BEST hamburger not to mention fabulous sushi. Great memories!


  2. Chloe August 19, 2015 at 14:29 #

    Yes, inflation does go up by more than 1-2% each year. Our government fails to include food and energy in the inflation rate, as if we use neither of these things. Just consider how much both of those have gone up over the last few years. We are always in a state of shock when we come back to the U.S. and have to buy food, although we certainly prefer the cost of gasoline for our car in the U.S. to what we pay in France. Not factoring in food or energy in inflation is very hard on many retired people. Can anyone think of a way to make our government include these two items? Neither can I.


    • gooddayrome August 20, 2015 at 04:25 #

      I had no idea food and energy were exempt from the calculation! Seems silly.


  3. Nicholas DiStefano August 15, 2015 at 14:11 #

    Miss you guys!! Hope the girls are well. We are preparing for my neice’s wedding in September which will be held in our backyard. Wish we could have hooked up while you were here. Safe journeys!!


    • gooddayrome August 20, 2015 at 04:25 #

      Ciao Nick and Wally. I am sure the wedding will be magnificent! We’ll catch up “next time” which will probably be when we return for good! Of course you are always welcome in Rome!


  4. Gina August 15, 2015 at 10:39 #

    Beautiful photos — and great to see Derek in one of them! “Hi” Derek! Glad all worked out with your visas. See you soon!


    • gooddayrome August 16, 2015 at 19:35 #

      It was a big releif for us to get the visas. One bureaucratic thing behind us, but no doubt more to go….


  5. carolyncasey August 15, 2015 at 03:48 #

    Hello there! It has be so fun to follow your Italian adventure from afar. You and Rick look absolutely fabulous — Italian life suits you. Does the elective residence visa mean you are taking up residence in Italy?? I bought in Peterkort Woods in 2012 so no longer renting down the street from your FH place. Life is good; golf game improving! Take care, Carolyn Casey


    • gooddayrome August 15, 2015 at 03:59 #

      Great to hear from you Carolyn! Yes we plan to stay a couple of years now that we are retired, but eventually back to Portland. Sold the house on Kennedy Court this spring so will return to a more urban location. Life is indeed good: we are retired and living in Italy!!!


  6. Janet August 14, 2015 at 22:45 #

    What fun! So happy your papers came through! Time to relax a little!😍


    • gooddayrome August 15, 2015 at 00:47 #

      Thanks Janet! We need to gear up for the next step in getting a residence permit.


  7. Mary Henry August 14, 2015 at 21:45 #

    Laurel , It was so nice to see you and hear all about your time spent overseas . Can’t wait for the next installment . Travel safely back and keep those posts coming , love reading them, kinda like living there through you … Blessings , Mary Henry


  8. Will August 14, 2015 at 20:57 #

    It was great fun seeing you and Ric. I’m already looking to your posting from Rome … will Rome feel “foreign” again, or will it feel like returning home. I hope you’ll tell us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome August 15, 2015 at 00:48 #

      That will be interesting to us, too, Will. I expect I will have commentary. Thanks for Thursday night tour of Kirkland!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. mvaden1948 August 14, 2015 at 19:12 #

    Hurray for the visas! I know that their website actually says processing can take up to 90 days.
    I think with my like you get my email (or it is somewhere that you can access it). I’d love it when you have time if you could give me a better idea of exactly they type of documents needed as their list is somewhat confusing. Of course it could change in the next three years before I’m ready to apply.
    Too bad we couldn’t have gotten together while you are in Seattle.
    Ciao, ciao,


    • gooddayrome August 15, 2015 at 00:53 #

      We really just followed the list on the Consulate website. They did ask for proof of private health insurance, but nothing else. I will blog about the whole experience when we have the permessi.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mvaden1948 August 15, 2015 at 01:00 #

        Grazie, I’m looking forward to your account. I haven’t spoken to anyone who has actually done it.
        I do have insurance that will cover me in Italy (thankfully I chose the correct package when I retired) as I know that Medicare won’t so providing that proof will not be an issue.
        It is my understanding that you apply for the permessi once you are back in Italy. Good luck to you with that.


  10. Marcia August 14, 2015 at 19:09 #

    I agree with you about the prices being high. And I don’t believe for a second that inflation is like only 1-2%. I feel that is a contrived number as it seems like prices are probably inflating more like 5-10%. I just don’t know how a family of four does it.

    Your Italian experience continues to encourage Marc and I as we’d like to live abroad at some point for 3-6 months. We haven’t selected a country, though. My Mom still lives with us and is in great health so we wouldn’t consider doing this adventure now. But your journey tells me we COULD learn another language even later in life!

    Sorry to miss you in Portland….we love living in Reno but sometimes we do miss being about to see people on short notice from Portland.

    Kim says she’s counting the days until she comes to visit you!


    • gooddayrome August 15, 2015 at 00:51 #

      It’s good to know someone else sees the inflation. Most people just shrug when we say it seems like they have gone up disproportionately. Yes, you absolutely can do this, Marcia. Just pick ypur country carefully!

      Hope we can hook up in Portland one day!


  11. gayleseely August 14, 2015 at 18:36 #

    Congrats on getting your visa’s! Hooray!


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