Living in Italy has been the experience of a lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, we’re really enjoyed aspects of our time here and haven’t taken for granted all of the traveling we’ve gotten to do during the past 3 years. With that being said, the end is now in sight and we can see the finish line. And really, there’s no place like “home”.
So this is what we’re really looking forward to when we move back to the States, in random order:
- a dishwasher. Not having a dishwasher for the past three years has sucked, especially considering the amount of bottles I’ve washed in that time period.
- closets. You don’t realize how nice closets are until you don’t have them any more. I’ve missed having closets.
- being in the same time zone and friends and family. Or at least not 7 hours ahead of most of them.
- buying a house. We’ve never owned a house, so it’ll be nice to finally have our own.
- being able to shop in stores instead of online. I have missed normal shopping. I don’t shop a ton, but I’ve had to ask my mom and MIL to get most of the things for the kids since they have access to stores that I don’t have access to, like Ross, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, etc.
- Target. Does this really need an explanation?
- variety in food. Most of the restaurants here serve pretty much the same thing. The same types of pizzas and pastas. There’s not much variety really. It gets old so we don’t eat out much, except for lunch.
- child-friendly businesses. Places that have kids menus and changing tables and high chairs and cups with lids. You know, that sort of extraveggant stuff…
- ice. Europe doesn’t believe in ice in drinks. I LOVE ice in drinks. I miss it. And having an automatic ice maker in the fridge would be really nice too.
- an automatic garage door opener. It will sure be nice to be able to pull in to a garage and get out instead of having to park the car, get out to open the garage door, pull the car in to the garage, get the kids and everything else out of the car because you can’t get behind the car when the garage door is closed, and then close the garage door by hand, while trying to hold baby at the same time. It sucks. Trust me.
- a garage big enough to fit a small SUV/ normal sized car. We have 3 cars. We can only park one in the garage because if you tried to park 2 of them in there, you wouldn’t be able to open the doors on either car. Yes, a normal sized 2 car garage will be great.
- a house without concrete walls. Hanging a picture here is not easy. Italian houses have concrete walls so you have to get special hooks to hang things on. Nails don’t work.
- sidewalks. I am SO looking forward to living in a neighborhood that you can walk in, on sidewalks, without having to worry about crazy Italian drivers running you over.
- using our bikes. We have a child seat on one of our bikes and a Burley bike trailer for 2 kids that we haven’t used once over here because there is no place to ride our bikes here. I’m excited to get some use out of them.
- fast food restaurants. They have Burger King and McDonald’s here, and then the fast food joints at the BX, which brings us to a grand total of about 5 different fast food places to eat at within a 60 mile radius. As you can imagine, I am more than sick of them, especially considering none of them are even that good! Pei wei! Panara! Noodles and Co! Jimmy John’s!! In and Out Burger! Chick fil A!!!! My mouth is already watering! (And my waistline is already expanding.)
- cheap airfare and short flights!! It’s no longer going to take us 12+ hours of traveling or $2000+ to see our families! We’ll be able to get $200-300 tickets instead of $1000+ tickets and we’ll be able to get there in a few hours and not have to deal with jet lag! Sounds pretty nice to me!
- being able to understand Abbie’s teachers. It’s been a bit tough having Abbie in the asilo because we can’t really communicate with her teachers very much since they know every little English and I know every little Italian. She’s learning Italian, so it’s worth it, but it’ll be nice to be able to talk to her teachers and friends.
- American radio stations. Italian radio stations suck, mainly because you can’t understand what they’re saying and they play a lot of songs in Italian.
- American TV!!!!! Not having to download anything I want to watch, and then put them on a USB stick and plug it in to the thingy connected to the TV will be really nice. Which brings me to the next one.
- DVR. I’ve missed that a lot during the past 3 years.
- central a/c/ heat. Radiators are okay, but not as good as central heating and cooling. And because this place is made of concrete, it just feels damp and cold sometimes, unless you have the heat up quite a bit.
- not having to carry around two currencies. We use dollars on base and Euros everywhere else.
- being able to use all my kitchen appliances. I have a bunch of stuff downstairs right now because my kitchen just isn’t big enough to have all my kitchen stuff in. It’ll be nice to use it all again.
- being able to go to the chiropractor again. They don’t have very many chiropractors over here. I know of one, and she’s Italian. I’m looking forward to being able to be seen regularly for my headaches. It helps a lot.
- hot water that doesn’t cut out 5 minutes in to every shower. For some reason our hot water cuts out for a couple minutes during every shower. It’s not fun to have a couple minutes of cold water right when you could be getting out, so you have to wait for it to warm up again so you can warm up again. Annoying.
- having carpet. I don’t mind tile/hardwood floors, but I like carpeting in the bedrooms, and this house has none. Every single floor in this place is hardwood or tile or marble. Not very conducive to having new walkers in the house.
- not having to deal with 2 voltages. Some of our stuff is 110v and needs a transformer, some of our stuff is 220v and can be plugged in to the walls, and some of our stuff is dual voltage, but then you need to have the plug adapter to make them fit into the wall. It’s a pain.
- having more than 2 outlets per room. Our living room has three outlets. My kitchen has basically one by the counter and one by the fridge and one by our dining room table. Oh, and the outlets here only have one plug in spot per outlet, not two like they have in the States.
- not having to pay for public restrooms. When you have to go and you have to scramble to find change, it’s not fun. And most of them, even in gas stations, have “attendants” that sit there asking for change.
- easy access to good dental care. This is a whole separate post of it’s own…
I could go on and on and every time I look at this post, I think of more things to add to it, but I’m going to stop here. There are many good things about Italy too, and someday I will post about those. I’m sure when I get back to the States, there will be things (besides the people) that I miss about Aviano, but right now I am SO excited to get back. Mark and I mention several times a day things that we’re not going to have to deal with anymore when we get to AZ. We’ve reached our FIGMO point a while ago. (That’s an acronym for F*** It, Got My Orders, for all you non-military folk.)
(In case you think I’m kidding about my kitchen, this is the extent of my kitchen counter space. The sink is right to the right of it, and the drying rack right of that. I’m not going to know what to do with more counter space. Actually, I take that back. Yes, I will. Notice all the pots/pans piled on the stove. Yeah, that’s because I don’t have enough room in my cabinets or anywhere for them, so they sit stacked on my stove and I move them to the kitchen table when I need those burners and then move them back to set the table.)