We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My blog absense- a trip back to the USA - day 1

I have been very blog-negligent, but I have been having some little adventures which are certainly blog-worthy. I was in the USA emptying our Baltimore house and getting ready for the settlement. The house finally sold!! Now that I am back in Venice, and fully rested from a very exhausting 5 weeks, I'm ready to blog that experience.

Our living in Italy hinged on a couple of key items:1) getting my Italian citizenship so we could be here legally, and 2) selling the Baltimore house so our money wasn't tied up supporting two residences at the same time. We just aren't wealthy enough to do that, and our long term financial plan required the equity from that house. I received my citizenship on October 30 after a very long 10 1/2 months, and we got a signed contract on the house on January 16, after almost 11 months on the market.

With a signed contract in hand, I quickly booked a flight to the US. All along our plan was to return when the house sold to dispose of our worldly belongings. So, my task was to arrange an estate sale, and ship a few selected items over to Venice. I also had a car to sell, as it unfortunately had not sold yet either. I wasn't very upset about the car, as I would need one to get around during the time I was there, and, probably more importantly, I love that little Miata convertible!!!

I arrived back in Baltimore very late on a Sunday nite, having a flight delay on the NYC to Baltimore leg of the trip. The next morning, I went out to the backyard to start up the car. A few weeks prior we had a friend come put a new battery in it, and come every few days to run the car for awhile, so I knew the car would be fine. The car started right up, I let it warm up a bit-- it was January and very cold-- then got in the car and drove down the street. I was out running errands for two things-- I needed socks, forgot to pack them, and I needed to get a replacement drivers license. My US drivers license was stolen along with the rest of my wallet while in Florence several months earlier.

First stop was a Wal-Mart about 8 miles away for the socks. The car was running well, it felt pretty good to be driving again after being away car-less for 12 months. I pulled into the Walmart parking lot, and the car just stops. No noises, no warning lights on, just stops. I try to re-start it, nothing. I push it into a parking space, and call road-side assistance. I needed to be home in a few hours to meet an international shipper who was scheduled to give an estimate. Two and a half hours later, after sitting in the bitter cold, road side assistance shows up. They were supposed to come in 45 minutes. Ha. I will say that the guy redeemed himself because he worked on my car for a long time. He could not get it started either, but he tried everything. At one point it did start, but it cut out in a minute. We called a tow truck , had the car taken to my local Mazda dealer, and I used their shuttle to get home. So much for day 1 back in the US. This was not how I had anticipated spending my time.

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