We’ve arrived in Italy and the next chapter of our adventure begins! We haven’t seen much yet, other than the outskirts of Milan, distant Alpine foothills and a few vineyards as we drove the autostrade to the nearest American base yesterday. Our jet lagged preschoolers were in tow as we took a driving test, registered in the system, bought SIM cards for our phones, set up a bank account and so on and etc. To be honest, it seems we accomplished more in a day than we did in our first two weeks in England, and that made the kids’ delirious ravings so much easier to tolerate. Especially given our living arrangement.
The Milan Expo 2015 has all of the local long stay-style accommodations booked up, so we’re sharing a studio loft. It’s a vastly different experience from when we arrived in England four years ago. We don’t have separate rooms (unless you count the mostly-frosted glass wall to the bathroom), there are no closets, there is no kitchen or microwave, and there certainly is no in-room washer & dryer. We do have a mini-fridge that didn’t work for our first two days. And we have a bidet and a mirrored ceiling in the loft above the master bed!
I read my book club’s last pick, Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, on the plane ride over. It was a perfect choice for giving me perspective and taking away my right to complain.
The hotel itself is a bit quirky. It claims to be part art gallery, and the kids love the cardboard furniture and gigantic plastic molded snails. The restaurant is good, though a pricey alternative to cooking at home (which I normally do at least 6 nights a week), and my youngest child doesn’t actually “sit” and “eat” proper meals these days.
We do get free access to the “summer club” next door, which is a collection of pools, sunbathing sand pits, grassy lawns and play areas. It seems that 5pm is a great time to catch the DJ and do some group fitness dancing in the front pool. There’s at least one bar, snack stand and restaurant. We do have great pool weather right now. (You know, sunny and hot.) So, really, we’re winning here. Bonus points for free Wi-Fi!
We’re looking forward to overcoming the jet lag, finding a place to live and getting settled. The house hunt begins tomorrow. Here we are and here we go!