Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our Stay in Cernobbio

We've learned that in Italy, things don't move quite as quickly as they do in the good ole' USA. I think God was preparing us for that with our 2 night "mini-vacation" in New Jersey on the way here. Currently, we're staying at a hotel in Cernobbio (cher-no-bee-o), a small town near Como. Learn more about Cernobbio and Lake Como here:

We will sure be happy when we're finally out of hotels and settled into our place, but Cernobbio is gorgeous - here are a few pictures of their lakeside views. Not bad, huh?!

This area has restaurants right along the shore and is just a short walk from our hotel.

Oh, gelato! There is a shop practically on every corner. The manager of our hotel says you must have one per day...

Eva, once again, sleeping! Cole's razor was still in our lost luggage.  :)

This sculpture is near the train station in Como - I love it. I'll have to take more pics later on... 

Walking to dinner. Aren't they cute? This little lady has gotten lots of attention!
Here there are forms and more forms for everything. We have both been a little frustrated by it all, but we are learning to deal. Since we don't have a car yet, everything we've done has been by bus or on foot. I think all of the walking justifies our daily gelato stops. Yum! :)

This week we have...
  • completed a walk-through our apartment and signed final paperwork. Check!
  • made two separate trips to the gas company to get the gas reconnected. They're scheduled to come on Monday to take care of that, so we're not completely finished there... yet.
  • made three separate trips to the rental car companies. One of our trips was during the 1:00pm - 3:00pm window where most stores close down for a long lunch, so we had to return later. We still don't have a rental car... they are unable to rent for more than one month, and we're entering the busy tourist season so we're sort of on a waiting list. I was hoping this would be lined up before we got to Italy. It has been a painful process. 
  • purchased wireless internet for our laptop and iPad... it's slow. Very. Slow. BUT it's better than nothing! It's great to be re-connected to our friends and family.
  • attempted getting a cell phone for me, more waiting there. Since we don't yet know what provider Cole's phone will be with, we are holding off on a decision. We'll get connected to a sort of "friends and family" plan once we know more.
  • made our first trip to the grocery store, a short walk from our apartment in Como. This was a guessing game, trying to translate with the very little Italian we know. Everything turned out just fine. Grocery shopping is going to be a slow process for me, though!
  • eaten lots of delicious Italian food. Much of which we don't understand on the menu... so it's also been a guessing game ordering meals. At one point a waitress told us one word meant "horse" meat. We aren't sure if she was confused with her English or if they actually eat horse here. We'll have to do some research on that. And, dang it, neither of us can remember what the Italian word was... 
  • attempted to open an Italian bank account. We found out it would cost us nearly $200 US dollars just to have the account, not including any transactions, which would be 1.6 euros each. (So $2.08 per deposit, withdrawal, etc.) We're researching other options... those American banks (and all of their fees) are looking better every day! 
It's nice to see everything we've done this week in writing, because we feel like nothing has actually gotten accomplished. But that is a long list! We have a ways to go before we'll feel like we can truly relax and see the sites. For now, it's just getting settled and taking care of business!