Visas. We received our visas on Friday, Feb 28th. We applied on Dec 24th, so it took about 2 months. Longer than the 3 weeks that I was expecting (because that’s what the website says!) but less than the 3 months that the consulate said that it could be. Some people are interested in the details of how we obtained our visas, so I plan to create a seperate posting for what we did and some lessons learned.
Next steps. We now have flights leaving Sunday, March 8th, arriving in Italy on Monday, March 9th. Most of our stuff is packed. We are taking 5 large boxes, 1 large suitcase, 2 carry-on rolling bags and 2 back packs. That’s about 500 pounds of stuff! The boxes allow us to maximize what we can bring with our luggage allowance. Time will tell whether they all arrive with us in Lucca! We should be staying in our apartment on that evening. Our apartment has most appliances and key pieces of furniture, but we’ll need to get kitchen goods, TV, computer, more linens, etc. We’ve prepared a shopping list to get the apartment in a livable state.
Coronavirus. There have been no cases of coronavirus in Lucca. We are watching the US and Italian government websites for notices regarding travel impacts due to the coronavirus. Our flights to Pisa were changed to Florence because of the decrease in travelers. So we’ll have a one hour drive to Lucca, instead of 30 minutes. That’s OK!
Visits. We’ve had many family and friends say that they’d like to visit. We’d love to welcome you into our new home in Lucca! We have a guest bedroom that should be ready for visitors by late March. Just send me an email or PM once you have a good idea of a date. We already have a few trips planned so we want to be sure that your dates work. If you are traveling through Florence and can’t afford a few days in Lucca, let us know. We can easily take a train to Florence and spend a day with you.
Time in Florida and Ohio. Our one month+ delay has given us extra time in Florida with Derek. We took the time to squeeze in a quick trip to WDW and Universal Studios. The newest rides (Star Wars and Harry Potter) are far better than previous rides – complexity, immersion, and the wow-factor. I hope to squeeze in one more kayak trip down the Ichetucknee River. I was able to spend 4 days with Mickey, my sister, in Dayton. She and Vicki took me to lots of special places in Dayton/Cincinnati and we had a great time making new memories. Jim joined us for a day then we headed to Columbus to spend time with Jeff, the best man of our wedding, and Sharon, his wife. Time spent catching us with each other – and coordinating a meet-up in Florence for June. On the way to our next stop, we detoured to Tiffin, Ohio where Jim spent his high school years, we went to college, had our first kiss and got married. We didn’t exactly recreate the setting of the first kiss because it was just too cold and windy. And I do remember that from college as well! Then we headed up to Cleveland to visit Jim’s Aunt Lucy. She is doing well, despite several medical issues over the last few years. We were able to take her and a friend to church on Sunday. So we spent our one month+ delay preparing for the move and spending precious times with family and friend. God truly is good!