Elliott and I planned to go hiking in the Mt Etna National Park today, but unfortunately that plan was a flop. No, it wasn’t because Mt Etna was erupting… although it’s done that a couple times this past week! Our hiking plans were foiled because there were no rental cars available. In the absence of our car, we’ve come to depend on kindly acquaintances for rides and haven’t had to rent yet, and apparently we won’t be renting and going for a joyride anytime soon.
So we’re in the library instead, keeping Lena happy on some of their playground equipment on the veranda and enjoying the afternoon breezes.
In other news… we decided to go for the house near the castle! I am a little concerned about parking/driving, but everything else seems to be a good fit. We’ve asked for quite a few repairs to be done before we move in, and the landlady (Signora Scardilli) is accommodating thus far. She’s even agreed to get us a new kitchen. I know, I had said that the kitchen is gorgeous in this house, but it’s really the room where the kitchen will be that’s beautiful. There’s actually no kitchen equipment – no stove, no oven, no fridge, and only a very small sink – there right now.
Signora Scardilli allowed us to go to IKEA (they just got one in Catania this summer!) and choose which equipment furnishing we’d like. I went with her last Saturday and then we went again on Wednesday, both times with the help of an Italian-speaking friend with a car. Signora Scardilli has neither car nor English language skills, and we have neither car nor Italian. So there you go. It was quite an adventure both times, but I think we came out of it with our requests quite clear, and now we’ll see how the negotiating goes with regards to repairs and rent. (Our military housing allowance is greater than what Signora Scardilli is asking for rent, so the repairs get calculated into a monthly rent increase and we’re all happy in the end. Or so we hope.)
Elliott starts working regularly in the vet clinic next week, so Lena and I will be left to our own devices. We’ll see how it goes!