The journey is accomplished!

Well, we are all now here in Umbertide. It was a “fairly” smooth trip. First here is a picture of our empty townhouse in Alexandria VA.


I loved living there but I will not particularly miss it. I am happy a growing family has purchased it and it will be loved by them.

We had two suitcases to bring. They have a 50 pound limit. Turns out ours were both overweight on my sisters bathroom scales by a good bit. So we bought another suitcase and redistributed the weight. An additional bag costs $100. An overweight bag cost $200. You can do the math. When we checked them they weighted 46, 48 and 45 pounds! Once we got rid of them we were better. We had the cats in soft carriers that we could sling over our shoulders plus a carry-on for each of us.

The trip through the TSA security at the airport turned out to be pretty smooth. I got lucky and got a Pre-Check so didn’t have to remove my shoes or computer. Luther was not so lucky. We each had to remove the cat from the carrier leaving the harness on and walk through the detector. We then had to have our hands swabbed. Not sure why. But the cats remained pretty calm in the chaotic atmosphere. Whew!

We went to our favorite wine bar and brought the cats in their carriers in with us. No one knew they were there. They were very quiet. Ha Ha. I bet we would have been chucked out should they have known.

We boarded the plane and stuffed the boys under the seats in their carriers. They remained quiet thru the night. The calming medicine we gave them at 6 hour intervals seemed to help. I chuckle to remember the faces and comments of our fellow passengers when we were waiting to debark. We had pulled out the carriers and let the cats stick their head out. Everyone was so surprised they had traveled across the ocean with a pair of cats and had not known they were there. They all said they were so good.

Arrival in Italy was on time. We retrieved the ginormous bags and went through passport control. Just as I expected they didn’t even look at our visas or cat papers. An interesting aside, we paid fare to take the cats on the United flight but no one ever even noticed we had them. Or they didn’t seem to.

The car was a different story. We were supposed to call the Renault people, which we did. We were told our car was lost in transit. No one knew where the truck was. They would not send the shuttle to pick us up. We should stay at the airport. OK this was just not what I wanted to hear with two cats who hadn’t been to the bathroom in 14 hours. Luther called them back, he said they said the car was there. Finally we got a call and the shuttle van picked us up. We had had to wait about an hour and a half in the airport. Much tension. But in the end all was well. We got there and picked up the Renault Megane stationwagon – our auto for the next 3 months. I was still suspicious because the car was in the middle of a bunch of other cars and not at all clean as were the rest. Go figure. I didn’t care as long as we were on our way.

We drove the 2 hours and met up with our friends who took us to their apartment that they generously loaned us. The cats were freed, the litter box was filled, the food and water bowls were filled and they very quickly took care of business.

To be continued…

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