The countdown begins


Six months from today, we will be setting sail on the Queen Mary 2 to make our move back to the US. 

oc and qm2 088

Wayyyy back in 2007 when Ben and I were moving over here, everyone asked ‘how long are you going to stay?’.  We responded ‘As long as it is fun’.  And, it is still fun.  But we know that one day it might not be.  We realize that health problems happen.  At some point, Ben and I both will need help with our daily lives.  He needs that help now and I am able to provide it.  But if something happens to me…then we might have to make an emergency move back.  So we decided to make the move as a planned event.  One that we will have some control over.  (ha ha)


oc and qm2 042

Cousins Bonnie and Pete in September, 2007

So we are booked to sail on December 15 from Southampton, England to New York City, arriving on December 22.  Hopefully, we will complete the full circle and my cousins who dropped us off at the Queen Mary 2, years ago, will be there to pick us up.  We plan to spend the holidays  in  Ocean City, NJ and then make our way to Raleigh, NC after New Years. 

1652 sutton front


We still own a condo in Raleigh’s Cameron Village.  We are going to be adapting it to become an ‘aging in place’ dwelling, more suitable for Ben right now and me in the future. 

And I can see the eye rolls,  ‘ohhhhh, The Queen Mary, la te dah!’  Well, it is not that expensive, no more than a one way first class airline ticket.  And they let you bring luggage!  Plus, it is relaxing.  That will be our vacation for this year.  Also, it is the only transatlantic cruise that allows dogs which is why we booked it for our trip over in 2007 and why we booked it for our return, but sadly now Nerone won’t be making that trip. 


nov 2015, usa holland 116

And why are we choosing to remodel rather than find something new?  Well, that comes down to location, location, location!  For those of you who don’t know Cameron Village it is the first ‘planned community’ that was developed in Raleigh.  It has shops, restaurants, services, a great public library and clustered around it housing.  True, we could sell what we have now, go deep into debt and buy a high rise condo that is new and adapted for our use.  But no larger than our current condo.  And that means having to get Ben from a parking area, through a lobby, up an elevator, down a hall and into the condo.  And then, I can go back and get our groceries.  And then, I can go back whatever else it was that we forgot to get out of the car.  No thank you.  I like having a place where I can walk right outside.  If I no longer have a garden at least I will have a deck.  So we will remodel. 

Click on the link if you want to read more about Cameron Village.

What’s going to happen to my blog?  This one will continue until we move.  I have started a new one which I am not ready to make public yet.  It will cover our move, remodeling, adjusting to life back in the US.  I know you will be looking forward to me whining about workmen, picking faucets, things not arriving on schedule….

What can you do to help?  Oh, thank you for asking.  There’s lots. 

Before we move I am looking for some where to ship the boxes that we will be sending back.  Should be between 10 to 20 ‘carton of paper’ size boxes, not too heavy because I will have to be able to pick them up.

We are still looking for places to stay in Ocean City, NJ from 12/22-1/3.  Minimal steps, walk in shower, a small kitchen area so we don’t always have to eat take out, not outrageously expensive

A place to rent in Raleigh from 1/3 until mid-March (hopefully). Minimal steps, walk in shower, a small kitchen area so we don’t always have to eat take out, not outrageously expensive. Close to Cameron Village.


Challenges and changes are supposed to help keep your mind sharp.  I guess by January I’ll have a pointy little head. 



  1. Michael

    As a “tourism” person, I have to interject a comment about your comments RE: QM2. Cunard often has “specials” which bring down the cost of a one way crossing much closer to an ECONOMY class airline ticket! You may have meant BUSINESS class airline ticket, rather than FIRST CLASS. True sometimes there are good deals on Business class transatlantic fares…but I’d still recommend someone try the experience of a QM2 crossing because it is special and exciting and a relaxing way to cross the pond…returning home, you gain an hour almost each day…so one can sleep later and relax and adjust to the time change slowly…so that by NYC, you’re ready to go and conquer the New World!!

  2. Elena

    I know exactly how you feel – we made the move from Italia to the US not long ago for exactly the same reason. As we are in our late 60’s we were concerned about what would happen if one of us became ill. We miss Italia but it was the best move for us. I have enjoyed your blog for a number of years and will be excited to hear about your new adventures. We met probably in 2009 at an expat get together for Expats in Italy. Take care.

  3. Oh, I was so surprised that you are moving back! I have so enjoyed reading all of your blogs and keeping up with things happening in Italy! Thank you for sharing your experiences and it will be nice to get to experience your adventures as you guys settle back in the USA!

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