We Have Arrived!!

Photo: Bashkia Shkoder, 25/Nentor/2012 - Google Earth: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/82587733

First of all I want to thank my sister Alessandra for throwing us a beautiful early Thanksgiving dinner party on Sunday, November 18, at her apartment in New York. Many of our mutual friends and some family attended and it turned out to be a great evening, with great food and spirits. I also would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed and made a special effort to come and wish Vince and me farewell. Thank you all!

We left New York on Tuesday the 20th without a hitch, well except for the fact that our suitcases were way, way overweight so Vince made a mad dash to the airport suitcase store and bought a vey flowery hardcase suitcase, which he promptly began to fill with items from the other suitcase. It was a rather comical site to see…Vince doing the suitcase shuffle and exerting all his might into closing the newly purchased case. He finally got everything squared away and I think the airline agent felt bad for us as she let us slide for the extra three pounds.

We flew Austrian Air to Vienna and I must say we were very pleased with the airlines’ efficiency, customer service and food! Yes, the food was actually edible and pretty good. The doggies were treated exceptionally well and they too made the flight without a hitch. We arrived in Vienna at 8:00 am on Thursday and since our lay-over was over four hours we had to retrieve them from luggage, which turned out to be a blessing because they were a little anxious so we were able to take them for a long walk, feed them and play with them, and they were also allowed to come into the coffee bar with us, amazing huh? All in all they had a nice overnight trip too.

We checked them back in for the last leg of the flight to Tirana. We arrived at 2:15pm and went through customs, where we were met by the Albanian Vet from the Department of Agriculture, who came from Tirana to check the dogs in. She was the only one who actually requested to see the rabies document. Dr. Xhilda Pepa was extremely friendly and professional and was very happy to find out that we had moved to Albania permanently and wished us all well. Thank you Dr. Pepa!

My cousin Gjeto picked us up at the airport along with my other cousin Zef, thank goodness for that because Zef had a nice VW SUV which accommodated all the luggage, the dog crates, the dogs and us! On the way home we stopped at Zef’s restaurant for lunch “Hidri” Mishe Zgare, which specializes in barbecue meat, all freshly made from their own private stock. The food, the atmosphere and the company were all great!!

After dinner we finally headed home. We arrived in Shkoder around 7:00 pm, pretty exhausted to say the least. We settled into our new quarters and crashed at about 8:00 pm, I think we slept 12 hours but I still wasn’t right until today. Today was the first “lucid” day I had and am feeling pretty good about our decision to move here! Stay tuned for more!!

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