Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tomorrow is the Big Day!

Tomorrow is the big day! It has finally arrived. I have been going over all my documents today, and of course, stumbled across yet another one that has not been translated yet. That is my fault as for some reason it was not scanned and sent over to the translator. Hopefully, in mid-July I'll be able to schedule another appointment to have the rest of the documents stamped by the consulate. I am also hoping that the two documents that were mailed back to me from the Department of State arrive today in time for my appointment tomorrow. Oh! Actually the mail just arrived, so I'll go check it now!

Wish me luck! And good luck to anyone else who is applying soon!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Just wanted to update all of my fellow readers, but my appointment at the consulate is quickly approaching. Only two more days! Hopefully, being the loyal blogger that I am, I will remember to bring my camera to photograph the outside of the consulate to show evidence of me being there. It has been a little over a year in the collection of all of these documents.

Oh! Plus my grandmother's birth certificate was finally sent by my aunt. It, unfortunately, is not the correct format that is needed. All consulates require a long format of the certificate. When my grandmother requested hers in 1993, according to the date on the document, she was given the short format, or more of an abbreviated version. Tomorrow, I plan on calling the NYC Department of Health to see if it would be possible for me to acquire the version that I need. Hopefully, with the birth certificate and death certificate in hand, I will be able to get it if I go in-person. (Post will follow to let all of you know what the outcome was.)

So as to get an idea of the cost of everything, I will break it down for you:

Total translation costs thus far: $855
Costs of documents: about $195, but I think I spent more since newer documents through Vital Check cost nearly $40, as opposed to all the other documents costing about $25.
Cost of documents to be notarized: about $32
Cost of Apostille: $70

Total: $1,152

These are rough estimations, and in some areas I think I may have spent more. This estimate does not include the $10 per page that I must pay in order to have each translation stamped in order to use them over in Italy.

I also e-mailed the consulate to see if my father could accompany me during my appointment. Someone responded today and said he could come. I've heard that it is important that you first ask, otherwise they get annoyed when more than one person shows up for the appointment. This will be somewhat of a relief as I will not have to do this by myself.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Down South Part II

The next day my friends and I woke up early. We were heading to Capri! We began our little adventure by walking to the ticket booth. After purchasing our tickets, we then needed to find out where exactly our boat departed from. Fortunately, yet again, there was another nice local man who happened to know where the boat was located. Unfortunately it was a half hour walk from where we had bought our tickets. The town of Agropoli looked less frightening during the day then it had the night before. There were palm trees that lined an enormous boulevard (it was not a sidewalk) where people could cycle or walk. It was quite beautiful.

After the half hour walk, we finally arrived and immediately boarded the ferry. The ride on the ferry would be yet another two hours before we arrived on Capri. Speeding up the coastline is also a great way to see Italy, especially since one is able to see all the little towns built into the sides of the mountains. After quite a bit of viewing the coastline, the lull of the boat rocked me to sleep. It seemed like I had slept quite a bit, but it was probably only just fifteen minutes because after those fifteen minutes, we had already arrived. The boat docked and we all stepped back onto land, but we would soon be on another boat. Once we had arrived, we planned on circling the entire island, which was a five-hour ride. Before leaving, we got some food from one of the cafes and met our captain. (Pictured on the right-hand side) Unfortunately, I do not remember his name. Sorry, I'm awful with names! But, I will tell you that he was a very nice man. 

As soon as we departed from the shores, we began devouring our lunch, along with the gorgeous, tasty figs that the captain had brought on board for us. Along our way we saw enormous yachts - ones that had a parking garage with yet another boat parked inside of it. Smaller boats nuzzled up next to the large vessel. Apparently when out on your yacht you can never travel with too many boats. Speed boats whizzed by, and other tourist boats with lots of people enjoyed the sights as well.

At one point, after being given the OK, we jumped off the boat and swam. The water was so warm, but relaxing, and it was not difficult to swim due to the amount of salt in the water. This was a big step for me, as for the past few years I no longer ventured into the sea. (That's a story for another time.) Right by the rock in the picture below is near where we jumped off.

We swam through one of the arches, like the one at the top of the page, and the water changed to a dark blue. However, you could still see the bottom; the sand undulating like hills underneath the waves. Once back on board, we went through another arch, and were told to make a wish. Yes, I know very touristy! If you go back to Capri, the wish is said to come true... Sorry, but I can't tell you my wish, otherwise it won't come true.

After circling the whole island, we lazily walked back onto shore. Now, it was time to do some shopping. There would not have been enough time for us to go see more sights on the island. That would have to be for another time, but it certainly would not have been during that year. Hopefully, I'll be able to go back sometime in the near future. 

During our stay on the island, two of my other friends and I stopped at a cafe for drinks and gelato. Everywhere we went, we HAD to stop for a gelato.

We even took pictures with our drinks and with our gelato. Could people tell we were tourists? Yes, definitely, as we made the most out of trip. Plus, my blond hair gives me away. That's from the Irish part of my family. We also could not get rid of one of the waiters (pictured below), who claimed he was going to move to America with my friend G, and marry her. During those kinds of moments, I was fortunate enough not to know enough Italian to understand what was going on. Hence I escaped from being hit on by as much as G did. (One time G was nearly kidnapped in Florence, but that's another story).

The creepy Italian even called my phone. G had used his SIM card in my phone to make a call, and somehow my numbers were transferred to his phone. Why she did not just use his phone, I have no idea. Unless she told him my number! Every day he would call my phone, until finally my boyfriend picked up and told him to buzzer off!

To be continued

Friday, June 25, 2010

Down South Part I

We all had decided to go on a trip down south. My friend's boyfriend (now fiance) has family in the region of Campania in the province of Salerno. The little town is called Perdifumo. We had searched out information and train tickets at one of the local travel agencies in Urbino.

Our day began with a bus ride to Pesaro, which is an hour away on the Adriatic sea. From there, we had to catch a train at Rome's Stazione di Roma Termini. Unfortunately, there was a delay in the station, and we had to wait for our train to leave. It turned out to be an hour wait, and because my friends and I had not bought our tickets at the same time (there was a group of five of us), I was forced to travel on the same train, but in a different car. During the wait, I took the time to go get something to drink and to get a sandwich out of one of the vending machines. For those traveling, I do not recommend the food from these machines. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Waiting in the train station was torture. Outside it was unbearably hot, but if you wanted relief from the heat, inside the train did not help either. The train was not sitting in the station idling, therefore the air conditioning was not on. Fortunately, one of my friends had eventually come to find me in my car and stayed with me. That would make the trip much more bearable.

Once the train had left the station, it was yet another five hours until we reached our destination. We had decided to stay in a hostel during our weekend stay, and were just outside of Perdifumo in a town called Agropoli. It was night time when we arrived, and getting to the ostello, hostel, had not exactly been thought out before hand. We began to wander away from the train station, and happened upon a little old lady. We asked her if she had heard of the ostello, and when she said she knew where it was, we were relieved. She was so kind, and offered to drive us there. Somehow, we had all managed to pile into her tiny car. Without her, we probably would have never found the ostello.

Upon arriving, my friend's fiance, M, called his uncle and told him we had arrived. His uncle was given the address, and he came to pick us up to bring us to Perdifumo. It was quite a long, windy road, as the town is located high up in the mountains. Looking down out of the window, nothing was to be seen except pure darkness and very faint light in the distance from other little towns. Once we arrived in town, we were fed. There was an enormous banquet table that wrapped around one section of the restaurant. There must have been at least thirty people - all of whom were family and friends of M. There was so much to eat. Plate upon plate came from the kitchen, and then we were expected to eat dessert.

After dinner, we went to M's aunt's house, and we were introduced to even more people. We had a chance to walk around the town, and watched the "practicing" of a scene that was to be played out for the Festa di San Nazario. San Nazario is the patron saint of Perdifumo, and festivities would be held during the weekend. Once the dress rehearsal was finished, we set out for the drive back to the ostello. Upon arriving, we made our beds with the sheets we had been given when we had checked in earlier that evening. The sheets were crispy clean, and from the windows a gentle, cool breeze blew in. Within a few minutes, I had managed to dose off to sleep.

Editing: The town's patron saint is San Nazzario, not San Gennaro. While writing about this I must have been thinking of the festival held here in NYC. My apologies...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Love Thursday: Shopping with Mom

Yesterday turned out the be a great day. It was time well spent with my mom. Both of us decided to take the week off from work this week. She needed to use up her vacation time, so it was only natural that she did it the week of her birthday. On Sunday, my sister and I made a dinner for our parents to celebrate both Father's Day and my mom's birthday. (Recipes soon to follow!) My grandmother had also come to visit us from Connecticut since my aunt, who lives close to her, went away on vacation with my uncle. (Much deserved I might add.) Any-who, my grandmother has been pestering my mother for the past few days to do some shopping for her, so the two of us ventured out together. Our excursion began innocently with food shopping and picking up some other necessities that Grandma needed. However, our outing became bad. For us, bad is going out doing clothes and shoe shopping. Really, I should not be spending any money on such things, and my small following should understand why -  due to the burning hole in my pocket from my dual citizenship. Please refer to all previous posts in order to understand.

So, do I feel guilty? Certainly! However, I would not have traded any of the time I spent with my mom.

Happy Love Thursday!

Have you been bad lately as well?

Don't forget to leave comments and/or subscribe to my blog!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fracking: The Dangers of Procurring Natural Gas

Ever see one of those buses riding down the street with a message stating "I run on CLEAN natural gas"? Has it ever actually made you stop to think about just how clean natural gas is in the extraction process? Well, maybe now you will.

On June 21, Gasland aired on HBO. It is a documentary about the extraction process of natural gas. Josh Fox, the director of the film, begins his jaw dropping film by showing a letter he had acquired from the gas company asking about his willingness to allow the leasing of his family's land in rural Pennsylvania for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In return, he would receive $100,000.

Fracking is a drilling process that creates fractures, caused by a well bore, that extend into rock or coal formation. Essentially it is like a mini earthquake, Fox explained. The process allows the gas to escape from its natural underground home, creating an easy flow to a production tank. All sort of chemicals, as many as 596, are injected into the Earth in order to make the extraction possible. And.. where are these chemicals disposed of? First, they are dumped into a "holding tank" - merely a hole in the ground that holds "produced water", which is what the gas companies call the water and chemicals that are soaked back up once the gas can escape. Next they are shipped in tankers and dumped who knows where? So, before Josh Fox signed his land over, he decided to do some investigating; first venturing to a nearby town where the natural gas company had already begun to drill.

In 2005, the Bush administration allowed what is known as the Halliburton Loophole, which allows the exemption of natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. In this exemption, companies are not required to disclose any information about the chemicals used in the extraction process.  

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act? It is a federal law which ensures the quality of American drinking water. This law was passed in order to protect drinking water and its sources: rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells. It also allows the United States Environmental Protection Agency to set national standards for drinking water to protect against naturally-occurring and man-made contaminations that can be found in drinking water.

This has thus posed a problem for all of those who live near drilling sites. In Fox's documentary, he travels nationwide and hears the same stories told by locals of their experiences with the drilling: water becoming brown or other disturbing colors; foul smelling water; water that ignites; water wells exploding; animals losing hair, weight, and having projectile vomiting; brain lesions; cancer; nerve damage... just to name a few.

However, this is not an isolated issue. It is throughout the country, and it is not solely a problem within the United States. This new extraction process has also spread onto Europe and Asia.

(picture: list of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process from the EPA. Please click to enlarge.)

By going on Josh Fox's website, Gasland, you too can participate in the fight against hydraulic fracturing, and help with regulations for energy extraction process. There are lists of organizations within your state if you are interested in personally trying to make sure something is done to prevent this from happening near your home. If you are not living within the US, then perhaps you will be able to start your own organization.

Below is the trailer for the film.

All of this coincides with the recent Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Help protect our waters because its a finite resource!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NIAF and Dorothea's House

Interested in taking Italian classes? How about seeing an Italian film? Or maybe even going to one of the many feste being held in the United States to celebrate Italian traditions and being an Italian-American?

Then you should check out and the

The NIAF lists all sorts of events that are happening throughout the United States, and you can easily find out when and where they are occurring by visiting their festivities page. Since I live in New Jersey, I am interested in anything that is going on in the area. For example, there is the Festa Italiana, which will be held in August in Jersey City. It definitely seems like it is worth the visit. The festa will be held from August 11-15. Check out the NIAF for other events.

The Dorothea House located in Princeton, New Jersey was established in 1913 in honor of a young woman named Dorothea who was a volunteer social worker. During her life, she dedicated her time helping newly immigrated Italians find their bearings. The association, known as Casa di Cultura Italiana, showcases festivities, Italian lessons ranging from beginner to advanced levels, and even has college scholarship opportunities for residents of the Princeton area. For more information about events held by the Dorothea House and lessons, please refer to the website.

Both the NIAF and the Dorothea House can also be found on Facebook.

Buon weekend a tutti! 


Vi interessa di frequentare le lezioni italiane? Di vedere un film italiano? O forse vi piacerebbe dia andare a una delle feste fatte negli Stati Uniti di celebrare le tradizioni italiane e di essere un italo-americano?

Allora dovrete controllare i siti www. e

La NIAF ha fatto le liste degli avvenimenti che succedono negli Stati Uniti e potrete trovare facilmente quando e dove succedono quando cercate la pagina delle feste. Perche' abito in New Jersey mi interessono delle feste che succedono vicino al mio paese. Per esempio, La Festa Italiana, sara' in agosto, a Jersey City. Sembra di essere veramente divertente. La festa sara' dall'11 fino alle 15 di agosto. Controllate il sito di NIAF per vedere l'informazione delle altre feste.

La Casa di Dorothea e' situata a Princeton, New Jersey, e' fondata in 1913 in onore di una giovane ragazza che si chiamava Dorothea, che era un volontario. Durante la sua vita, lei si e' dedicata ad aiutare gli immigranti italiani che sono appena arrivati. L'ssociazione, che si chiama La Casa della Cultura Italiana, fa le feste italiane, le lezioni italiane con i levelli per quelli che non sanno niente in italiano e le lezioni avanzate, e c'e' anche l'opportunita' di ricevere i soldi per l'educazione per i residenti di Princeton. Di avere piu' informazione degli avvenimenti, visitate il sito.

Tutti i due possono essere trovati su Facebook.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Feature Friday: Zoom on Google

 Duomo di Carrara
Foto da
 Photo from

Last night, I was speaking to a friend's mom via Facebook. My friend is going through the same process as I am for dual citizenship, as well as her mother. It is comforting to know someone who is going through the same nuances. We are able to understand the annoyances of contacting the consulate, tracking down documents, and making appointments. My friend, however, will be applying here in the States, which is where some of the steps in the process differ a bit.

Anyway, we were discussing the towns from which our families had come from. Hers came from Molise, and mine... You should know by now where my family came from if you have been following my blog. If you have forgotten or are just tuning into the journey, my family is from Carrara.  

Where is that?

It's in northern Tuscany, and if you are really an Italophile you would know that Michaelangelo's Davide is made from Carrara marble, since he considered it to be the best marble in Italy.. This probably explains why this small town is the largest exporter of marble in the world.

So what is your point, you ask?

Well, I did get a little sidetracked, but we were googling our towns. In the town in Molise, you are able to zoom in and wander the streets of the quaint town, and see the little houses as if you were actually there. However, when I "visited" Carrara, this was not possible. Perhaps they are getting around the tracing the streets there. BUT I was able to see some amazing pictures of the church in town, Duomo di Carrara. If you google Duomo di Carrara, Italy and view it in Panaramio, you will be able to see all sorts of photographs of the outside of the Duomo and its beautiful alter. What is amazing is how the pictures make you feel like you are actually viewing it with your own eyes.


Ieri notte, ho parlato con la madre di un'amica su Facebook. L'amica mia fa lo stesso processo che faccio io per la doppia cittadinanza, ed anche sua madre. Mi fa sentire meglio di sapere che c'e' qualcun'altro che fa le stesse cose come me. Ci capiamo i fastidi quando contattiamo il consulato, di raccogliere i documenti, e quando si fa gli appuntamenti. La mia amica, pero', applichera' negli Stati Uniti, cosi' i nostri processi sono un po' diversi.

Allora, discutavamo i paesi da dove sono venute le nostre famiglie. La sua famiglia viene da Molise, e la mia... ora dovrete sapere da dove viene la mia se seguite il mio blog. Se avete dimenticato o avete appena iniziato di seguire, la mia famiglia viene da Carrara.


E' nel nord della Toscana, e se voi siete veramente "Italophile", dovrete sapere che il Davide di Michelangelo e' fatto dal marmo di Carrara, perche' l'ha considerato di essere il marmo migliore in Italia. Infatti, questo spiega perche' il piccolo paese e' il piu grande esportatore di marmo nel mondo.

Che vuoi dire, chiedi?

Beh, mi sono sviata, ma abbiamo fatto il Google dei nostri paesi. Nella regione di Molise, si puo' ingrandire l'immagine del paese e seguire le strade, e vedere tutte le piccole case come si ci sta veramente.  Pero' quando ho "visitato" Carrara, questo non era possibile. Forse loro lo fanno adesso, mettono tutte le strade su Google. MA potevo vedere delle foto meravigliose della chiesa del paese, il Duomo di Carrara. Se si cerca su Google il Duomo di Carrara, Italia e metterlo in visto in con Panaramio, si potra' vedere le foto diverse del Duomo e pure del suo bellissimo altare. Quello che e' veramente meravigliose e' che le foto ti fanno sentire come lo vedi con gli occhi tuoi.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Il Primo Posto in Italiano

The title means, the 'The First Post in Italian'.

For quite some time, I have been considering writing my posts in English and Italian, and what better time to start now. Hopefully for all future posts I remember to include the translations in Italian at the bottom.

Per tanto tempo, ho considerato di scrivere i miei post in inglese e in italiano, ed mi sembra una buon'idea di iniziare ora. Sto sperando di ricordare di includere le traduzioni in italiano alla fine di ogni post nel futuro.

Mi dispiace per i miei sbagli.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's Baking Wednesday: La Torta di Ricotta

On Friday evening after work, I called my sister to tell her about my idea. The idea was to make a dinner, complete with dessert, for our parents. Next Sunday will be Father's Day, and the next day will be my mother's birthday. The idea had occurred to me while I was looking through a magazine, about none other than Italy. The magazine is called Italy, and is based out of Great Britain. Obviously, it is geared towards a British audience, however, it is still sold here in the United States. Click on the link and check out their website! If you are interested in buying a copy, I find them in Barnes N' Noble, BUT it is not always stocked.

As I was looking at the magazine, probably for the gazillionth time, I came across la torta di ricotta, or how they translated it as 'flourless hazelnut and ricotta cake'. Mmm sounds delish! I have decided this will be the dessert portion of the dinner, and I wanted to share the recipe with all of you.

It is really difficult for me to find a recipe that does not contain gluten. (Glutein is a protein found in foods such as, but not limited to, wheat and barley. Once you think about it, wheat is found in a lot of different types of food.) Anything I eat MUST be gluten-free due to the Celiac Disease that I have. I have tried several ways to make substitutions, but it is very hard to replicate the wheat taste. This recipe though does not consist of any flour which is a major plus.


For the cake:

1 egg
75 g. (2 1/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
500 g. or 1 lb. ricotta cheese
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
30 ml or 1 fl.oz. of Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur, which actually may contain wheat from which the alcohol is made)
75 g. or 2 1/2 oz of toasted hazelnuts

For mascarpone cream:

1 egg
45 g or 1 1/2 oz. caster sugar
400 g or 13 oz. mascarpone
60g or 2 oz. dark chocolate shavings


Preheat oven to 110 degrees Celsius or 225 degrees F. Grease a 25 centimeter (10 inch) spring form cake tin. To make the cake, place the egg, sugar and vanilla seeds in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 minutes or until light and creamy. Add the ricotta, zest and Frangelico and mix well. Remove from the food processor and fold in the hazelnuts. Pour into the prepared tin. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the sides can be pulled away with the fingers and will not stick. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

To make the mascarpone cream, cream the egg and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and mix until smooth. When the cake is cool, cover with the mascarpone cream and sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top.

This recipe can be found in the November 2009 issue of Italy Magazine.

Buon appetito!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Today I have been going over all of my documents. I am still waiting for my parents' marriage certificate to come in, and once that does it will be immediately sent out to be notarized and apostilled. Either today or Thursday I will be sending out yet another money order for my great-great grandfather's 'no records found' for his naturalization. The Bronx County Clerk's office was very helpful, and when the man at the office could not help me right away, he called me back within an hour, which he said he would.

The translations are currently underway, and I received the first set of translations yesterday. It is exciting but the money in my bank account is slowly depleting. Once I have everything done, I hope to be able to save more money for September. Until then, I think I will continue to freak out over finances.

As for my grandparents' documents, the weekend came and went. No documents. No phone call from my aunt saying she had sent them out. There are only two weeks left until my appointment! I am seriously becoming quite agitated, and I keep asking my dad if he has heard anything from her. When I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago, she did not seem at all concerned, saying that when I had asked for them, she had put looking for them on the back burner. Really?! Who would have thought that I would be held up with all my paper work because of a relative???

This is worse than New York City holding me up!

Has anyone else had a difficult time getting documents from a relative like I am?
Perhaps it will make me feel better knowing I'm not the only one.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More About Me

10 years ago today, I would have been:

  • in my second year of high school
  • training in both ballet and Rhythmic Gymnastics
5 years ago today, I would have been:

  • finishing my first year of college
  • overcoming an injury due to my first year in college (I was in performing arts)
  • deciding whether or not to attend the same university or transfer
  • making the at-the-last-minute decision not to go back and begin a new path
1 year ago today, I would have been:

  • finally graduating with a BA in Linguistics
  • juggling two jobs
  • making my latest trip to Italy
  • beginning my quest for dual citizenship
This year, I am:

  • eventually moving to Italy
  • finishing collecting my documents for Italy
  • nervous about what I may encounter on this new road
Today, I:

  • cleaned my room
  • got soaked in a rain shower
  • got mad when I thought about my aunt needing to give me my grandparents' documents
Next year, I:

  • hope to be enjoying my new life in Italy
  • hope to be planning a trip back home from Italy to visit family
  • hope to be very happy
  • hope to have finally found myself a nice career
In 5 years, I hope:
  • to be insanely in love with someone
  • be married
  • to be very happy
  • to continue enjoying life

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Apostilles have Arrived!

Truly, I am sorry that I have not been doing my usual blogging duties. However, I promise that once all normalcy has returned to my life (if that's even possible), I will resume my duties. Actually, this Wednesday I have a great post planned for all of my faithful readings for my usual postings of What's Cooking Wednesday. My sister and I will be planning a dinner for the Father's Day weekend. It will be Father's Day PLUS my mother's birthday the next day.

Anyway, the real reason I wanted to write this post was to say that the rest of the documents I sent out for an apostille arrived today! It took ten days for them to come back. Honestly, I was starting to get worried about them, as I did not think it would be that long for them to actually do the apostilles. When I took them out of the envelope, I was a little disappointed. The one received from Massachusetts was much fancier than those received from New York City. They look like they were just printed off of a computer and stapled to the document. The signature is even computerized!

Yesterday, I sent out another two documents for more apostilles. Also, I am still waiting for my aunt to send me my grandparents' information. This is very nerve-racking seeing as I asked a year ago for these documents, and she still has not sent them. About two weeks ago, the day after my appointment was scheduled, I explained the urgency of needing them, and also explained that it would take a court order for me to get my own copies. Supposedly she is looking for them this weekend, and I really hope she is otherwise.... I will be really mad. I figured a year was already enough time and now there are only two and a half weeks for me to receive them, notarize, and have apostilles attached. This is very worrisome!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Check it Out!

PassagetoItaly has a new look! What do you think?

Post any comments on the new look in the comment section
e-mail me at

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Love Thursday: Relax

When I see this picture, for some reason, it is always calming and soothing to me. The little town seems to slowly crawl down to the water's edge. I love the color of the water; how it looks like glass, and creates an image of yet another little town resting underneath its waves.

The past year has been never ending work. It has been a year since I have actually taken a break - which was my last visit to Italy. It's very rare that I get time off from work, and if I am off, there's always something that needs to be done - a funeral to attend, a family function, et cetera, et cetera. This Sunday I will be taking off from work, and I do not want to do anything! Then within a week's time, I will be off from both of my jobs for a week.

My boyfriend says that Italians say, "Americans live to work, but Italians work to live." I would say that really sums up the two cultures in a very simple way. I prefer the latter.

Buon weekend a tutti!
(Even if it's only Thursday)

Happy Relaxing!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Apostille Received from Massachusetts

There is only one document that is coming from Massachusetts, my grandmother's death certificate. Fortunately, I have only had to deal primarily with one state during the entire process, seeing as my family did not move around much. Most of my family had lived in Manhattan, and moved to the Bronx, which is where most of my family, including my parents, stayed until the early 1980s to the late 1980s. Since then, the family has spread out, and for any future generations, it might be a little more difficult for them to search for documents. Our family, on my dad's and mom's side live from Connecticut to Massachusetts to New Jersey.

Last Tuesday I sent out a lot of documents to receive either an apostille or a notarization, and only one has arrived back in my hands at this time - in just 6 days! My grandmother's death certificate safely arrived home just yesterday, and it is making me so excited about the fact that I will soon be done! It is also unbelievable that it will soon be over, and once the entire process is completed, I think I might actually cry. Ha! I feel very fortunate that it was not a long, dragged out process like it has been for many other applicants, and I urge them to keep fighting and trying, no matter how difficult the state you are dealing with has been. Ahem, New York City...

Wishing you all a well search!

Buona giornata!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Search for Grammy's Birth Certificate

Actually it is the birth certificate of my great grandmother. New York City is giving me such a hard time tracking down this certificate. This is the third time I have searched for it, with the first searches resulting in a 'No Records Found' letter. Seeing as it has been well over a month (the order was placed on April 20), and I have not received any letter or any certificate, it was time to call. After trying to patiently wait, I decided to call last week. The woman who I spoke (and I unfortunately did not know her name since I spoke to three different people that day), told me they would look into the delay of the record. I received no phone call, even though I was told I would receive one. No record arrived or even a letter. It usually will take only two days for something to arrive from the City once they send out something. Since there was no information received, I decided to try calling again. My first result was that of me hanging up on myself as I was waiting on hold to speak to a representative from Vital Records. Damn chin! My second attempt had some results, maybe. I was told the same thing - "we are sending your status check request to the birth certificate department, and someone will give you a call back." This time I made sure they had my phone number, transaction number, and the name of the person that I was requesting documents for. All of the information should be able to be pulled up upon entering the transaction as you are required to provide a telephone number.

Let's see if this will give me any results. Now I have a name of a person I spoke to!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Surprise news!

First of all, I would like to say thank you to those few of you who continue to read my boring little blog. Haha! It really means a lot to me, and words really cannot describe how I feel.

Secondly, I would like to announce some of the most exciting news that has to come to this blog. On June 30th, I have an appointment at the Italian consulate. Ok, so I have not been the best blogger of keeping you all up-to-date with my process as of late. Currently, I am having all of my translations done. My apostilles are being done, and some documents are still being notarized. The translator hopes to have everything done by the end of June, which will be perfect for when I have my appointment. The woman I spoke to did want to give me an earlier appointment, but since the translations would not be done by then, June 30 was decided upon. She asked why it would take so long for the translations to be finished, and my answer was simply, "because I have a lot of them".

As for who I chose as a translator, for those of you who are curious, she is one who was recommended by the consulate, as she is a translator of fiducia (trustworthy), and she was also recommended by a fellow applicant. If you are applying in Newark, and would like her contact information, please feel free to e-mail me at She is a very sweet woman, and works very well with her clients.

For those of you who are applying through the Newark consulate, and not jumping out a plane like me and applying in Italy, the first appointment to apply for citizenship is not until March 2011. My suggestion would be that if you are still collecting your documents, you should make your appointment ahead of time.

Where will I be applying in Italy? As of now, that decision has not been made yet. I was trying to plan on working with a family that lives in the Piemonte region, but seeing as I have not heard from the mother much, I am not considering that to be an option. Seeing as I do not have a ton of money saved up, since this process is quite expensive (as you will slowly learn while going through it yourself), my ex/boyfriend (it's complicated) has offered for me to stay with him. The plan would be for me to stay with him while I am waiting for my citizenship to be processed. While waiting, I plan to look for a job. If that is the route I am taking, my application will be going through Urbino.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail at the e-mail address above.

Wish you all well!

In bocca al lupo!
(Good luck!)