Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Friday, June 20, 2008

And we're off...

The last week was one of the most stressful of my entire life! All the books I read on moving abroad warned that no matter how prepared you are, be ready for chaos the last few weeks. It's true. In our case, we were completely organized and ready for everything concerning our trip and travel. We had our visas, our transportation and our housing all set, and just needed to get money out of the bank, and a few dog-related things done. On the other hand, getting moved out of our house (which I thought was nearly done a week earlier) proved to be chaotic and time-consuming right up until the last minute. It will be interesting to unpack those last boxes that went into the locker.

Anyways, we got everything done late Sunday night, and early Monday we were on the road in our rented, packed-to-the-gills Chevy Trailblazer. We drove 12 hours to Park City, Utah. The excitement of the day was being stopped in eastern Oregon by a cattle drive with real cowboys (and a cowgirl) on horses, cattle dogs and some big mean-looking bulls. I had also never seen the Salt Flats and was surprised at how expansive and white they are. On Tuesday, we drove another 12 hours to Lincoln, Nebraska, and on Weds. the last 10 hours brought us to our destination in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Maggie traveled well in her kennel, and Irie did an amazing job of keeping herself occupied for those long hours, but we were all exhausted. It has been great sleeping in and relaxing here at Lisa's moms. Today, the travel continues as we head to the Brownes. We will be leaving for Baltimore on July 3rd.

The journey has finally begun. Until next time...bonne chance.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The emotional transformation has been happening for a month or so. Finishing work, packing our house of 11 years into boxes, being more aware of all the wonderful things about where we live, and especially, the good-byes to friends.  This will continue for another week, however, the physical transformation is now almost complete, as you can see in the pictures (above).

7 wonderful friends showed up yesterday to help with the move, and with that many guys it went exceedingly fast.  We packed a 17-ft U-Haul, and 2 pick-up trucks, unpacked into a locker, and were back at house for beer and pizza in 2 1/2 hours.  Thanks guys!!!  Lisa has found the packing/moving process to be painful and feels we have far too much "stuff."  For the most part, I agree, however, the speed and ease of the move indicates we aren't too far gone.   Now I sit here on the floor in any empty house, typing this blog entry.  

Now, the real reason for this post: last night, Irie was part of Le Cirque's production of Cats at the Amory.  She had a solo on the trapeze and I have added the YouTube video of her on the right-hand side of the page.  Check it out.  ------------------->

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Are we crazy?

Ok, feeling a bit nuts at the moment.  So much to do, but not sure what I can actually do right this moment.  So I'll sit down and type.  I hit a high point on Friday - "we're outta here, home free."  Yeah right.  Monday, reality hit me.  Weed-whacking at 3 pm, led to raking, led to an ant infestation, led to caulking a potential leak, led to emptying the hot tub, led to hurting my back, led to "o.m.g., it's 7 pm and we haven't even started dinner."  Irie did a great job of busying herself while I spent four hours doing tasks I didn't even know needed to be done when the day started.  Then we stayed up late getting the house cleaned for a showing.  (Ignore the back pain lugging full boxes upstairs to the garage. Thank god for motrin.) Please rent it!  

Realized last week that my brand new Mac laptop that I bought for the trip doesn't have a dvd burner. The video will quickly fill my hard drive if I don't have anywhere to burn it, so I order one.  A week later, I stop back into the store where I ordered it only to be told it's out of stock. "Excuse me? I have to come in here to find that out?  Ever hear of a phone?"  Customer service is so reliably bad across the spectrum, yet we continue to consume and spend.  Crazy.  See, now I'm ranting...

Oh yeah, and this: this morning I wake up to an email from flybe airline (I'll bet 99% of you have never heard of it before now) informing us that our flight has been switched from 7/15 at 7:30 am to 7/14 at 11 am.  Our ship gets in at 6 am on the 14th and we have no idea how long it will take to disembark, let alone get a cab to the airport.  I already have a hotel and rental car.  I click "I reject the flight change" and am then informed that I must call a number in England, on my (dwindling) dollar to work it out.  Well, at least I know it isn't just America.  So much for Stonehenge.

To look at this from another perspective, I have 3 more days of work and then I'm not working for 15 months!  How often can you say that?!?  I'm enjoying and reveling in all the things I love about where I live.  I'm going to miss the laid-back nature of the Northwest, our cabin, our co-op farm produce, and the beauty.  And, of course, our friends.  We have so many people here who love us, and it's been a transformative experience, this uprooting business, it kind of forces an acknowledgement of what was, what is, what will be.  Ah, the catharsis of getting out my thoughts.