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02 January 2014

It's a New Year!

About six months ago, my husband retired from the military and embarked on a new career. A career change is a big enough adjustment, but as my husband likes to say "go big or go home", we added to that adjustment a move for our entire family from San Diego, California to London, England!
We decided to take some time to make preparations and arrangements for moving, so my husband moved to London and started his new job, while the girls and I stayed behind - business as usual.
We began researching schools and neighborhoods and all sorts of things with regard to moving, and I am still absolutely amazed at how quickly the past six months flew by.
As Christmas approached, we had a school arranged for the girls, and narrowed down the area of town we wanted to live in, made arrangements for temporary housing, moved items into storage on the East Coast, and began the packing and moving process. The hubs came to California and the movers came and packed all of our worldly goods into a container.
Our friends and neighbors (the best people in the entire world!) threw a fantastic farewell party for us, and then the night before we left, came together once again for a fun and tearful farewell.
Jen and Emily and I stayed up the entire night, crying in our wine, until the airport shuttle driver arrived to take our family to the airport.

The girls loved their first class flight out of San Diego. Our first stop was Wisconsin, for an official retirement ceremony.

We spent a bit of time in Wisconsin with family and then celebrated Christmas in North Carolina before heading out "across the pond" to start our new adventure!
We flew through Chicago and did a quick tour of the city during our layover. We went to see the "bean" (aka cloud gate sculpture) at Millenium Park and went to the American Girl store and then the Lego Store.
This is the girls' very first ride in a cab - don't they look excited?!
We left the US through Newark, New Jersey and were able to have a quick (too quick) visit with our best friends - the Rodriguez family.

We flew the red-eye to London Heathrow and arrived around 9am in the morning on a Sunday. We stopped off at the Virgin Atlantic arrivals lounge for breakfast, caffeine, and to make arrangements for our transportation into the city to our temporary home for the next couple of months.  Throughout January and February, we will be living in a furnished corporate apartment. It is a three bedroom apartment and is fairly nice and spacious. 

We are getting used to the time change still (four days later) and jet lag. I am hoping that improves sooner than later!  And we have spent the last four days playing tourists in our new city, and enjoying the New Year's holidays.  Our air shipment of more of our stuff hasn't arrived yet. I am hopeful that when it does we will be able to settle in a bit more.  
We worked on getting new cell phones the first day we arrived, and had a quick visit to Victoria Station, where the girls had sushi at a restaurant that sends the sushi around the sushi bar on a conveyer belt.
We bought a new car, a Volvo, and picked it up a few days ago. We have taken it on the roads only twice, and I haven't driven it yet. I am pretty nervous about the opposite side of the road and opposite side of the car for the driver! I plan to get some driving practice this weekend.
On our way to pick up the car, we passed by this restaurant and the name of it totally made me giggle!

We visited the Natural History Museum on New Year's Eve, toured the awesomeness of Harrod's,  had dinner out at one of my favorite restaurants - Wagamama, and toasted in the New Year on the roof terrace of our apartment building. We couldn't quite see the big fireworks display near Big Ben due to a large building between here and there, but looking around the skyline from our rooftop, we could see seven different fireworks displays!

The girls will start school next week, so we are working on getting uniforms organized. 
I have even done my first load of laundry!
Actually, I have done many loads of laundry. It is as we were warned, laundry is not a simple process. This machine you see pictured is BOTH the washer and the dryer. It washes and then dries the clothes and takes FOREVER!
We will start house hunting soon. In the meantime, I am navigating things like grocery shopping and the Royal Mail... and trying to figure out why the light switch is up when it is off and down when it is on!

It has rained quite a lot since we got here, but today the sun is shining! Here is the view from my window today - what a gorgeous blue sky!


  1. Yay! New blog. So fun hearing about your adventures!

  2. Looks fantastic! I'm so excited for this new adventure for the whole family. I don't know the details - are you staying permanently? or will you come back to the US? I'm thinking I really need to message you and get the scoop. But I loved seeing the pics of your first day in London :)

    1. We are here for at least the next year and a half. Beyond that... who knows??!!

  3. So, did you buy the duck fat? Other than using it to make killer French fries...what do you use it for?

    1. I didn't buy it, but I am totally curious!!

  4. Wow! Your family has lived more in two weeks than some do in a year! Such a great blog. Can't wait to read more.

  5. I have totally enjoyed reading your adventures, and look forward to many more.

  6. This must have been an exciting change for all of you -- a new environment, school, and neighborhood. And it was a good thing that you are having fun right from the start. This will definitely help the kids to fully adjust on their new environment. And with regard to your house hunting, I hope you can hire someone to help you find your dream house sooner.

    Myron Payne @ Finlay Brewer