Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Moving Day!

I am sitting here at my computer watching the mover guys pack ALL my stuff. So weird. The lead mover guy said that I was the most organized move they have ever done and it will be a piece of cake! He was shocked at how little stuff we have but I think we have a ton of stuff!

I have never been professionally moved before. They really do everything for you! Pete and I have lived in 4 homes together and we have always moved ourselves, with friend's help (Tom Bice, you might have helped with EVERY move I bet!). When Pete and I moved from our first rental house to our first home we bought on Queen Anne it was pouring down rain. Pete had his PINK pick up truck, and we loaded it up with the mattress and his log bed he had hand made himself. Again, POURING RAIN. I followed him as we drove from Eastlake to Queen Anne. At the intersection of the Fremont bridge, in front of the Nickerson Street Saloon, he popped the clutch, and the entire mattress and log bed pieces flew out the back into the middle of the intersection. I was a bit behind and came upon this tall man, swearing up a storm, trying to negotiate traffic and the rain and get all of this back in his truck! We arrived to our brand new, soon to be newlywed, home and end up sleeping on the floor, with the heat turned up to 90 degrees in order to dry the mattress. So I am sold on this professional moving stuff. I almost feel bad sitting here typing, Facebooking and texting! But not really.

 Pile of stuff for the boat container shipment (arrive in 5-6 weeks)

 Pile of stuff for air container shipment (arrive in 2-3 weeks)

 Mover guy #1 busy packing up the kitchen

Sun Valley Staging Room
Driving all this to SV with road bikes on the back of the Land Cruiser.
Suitcases full of clothes and shoes for kids and I, ski clothes (aka bulky!), carry on bags, sleeping bags, and a ton of other random crap, etc...

Meanwhile, Pete is trucking along in jolly old England working his butt off. When he arrived his new boss was on vacation and so he just got settled, caught up on email and put his head to the grindstone. All weekend he worked on a presentation that he gave yesterday in Dublin! So cool that he has already jumped on a quick flight over to Ireland (and stayed at the Four Seasons Dublin apparently)!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Whew, what a week this has been! Kids off from school all week, Pete finally left on Monday (only 3 days later), finishing touches on packing up the house, sold my car, shipped Stella off to Colorado and had a tiny glitch with Pete's car. I don't think I ever sat down until today to type this up!

I can't even fathom that the moving truck will be here in 4 days. It is crazy. We are pretty bare bones here right now...things in piles, trying to eat down the pantry, no vacuum cleaner (borrowing one for now-thanks Jess), TVs all going by Monday (it's gonna be ugly -Henry will have Xbox withdrawls for sure) and one more week of school for the kids! Thought I would let you know our schedule for the next several weeks before we leave:

Feb. 28 ~ movers come
Feb 29 ~ house closes
Mar 4 ~ driving to Boise
Mar 5 ~ driving to Sun Valley
Mar 11 ~ Jen goes to UK for a house hunting trip
Mar 18 ~ Jen home to Seattle
Mar19 ~ kids home to Seattle (first solo flight!)
Mar 23 ~ see the Hunger Games and all fly to UK that evening!!

Nothing says jet lag like 3 international flights in 12 days!

Here is a picture of May when she found out Pete's 1st flight was cancelled

The letter May wrote to our friends the Lyles.
They are taking care of Stella while we are gone.

I have assigned Pete homework this weekend to send me a blog update! Let's see if he turns in his assignment on time!

Also, I would like to thank all of my friends who have helped out the past few weeks with play dates, carpooling me and the kids around to various car dealerships and sports practices, borrowing trucks and vacuums,babysitting furniture, babysitting and watching my dog (sorry about the carpets Kelly!) Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Sometimes it does take a village ( I hate that saying BTW)!
We got this!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Packing up and Heading Out

We are getting down to the wire with one week to go before our house closes and the moving vans arrive. Last weekend we had our Door to Door storage pods come - we loaded them up with all the things we were NOT taking to the UK. So many people have asked how we are deciding what to bring and what not to bring? Are we bringing our car? Stella? Where are you going to live? How do you decide? First let's answer the questions:

1. Homes in the UK are MUCH smaller than they are here so we need to be aware of what we are bringing...but is that stopping us from bringing our big ASS sectional and another couch? NO! Not sure where all of our stuff is going to fit. But I will say we are only bringing about half of our stuff.

2. Not taking cars...too big. Also from what we hear it is helpful to have the steering wheel on the other side of the car which makes driving on the other side of the road more like driving here...huh?

3. Stella...sigh.That was a tough decision but in the end we decided to have her go stay with our great friends, Kelly and Dave, while we are gone. We figured with the amount of travel we would like to do, she would end up in a kennel a lot and we just don't have the network of people over there who would be willing to watch her. I am going to miss my running/hiking buddy so much. Stella leaves for Vail (swanky, she will feel right at home) on Feb. 23.

4. Not sure where we are going to live at this point. I will meet Pete over there on March 12 for a 5 day house hunting trip. Microsoft's office is located about 30 miles West of London so we are shooting for somewhere in between. Towns around there you may have heard of are
Windsor (near Windsor Castle), Ascot (horse races), Henley on the Thames (rowing mecca of the UK), Marlow, Sunninghill/Sunningdale and Virginia Water. Going to visit will be great as I have no idea whether a town I "like" is Issaquah like or could be the equivalent of Tacoma/Federal Way (sorry friends fro Tacoma!). We will definately be renting so anything goes- a flat, a suburban close (cul-de-sac), rural or more city living...who knows. We are game for anything!
Back to the storage PODS. Pete was able to put one of his best skills to use that weekend...packing. He can pack anything...as suitcase, a car trunk, and now a storage pod. He inherited this valuable skill from his father, Big Bob Davis. That man could pack ice into a hot oven. So I thank my father in law for passing a long this skill as it was invaluable for getting all of our S^%t into the POD.

So now my job is to separate our remaining stuff into piles...what is going to Sun Valley for the 1-2 weeks we are there, what is going by AIR to the UK (2 week arrival time) and what is going via SHIP (5-6 weeks arrival time). Need clothes/shoes for skiing in SV, sleeping bags as we squat at friend's houses after our house closes, clothes for the UK when we arrive, and things for the kids to do as there will be no TV/XBox hook ups for quite some time.

As of today, Feb. 20, Pete has not left yet! It's a long story, but the gist is that he was to leave on Feb. 17 on a one way ticket to London. Flight delayed three hours and then ultimately cancelled. Rescheduled for Feb. 19 at 2 AM. Sounded suspicious and it was. He arrived at the airport to find a lot of people waiting to check in to British Airways but no British Airways gate agents. No agents = no planes apparently. So back home by 1 AM. He is now scheduled to go out today, Feb. 20. Fingers crossed. We have all said goodbye to one another twice now and at this point I think we all want him to get started with the first part of our new adventure. We will miss him a ton but as Henry says, "I am just thinking of this as a business trip. One that we get to go on to visit and end of staying." So adaptable that kid! Safe travels to Pete!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Welcome to goodoldchinwag!

Pip Pip and Cheerio! Welcome to the DavisFamily blog about our adventures living in the UK. We are getting ready to hit the road, tying up loose ends and begin our adventure across the pond! At times we think we are down right crazy to be uprooting our family from everything that is comfortable and normal, but in the long run we know it will be an experience of a lifetime. So thank you for following our adventures and we will try and make this as entertaining as possible for all ages. Henry and May will be doing a lot of the blogging -posting pictures and sharing their experiences as we travel throughout the UK and Europe! Pete and Jen will be adding their unique perspectives of working abroad, “mom”ing abroad and raising citizens of the world…cheesy I know, but true!
So thanks for joining us!