28 July 2012

A quick bike ride

Today I went on a quick bike ride to the library to use the internet. Below is an album of some photos I took along the way.
28 July 2012 Bike Ride

23 July 2012

5 adults, 1 toddler, 2 cats, & 1 RV later...

We've succesfully moved out of our Chicago home - utilities turned off and keys returned. We left the place cleaner than we found it and managed to get all of our things out. Little Man and Mama walked around and said good-bye to every room of the apartment before locking the door for the last time. It's hard to tell how much he understands of leaving the old place permanently, but we keep talking up the "new house" to give him something to look forward to.

After turning everything in, we drove to meet Mama's parents and their RV for the ride back to Boston. All 5 adults, the toddler, the two cats, and the car on a dolly survived the ride despite some attempts by the cats to keep the ride interesting (one unlocked the cab doors in the middle of the night at a campground, the other kept insisting on diving under the driver's seat).

Our flight is in 2 days, and a home in Noord-Barbant province has been settled on and an IKEA shopping list is growing longer. Our relocation company has arranged to pick us up from the airport (an hour and a half drive away) - complete with car seat for the Little Man - and has arranged for us to stay in our new home the day we arrive, providing air mattresses so we can sleep there before we can purchase beds.

With 2 days left, we're praying that everything goes smoothly for our departure and arrival.

21 July 2012

Moved out

We have officially moved out of our Chicago apartment (it was the porch below the porch with the flags). Now we are driving to Boston where we will stay until we fly out.

14 July 2012

Good Will either loves us or hates us; but either way, my heart is with Craig's List

We've made at least 4 car loads of donations to Good Will this week - it's a good thing they are only a short ways away. I think we might even be recognized as "regulars" after I keep running into the same employee/volunteer. Hopefully they really are happy to see us pull up day after day and not muttering under their breath at the loads. We've tried to make sure we're not giving them junk, but someone has to process the stuff.

The number of things that we've been able to sell on Craig's List has been amazing. It's not always the most efficient method of getting something out of the house, but generally I'm pretty impressed with what ends up selling and I can feel good about the fact that we're recycling our stuff.

11 days left until departure.

10 July 2012

The Cat-astrophe that is moving begins

The cats are beside themselves. Not only are the suitcases out of the closet (a sure sign of something bad to come), but there are piles of stuff everywhere and strange people keep coming into the house and taking things as we sell them on Craigs List. Officially, the cats are also scheduled to go to the vet to have their travel paperwork completed - and they love the vet...

Upcoming scary events include a ride in the RV with a toddler and a plane ride.

T-minus 15 days.

07 July 2012

Little things are falling into place

Officially, we have plane tickets to Amsterdam (huzzah!). The cats are also scheduled to fly on the same flight (in the climate controlled cargo hold) - I'll be checking up with the airline again to confirm they have the cats ready to go (and probably double-confirm, triple-confirm...).

We have appointments in 2 weeks with the Dutch Consulate to pick up our visas. Interestingly enough, our local consulate only takes 2 people per appointment, even if you have 3 people in the same family. So we're divided with Poppa and Little Man in one appointment and Mama in another. Hopefully all goes smoothly.

The moving company is coming back this week to re-estimate our cost since we've knocked out a lot of things since the initial estimate. Crossing our fingers that this will drop the estimate cost a decent amount.

Many things that we're not bringing with us are going up on Craig's List as we start the final push to clear stuff out of the house. A few things are being kindly stored for us in other people's homes.

Still have a long list of things to accomplish, but things are slowly getting ticked off one by one.

05 July 2012

Getting ready to move

In short order our family will move to the Noord-Brabant province of the Netherlands. The opportunity came up very suddenly and we have had just a few weeks to get our traveling documents in order and clear out/pack our home. Luckily, our passports and apostilles for birth certificates and marriage license have come through, making the wait a little less of a nail-biter.

The movers are coming to pack up in a week and a half, and we expect our work and residence permit to be ready at about the same time. In the meantime, we also have to determine our flight, get the cats' traveling paperwork in order, and finish de-crapping our apartment. And I'll be finishing my last day at work and hopefully getting my replacement settled and as prepared as I can. Yikes.

We're still working on housing arrangements. We're hoping to have something lined up before our arrival, and we're working with a very nice relocation company to make this happen. We'd much rather have something we can move into right away (even if we have to furnish it and wait a few weeks for the stuff we shipped by container) than have to live in a hotel with a toddler and not really be able to settle for a few days/weeks. We've already found a nice kattenpension - cattery - for the cats to hang out at if we find that we have to wait on housing... this will be sure to make them good and angry after an international flight in a crate, an hour and a half ride from Amersterdam, and whatever else customs may put them through.

Until we have more news, we'll be in this limbo state of half-moved. Updates to come.

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