24 March 2011

Discouraged. . .

I came home from our house-hunting trip so full of excitement about this move.  Then the house and school fell through.  The second choice house I can definitely live with.. . but who knows what is going to happen with the girls' school. . .and I am having a hard time being okay with our fourth choice for a school.  So rather than excitement about this adventure when I wake up in the morning, instead I have a sinking, nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach.   

22 March 2011

House Hunting in England. . part one.

CAT sent Keith and I on a house/school hunting/tourist/exploring trip to England a couple weeks ago. . and of course here I am just writing about it!

Mom came down to stay with the girls. . .we were scheduled to fly out of Nashville at about 1:20 to Dulles on United. . plane was delayed and didn't leave until 2:20. . .which we were told wouldn't cause a problem.  But as we walked out on to the tarmac to get on the United Express puddle jumper, I wasn't so sure.  But I was excited and buzzed off of the margaritas and beer at La Hacienda so I didn't really care!

Plane landed. . .thank God. . . because I was done with Keith's front-row view of the Swedish girls' sports team on the plane with us (of course they were all stereotypical blond models in the making).  Not exactly the way to start out a vacation for just the two of us!

We got into the airport, hit the bathroom, and heard "Final boarding call for United Airlines to London Heathrow. . .looking for three arrivals from Nashville."   At this point I looked at Keith and started running. . .so not a runner!  (But I still beat Keith and his knees!)  Luckily we made the flight. . .and even got a high five when we boarded from one of the passengers who had probably been sitting there for 30 minutes waiting!

Flight was bearable. . .watched a couple of movies (Due Date and don't remember what else). . food wasn't bad.  I was able to sleep, but Keith had difficulty.  Plane landed on time. . .around 5:00am Monday local time, which was about 11:00pm Sunday our time.

After going through customs, we came out of security to Costa Coffee--note to ourselves for the future, Americano coffee is not Folgers!!  Had my first "language barrier". . the girl asked us if we were going to "drink or take away"  and in my exhaustion, I just thought don't I need to do both?

After waking up a little, I made my first purchase with British pounds:  bought a paper for a pound and got a free bottle of water.

Then we headed to the Underground (the Tube) to travel to the King's Cross/St. Pancras station.  It is a comfort that the Tube is very similar to the El in Chicago.  On the train, we quickly realized that it would be impossible to travel this way with three children and luggage for each of us.  At the St. Pancras station, we were in the heart of where the 2012 Summer Olympics would be held.  Got to see some of the construction efforts while we were waiting for our train to Leicester.

On the train to Leicester (which, by the way, will be a convenient way to travel with the kids) we got to see how quickly the countryside in England can change from city to villiage to farmland.  It was interesting and at times really beautiful to see.  One of the things that was really cool was seeing the community gardens where neighbors share a plot of land for individual gardens.

We got to the Leicester train station and got a taxi to the hotel. . .all of this was pretty much a haze. . .on to Part Two after our nap.

07 March 2011

High Street in Leicester

Pretty sure that High Streets are like our Main Streets and bisect the town.  Here the road was closed to all but deliveries and filled with tiny shops and restaurants.

London, baby!

Flew into London yesterday. . .left home at about 11:00am-- flight was late getting out, but left at 2:15pm. . .had to sprint through Washington DC/Dulles to catch our connecting flight as it was calling for final boarding to Heathrow.  Arrived in London at 5:45 am local time (11:45p central time zone).  We exchanged our money, and then I bought my first item with a British pound:  a newspaper and a free bottle of water.  Then it was the tube to King's Cross/St. Pancras station and a short wait for a train to Leicester.  After a taxi ride between the station and our hotel, we finally arrived to check in at about 11:00 am.  Personally, I vote for driving to the airport in the future or springing for a car service!

We took a quick nap, showered, and ate lunch at the hotel.  Then we decided to take a taxi to the High Cross City Centre (mall) and walk around so that we could stay awake.  Eventually, Keith's new boss came and picked us up and took us to the Red Cow for dinner and chatting.  He seems like a good guy. . . and spent time enlightening us and sharing stories. 

Now we are back in the room and are barely staying  awake to get ready for bed and type this!

House hunting starts tomorrow. . .pick up at 9:15!

03 March 2011

Scanning house info sheets. . .

Got some info on houses that we are looking at. . .I think that we are going to be able to find a home that works for us!  What a wonderful feeling!

It is really odd to think right now that my girls are sleeping. . .it is difficult to be on a different schedule than them. . .as I am getting ready for the day, they are (hopefully) sleeping soundly at 2 in the morning.

We are headed back to look at two houses today and probably one new one we didn't see yesterday.  We looked at seven. .some were easy to rule out like the cottage that would have had Keith hitting his head on every doorway and even the ceiling in some spots!!  Would have loved the villiage, though. . .a block from school and a block from the pub!!