‘Ello from the land of tea & crumpets!

Well, I made it safely!  It wasn’t the easiest process in the world, and I hope that I don’t have to do it again anytime soon, but I’m here and loving my new home!

Pops and I left Columbus, Ohio Wednesday morning and had an uneventful (thank goodness) drive to Newark, New Jersey.  The weather was beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for a better day to drive!  New Jersey’s turnpikes are cray-cray.  I don’t know how y’all do it New Jerseyans (New Jersians?). Hmm.  Either way, the tolls and the lanes and the lack of signs and direction made some of our stay interesting.  We got into New Jersey Wednesday evening, and headed to dinner for a much needed beer.  Jersey is such an interesting place full of many interesting people.  I don’t really know how to describe it.  We stopped by a liquor store {in the hood…legit} to get some supplies for a nightcap, then relaxed at the hotel.

Thursday was a rather long day with lots to do…  We started off the day early with breakfast at the hotel.  We then had to pick up a rental car so we could drop my car off at the port to ship to England.  Dad was stylin’ in a hot little Dodge Avenger 🙂  We then made the 30 minute trek to Edison, New Jersey [have I  mentioned that NJ turnpikes are cray-cray? no? ok, well they are.]  I had to drop my car off and turn in paperwork to be sure that my car would get safely to England.  The process was actually much simpler than I though it would be, other than having to go get a carwash because bug guts were sprinkled all over my windshield 🙂  Anyway, the actual turning-in of the car went smoothly.  It was super awkward though, because they basically show you a diagram with every minor “imperfection” on your car (tiny scratch, dent, paint chip, etc.) and even though I like to think my car is in pretty good shape, the entire diagram was marked up, showing me every tiny little issue.  I mean they are literally mostly non-visible marks, but it made me feel like I freaking abuse the hell out my car!  Anyway, everything was fine and my car should be here by mid September sometime [and to answer your question before I get to it later, yes I am OUT OF MY MIND BORED without my car!]  So, car, check.  Done. Woohoo.  We took the rental back to the hotel and picked up Nyjah and our luggage to check out.  Oh yea, forgot to mention, all of this traveling and such was done with Nyjah in tow for the most part.  She’s a good pup, but dogs make everything more difficult for sure!  We had a few hours before we had to head to the airport to check Nyjah in, so we tried to find something to do that was dog-friendly and parking-friendly…  We headed toward Staten Island area to see if maybe we could watch the ferry and see New York and just enjoy some scenery.  Again, not so easy with a dog and a rental car.  Oh, and did I already say that NJ turnpikes and tolls are cray-cray?  And outrageous?  (Must be the midwestern in me, I never grew up with crazy tolls and traffic issues….even in Atlanta I never was so flustered!)  Anyway, we made it over to Staten Island, but of course, there was crazy traffic and parking, so we ended up finding a little bakery/deli where we parked and grabbed a sandwich.  We ended up chatting with the owner for a bit and he let us leave our car there while we took a little stroll across the street to check out the harbor.  {And in case anyone was curious, Europe is apparently a great place to buy a sleeper VW van and take people *read:ladies* from city to city, according to the deli owner…ha ha}  Anyway, it ended up that we were right across the street from the Staten Island 9/11 memorial, which was right across the water from NYC, so that was actually really cool.  We relaxed for a bit, happy to be out of a car!

Then, back to Newark so we could drop the pup off at the airport (sad fur-mommy moment here….).  This was another part of the moving process that I was incredibly nervous about, as there were so many restrictions and rules and regulations and things I had to do leading up to actually shipping her.  To make a long story short, we had to go through multiple vet appointments, a USDA person to approve her documents, and make sure that she had the proper kennel and supplies to ship her.  This, along with a total cost that probably was over $2000, made me super anxious to be sure I did everything just right.  And I did, thank goodness.  She was ready to roll about 3 hours before the flight, and I felt HORRIBLE leaving her with the “PetSafe” people [whom I am not entirely convinced kept my pet as safe as I would’ve].  Either way, she was really good in her kennel, laying down and not making a sound (poor thing was probably mad as heck and scared!)

By the time I got the dog dropped off and my dad had returned the rental car, we were hoping that we could grab dinner and a drink at the airport before we headed our separate ways, me off to a new country, him back to Ohio.  The Newark airport had other plans.  If there is something more cray-cray than the turnpikes and tolls in New Jersey, it’s definitely the airport.  I have never, never, never in my life been in an airport so crazy in my life.  And y’all, I lived in Atlanta and traveled a TON.  I’ve seen my fair share of airports, big and small.  Newark, hands down, has been the worst.  I didn’t have any problems actually getting checked in and such, but the lines and “helpful” workers were terrible.  It took forever to get my bags checked.  Then no one would give me a direct answer as to where I was supposed to go through security.  There were several different “C” security lines and I was told to go to a different one three separate times.  Thank goodness I was there so early because of Nyjah, ’cause I would’ve been freaking the eff out if I had cut it any closer!  After sweating my bum off, I finally made it through security and headed toward my gate.  Thank goodness I brought an extra pair of clothes, because they certainly felt much better after my sweaty security line….TMI?  Sorry.   On the way to my gate, I got sidetracked by a delicious Hoegarden on tap and a lovely conversation with fellow travelers {my Green Bay Packers backpack was certainly attracting attention in the New England area ;)}  My flight was delayed about 30 minutes, but other than that, I got on board with no other issues.

**As a bit of a side note, I don’t even have the words to describe how incredibly thankful I am that my dad accompanied me to New Jersey for this whole process.  I can’t even imagine trying to do ANY of this without him!  THANK YOU POPS!!!  You’re the BEST!!  Also, a huge shout out to both my ‘rents for everything they have done for me (and B) in the last few months!  It’s been a crazy few months, but we are FOREVER grateful for your help!!!  LOVE YOU BIGGEST MA AND PA! 🙂

My plane ride, for lack of a better word, sucked.  I just cannot sleep on planes.  The actual flight was fine.  The movie selection was fine.  The food was (barf) fine.  The people that were sitting next to me were fine.  The wine I had was fine.  I just wanted to *SLEEP* and I probably got about an hour, maybe two total out of my 5+ hour flight.  Boo hoo right?  Oh well.

I arrived at London Heathrow at about 6:30am, which was early, even with the delay!  Didn’t have any issues going through customs, even though they told me I brought too many litres of wine (whoops).  The customs officer said that I would probably need that many once NFL season came around and my Packers didn’t make it to the SuperBowl.  Everyone’s got jokes, even the Brits 🙂

B was there when I got out of baggage and customs, and it was GLORIOUS to see him!  I gave him a monster hug and smooch ❤  In order to pick up the pup, we had to head to another building, so we made our way there, driving on the left side of the road, hehe.  Sorry, that is still kind of novel to me.  It took FOUR (actually more I think) hours to process Nyjah’s paperwork, so we literally sat around waiting for that long for her.  While she was excited to finally see us, I could tell she was not a happy camper for what I had just put her through.  [I am happy to report, however, she is incredibly happy in our new home, although TERRIFIED of the horses that live behind our neighborhood.  It’s actually a bit comical.]  Anyway, we made the trek from London to Brandon, where our new house is, with me drifting off to sleep and Nyjah giving us evil glares every now and then.

I have so much more to post, but I’m pretty sure this is enough to keep y’all busy for a little.  I will soon write about our house, neighborhood, the great land of the Brits and most importantly, British beer.

More soon darlings….Cheers!

 

PS> Check for pics on my Facebook please!  I will post some later, but they are not on this computer at the moment, sorry!

Hi. I’m the WORST blogger ever!

Hey y’all.  Sooo….sorry I suck at keeping you updated on my life (I know y’all have been dying to see what I’ve been up to since January).  The last time I posted, B wasn’t even back from his deployment yet!  Well, he made it home safe and sound, it was so amazing to actually be there for the homecoming instead of in another state!  The next few months was mostly filled with working, relaxing, and hanging out with friends.  Then….

I GOT ENGAGED!   EEEEEEK!  Brandon proposed to me on my birthday (April 12)!  I will save the giant long story, but the basic gist of it was that he had been kind of sneaky the week or so before my birthday so I was thinking he was planning some kind of birthday surprise.  We were supposed to do something for my birthday that Saturday because he was supposed to work Friday night, the actual night of my birthday.  So he ended up not having to work that night, so we went out for a nice dinner in the town next to Clovis.  He was still being super sneaky and texting throughout dinner (which we never do).  So after dinner, he was still being sketchy and drove me around to “kill time” (which I later found out).  Finally, we made it back to the house, where I walked in and found rose petals and candles EVERYWHERE in the living room.  My jaw dropped and I turned around and B was on his knee and proposed.  Our roommate at the time (who was the person he was texting all night) was there and got it all on camera 🙂  Ok, sorry that was kind of a long story, but yay to us!  We have planned our wedding for November in Ohio.  Which brings me to our next big news….

{no, we aren’t pregnant, don’t even go there! LOL}

Early May, we found out that we have military orders to Mildenhall, England!  We always kind of knew this was a possibility with the job he does in the Air Force, but we were thinking we’d be in New Mexico for at least another year or two.  Originally, his no-later-than date for England was May 30th.  Yes, 2013.  So we were beyond excited but also beyond stunned that we had less than a month to get prepared to move overseas!  May was pretty much spent freaking out and packing, haha.  Oh, and getting married!  We had to do a courthouse marriage so that I could be put on the orders to make sure I could join him in England.  On May 10, during my lunch period, we headed “downtown” and got hitched.  It was nothing crazy, but our friend Courtney was there and took some pictures.  So we are offisshhhhh!  But the wedding is still on in November, what’s a wedding without a party?!?!  School ended May 23, which was definitely bittersweet.  While I wasn’t the biggest fan of teaching ninth grade students, I will miss the school atmosphere and the wonderful people I worked with.  While I was finishing up school, B was trying to get his paperwork and stuff done to move.  Well, if anyone knows the military, it’s not always the most efficient and organized thing in the world.  Our paperwork got screwed up several times, so B didn’t actually get to England until mid-July.  June was another month of craziness, getting paperwork finished, packing stuff, etc.  I also joined my sis and some friends for our annual CMAfest weekend in Nashville.  My friend Samantha and I drove {16 hours, bleh!} from Clovis to Tennessee for the weekend.  Because we decided that we were only going to bring one dog with us, so we have re-homed two of our dogs to one of Brandon’s friends and my sister, so we took Roxie to my sis that weekend.  Our pups are very happy in their new homes, and we are forever grateful, because just our one dog is costing us an arm and leg to get to England!  Anyway, CMAfest was absolutely fabulous as usual, and not nearly as sweltering hot as usual, which was perfect!  

At the end of June, I headed “home” to Ohio (which is where I currently still am).  My sister threw me a fantastic, beautiful, fun bridal shower June 30.  Two of my Atlanta ladies came up for the long weekend and we had a TON of fun reuniting!  I was able to catch up with lots of family and family friends, so that was awesome!  {Not to mention I got lots of great gifts!}  The following weekend was another exciting weekend of being reunited with some of my favorite people!  One of my college roommates was getting married July 6, so I had quite the Fourth Of July weekend.  Wednesday I went up to Lake Erie to stay with my parents at their cottage.  Got in some wave-running and boat time, then headed to Akron for the wedding weekend on Thursday.  Almost all of my college roommates were there the whole weekend, which was amazing!  We got to do lots of catching up, and I got to meet the cutest lil man (my roommate Jacquelyn’s 9-month-old).  Rebecca’s wedding was perfect and beautiful and so much fun!  

The rest of July was mostly filled with wedding planning and preparations, trips up to the Lake with my parents, and getting back into a workout routine.  This past weekend was my bachelorette weekend, once again planned by my sister.  She is the BEST!  Friday night we did dinner with some of my cousins who I don’t get to see nearly enough.  Then we headed out on the town for a bit.  Quite a few of my college friends came in town again for the party, which was super exciting.  Because we are all over the map, we rarely get to actually see each other!  Saturday my sis and I watched a few of the softball games for the firefighters tournament my dad was running and playing in.  Then the big party started 🙂 🙂  My sis did an awesome job planning–we had lots of fun games, great drinks and snacks, a delicious dinner, and a hell of a night out in the Arena District!!  Like I said, my college friends were there, and one of my Atlanta friends actually came and surprised me!  It was more than I could EVER ask for and I am SO thankful for everyone and everything!

Whew. So while I feel like I have been “living” with my parents forever, the 6 weeks actually flew by and I am finally coming up on my departure date!  I have a few last minute things to do early this week, then my dad and I head to New Jersey Wednesday, which is where I will be leaving from.  Thursday I have to drop my car off at the port to get shipped to England, then get to the airport a few hours early to get my pup all ready to fly.  My dad and I both leave around the same time Thursday evening, so I am seeing some airport drinks in our future!  I leave 6:10pm Thursday, and get into London Heathrow around 6:45am Friday (7.5 hour flight, plus a 5 hour time difference).  I am hoping to sleep for most of the flight to get on a somewhat normal schedule once I get there.  Nyjah (our pup) will be on the same flight as me, but once we get in, it could take up to 4 hours to get paperwork and such checked and processed, so Friday will probably be a loooong day.  I *CANNOT* wait to be with B again, and to start an exciting new adventure!  

Hope this post wasn’t too ridiculously long for y’all!  Wish me luck hopping across the pond! 🙂  I plan on updating much more once I am over there, especially since I will be so far from all of my friends and family!