a letter from America


One week in and what can I say…..
It was great to see people before we left though it was hard to say goodbye. For those of you we didn’t manage to see before we left…well I’ll catch up with you in 2007!!!
The flight was ok despite security being tighter and we wetre thankfully allowed to bring on gameboys and books…oh and laptops…all boys covered there.We were delayed on the tarmac in a stinky hot plane for about an hour and a half but I shouldn’t complain as I fell asleep within minutes and only came to when the pilot said something. The actual flight was good though I think we got between 15-60 minutes sleep each…unfortunately I was on the thin end of that…my thanks go to Sam for his help in my insomnia problem!
Martin’s friend Don met us at the airport (for those of you who will visit it’s got an odd baggage system, you collect your bags, go through customs then put them on a belt and they disappear again…..meanwhile you get on a train to the terminal and then recollect them…most strange)
Don took Sam and me to his house while Martin picked up the hire car… we had pizza and then came to the flat. It’s a nice place in a complex not big but kind of like a holiday apartment…including the pool which the kids are making use of.
Friday I’m sure must have happened but I have little memory of it, I know we went shopping and to Borders but that was about it.
Saturday we saw houses….14 of them.. it was a very fast and odd experience. Kind of like an endurance challenge but we made it.
We discovered some things that the poor Americans have to live without…..tea bags, branston pickle HP, lea and perrins, worcester sauce, wagon wheels and half decent chocolate. WE do like the abundance of ice cream shops which the boys have been testing..cold stone wins so far but tests continue.
           Sunday we drove around for a bit and looked at different areas deciding where we would like to live in and also visited some poeple Martin knows. They have two kids and another by Christmas and are from Nottingham. Our realtor is also a Ms wife …oddly neither of them seem to have planned to stay here forever but one day will ‘go home’. I wonder how common it is. Maybe it’s a Ms wife thing..the realtor has been here six years and says she still feels like it’s a long holiday even thoguh she works…it’s just slightly surreal. Kind of comforting though … knowing that others have been through the same and felt the same wierdness I have right now.
I have driving lessons this week …. you can only drive off of a foreign license for a short while …ok when on holiday but otherwise not too good.
Martin has to battle protocol and go to a Neo day new employee oreintation….. dumb after so long but now he is permanently here it’s protocol.
        We’ve now got a US bank account which is really odd… within 30mins of being in there we had cards in our hands with our names on and were being shown how to use the video teller! We’ve also found the British Pantry thanks to our relocation advisor. She drove us round and showed us some places including the bank…and as she has an English mum she thought we’d like the British Pantry….we did….. the also have a cafe make their own pies and pasties and will be opening a pub in the next few days. We bought some things…like wagon wheels pate, cheese, and for me some old peculiar (only one bottle but I’m looking forward to it)…. the only problem being that the price is astronomical a small jar of branston for $8…about £4. Hence me looking forward to the Op not just drinking it.
Well after another day of viewing houses we think we’ve found it.
(NOW removed link due to …well I’ll explain another time but I’ll post some photo’s soon.. Hx)
we’ve put an offer in and are waiting to see what happens though we should know by the end of the day before I send this. There were some really grim houses, some with no garden and some with odd layouts..like kitchen and bedrooms upstairs and other rooms downstairs. This house has a nice layout, great garden which is fenced in, big garage…well you’ll see for yourself if you follow the link. It’s a good neighbourhood which has a few rules if you live there….. about how to keep your houses and no washing lines..eek…. but they also have a community pool and park for residents use only. The local school are good and rare for this area they teach languages… french or spanish.. with german option in high school. Though the schools start at a much earlier time of around 7.40am for the first period. The next job though is to speak to the head/principal and see what year the boys will go into…which will then determine which school for Matt too.
Always assuming we get that house. I’ll let you know …keep reading…….
It’s now Sunday and I’ll finish this so people can read it on monday..your time. We drove the 503 miles to Montana for Becky’s wedding. It was an interesting drive on easy roads..which I drove on. I have now spent about 4.5 hrs driving on the ‘other’ side of the road in an automatic…but only really on freeways. Some of those trucks are REALLY big! On the way we went over mountains and through a desert and saw a small tornado. The countryside here is really varied and stunning though not always beautiful.
We are now tired but pleased we made it. It was lovely to be there to see Becky married and we hope to see them sometimes now we are in the same country. It was great to stay in a few places too and the lake was beautiful at the wedding …though cold and hard to swim in if you are dressed!

Of course I had to go in because the kids wanted to swim and it was a bit choppy but having no costume well….. small things shouldn’t stop us enjoying life should they!

As it was we have arrived back in Seattle in time to have ice cream and the kids go swimming.

I miss you all at home and it still feels really surreal but Cobweb is here with me and thanks to Hannah I have Mr Perkins a big flumpy elephant who gives me a hug everyday. I’ll try to keep this full of stuff peole will want to know and let you know how life is going here. There is so much for me to learn I’d like to share it with those of you who are interested but I also want to keep emails  more personal so just read this when you feel like it and are interested.

Oh and we’ve got the house… our moving in date unless something goes odd will be 22nd Sept. So this week I get to try to sort out the schools and buy supplies for them….I’ll tell you in the week it’s all very odd.

More soon.


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