Wednesday, April 19, 2023

We head home - the long way

 So on Saturday morning (now about ten days ago) we left Valencia - kind of sad about leaving Spain- excited for our future and yet having some trepidation about hte long drive home from the storage facility that had our stuff in two lockers.  but we soldier on- 

The Valencia airport is really nice and a decent size- big enough but not too big... 

our flight departed mostly on time and arrived at London Gatwick mostly on time as well.  We walked to the Hilton (it was all undercover and not too bad a walk (seemed much faster coming back of course).  We checked in and because it was late afternoon but we had no lunch yet we decided to go to the bar and split a club sandwich (which was actually quite good) and a ceasar salad. Later that night we went to a local Italian place Zeno.  We had pastas - I think... it's all a blur of the travel days home. 

The next day was Easter Sunday so we met Lee & Angela at a local pub for a Sunday Roast - the King's Head was fine and the day was warm (for the UK) and SUNNY!  So after lunch we sat outside for a while in the sun at picnic tables the pub had in the back yard. They dropped us off and we went upstairs to pack. Later we grabbed a light dinner at the hotel restaurant (food was better in the lobby bar just FYI) 

We left on Monday morning for our flight back to Tampa. Weird since we don't live there anymore. The business class on this 777 by British Airways was horrific - with strange screens the flight attendants had to raise and lower to serve food to the inner seats. and no real lie flat beds just some strange hinged footrest that folded down from the seat in front of you... we hated it- the flight attendants hated it. It was barely more than glorified economy - unbelievably cramped

there is some woman hiding in that seat by the windows and every time she needed to get up she'd have to jump over the footrest of the seat of the row behind her... just awful! there was no storage for any items- even water bottles and the tray tables and TV were on the side of the seat not in front of you so every time you wanted to get up you would have to stow everything....just plain bizarre!

We arrived in Tampa late afternoon and went to the airport Marriott to check in - we had dinner early and then crashed.  We were up around 7 and off to get the giant SUV rental car (a Chevy Suburban 
XL) we chose it because it had the largest cargo capacity!) We drove to our storage lockers and unloaded the first one which went well except it was clear we were not going to get both the sotrage lockers emptied into one vehicle.  So, Phil took an Uber to the Sarasota airport to [ick up the reserved XL SUV we had there at around 10:40- hed was back in an hour and we loaded the rest of the things into SUV number 2 and stopped for lunch before getting on the road around 1:30.  We drove all the way to north of Atlanta - stopping in Cartersville GA for the night.

The next day we got into Chicago in the evening and unloaded Phil's vehicle - leaving mine for the following day to unload. We did that and returned the vehicles to a nearby HERTZ. Then beginning that Thursday we started finding places to stash all the extra stuff we now had unloaded..... aaaaacccckkkk

photo showing after unloading the five plastic bins of stuff (now stacked on the lower right hand side...LOL)

We ate at home for a few nights and went out for lunch on Saturday - walked to Don Pedro for Mexican food. John & Stephanie stopped by for a bit as they were in the neighborhood. Then we kept unpacking and putting things away... for days upon days - still working on it/ It's the 19th- we got home late on the 12th so a full week and counting...

However, in the interim we got new driver's licenses and transferred title to our cars to Illinois and got new registration and plates.  A big day and a long one- so we lost a day of unpacking productivity to that - but what can you do? 

slowly slowly slowly.... Sunday night we went out for chinese - to Chengdu impressions and had a nice meal. And Monday we had Pat's PIzza. Tuesday we did  the DMV tasks all day, which brings us to today - I went to the dentist (things here are soooo exciting!) 

So I hope to be fully unpacked by Saturday when we have our first social plans with friends. Meanwhile, I have gotten caught up on my bill paying and with the blog posting I needed to do and some photo stuff.  Next week - diving back into Spanish! 

 At the dentists- the reception desk is very eye catching- 

the two textbooks I will be working with- my well worn Aula Plus and the recommended Portales 

so on we go- still chanting one step at a time as we go... sta tuned for more adventures!

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