Hello my lovely readers 🙂 I’ve missed you! I was shocked when I finally got onto Google Reader and saw that I had 500 posts to read. Gulp. Talk about intimidating! I’ve made it through 104 of them already today, and I haven’t decided yet whether that’s productive or pathetic, but I’m leaning towards pathetic. I’ve gotten a lot of other things done today (cleaning, jogging, shopping, calling the vet, making dinner), but still… 100 posts? I’ve gotta get moving! I know that I said I would share my moving adventures with you, and I’m here to do just that. So let me tell you about what went on in my life over the last few days…
My mom and sister arrived last Monday afternoon (July 27th). We drove around our Massachusetts town a little bit and through Chris’ school, showing off where he worked. It really is a beautiful campus. That evening we drove through Boston to Salem and walked all around, checking out the cute shops and eating at Rockafellas. I love Salem. It’s such a great, historical city, and I was glad to see it one more time before we moved.
Tuesday we got up early and drove around my hospital. My family made appropriate “oohs” and “aahs”, and then we got onto 24S and headed to Newport, RI. Great city. We walked everywhere, saw the beautiful harbor, and did a little shopping. I think I said the word “cute” at least a hundred times while were there. Chris was happy with his candy purchases. After that, we drove to the Cliff Walk.
We parked at Easton’s Beach and started at the trail head near the Spiced Pear and walked all the way to The Breakers and back, making sure to go up and down the Forty Steps. It was very, very foggy, which was a bit of a disappointment, but it was still fabulous. We had a great time and if I’d thought of it, we would’ve brought a picnic lunch. We saw quite a few people having a bite to eat on the beautiful lawns, looking out to the ocean, and that seemed like such a great idea.
Like I said, very foggy. Can you imagine sailing in this?
My lovely sister at the bottom of the 40 steps
One of the Salve Regina buildings. See what I mean about the lawns?
The Breakers was gorgeous, of course. You should definitely do the tour if you’re ever in Newport. I was surprised at how “simply” the Vanderbilt family lived for their time. They really seemed to be honest, hardworking, good people, and the house was a great history lesson. I think that my favorite part of the whole place was the kitchen and the Butler’s Pantry, both of which look surprisingly modern considering when they were built. We weren’t allowed to take pictures while indoors, so you’ll have to content yourself with my one picture taken from the gates.
Afterwards, we went down Ocean Drive, which is another Newport must-do. The homes along there are beautiful, and it’s the perfect way to get to the Castle Hill Inn. We opted against lunch, as none of us were hungry, and instead got iced teas, bellinis, and a Firefly Spiked Palmer for Chris (now a new favorite drink!). We sat in the adirondack chairs on the lawn and just looked out at the ocean, feeling the breeze and soaking up the salty air. It was the perfect end to the day 🙂
Chris decided that one sight-seeing trip was enough for him, so on Wednesday morning it was just me, my mom, and my sister headed to Martha’s Vineyard. We drove down to Wood’s Hole, MA to catch the 8:15am ferry. By the way – they recommend arriving at least an hour in advance because of parking, and this is accurate. We got there about 50 minutes before the ferry departure time, and this was exactly right. You have to take a shuttle from the parking area to the ferry, and they don’t go until they have a full bus, and I do mean a full bus. Oh, and watch out for those parking lot attendants – they can be kind of mean!
The ferry ride was about 45 minutes long and not at all unpleasant. It wasn’t the least bit crowded. The only downside was that it was another foggy, gray day, so my pictures aren’t too bright and sunny.
Like I said – foggy! I took this one on the ride over
The Steamship Authority ferry
Martha’s Vineyard is nice. I’ve heard that Nantucket is prettier and less touristy, and I hope that’s the case because MV seemed a little overrun with people and cars, in my opinion. It wasn’t quite as picturesque as I’d imagined it to be, although it certainly had some really gorgeous places. We walked all over Vineyard Haven and some of the other little villages, along the beaches, in and out of shops, had lunch, and eventually walked back to the ferry . It was a good experience and I’m glad that we did it, but I can’t say that I’ve turned into a big Martha’s Vineyard fanatic/advocate. It may have been partly because of the weather – we were all drenched in sweat by the time we were through. Here are some photos of the island:
Just off the ferry, heading into Vineyard Haven
Some of the beautiful Martha’s Vineyard beaches…
Isn’t it pretty?
My lovely sister C – we were looking at all of the beautiful shells
There was one store on Martha’s Vineyard that I really liked – Mix. It’s a great little shop specializing in odds and ends from the 1920s till now. They had adorable, old children’s books and flashcards, oilcloth tablecloths, cute aprons, toys, great bar sets, glasses, and plates, and just all sorts of neat things. I ended up finding a really cute Jane Marvel bag.
Probably my favorite part of this store was their old books collection. I love old books. Give me an out-of-date, out-of-print book from 60 years ago or more and I’ll be a happy camper! The one I found is entitled “Health and How to Get It”, so naturally as an RN I couldn’t resist. It was published in 1927. Score!
On Thursday, Chris and I got up early and drove to pick up the van and the car trailer (we towed our car behind our SUV). The rest of the day was spent loading things up. I made good on my resolution to have almost all of my packing done before my family arrived, so really all that was left were some odds and ends. One of Chris’ Bible study friends came by and helped with the heavy lifting, which was nice. My least favorite part? Having to lower our queen-size mattress and box spring from the 2nd floor window. Now tell me, who designs a house with a staircase so narrow that you can’t fit a mattress up or down it?!
In a little less than 4 hours, everything was packed up and ready to go. I was exhausted. Chris, my mom, and sister wanted to see a movie and even though I’m originally the one who suggested it, I ended up taking about a 2 1/2 hour nap instead. It felt wonderful, let me tell you. Throughout the whole process, our sweet little doggy was just great. He was definitely confused by all of the comings and goings, but he was a trouper.
Bear didn’t want to be left behind 🙂
Friday morning we were up at 4am and on the road by 5am. We had minimal traffic, which was a blessing. We switched cars and drivers off and on. Ultimately, I think I drove for 10 hours and Chris drove for 12 or 13 of the 17 hours. Mom and my sister took shifts, too, bless them! I shudder to think at how miserable it would’ve been if it were just Chris and me. Ugh.
I do have a funny little story for you, and it relates to Chris and his absent-mindedness. I love it when he provides me with opportunities to share funny stories! We had just finished a 5 hour stretch of driving and got off the road for some gas and a bathroom break. Chris wanted to keep driving, so we decided that he would come in my car and Mom and my sister would go in the van.
Chris hopped on in and headed back towards the toll plaza and immediately drove into the “EZ Pass Only” lane. Well, shoot – we did not have an EZ Pass. He wildly gestures to my mom behind us to get in the next lane over, and he starts to get out of the car. I somewhat loudly remind him that he can’t just leave the car blocking the toll booth while he runs over a lane, and so he shuts the door, pulls up and over to the side, and hops out. Meanwhile, I’m on the phone with my sister, explaining to her that she and Mom need to get in the other lane because we got in the wrong one.
That’s not the funny part. What’s funny is that when Chris pulled over and hopped out of the car, he left it in drive. So there I am, surround by stuff, talking on the phone, and the car is still going down the highway, albeit slowly, and I’m like “Oh, crap.” I’m certain my sister must’ve thought that I had gone nuts, because I suddenly start swearing and she’s like, “What? What?!” My mind went blank and for about 10 seconds I had no clue how to put a car in park. I finally reacted, slammed it into park, the car jerked to a stop, and I burst out laughing while trying to explain to my sister what the heck just happened. She of course tells my mom, who is also now laughing. I had the phone on speaker, so when Chris gets in the car, all he hears are 3 women laughing and he thinks it’s because he pulled into the wrong lane. I quickly pointed out his error to him (oh, and by the way – this isn’t the first time that Chris has gotten out of a car while it’s still in drive and left me to deal with the aftermath). I think he turned red and said something like, “Well, this is an inauspicious start to the drive!”. Thankfully that was the most excitement we had, and we all arrived safely at my parents’ house around 10pm that night.
It was great to see my family again. Remember that I hadn’t seen any of them for at least a year, and in some cases it was longer than that. I was surprised by how much the surroundings had remained the same but the people had changed, particularly my “little” brothers. They’re so grown up! We chatted with all of them for a good hour, hour and a half, then headed off to bed. No one was really pleased about the fact that we were driving to South Bend the next morning, but it couldn’t be helped – the office would be closed on Sunday, and if we waited till Monday then people would’ve been at work and wouldn’t be able to help us move in. So we got back in the car at 8am on Saturday, drove the 3 hours to South Bend, and saw our new place for the first time. It was a bit of a let-down. It’s nice, but it is definitely not as nice as where we were. It made me really miss Massachusetts. I emailed my older sister and told her that we are now living in the ghetto, ha ha!
Seriously though, it’s not that bad. It’s smaller and the place isn’t as nice (both of the toilets flooded last night for no apparent reason, and we’ve already had several of the closet doors fall out of their tracks), but it seems to be a quiet complex with nice people. And it’s gotten very good ratings online and was voted something like the favorite place to live, so that’s gotta mean something, right? Oh, and it’s close to just about everything we need. I’m okay with living here for the next 10 months, because that’s all the amount of time that we’ll be spending in Indiana before moving to NZ.
Well, I think this post has gotten long enough! If you’ve made it all the way to the end, I congratulate you 🙂
Have a great Wednesday!