The one thing that makes leaving worthwhile is getting out from under all those leaving tasks! In our case, the feelings of community and associated parties/get togethers were fantastic.
The stacking of things into 4 piles -- going shipping, going in car/plane, staying, and goodwill -- was enough to put us over the edge. The absolute last thing we packed was our printer. We were to leave on Tuesday. On Monday night, we finally narrowed our "going shipping" pile to 36 boxes. I ordered. And waited. And called. And waited. Shipping changed to expedited from cargo because of bureaucratic redtape (whose I do not know). Delayed departure 1 day. House now empty. Kids frazzled. Next morning, I wait. I make friends with Amy and Stacie at International Parcel Shipping. My credit card is rejected twice, caught up in fraud alerts. Not everyone makes $1000s of shipping orders.... Finally, the labels arrive via email. I print them out. The UPS driver comes, and 30 minutes later we are headed to ... CIRCUS CIRCUS.
Yes, Edelwuhs begins with Las Vegas. There is not much there, besides 1/4th of the European population and 1/8th of the American, and one freezing pool. Like most of the pools in Redlands, Circus Circus does not heat their pool. But at $25.60/room, perhaps they can't afford to? In Vegas, Leah from UPS calls. They cannot accept personal belongings. Where is our invoice? She does not know what will happen to our boxes, but she suspects they will linger at Ontario airport. We begin to envision a number of phone calls to our friends, or 4 hours back to Redlands from Las Vegas.
Instead I wrote an email to Amy and Stacie, of IPS, who contracts with UPS, and went to bed. Stacies resolved it (!!), and as of today -- from Vernal, Utah -- our 36 boxes have arrived in Koln, Germany!
We departed for Bryce National Park with lighter hearts, and began to shed stress and anxiety. The deadlines we missed and tasks still lingering (to be done in Ames, Iowa) momentarily disappeared. Instead we enjoyed the hoodoos!
Steve and I did, at least. We tried to Dr. Seuss it up, but mostly we lured the kids with chocolate chip cookies. They did walk over 3 miles though :-)
1. Sometimes the National Park Campsites are full. A 4pm arrival is not early enough to get a first-come first-served spot.
2. Get over the princess phobia (Kim).
3. Batman has a lot of arch-enemies (Kim).
4. The backroads are lovely, but slow. (We learned this years ago, in full honesty.) On UT 10 today we were treated to cattle rustling. After a while, one rider came by to ask if we were in a hurry. They were going to peel off in about 1/4 mile or so. We weren't in a hurry. We liked watching the dogs and horse herd the cows down UT 10 from one pasture to another! Later on, as we went by fantastic scenery on UT 191 ... we wondered about our backroads. But here in Vernal, safe and sound in the Lamplighter Inn, after BBQ and good beer, it was a great day.
View Larger Map
5. Last, on the day we left Redlands, the last email I read before the UPS driver came was from my sister Victoria who has been at sea for 6 weeks in the Atlantic (between the Amazon and Barbados area). One of the zooplankton scientists got his fingers mangled in and torn off by a winch, and had to have them sewn back on. Although he got a cool ride from the French airforce, who the ship had managed to contact, and who sent a plane and then a helicopter, I doubt he'll think it was worth it. Keep your fingers out of the way of winches.