Well, plans are moving forward for the move, despite the many complications, modifications and uncontrollable roadblocks thrown in our way recently. Flights have officially been purchased, lots of money was spent over the weekend and there is no going back now.
The official date of departure…well, that’s more complicated to explain but Lionel will be leaving the US on May 14 and I will be leaving on May 15. A week earlier than mentioned in my last move-related post, but right about the time that we had originally thought to leave.
There have also been a lot of changes recently in our plans due in part to unforeseen circumstances and in part to deliberate decisions. Lionel’s parents will no longer be coming out to the US, which means we will not be running around like crazy people trying to find time to take them to Toronto/Niagara Falls, NYC and Washington D.C. This also means that they will not be flying Rasteau back for us, hence the decision for Lionel and I to take different flights. He will be leaving a day earlier with Rasteau on the shortest flight we could get to try to make it as easy as possible on the little furball. Of course this flight is with Air France and therefore very expensive. So I am leaving the following day on a grueling 21.5 hour trip to Bordeaux, but a much, much cheaper ticket at half the cost. He had volunteered to take the longer flight, but since the Air France flight prices increased the following day and we wanted Lionel to leave first, we had to change that plan and I get to enjoy a nice 9.5 hour layover in the Madrid airport. However, he has to deal with the stress of travelling with the cat, so I guess it’s a fair tradeoff.
Now we just need to call the airline to make Rasteau’s reservation and start figuring out all of the other details of this move including luggage, packing, shipping, selling cars, cancelling various services here, transferring money, my visa, setting up different services there, getting furniture in France, leaving jobs, finding jobs, etc, etc, etc. The list is too long and it makes my head hurt. Not to mention it stresses me out, especially the finding jobs part and our long term financial future.
So instead I have been focusing most of my time and energy on planning the road trip we have decided to splurge on (and by splurge I mean stick to a VERY strict budget with lots of camping and cheap motels) before we leave the US. Because planning vacations and spending money is a lot more fun than worrying about our long-term financial future/retirement and looking for jobs, and after a year straight without a real vacation, I am desperately in need of one. Not to mention the fact that I can feel that travel bug biting and I know I need to go somewhere new and exciting soon before I go stir crazy. This should also help to keep me under control for a few months in France while we try to find jobs and can’t really travel (hopefully it will only be a few months).
You might be wondering what we plan to do/see on this road trip. Well, after two days of research and planning it looks like it is going to be a 12 day road trip west to visit as many National Parks as possible and a few cities along the way. Currently on the itinerary are Arches National Park, Utah; Canyonlands National Park, Utah; Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado; Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona; Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; and Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. We also plan to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico and hope to spend a little time in Denver, Colorado. Our current plans also take us along a large portion of the historic Route 66 through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, so that should be interesting. Plans are still in the works but I’m hoping to have all the hotels and campgrounds reserved by the end of February and a pretty solid plan of what we are going to see and do and when.
On top of all that poor little Rasteau isn't feeling well and had to go to the vet today. When Lionel got up this morning he noticed that Rasteau's entire nose and forehead area was very swollen and it turns out he has a huge abscess on his forehead. He's been miserable all day and the vet gave him a shot, prescribed him some medicine and told Lionel that the poor little guy is probably suffering from a pretty bad headache because of the location and size of the abscess. So Rasteau hasn't eaten, won't drink, and is only moving from his comfortable bed on our armoire to go to the litter box. He's slept almost all day and he just looks miserable. I didn't find out about any of this until I took my lunch at work, but Lionel managed to handle the vet and everything just fine by himself. Here's the picture he texted me today of the poor little guy:
Sorry this post is kinda all over the place, but that's pretty much it for the moment!