The travel day went about as smoothly as can be expected. We were doing cleaning tasks and packing until about ten minutes before the taxi picked us up. I had thought that this might keep us from stressing about the travels, but it did backfire a bit and cause my wife to double stress. Live and learn.
|Living Room Chicago|
We arranged for a mini-van to pick us up and bring us to the airport, and even with that we were a bit tightly packed. In retrospect, we really should have pared things down a little more than we did for luggage. We ended up with five checked bags plus the two cats, and while some of what we brought was probably a bit extraneous we did want to make sure that the temp place felt to some extent like home.
The cat check-in process was easy, if lengthy. It took about 30 minutes (the cab meter running the entire time), mostly of waiting for stuff to happen. Because that process had been so ill-documented and our understanding of it had changed so many times, I was worried until the very end of it that they might find something off in the papers and send us packing. Thankfully they did not, and our darlings were off to their own big adventure.
The flight itself was smooth, and largely empty. We took a red-eye flight (the only one that cats are allowed on) so we were able to spread out a bit for napping. We never sleep overly well on planes, but we at least managed a bit of a doze. We also watched Pitch Perfect, the existence of which is a running gag with us for boring reasons. It was surprisingly decent. I have adopted Anna Kendrick, so I was happy it didn't stink.
|Living Room London|
The cab ride into London was actually a bit sobering. Heathrow is well outside of the city, and on the opposite side from where our apartment is. Additionally there are many fewer highways than in the US, so much of the driving was local. The city isn't exactly on a grid system, so there were two or three dozen turns involved in getting from point A to B. This is actually true of most of the European cities we have come into by cab, but it never fails to terrify me with the prospect that we will eventually need to navigate them on our own. Add to that the fact that this is home for a bit, and I will admit to finally feeling a little bit of "What have we done?"
We arrived at the apartment in mid-afternoon and were met by the agent with keys. This is good, as I realized as we approached that we hadn't specifically arranged anything in advance. The place is a smallish one bedroom, but we have managed to get unpacked into the space. The cats are still a bit unsure of it, but seem to be slowly adjusting. Especially to the bit under the sofa. We've located a nearby grocery and done some dry-run walks to work, and are adjusting fairly well ourselves. We wanted adventure? We got it.