Monday, September 28, 2015

This Messed up, Crazed, Nutty, Day at Heathrow - Carver

We've spent the day at Heathrow Airport. It has been a messed up, crazed, nutty day but that doesn't mean it has been bad. First problem: We had trouble at security because we didn't have return tickets for South Africa and we spent extra long there because of it. We did not have to get them though. Next crazed thing: The airport is huge and confusing! The last nutty thing: We still don't know what terminal we go to. But though it has been messed up and nutty and crazed, today has been a fun day. So many different people come through Heathrow.

And the flight to get here was wonderful, well, in the morning it was, at night it was somewhat bad. During landing which was very slow and gradual, I took pictures of the colored sections of farm on the ground from high. The flight left out of O'hare in the evening and dinner was late which meant the lights turning off was late and my sleep was late then in the night I woke up and didn't get back to sleep. But it has been fun. Soon we will be on the flight to Johannesburg and then traveling across South Africa. The train will be very fun. I want to use this and now may or may not be the right moment but anyway, TIUU!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

How I Feel now - Carver

This is based on How I Feel the original. How I Feel wasn't originally my name for the post but when I went to start writing the post there was one called How I Feel - Carver. And I liked the name and used it. Now I'm using it again. But I should now get to the point of the entry.

We fly out today. I don't like flying and I plan to sleep through the two overnight flights. But anyway, the train will be fun. Cape Town will be fun. We will need to work out what we are doing in England because it will not be fun to sit in Heathrow all day. I expect the first few days of Cape Town to be exploring. And a slideshow may appear on the blog of our pictures. We are a couple hours away from lots of change.

How I Feel the original was my first post if you didn't know that.

Today is the Day! - Alrica

I have been up since 6:00 this morning and can't seem to get back to sleep. Today is the day! What a crazy mix of excitement and worry. As the main planner in our family, I feel a lot of pressure to make sure everything goes smoothly and, so far, I'm not nailing it. When I tried to check in to our flights last night, I was told that we can't check in because we don't have seats and there aren't seats to be had. Looks like we need to arrive extra early to the airport today to get that sorted out.

Aside from that though, we will spend this morning making decisions about the last few things that need to get backed. All the travel blogs advise to decide what you need and then cut it in half. Well, we are pretty bare bones, but there are always extras. Do we really need a separate charging cord for each of our ipads? And should I pick up some extra Aleve since it seems to help with the pain most efficiently? Syarra apparently got a tick bite on our journey across the states so we are treating with antibiotics on the assumption that it carries Lyme disease and I need to figure out the best way to carry refrigerated medication across the world.

Healthwise, I'm doing okay. I still have some pain, but I'm sleeping better at night and able to carry things (which was important), and not moving nearly as slowly. It has been nearly two and a half months since the surgery that removed my cancer and part of my right hip bone. I'm glad that we pushed back our start date so that I could heal. During the last month, our family of four has been generously taken in by family and friends all across the country. The kids have played with cousins and friends everywhere as if they saw each other daily and collected email, skype, and facetime addresses along the way. And, once again, we have seen so much of our own country; from hiking down to see the Ancient ruins at Mesa Verde to exploring a destroyed flour mill in Minneapolis to swimming behind a sailboat in Pensacola Bay. I'm reminded how lucky we are to have so much support here in the states. I'm looking forward to making new friends all across the world but I hope all of the friends we got to visit, and the ones we missed this time, know how much we appreciate them.

Flights today leave out of Fort Lauderdale, FL with a short stop in Chicago and a long stop in London before arriving in Johannesburg. A 26-hour sleeper train will then take us to our final destination of Cape Town. We will be off the grid for a while but will have lost of pictures to post when we are settled.

TIUU - Erich


I realize that no one yet knows what that means. But I am working on my own textspeak, like LOL for laugh out loud, OMG for oh my god, and PDTKBSGAPIVC for put down that knife before someone gets a pierced inferior vena cava.

TIUU = Tomorrow is upon us

That's right. I am about to go to bed. And when I do, I will sleep. And as I sleep, tomorrow will come. And tomorrow is the day that we embark on our journey. Tomorrow I leave the USA for I don't know how long. Tomorrow I leave cell service that I understand, electrical outlets that match the plugs on my devices, grocery stores that I can count on to stock peanut butter, and the last remnants of the life I have always lived.

I know there will be at some point in this journey missed flights (maybe even tomorrow) and lost items and tears and fears. And I know that there will be amazing moments of connection, learning, and friendship. I know I will come back different than when I left. And it will be terrible. And it will be great.

And I'm scared. And eager too, but nervous. Some part of me is desperately shying away from the unknown. Most of the other parts are ready, and they outweigh that desperate part. But I can't help but acknowledge that this is the boundary where I give up what I knew and dive into what I don't know. It's tomorrow.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Deep in the heart of Kenilworth - Carver

The Main Details:
We have a house in Kenilworth. And with a house, we have figured out much more. The train tickets are reserved for September 29. The flight is reserved for us leaving on the 27th, I think.
But anyway, the searching is finally done.

I will do some research on the area near our house and I thought before we were in Wynberg based on the general location thing the listings showed. But now it seems to me that, because I have the address working in Google Maps, that the general location was more general that I thought. So we are in the small, suburban is my guess, city of Kenilworth which is to the east of Table Mountain where Cape Town is north of it. We are close to transportation. The train ride to Cape Town is a little less than half an hour.
But anyway, I am very happy this is resolved.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cultural Experiences - Erich

Our most recent stop on our drive around the U.S. was in Chaseburg, Wisconsin. We stayed with our cousin Karen of the End of the Rainbow Valley Blog. While we were there, we were discussing our desire to do more than see tourist sites. We want to learn about the people, to have cultural experiences.

Karen's partner, Irv (or Natureman as Karen calls him in her blog) made an excellent point. He applauded our desire to learn about other cultures. But he also pointed out how easy it is for Americans to have cultural experiences right here in our own country. One could visit a Native American powwow. One could eat regional specialties like grits, shoo-fly pie, or tapas. One could even have a cookout on an open pit fire.

And you know what? Irv is exactly right. Everywhere we go, we experience a new culture. Even when it is with our own families.

In Aztec, NM the kids got to milk a cow which Great Grandma Joy does twice a day, everyday, to multiple cows. A cultural experience!

In Golden, CO Alrica and I got to enjoy the amazing downtown pedestrian mall of Denver. The people there are relaxed and pleasant. A cultural experience!

In West Des Moines, IA where there are many kids (and many adults) with many activities, it was a culture of continual getting people to their proper places and eating and sleeping and thinking when time could be spared for such an activity. A cultural experience! (Seeing the pattern?)

In Minneapolis, MN we played an amazing board game with many complicated rules that required a lot of strategic thinking. (I need a phrase to use in place of "A cultural experience!" Maybe "Rock on, baby!" Did I pull that one off?)

We have spent far less than two months at each of these locations (which is good, because who wants you camping out at their house for that long?) But even in those short times, we are learning about the cultures of others, even if only a few of the others.

I'm hoping it is good practice for our bigger, longer, further excursion. So here's to cultural experiences! Booyah! (You know what, just accept the booyah. Call it a cultural experience.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Best Pool in Breckenridge Book 1, not to be continued - Carver

As we walked into the room, I smelled the strong smell of chlorine.
As we walked through the lighted hall, I sensed excitement in front.
As we walked down the stairs, I saw it.
I did write this as if it were a book.
Because I decided to, the reason behind many weird things I do. Now back to the story.

We saw it!
It was an indoor pool. It was an outdoor pool. The mystic mist rose off the surface mystifyingly. I walked into the vapor covered pool. The pool was warm, oh so warm.

About the Author
Who cares?

I got tired of writing it like a book so I ended the book.
The pool was kept at about 90 degrees all year.
Now I left some holes about where we were because the setting didn't work well in the book.
We were in Breckenridge! After Aztec, we came to a little town in the mountains and stayed in Beaver Run Lodge for a night. I don't know why we didn't go straight to Golden. It wasn't my choice.
Anyway, the pool was both inside and outside. There was a divider but it was up. Outside were about eight hot tubs up many stairs. The hot tubs burned me but the pool was wonderful.
We went swimming the night we got there and we were alone and the next morning we went swimming again and talked to some people in the pool. But the pool was great!

I wrote this as an assignment to write about something good but I decided to have some fun making fun of books. Why? Because I wanted to!