Thursday, April 30, 2015

We Have Repatriated!

On February 26th, Mr. Smith and I boarded a big jet plane with A LOT of luggage bound for the USA!  I make that sound so simple when (really) it was quite an ordeal.  When we booked our flights, we used Mr. Smith's frequent flyer miles (he has loads) to upgrade our tickets to premium economy.  But when we arrived at Sydney's international terminal, we learned that our flight had been cancelled due to mechanical trouble in LAX.  Our plane had never left American soil.

There was much negotiation back and forth (especially since Mr. Smith has platinum status on Virgin Australia) and we finally were booked from Sydney to Brisbane, Brisbane to LAX and LAX to JFK.  Once in New York, we had to haul all that luggage to the Enterprise rental desk (via AirTrain and shuttle bus) to pick up our car and drive the rest of the way to Milford, CT.

It was late when we arrived at the hotel.  The only viable option for dinner was Wendy's, but we weren't complaining.  The funniest bit was how unaccustomed we were to the portions and the unlimited soda.  God bless the USA!

In the days and weeks that followed, we have been very busy.  We closed on our new home, bought/leased a couple of vehicles and started new (old) jobs.  Just this past weekend our belongings arrived from overseas ... ahead of schedule to boot!  The house really does feel like our home now.  Everything feels so familiar, but in a new space, and I love that.

It's funny how everything that is old becomes new again.  Even though we were out of the country for three years, it doesn't always feel like it.  Moving back to the same area feels right.  Comfortable.

Interesting that when we moved to Sydney I found myself with no real friends or anyone to talk to.  We navigated the strange new world of renting an apartment in a large city.  I found work in a country where I was not a citizen.  My co-workers became some of the best friends I've ever had or ever will.  And now, although I was almost desperate to repatriate, I find that I miss them all.  I miss the culture of Sydney and her people.

So it's my blog and I'll blab on and on about it if I want to.

I want to thank you, Bee.  For taking me under your wing and showing me Sydney and her culture and cuisine.  I would NEVER have done it on my own or if the trust between us had never been built.  You did that.  You welcomed me and encouraged me to move out of my box.  Even though you never did give up trying to get me drunk.  :)

And I can't forget D, P (F) and S.

And my book club peeps.  Totally miss you guys more than I can say.

Much love and hugs to you all.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Day in My Life in Photos

I can't even remember the last time I had a blog post.  That's pretty pathetic considering how much I used to enjoy writing about things going on in my life in Sydney.  But now Mr. Smith and I have been back in the good ole USA for about a month.  Today is the first day I even have a place to sit down because the furniture we ordered a month ago was delivered today.

This post is a result of C. in Oz asking us to post in reminiscence of last year's month of blogging.  I decided to do it!  Originally I was going to post everything about yesterday, but realised that a day of me working is not all that exciting.  Today we had both furniture and carpet delivered, so a bit more exciting.  So here we go.

While I did not actually go to Starbucks this morning, this is 
how my weekdays start out.  It's very convenient to have 
drive thru for coffee, but sometimes I wonder how 
they can possibly make my latte that quickly.

Time out for a sec.  My computer is giving me a really hard time about uploading photos right now.  Apparently I have way too many photos and my hard drive is full.  I'm taking a wee break to move some photos to storage and I'll be back.

 . . .  And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Except now the "server" is refusing to upload some of my photos.  No idea why.  So I'll just show you the photos that will upload and move on.

Here is the hallway.  The part we've masked out is the living room.

Kitchen - we are planning to paint the cabinets white ... eventually.

More messy kitchen.  And the green wall in the back?  That will be a soft yellow.

That chandelier has been replaced.
Living room, mid-paint job.  That accent wall behind the fireplace looked
blue until we started painting it this color blue and now it looks purplish.

New paint in the dining room - and that chandelier is now history as well.

So it was a crazy, snowy day at the end of March and new furniture arrived!

Dining room table

I added little felt pads to protect my newly refinished hardwood floors!

The boxes just kept coming

The delivery men were nice enough to take off their shoes, but that poor rug got a workout!

And more boxes

New dining room table, chairs and buffet

New sofas ... finally somewhere to sit that's not the floor.

Sofas from a different angle :)

New bedroom set

The rest of the set

We also got new carpet - this is the master closet.

Stairs down to the basement

It's so plush ... it feels like you are walking on a cloud.

Mr. Smith is planning a home movie theatre.

And back upstairs again!

By the time this was done, it was almost 2pm and we were past ready for lunch.  There are these chains popping up that were not here when we last lived in the area.  Jake's Wayback Burgers ...

Ketchup bottle at the table

Our lunch feast

Then it was off to Home Desperate (as we like to call it - LOL) for more paint.

This paint is for a bathroom and the hallway

There were more paint decisions to be made ...

This photo obviously doesn't capture the true color, but I'm thinking Firefly (the bottom one) for the kitchen.

And this Wild Watermelon for the half bathroom on the main level.

And lastly ... I put together this lamp.

Finally, sleepy time!  I love sleep.