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Testing, testing

August 21, 2006

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These are a playful shots of Ms. Mozart in bed with her hello kitty PJ's on, the first taken with our new camera. We have so much new technology and we are getting bleary eyed reading all the manuals and trying to figure them all out. Ok, not figure them out really, but at least have a bit of a clue about them before we hit the road.

We will eventually list the models etc and do a review on them. We read, and read and read reviews and talked to people in person and online trying to make the endless decisions. As usual we are kind of in a no man's land as far as category. We are not only retirees, we are not only full time RV’ers, we are not just travelers,we are not backpackers, we are not only home schoolers or unschoolers, we are not typical round the worlders or doing it in typical fashion,nor are we typical expats, but we are some of each and have gathered valuable information from all of the above and more. We are doing something that has not been quite done before (Jeesh, there are not that many 50 year olds who have a 5yo to begin with!), so it has not always been that easy getting the answer to all of our questions and sometimes we just make up our own answers.

We will get into the lists of things later for those who want to learn from our experiences. One of the great things about blogs is how much one can learn from others documenting their experience. But right now, with just over 2 weeks until take off we want to focus on just getting this blog out and make people aware of it and finish all the last minute things. You will have to forgive my writing and errors as we don't have much time to edit things these days and its being written amongst lots of chaos.

I thought I would start the blog earlier when there was still some leisure time, but now I rarely write even a paragraph at one sitting and usually have endless interruptions be it phone, pressing tasks to do or discuss or a bouncing off the wall five year old who is not getting the attention that she usually does. Of course there are all kinds of last minute things going a bit wrong like the long stay visa for Spain is still not in, the off shore bank has not received the last two notarized things we mailed to them, long ago sent boxes have not arrived yet in Amsterdam, and our international camping carnet which is a must seems to be lost on its way to us. We are all feeling the stress, so thats the second meaning of “testing, testing”. I have faith though that it will all work out one way or another.

Its a bit tricky leaving a house at the same time one leaves on such an extended trip. We are down to just a few throw away clothes to wear and the rest is packed, stored (very little) and a few things already sent ahead months ago. It was hot when I packed things, so of course I did not think about leaving cool things and yet now I need some for those foggy mornings we get here. Ms. Mozart is doing a few days at daycamp in Aptos and its a beach which is usually quite foggy and cold in the morning, so hunting down more layers. I had to raid the packed clothes for decent things for her to wear for overnights with Grandma and then Auntie BJ and Uncle Steve. Most of the things we set things on have disappeared so thats always discombobulating. Such is life being half here with one foot out the door.

We sold our kitchen table this week (and various other last minute things) at an auction, so we are using our old cooler that we will sell to our landlord as our kitchen table and the plastic chairs that he had on the deck as our chairs. We are still making a few last trips to goodwill and selling at second hand stores. A single mom with two young boys will start renting this sweet little country place on September first, so I will leave some of our supplies for them in boxes for her to decide what she can use or not.

We are starting to use our laptops some and the computer I am writing on now will go to my mom so she can communicate with her grandchild via webcam and skype. Our other computer is at our “computer guy”, Phil Burgess who is putting all the pics and important stuff onto a CD so we can take it with us. There are endless last minute details to take care of, so thats where I will put my focus now.

Ms Mozart has been wanting a sleep over birthday party for her sixth birthday since we will be on the road in Paris when that comes, and my sister wanted to give us a big party at the beach. We felt we were too much in overwhelm to deal with a big party, so we have decided to just get a suite at the local Hilton for a small get together and slumber party for four little girls next week. I will try to get those pics up before we go,but we might not get back to this until after we arrive in Amsterdam. We have booked a really lovely houseboat in the center of Amsterdam for the first night and will pick up our camper van the next day.

We can't wait to have the endless preparation behind us and hit the road. Hopefully we won't be so affected (like those going into the UK) by the latest airport security and delay problems. We are off on the journey of a lifetime!

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SWALLOWS travel to and fro,
And the great winds come and go,
And the steady breezes blow,
Bearing perfume, bearing love.
Breezes hasten, swallows fly,
Towered clouds forever ply,
And at noonday, you and I
See the same sunshine above.
Dew and rain fall everywhere,
Harvests ripen, flowers are fair,
And the whole round earth is bare
To the moonshine and the sun;
And the live air, fanned with wings,
Bright with breeze and sunshine, brings
Into contact distant things,
And makes all the countries one.
Let us wander where we will,
Something kindred greets us still;
Something seen on vale or hill
Falls familiar on the heart;
So, at scent or sound or sight,
Severed souls by day and night
Tremble with the same delight -
Tremble, half the world apart.

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON



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