‘Ello from the land of tea & crumpets!

Well, I made it safely!  It wasn’t the easiest process in the world, and I hope that I don’t have to do it again anytime soon, but I’m here and loving my new home!

Pops and I left Columbus, Ohio Wednesday morning and had an uneventful (thank goodness) drive to Newark, New Jersey.  The weather was beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for a better day to drive!  New Jersey’s turnpikes are cray-cray.  I don’t know how y’all do it New Jerseyans (New Jersians?). Hmm.  Either way, the tolls and the lanes and the lack of signs and direction made some of our stay interesting.  We got into New Jersey Wednesday evening, and headed to dinner for a much needed beer.  Jersey is such an interesting place full of many interesting people.  I don’t really know how to describe it.  We stopped by a liquor store {in the hood…legit} to get some supplies for a nightcap, then relaxed at the hotel.

Thursday was a rather long day with lots to do…  We started off the day early with breakfast at the hotel.  We then had to pick up a rental car so we could drop my car off at the port to ship to England.  Dad was stylin’ in a hot little Dodge Avenger 🙂  We then made the 30 minute trek to Edison, New Jersey [have I  mentioned that NJ turnpikes are cray-cray? no? ok, well they are.]  I had to drop my car off and turn in paperwork to be sure that my car would get safely to England.  The process was actually much simpler than I though it would be, other than having to go get a carwash because bug guts were sprinkled all over my windshield 🙂  Anyway, the actual turning-in of the car went smoothly.  It was super awkward though, because they basically show you a diagram with every minor “imperfection” on your car (tiny scratch, dent, paint chip, etc.) and even though I like to think my car is in pretty good shape, the entire diagram was marked up, showing me every tiny little issue.  I mean they are literally mostly non-visible marks, but it made me feel like I freaking abuse the hell out my car!  Anyway, everything was fine and my car should be here by mid September sometime [and to answer your question before I get to it later, yes I am OUT OF MY MIND BORED without my car!]  So, car, check.  Done. Woohoo.  We took the rental back to the hotel and picked up Nyjah and our luggage to check out.  Oh yea, forgot to mention, all of this traveling and such was done with Nyjah in tow for the most part.  She’s a good pup, but dogs make everything more difficult for sure!  We had a few hours before we had to head to the airport to check Nyjah in, so we tried to find something to do that was dog-friendly and parking-friendly…  We headed toward Staten Island area to see if maybe we could watch the ferry and see New York and just enjoy some scenery.  Again, not so easy with a dog and a rental car.  Oh, and did I already say that NJ turnpikes and tolls are cray-cray?  And outrageous?  (Must be the midwestern in me, I never grew up with crazy tolls and traffic issues….even in Atlanta I never was so flustered!)  Anyway, we made it over to Staten Island, but of course, there was crazy traffic and parking, so we ended up finding a little bakery/deli where we parked and grabbed a sandwich.  We ended up chatting with the owner for a bit and he let us leave our car there while we took a little stroll across the street to check out the harbor.  {And in case anyone was curious, Europe is apparently a great place to buy a sleeper VW van and take people *read:ladies* from city to city, according to the deli owner…ha ha}  Anyway, it ended up that we were right across the street from the Staten Island 9/11 memorial, which was right across the water from NYC, so that was actually really cool.  We relaxed for a bit, happy to be out of a car!

Then, back to Newark so we could drop the pup off at the airport (sad fur-mommy moment here….).  This was another part of the moving process that I was incredibly nervous about, as there were so many restrictions and rules and regulations and things I had to do leading up to actually shipping her.  To make a long story short, we had to go through multiple vet appointments, a USDA person to approve her documents, and make sure that she had the proper kennel and supplies to ship her.  This, along with a total cost that probably was over $2000, made me super anxious to be sure I did everything just right.  And I did, thank goodness.  She was ready to roll about 3 hours before the flight, and I felt HORRIBLE leaving her with the “PetSafe” people [whom I am not entirely convinced kept my pet as safe as I would’ve].  Either way, she was really good in her kennel, laying down and not making a sound (poor thing was probably mad as heck and scared!)

By the time I got the dog dropped off and my dad had returned the rental car, we were hoping that we could grab dinner and a drink at the airport before we headed our separate ways, me off to a new country, him back to Ohio.  The Newark airport had other plans.  If there is something more cray-cray than the turnpikes and tolls in New Jersey, it’s definitely the airport.  I have never, never, never in my life been in an airport so crazy in my life.  And y’all, I lived in Atlanta and traveled a TON.  I’ve seen my fair share of airports, big and small.  Newark, hands down, has been the worst.  I didn’t have any problems actually getting checked in and such, but the lines and “helpful” workers were terrible.  It took forever to get my bags checked.  Then no one would give me a direct answer as to where I was supposed to go through security.  There were several different “C” security lines and I was told to go to a different one three separate times.  Thank goodness I was there so early because of Nyjah, ’cause I would’ve been freaking the eff out if I had cut it any closer!  After sweating my bum off, I finally made it through security and headed toward my gate.  Thank goodness I brought an extra pair of clothes, because they certainly felt much better after my sweaty security line….TMI?  Sorry.   On the way to my gate, I got sidetracked by a delicious Hoegarden on tap and a lovely conversation with fellow travelers {my Green Bay Packers backpack was certainly attracting attention in the New England area ;)}  My flight was delayed about 30 minutes, but other than that, I got on board with no other issues.

**As a bit of a side note, I don’t even have the words to describe how incredibly thankful I am that my dad accompanied me to New Jersey for this whole process.  I can’t even imagine trying to do ANY of this without him!  THANK YOU POPS!!!  You’re the BEST!!  Also, a huge shout out to both my ‘rents for everything they have done for me (and B) in the last few months!  It’s been a crazy few months, but we are FOREVER grateful for your help!!!  LOVE YOU BIGGEST MA AND PA! 🙂

My plane ride, for lack of a better word, sucked.  I just cannot sleep on planes.  The actual flight was fine.  The movie selection was fine.  The food was (barf) fine.  The people that were sitting next to me were fine.  The wine I had was fine.  I just wanted to *SLEEP* and I probably got about an hour, maybe two total out of my 5+ hour flight.  Boo hoo right?  Oh well.

I arrived at London Heathrow at about 6:30am, which was early, even with the delay!  Didn’t have any issues going through customs, even though they told me I brought too many litres of wine (whoops).  The customs officer said that I would probably need that many once NFL season came around and my Packers didn’t make it to the SuperBowl.  Everyone’s got jokes, even the Brits 🙂

B was there when I got out of baggage and customs, and it was GLORIOUS to see him!  I gave him a monster hug and smooch ❤  In order to pick up the pup, we had to head to another building, so we made our way there, driving on the left side of the road, hehe.  Sorry, that is still kind of novel to me.  It took FOUR (actually more I think) hours to process Nyjah’s paperwork, so we literally sat around waiting for that long for her.  While she was excited to finally see us, I could tell she was not a happy camper for what I had just put her through.  [I am happy to report, however, she is incredibly happy in our new home, although TERRIFIED of the horses that live behind our neighborhood.  It’s actually a bit comical.]  Anyway, we made the trek from London to Brandon, where our new house is, with me drifting off to sleep and Nyjah giving us evil glares every now and then.

I have so much more to post, but I’m pretty sure this is enough to keep y’all busy for a little.  I will soon write about our house, neighborhood, the great land of the Brits and most importantly, British beer.

More soon darlings….Cheers!


PS> Check for pics on my Facebook please!  I will post some later, but they are not on this computer at the moment, sorry!

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