How did this happen?
Just the other day we started a countdown to moving day and I am pretty sure it said: 30!
Today, my daughter is posing in front of the chalkboard at our favorite grocery store and it reads: 3 days left!
This can’t be! What a whirlwind of events! The kids are out of school, the house is emptying out, a storage unit of 5 x 5 is filling up, suitcases and piles of clothes in random places begging my attention… It happened so fast – all of this. The transition. The preparation of a new chapter!
These are the pictures we posted for our friends on Facebook (days 10 – 3):
#10, My husband spoiled the kids with a dozen donuts!
#9, The next day he had jury duty – how ironic is the timing! (I am guessing the gods punished him for the donuts :-))!
#8, My babies finished third grade & Kindergarten respectively.
#7, A week before our departure our social commitments exploded as everyone demanded QT! Thanks friends.
#6, My husband the self-declared WaterPoPo found some water wasters!
#5, I’ve spent way to much time labeling and numbering all boxes.
#4, We got to spend some quality time with our dear friends Nick & Jen and their cool kids.
#3, We are eating out every meal since all our household goods went to Andy and Peyton.
As far as logistics, the international moving company that I am working with is pretty east to work with – so far. They were very informative and up front with the cost and time involved. They have a international minimum of 100 cubic feet. A 5 x 5 unit holds about half of that. Our alternative to ship everything via fedex UPS would have cost much more! Benefit: it would have taken them a week or so. The container on a boat option we are going for will take up to 9 weeks in transit!!!
Here is a view of a typical storage facility. That place looks like a high-security prison to me… not a real fun place to spent an afternoon.
For customs purposes I was instructed to label each box with the content and number them as well. I did’t mind since labeling a box is obviously handy when moving.
These 40-something boxes will have to remain ‘locked up’ for a while. At least until I sign the contract to our new living quarters. Once we give the shippers the ok they will retrieve these boxes from the storage unit and deliver them within 9 to 12 weeks to iur new address! I am sure by then I wont even remember what I packed in the first place…. In order to avoid paying taxes and import fees all of the things being shipped need to be your own property, you’ve owned it for 6 months at least, you are subject to bringing the same amount of alcohol, cigarettes, perfume etc as if you were putting them on your suitcase on the plane… Well, i wont have that problem. I never purchase wine and definitely no cigarettes when I am traveling overseas. About 80% of the content of our boxes are toys, kid’s artwork since preschool, yearbooks, their books, photos, photos and more photos! The rest is winter clothes, my sewing stuff (let’s just leave it at that!), and only the most precious plates and tea cups i’ve owned for almost two decades now.
And because these boxes will be en route tht long I am maximizing my baggage allowance for the first time. We each get to check in a suitcase, and have a carry on plus a personal item each on the airplane. I think I am allowed an additional carry-on for the baby but I had to stop myself there… That would have been eay to much for us to carry around once we land in Duesseldorf. The second plane to Hamburg is relatively small and full of business travellers. I am going to liok like a pack rat with my three children and a handful of bags to squeeze through the tiny aisles. Never ind there is never any overhead compartment space left by the time we board anyway… First world problems really.
Ok friends, this is it. It’s time to say good-bye to the life as we knew it in North Texas. Tomorrow morning I’ll zip up the suitcases, check all travel documents, pack a huge diaper bag, make sure kid’s backpacks are full of snacks and entertainment. We are ready for the next chapter!