Monday, February 25, 2013

Love From Home

 We got a lot of love from home this week. 

First of all, Ella received a large manila envelope from her 2nd grade class in San Mateo filled with Valentine's cards.  She was beyond thrilled and has been looking through them all weekend long.

Then we got to Skype with our friends and neighbors the Moskewiczs because Holden's praying mantises hatched!

For Christmas Holden got a praying mantis kit.  We had mailed away for the eggs and had started to grow them before we found out about the move.  Since we couldn't bring them with us, Holden gave them to Alex and Erika next door, to take care of them for him.  Frankly, I had forgotten all about them until this picture popped up on my phone.  We got to talk with our friends and see the baby praying mantises, which were actually pretty cute.

Then last night we got to Skype with Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie Maxine and Uncle Sean and Rowan and Piper.  (Mom, Skyping is a video call).  Here are the kids chatting with Grandma and Rowan:

I'm starting to get just a tad bit homesick...

Girl Talk

I was just running some errands and decided to pop into a coffee shop for a cup and to read the morning paper.  I ended up only pretending to read it because I was sitting next to three moms who had obviously just dropped their kids off at school.  They were talking about their kids, husbands, the Oscars.  An identical conversation to many I've had with my mom friends over coffee or on beach walks.  I just listened vicariously.  I miss girl talk.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Couch with a View

The couch has finally arrived!  It's amazing how much more homey and less hotel-like it makes the apartment feel.  I realized that our minds play tricks on us.  The apartment looked so small when we first walked in and it was completely empty.  Then, the more furniture and stuff we put in it, the larger it feels.  It's as though your mind says, "If they can fit that much stuff in here, it must be a big room!" 

I've also realized (not surprisingly) that having a small apartment and living within a few blocks of everything I need, means I have a lot of extra time.  I can clean the entire apartment top to bottom - vacuum, dust, clean bathrooms and the kitchen - in about an hour.  In San Mateo, that would have taken me most of the day and wouldn't have happened in one day but spread over a few days, which meant I felt like I was constantly cleaning the house.  Also, the other day I left the apartment at 2:42pm.  I went downstairs to Whole Foods and bought everything I needed to make dinner.  Came back up to the apartment and put everything away and then walked to the school to pick up the kids.  I arrived at Holden's classroom a couple minutes early.  They get out at 3.  Seriously, in San Mateo that set of errands would have taken me easily and hour to an hour and a half.

It also means that our mornings are SO much more enjoyable than they were in San Mateo.  In San Mateo, our house was a battlefield between 7 and 8am.  Easily, the most stressful 60 minutes of my day.  I nagged and begged and threatened the kids until they got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed their teeth and packed their backpacks.  By the time I dropped them off at school I needed a stiff drink.  Now that we live right next door to the school and our commute time is dependent only on how many people get on our elevator on the way down, we have an entire extra 30 minutes to linger, take our time eating breakfast, get dressed, enjoy a second cup of coffee.  It starts all of our days off on such a better foot.

So I did end up taking the kids to the Natural History Museum last Tuesday - our new home away from home.

We got to see a show at the Hayden Planetarium which was pretty amazing.  Holden was a little scared flying through space and spent much of the show curled up in my lap.  We have still only hit a fraction of what the museum has to offer.  It'll be the best value membership we've ever bought.

Then Friday night we tried Dominican food for the first time.  The kids were a little confused in the restaurant.  Most of the clientele were Dominican (which we took as a good sign).  The kids couldn't figure it out - they were all speaking Spanish but looked more like African Americans.  Holden said, "Is this a Mexican restaurant or what?"  The food was delicious and it's right around the corner from us, so we'll be back.

Saturday we made it to Kevin's mecca: The New York Public Library by way of Grand Central Station.
 Grand Central

Front steps of the library

The library is pretty incredible.  First of all, it's HUGE.  It's the entire city block.  And it's gorgeous.  Holden said it looked more like a museum than a library.  And it is a bit of both.  We got to see the real, original stuffed animals that A. A. Milne bought for his son Christopher Robin that inspired the characters in Winne the Pooh.
They're kept in the Children's Library section which itself is about as big as our entire local branch library in San Mateo.  We also saw the Gutenberg Bible - the first book printed in the West, from the 1450s.
We originally went to the library in the first place to see a performance by a Grammy-nominated kids band called the Pop Ups, which was fun and wandered around some more and got our very own library cards.  All for free!

And of course on the way home, Kevin had to stop for a cocktail at The Algonquin Hotel.  Apparently, it was where the famous literati of the 1920s drank and intellectualized.  The drinks must have been a lot cheaper then, because apart from Danielle Steel and J. K. Rowling, I don't know any writers who could afford a drink there now.
Ella was impressed though.  We walked in from the rain and Ella looked around at the chandeliers and said, "Now this is more like it!"

Kevin left at the crack of dawn this morning for a 3 day business trip to Phoenix so I'll be flying solo.  First stop today, the theater!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Fun Never Stops!

Well, it was another amazing week here in NYC.  Kevin and I haven't celebrated Valentine's Day since long before kids but we have such a long list of must-try restaurants that we used it as an excuse to get a babysitter and get out.  We went to a very romantic, underground (literally) place called Shalel.  It's a Moroccan restaurant that has very little signage outside and you go down these stairs (covered in rose petals - apparently not just on Valentine's Day) and through almost a tunnel into a dark, brick walled, candle-lit room.  The room has lots of different nooks and crannies so wherever you're sitting you're pretty much alone.  The food was good and we had a nice long walk home and even popped into a local bar on the way home for a last glass of wine.

I went to my first PTA meeting at the school on Friday.  It's nice to be able to get involved with the school and I also met a few more moms.  On my way out of the meeting I saw this coming down the hall with bells ringing and drums beating:

I quickly recognized Holden's shoes underneath.  As he walked by me he gave me a swift kick in the chin!  He hadn't even looked out from under the dragon - I guess he recognized my shoes, too :)  I love that his class did this for Chinese New Year's.

Friday night was the rescheduled Valentine's Day party at school (cancelled due to the blizzard last week).  After school Ella's friend Maeve came home with us for another play date and then her family met us at our apartment and we all went over to the school together for "Noche de Amor".  We still don't have a couch or chair to sit on so it was a little awkward standing around in a circle in the middle of the apartment with Maeve's parents without anywhere to sit.  The couch is supposed to arrive tomorrow - can't wait.  The kids had a great time at the party.  Lots of games and food and candy and an art auction. 

Then Saturday morning we decided to try a Dim Sum restaurant recommended to us.  The big Chinese New Year parade was the following day (Sunday) so we got to see lots of smaller dragon dances - practicing for the big parade the following day.  There was lots of celebrating going on, lots of firecrackers and confetti.  The restaurant was ENORMOUS!  The size of a football field.  And it was packed.  As a matter of fact we waited at least 30 minutes to get in.  But it was worth it.  Delicious dumplings and two different dragon parades made their way through the restaurant while we were there with much drumming.  The kids loved it.

We had a relatively quiet day on Sunday.  My old friend Andi from grad school in Hawaii lives in New Jersey and now has three kids - all about the age of our kids.  They came over for the first half of the day and the kids got along like best friends who had known each other for years.  The original plans were to go out to a Children's Museum but they were playing so well together that we just hung out at the apartment the whole time.  It was really nice to catch up with Andi and meet her kids.  We'll hit the Children's Museum with them in a few weeks.

The four of us just read and relaxed in the afternoon so on Monday morning we all had the energy to get back out into the city again.  It was President's Day so Kevin was home again.  We decided to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum which is housed on an old aircraft carrier, permanently docked in the Hudson River.  Since we had to get off the subway at Times Square to get there, we decided to surprise the kids with a quick visit to Times Square.  They've been reading The Cricket in Times Square every night with Kevin this week so they've been dying to see it.  They were pretty overwhelmed.

And of course since we were there we had to hit the Toys R Us which houses a full size, operational Ferris Wheel inside as well as a life-size T-Rex.  I think the kids think we've moved to Disneyland.

When we finally dragged them out of the store, we made our way to the Intrepid (with a quick stop over for Ramen in Hell's Kitchen).  The photos here look sunny but believe me, it's bitterly cold out.  The Intrepid is having Kid's Week this week which means they had a bunch of special activities and exhibits for kids.  The theme today was "Science Fact meets Science Fiction" so there were Star Wars characters wandering around and a stage with some kid plays going on.  We got to go down into a real submarine and saw dozens of airplanes used in battle and even saw the real Concorde that was retired in 2003.  Again, I don't think the kids can quite figure out how they got so lucky. 

Today is Tuesday and the kids are still out of school.  They were supposed to have the entire week off of school for "Mid-Winter Break" but Hurricane Sandy closed down school for 3 days so the school district took them back out of this week's break.  Which is fine with me because after this weekend I'm exhausted!  I did promise them a trip to The Natural History Museum today if they get all of their homework done.  But frankly, I'd be happy to lay around and read all day instead.  If only we had a couch...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Things I'll never get used to in NYC

Things I'll never get used to in NYC:

- Teaching the kids to cross on a red light.
- Farmers' Markets in blizzards.
- Every single store offering to deliver my purchases.
- Walking 54 blocks in an hour.

(Kevin gets to commute through this every day.)

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Visit From Nemo!

Another exciting weekend!  Friday afternoon our first blizzard started coming through town.  And the kids were pretty thrilled that it was named Nemo.  The Mayor had ordered all cars off the streets after noon and the snow started coming down.  That didn't stop the Friday Farmers' Market from taking place in front of the kids' school though.

And there were plenty of customers!  New Yorkers are hardcore.

It did mean that the Valentine's Day party at the school scheduled for Friday night was cancelled though.  We made it up to the kids by walking to our neighborhood sushi restaurant.  It was a little eerie.  There were very few people on the sidewalks (and no children) and only a few taxis and delivery trucks on the roads.  The quietest I've seen the city, yet.  The sushi was good and again I was so happy to just be walking out to a yummy restaurant.

Saturday we headed on the subway up to 169th St. for brunch at our new friends' house.  Ella's little friend Maeve and her family had us up to their apartment for a delicious brunch and sledding.  When they asked if we wanted to go sledding I assumed that we'd just pull the sleds around out in front of their building but instead we hopped on the subway and took the train to the last stop north, at the tip top of Manhattan island.

Here are the kids waiting with sleds in hand for the subway - so urban!  We were taken to what is supposed to be a gorgeous park in the Spring and Summer, The Cloisters.  This weekend it was just a giant swath of white snow with dozens of kids and their sleds.

Even though we don't have snow pants or snow boots, the kids had a fabulous time.  Coming home soaking wet on the subway was a bit of a nightmare but we all hopped in a hot shower as soon as we got home.

That night, we had already lined up a babysitter (our college student from 2 floors down) to babysit.  We were supposed to go out with our friends Katharine and Paul (the only couple we really knew upon arriving in NYC) but their flight from Las Vegas where they had been all week for a conference was cancelled due to Nemo.  I never want a babysitting opportunity to go to waste so instead of cancelling her, Kevin and I had our first date night in New York.  We checked out a restaurant recommended by our new friends Sharon and Stefan, The Mermaid Inn.  Delicious seafood and very cool atmosphere.  On our walk home we popped into a local bar for a glass of wine.  Perfect evening.

On Sunday Kevin and the kids let me sleep in until 9am!  This really does feel like a vacation.  Then we walked all the way through Central Park over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Back in California Kevin and I had started a tradition several years ago of Sunday Morning Museums (in place of church).  When the weather is really nice, museums are sometimes replaced with a hike.  We really want to keep up the tradition here and it should be very easy.  The Met was actually Holden's idea this weekend because he read somewhere that they have mummies.  And they do:
 (Holden wanted to pretend like he was running away from the Knights)

The museum is unbelievable.  Being one of the largest museums in the world we of course had to get another Family Membership because we will definitely have to come back many times to try to cover it all.  In addition to the Egyptian exhibits we also checked out the Matisse exhibit which will only be here a little while longer.  The kids actually recognized some paintings from a children's book on artists that we had in California.  The museum also has a branch up at The Cloisters where we were sledding yesterday so we can check it out again when the snow melts. 

The walk through Central Park was absolutely gorgeous.  The sky was sunny and there were hundreds of people enjoying the park.  Lots of sledders and walkers and even skiers!  I was shocked.

A perfect way to spend Kevin's birthday weekend.  Happy birthday, Sweetie!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Apartment

This is the view we saw as soon as we walked in the door.  I literally gasped out loud.  Just like our house in San Mateo, the view makes the place.  Once we were finished oogling over the view we quickly realized how TINY this place is!  The Craigslist ad said it was 810 square feet.  For some comparison, we just left 1700+ square feet which by California standards isn't that big for a four bedroom house.  Granted, we left more than half of our belongings in storage but's small.  I've had to get creative when finding places for things.  I have my cookbooks at my bedside, our bed linens in the coat closet, and spices in the bathroom medicine cabinet (see below).
Actually, the medicine cabinets are HUGE.  I'm trying to think of other small things I can put in them.  We do have two bathrooms which is nice.  And the building is only 2 years old, so everything is modern and new which Kevin and I love.

When we first arrived from the airport the taxi driver came from the north, down.  That means we went through the Barrio and Harlem first and then just as we passed a big low income housing project the driver pulled over to let us out.  We were both a little worried.  When Kevin last lived here 15 years ago he said this was a dead zone area.  No reason to come here.  But apparently this neighborhood has really blossomed over the last few years.  There are lots of really great restaurants, a Whole Foods right downstairs, and some really nice shops.  From our block down is all really nice and I think the building of our luxury apartment complex a few years ago probably has a lot to do with it.

The kids love the third floor.  There's a fun kids play room and an indoor swimming pool (which has large glass doors that all open up to a roof deck when the weather heats up).  Last night we took the elevator down to the third floor for Holden's swim lesson, which was really nice since it was snowing out.  I can't imagine he'd be taking swimming lessons if we had to leave the building.

 I think the novelty of sharing a bedroom has worn off for Ella.  See the note below that I found on their bedroom door.
"If you want to enter, please do not play.  It makes a mess.  And if you need to get cars or something, then get it and go."

Our first sunrise:
The sunset last night:

Yes, 810 sq. ft. isn't so bad when you have a view like this.

[Leave me a comment so I know you're there!]

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Second Grade Girls Are Awesome

Monday was the kids' first day at a huge, urban, public school, starting mid-year and they were completely fearless.  I really have been bursting with pride all week.  Ella was really excited to start a new school and meet new friends.  Holden was lukewarm but not because it was a new school.  He was just enjoying being out of any school for the last five weeks.  But he didn't complain or get clingy.

Kevin took Ella to the playground where the older kids gather in the morning while I took Holden to his classroom (which is in a portable behind the main building).  He and I walked up and Mrs. Mamdouh opened the door and grabbed his hand and shooed me away.  That was it.  No lingering, not even a hug goodbye.  Over in a second.

Kevin and Ella were apparently hanging out on the playground waiting for the bell to ring when a little girl and her father walked up.  The father asked, "You wouldn't by any chance be Ella?"  Apparently Ella's teacher had told the class on the previous Friday that they were getting a new classmate on Monday.  Maeve immediately took Ella's hand and walked her over to the line.  The photo above was taken as they walked into the school (Ella's wearing the light blue hat).  Pilar is holding her other hand.  That's how her P.S. 163 experience started for her - by being led into class with both of her hands being held by new friends.  Second grade girls are awesome.

On Tuesday we met with each of their new teachers.  I was so impressed that they each spent almost an hour with us.  They discussed the curriculum and testing, asked us to describe the kids to them.  They really wanted to get to know them.  Mrs. Bautista, Ella's teacher, said that she wanted to give Ella a few days to settle in and start to trust her before she evaluated her.  If it turns out that Ella needs some additional help (as I assume she will, especially with writing and spelling in English since she's only done it in Spanish so far) then the school has two options, both for free.  There is a daily after school program run by volunteers (seniors and parents) who provide one-on-one tutoring for the students.  The other option is before school at 8am with the teachers.  All the teachers come in early to work with their students who need extra help.  Then they get a free breakfast and are sent off to class at 8:40.  I am just so impressed with the New York school system so far.

Holden's teacher had already evaluated him and had nothing but wonderful things to say about him.  He's reading at the top of his class (even though he's only been taught to read in Spanish so far).  She's been teaching for 23 years and is planning to retire after next year.  She said if she could be guaranteed that all of her students would be like Holden she'd keep working another 5-10 years.  My eyes filled with tears and I had to hold my breath for 10 seconds to make sure I didn't completely break down.  

We've already been invited to dinner at Maeve's house.  Her parents seem like people we'd be friends with.  Her father even works in Digital Media like Kevin.  First friends!

Please leave comments so I don't feel like I'm typing to the void!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Two of the things we were most looking forward to came to fruition for us on our first full day in New York City.  For the kids it was snow.  On our very first day, it snowed!  The kids squealed with delight as they had a snowball fight with Kevin (they knew better than to throw them at me).

And for me, it was being able to finally walk to amazing restaurants without having to shlep in a car for 30 minutes.  My last restaurant meal in California was to a Mexican restaurant because I was warned that I wouldn't find any good Mexican restaurants in NYC.  And ironically, on our first night out we wandered a block away and found Cafe Frieda - a delicious, high-end, Mexican restaurant.  I had some scrumptious poblano stuffed with sweet potato and smothered in mole with pumpkin seeds on top.  We both had a couple Margaritas each, since hey, we're not driving.

Before dinner though we rented our first Zipcar to take us to IKEA in Brooklyn to get stuff for our new home.  A pretty seamless experience - there was a car available in the parking garage next door and Kevin did well driving in NYC for the first time.  Did you know that you can see the Statue of Liberty from IKEA Brooklyn?  A little bit of sightseeing while shopping.

We had promised the kids that we could do whatever they wanted on Saturday and Sunday.  No unpacking or shopping or setting up the apartment.  Ella chose ice skating in Central Park.  Holden had no interest which was fine with me because we got to stay warm in the observation room.  Although Ella looked as though she was being tortured the entire time, she came off the ice beaming and asking to do it again soon.

Holden's choice was the American Museum of Natural History.  Surprise, surprise.  If you know Holden you are likely aware of his obsession with dinosaurs.  It was awesome watching him run into the museum shouting out the names of all the dinosaurs...without even reading a single sign.  He knew them all.  This is Holden's heaven.  Luckily we got a family membership and he's already been begging all week to go back this weekend.

The vacation is coming to an end.  School starts on Monday!

Sleeping On The Floor

So I thought I had scheduled everything just right.  I made sure IKEA was delivering our mattresses on the day that we arrived.  I let the building manager know, I let the doorman know.  In case they arrived before we did, I didn't want anything to go wrong.  That's when things went wrong.  As soon as we got off the plane and turned our phones back on I had 5 missed calls.  Our doorman (one I hadn't alerted to our delivery) had turned our mattresses away.  He told the delivery people they were too big for him to sign for and they couldn't get a hold of us so I had to reschedule the delivery...for next Tuesday.  Finally, something went wrong with this move.

But then we arrived at our building and our apartment is gorgeous.  TINY but gorgeous.  We have views that are not to be believed.  Even on a grey day.  I can only imagine how beautiful it will be when the weather warms up and things start to bloom.  The above photo was taken at sunrise the following morning when I woke up at the crack of dawn because we were all sleeping together on what rugs and towels and blankets we could find to pile up on each other to create a mattress.  That's the Hudson River.

On our first full day we went straight to our new school to meet with the Parent Coordinator and get registered and shown around.  We discovered that if we go out the back door of our building and cut through a parking lot, we're there!  A 4 minute commute depending on how many stops the elevator makes.  And school doesn't even start until 8:40!  Ooh, this makes me happy.  Our mornings have been SO much better than they were in San Mateo.  No more fighting in the morning and rushing around.  We have a leisurely breakfast, get dressed and the kids still have play time.  I've even showered EVERY morning this week!  A record for me since having kids!

The school is pretty great.  The classroom doors are all painted in Jelly Bean colors.  There's an auditorium, a gymnasium (with 2 full time gym teachers), an art room (with a full time art teacher), a computer lab with all brand new iMacs (and a full time computer teacher), a music room with a grand piano (and a full time music teacher).  I'm blown away by how much staff there is here.  On top of all that every class has elective classes that are given during the school day, not after school.  Ella's class just finished Chess and Holden's will start it next.  Ella needed to be evaluated to make sure her Spanish was up to their second grade level.  The teacher said her Spanish was "beautiful".  Ella never stops surprising me.  She comes across as so shy and reserved but when the Spanish teacher said she needed to take her to the classroom by herself to evaluate her, Ella just popped up and walked with her and never looked back at us.  When I asked her after if she spoke Spanish to the teacher she said, "Of course mom, I speak both languages."  I was so proud of her.

While Holden wasn't as excited to get back to school (any school at all after 5 weeks off), he also took it all in stride.  He seemed to enjoy the time we spent in his classroom observing.  His class had just gone on a field trip the day before to see Seussical and they took the subway!  I love it.  Apparently they average about one field trip a month at this school!  We're not in California anymore.

So what were by far my biggest fears about this move - how the kids would handle it and if their school would be good - have been alleviated.  We've now been at the school a week and all four of us couldn't be happier.  Such a relief. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Have WiFi, Will Blog!

Ahhh, I don't even know where to start!  We finally got WiFi in the apartment last night so I can finally catch you all up on the whirlwind last few weeks!  The 15 day period between when Kevin accepted the job and when we flew to NYC was the busiest, most productive 15 days of my life.  It went by in a flash and yet we accomplished so much.  I'll leave all the New York stuff for the next (and all foreseeable future) posts, but for now I'll tell you all about our crazy two weeks.

First I had to find a school for the kids which believe it or not, wasn't as difficult as you would think.  Kevin and I are committed to keeping the kids in Spanish immersion so that limited our choices drastically.  New York City actually has several schools with Spanish tracks in them (including one private school for $40k/year/kid) but no schools that were all Spanish immersion like ours in San Mateo.  Kevin said we'd want to live in Brooklyn (I've never been to Brooklyn but he thought it would be more family friendly).  The couple public schools I found online in Brooklyn with Spanish tracks got really low rankings on and poor reviews online.  So that nixed Brooklyn.  Of the ones I found in Manhattan, two of them were in the Upper West Side and had decent ratings.  I called the one with the higher ratings and asked if they had room for the kids to start in two weeks.  They had room for Ella to start 2nd grade in the Spanish program but the kindergarten Spanish immersion class was full.  He could definitely transfer into it for 1st grade if we wanted to put him in the General Ed class for the remainder of the year.  After some back and forth, they agreed to let him unofficially pop over to the Spanish class a couple times a week and gave me the names of some Spanish tutors to help get him through until September.  School for kids: check.

Once we knew where the kids were going to go to school, we had to find somewhere to live in the relatively small zone that is required to register at this school.  Again, that made our (my) job a lot easier.  I just pulled up Craigslist and did a map search for our zone.  After a few phone calls we chose a very new, modern highrise right around the corner from the school.  Sight unseen, other than the photos they put online - not of our actual unit, but the stock photos of the absolute best unit in the entire building, of course.  So literally, we hadn't laid eyes on our place until we arrived in NY.  Luckily, it turns out it is pretty amazing.  More about that later.  Place to live: check.

Next we had to pack up our 4-bedroom house.  That was by far the most difficult and time intensive thing we had to do.  Kevin and I sorted through every single toy, item of clothing, boxes in the garage still unpacked since our last move 6.5 years ago.  We had piles for NY, Storage, Goodwill, Garbage all around the house.  Sticky notes dotted every wall.  It felt so liberating to see carloads of stuff go off to Goodwill every single day.  Kevin's parents were awesome - there every day driving loads to Goodwill; taking 52 boxes in total to the post office to ship to NY; taking loads of rusty, broken outdoor kids toys to the dump; even taking our bikes to the local bike shop to be shipped.  And my mom stayed about a week of the time keeping the kids out of our hair.  It took a village.

I rented out our house within 3 hours of posting it on Craigslist.  That was the one thing I thought for sure Kevin's parents would have to deal with after we left but in reality it couldn't have been easier.  The first person to reply to the ad came and saw the house right away.  She was looking for her boyfriend who was currently living in the East Bay but working in Mountain View and SF.  Our location is perfect for him.  She lives in San Mateo but they aren't ready to move in together so she was just scouting places out for him.  She grew up in a ranch house and fell in love with our house.  She had him come right away with his checkbook.  I didn't have to show it again.

We also sold both cars with almost no effort.  I keep having to pinch myself and knock on wood when I think of how everything has just landed in our laps.  I didn't get around to posting our cars on Craigslist until a Sunday night because we had to get them detailed and ready for sale.  I was a little mad at myself for not getting them posted earlier because I know most people go look at cars on the weekend.  But since we're riding on some cloud of good luck I got a call shortly after posting the ad.  A guy wanted to come see the Prius early the next morning.  Then he called back a few minutes later and asked if he could actually come tonight.  When I pointed out that it was dark out, it didn't seem to phase him.  Then I reminded him that I would need a certified check and banks were all closed.  "You won't take cash?".  "You have $10,000 in cash on a Sunday night?" I asked.  When he confirmed he did I told him to come on over.  He barely looked at the car before he started peeling off 100s.  Apparently he drives Mercedes and BMWs, this was just for his little sister.  Must be nice.

My one regret in the last two weeks was missing out on saying goodbye to too many people.  We just didn't have time for a going away party.  Plus, it just seemed too sad.  While we were all so excited about our upcoming adventure, there were still plenty of tears shed (almost exclusively by me).  We're looking at this as our 2-3 year adventure.  And now that we're actually here it's much easier to be excited about it.  But man, it was hard to say goodbye.

Next up I'll fill you in on our first week in New York!  Meanwhile, I'd LOVE it if anyone reading this left a comment.  I've never blogged before and it just seems like I'll be much better about keeping it up if I know you're out there reading it.  xoxo