We received our visas in March 2016 and a week later, we were packed up (only 2 suitcases each) and headed to the airport. When Gui and I are at the airport, we're like a well oiled machine...we have this down to an art. Mommy and daddy were equipped with snacks, drinks, iPads, a new un-opened toy for each child, comforting items, and a credit card for those valuable movie players on the backs of the airplane headrests. It took us a long 4 hour flight to Newark, NJ a 3 hour layover, and another 6 hour flight to Birmingham and we were officially at the end of our ropes...we wanted sleep! Nope...we got to the hotel at 7:30 am, but they would not open until 9:30 am, so we wait, and wait, and wait...
First thing you need to learn when you get to England, or Europe in general is nothing happens in a timely manner. I think we gave the hotel front desk attendant quite a shock.
A few days later we had settled in nicely to our new 2 bedroom hotel apartment. Coming from Texas, we were used to wide open spaces, the outdoors, and modern amenities. We were now living on the 5th floor in the second largest city in England. Gui started commuting to Wolverhampton (our future home) everyday and the boys and I played tourist. We went to the art museum, saw city hall, explored China Town, enjoyed the hustle and bustle of High Street. Everything was so new and exciting!
A few sights from our various walks through Birmingham.
It's a strange feeling starting over in a new country. I like to tell people that living in England is like living in a parallel universe. We speak the same language, celebrate a lot of the same holidays, enjoy similar foods, have similar expectations on quality of life, but things are just a bit different. You have to have an open mind, and a good sense of humor. For example, we had a washer/dryer-in-one (that didn't work so I had to hang my clothes to dry in the apartment), oh, and did I mention that clothes were washed in the kitchen? Our refrigerator was now the same size as the fridge I had in my college dorm, and the car we drove (for a family of four and a 6'5" husband) was the size of my foot.
Sometimes you just have to have a good sense of humor.
That was all 6 months ago, and it practically seems life like a lifetime ago. It was a long, hard road to get "settled" into our new life here, lots of tears, laughs, and hugs, but we made it. Wine helps too...