Dec 18, 2011

We made it!

After months of preparation and anticipation, we left the house in Big Bear Lake CA, which we'd spent years building, possibly for the last time. It could likely sell before we returned and Jeff may or may not return to move stuff. I wasn't sure how this would feel when the time actually came. It could be that I was relieved to not be packing and preparing to move, but leaving the house and driving to the airport felt amazing. I felt such freedom, like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. A felt an excitement that we could reinvent our lives and ourselves. It did feel strange, I remember thinking, we can't just move across the world because we feel like it, who does that? But, we were actually doing it.

I had to just try not to dwell on the people we'd be leaving behind. I was going to miss my family and friends, who I didn't know when we'd be seeing again. I guess it helped to remember when we left on the sailing venture and returned, knowing we'd see them again one day and pick up where we left off.

Well, Savannah was asking to go home and Brooke was asking if we were there yet about 5 minutes into the drive, but otherwise our 24 hour trip from California to Prague Czech Republic went amazingly well. Our friends helped us get ourselves and our 10 large duffel bags of stuff to LAX.

Thanks to the help of a nice airport bag guy (what are they called?), we got all the luggage and ourselves to the check in counter. It took forever to check in, they weren't sure how to handle our one way tickets and eventually ended up requiring us to buy return tickets (fully refundable).

The wait in the airport went quickly, the girls looked so cute carrying their own little carry-on luggage... So, relatively speaking, the overnight flight was great. All three kids slept almost the entire flight and I even watched most of a movie and slept a bit. Nothing like some previous flights which were incredibly tedious and long trying to keep the kids entertained. We then spent a 6 hour layover at London Heathrow. We decided it would be worth the money to pay $100 for the 5 of us to spend the time in the lounge, which had free food, drinks and several different rooms to relax in. The kids room was smaller than we'd expected but we had it to ourselves and it was just enough for the girls to relax on beanbags, watch tv, and play.

The rest of the time in the airport was fine and before we knew it, it was time to board a short 1.5 hour flight to Prague. The girls slept again and although Savannah woke up pretty cranky, we were all in pretty good spirits when we finally arrived in Prague. It was late and the airport was empty, which was worrisome at first because we weren't sure if we'd be able to load all the luggage by ourselves. It didn't seem possible at first, but finally with Jeff pushing two carts and me pushing one and the luggage tied together so it wouldn't fall off, we made it the short distance where fortunately our van and driver were waiting.

I'd worried that us and everything wouldn't fit in the van, but it did, barely...The driver was really friendly, spoke great English and sounded like he even might be a good prospect for the transportation we needed for the tour business. We eventually entered the old town city center. Seeing the amazing architecture and castle lit up on the hill was really quite beautiful.

Fortunately the driver helped Jeff carry our 10 50 pound bags up the 5 flights of stairs to our apartment. Even with help, Jeff said he felt like he was going to keel over after that. So, we'd done it, the trip was behind us, now to settle in.


Renee - RambleCrunch said...

Congrats! Have you guys started learning Czech yet?

Jeff and Katie Barnes said...

I wish I could say we've learned more. We know only a few words and are just trying to learn a new word a day at the moment.