- From Phoenix, we flew two and a half hours to Tulsa.
- Three day “layover” in Tulsa to spend time with family and friends.
- From Tulsa, one and a quarter hour to St. Louis.
- Two hours in St. Louis.
- From St. Louis, two and a half hours to Boston.
- Four hours in Boston.
- From Boston, six hours to Lisbon.
- Two hours in Lisbon.
- From Lisbon, two and a half hours to London.
- Two hours in the immigration line.
- Two hour drive to Wombourne.
But after twenty-four hours of travel, we’re here! When we arrived at the airport (after crossing the border), we were met by Tom’s American-flag toting parents. They had graciously traveled down to Heathrow to pick us up and drive us back. After some coffee, water, and a snack, we were revived for our trip north up to Wombourne. On the drive they drove us by the school and some of the surrounding area: giving us lots of places to explore in a couple weeks. Finally, after leaving Phoenix on the 1st of July, we arrive in our new home on the 5th in the early afternoon. As we pulled in, a small welcome party made up of Hayley’s parents, grandmother, Hayley, and her kids came out to greet us.
As they milled about, we moved our luggage into the bungalow. Inside, we discovered much that we expected (a sofa, arm chair, and our mattress) and several things that Tom and Hayley had added to make us even more welcome (a table and chairs, fresh flowers, and several snacks). Overall, we felt so appreciated and a part of everything right away. Everyone was, and continues to be, wonderfully friendly and kind. Just yesterday several people stopped by to give us garden supplies and to lend us tools.
As for us, however, we are stuck here in self-isolation. For a total of ten days (or six if we test out early), we are not supposed to leave the bungalow’s property. We cannot go to the store and we cannot go on walks. Settling in has been the focus. We are allowed to go in our back garden, which is right on the canal and provides a delightful break from being inside all day. Already, we have been brought flowers and grass seed and have spend much of the last couple days working outside. Beyond that, most of our time is spent working to make this new home ours.
So here are a few photos!
I will spare you the less exciting details of our work here so far (most of which has to do with bureaucracy and banking). Instead, some of the our other highlights of these last few days have been the fireplace, the walk* to the mailbox to drop off our COVID tests, and the cool weather and rain.
*We aren’t allowed to go on walks, but we also have to drop off our tests. So we took advantage of the one exception to take a nice walk via a local wooded path.
In the next few days, we are looking forward to the following:
- Our grass growing
- Some kitchen and living items arriving in the mail
- Jaffa cakes (I am eating wheat again!)
- Getting the car ready for me to drive
- Our day five COVID tests! (Because if they are negative, we are free!)