I’m back! Well sorta kinda…. we have finally made the trek across the globe from England to California! It was a long plane ride with the girls, but we made it!
Mei has flown over a dozen times before and this was the first time she had us both counting the minutes left in the flight. Usually she is all sorts of happy to be in a “new” grown-up seat that has any sort of seatbelt and thinks of it as a huge treat but this time when we went to put her seatbelt on for the ascent and descent portions of the flight, she let everyone and I mean everyone know she was on the plane too and she was not happy to be there. Poor kid. Every time it was time to board a plane, she was just nodding off for a much needed nap and stayed awake to take in the commotion that is boarding a flight and of course, it resulted in one over-tired two year old that managed to become “that child” on the plane each time. Boy were we ever happy to take Mei off the plane!
Emily on the other hand did great! She made me really sick on the plane when she was travelling in my belly and I was certain she would be sick on the flight, but she was just bouncing around in her seat, chewing on toys and completely thrilled to be riding in a plane with her big sister.
They both charmed the heck out of the customs & immigrations officials at the border and both walked away with t-shirts covered in stickers they collected as we walked through the airport. These kids are loving travelling, that’s for sure and making sure that we are exhausted, haggard and hurriedly planning secret, childless vacations on those tiny cocktail napkins they give you with your drink in-flight while they are (finally) taking a much needed ten minute power nap.
Travelling with toddlers is certainly a TON of work. But lets just thank all the very helpful and very understanding flight attendants that kept Mei absolutely enthralled about her travelling, bringing her extra packets of pretzels & juice boxes because she was just “so adorable!” And Mei was on alert the entire flight and would stand up in her seat and look back at all the other passengers, waving shyly and then saying “HI!!!” and blowing kisses to anyone that would make eye contact with her while waiting for the flight attendants to pass by, since she knew she could score a snack and they would stop to talk with her and play with her toys with her with each pass.
Those flight attendants spoiled Mei for certain! But with an endless supply of greetings, treats, friendly waves to our kids and a coke each time they passed out drinks, we survived our flights!
In the time between landing and today, we managed to buy a car, rent a home, buy a washer, dryer, refrigerator, deep freezer, sofa, a few necessities to get us by until all of our boxes of things arrives in late May, and acquainting ourselves with our new community and neighbors. We even got Patella settled who arrived on her own flight, the day before we got keys to the house.
I was very anxious about Patella flying since we hear no end to horror stories about pets dying in-flight or arriving with a different temperment and personality but she seems to have done very well. We left her in the care of her pet sitter, so she could play with all her puppy friends and have a two week puppy sleepover in England before she was packed up in her kennel to begin her journey to our new house. Patella was incredibly thrilled to see us, hungry, tired and just a little banged up from her last flight when we got to see her. Her nose has a big dent, bruise and bright pink mark in it from hitting the bars in her kennel from some turbulence more than likely but it quickly began healing after she got some much needed rest on a big fluffy bed with her family.
For all those that are wondering, we drove down to Sacramento to pick Patella up and stayed overnight at Extended Stay America, who are very pet-friendly before we drove her the rest of the way to our new house the next day. Our room had plenty of room for Patella to have her own spot for her food and water bowls, a ground-level room so we could avoid having to go up or down any stairs when taking her out to potty and plenty of grassy areas around the hotel to take her on walks and get fresh air. The beds were big enough for Patella to lay on the end of it, although if you were to put a doggie bed down on the ground, there was still plenty of room to put that down and get around it comfortably – and all in their standard room! They made travelling with Patella feel like a home away from home, as much as a hotel room can.
The next morning, we loaded everyone one and their things in the car and whisked Patella off to Bath & Biscuits, a local pet groomers in Sacramento which is fantastic. They have an assortment of shampoos for your pet and you lead them into a big tub, fix their leash to it and provide you with all the cleaning supplies you need to give your furry friend a nose to tail clean! Mei helped her daddy give Patella a bath, clean her ears, brush her teeth and her coat and dry her off then picked out a biscuit for her to have as a treat. We highly recommend Bath & Biscuits if your furry friend is in need of a bath! It was a great way to refresh Patella and get her ready to see her new house.
Our new home is situated in a gated community that sits on an extensive lake with five beaches and surrounded by woodlands. There are flocks of wild turkeys & deer that traipse around our property and in the community all the time, plenty of wild birds and other animals – my hubby even reported that he saw a geko this morning! Mei & Patella have enjoyed no end to this constant wild animal show from the back deck and both enjoy going on long walks in the morning and evening exploring their new neighborhood. There are even wild chickens that line the highways that have been there for at least two decades, as far as we have been told. This area is just rich with life, and warm!
The lake area where we now live is a very summer camp, summer at the lake sort of location where the residents opt to drive their golf carts around to the little wood cabin market across the street or to the beach, clubhouse or to go golfing. I have even seen them ride their golf carts to the end of their driveways to pick up their garbage cans! That may seem a little ridiculous, but it’s really the driveway that is ridiculous! The hills on some of these properties will keep you from them – as it stands, our house has a steep driveway but its short and we can easily walk up and down it without getting winded. Too much. We will get used to it. I hope.
Here is one of the signs just before going into our community that makes me smile every time I see it! It’s just a laid back, calm, quiet community with so much to offer!
We have started gathering plants and seeds to start our first garden in California which now includes Marvin. He is my orange tree that I picked out. Marvin is supposed to get up to eight feet tall and start producing fruit within the first year we have him, so color me happy! The husband unit picked out a Meyer lemon tree to grow in competition with Marvin to see who can grow a fruit tree the best. We will just have to wait and see! I am also in the works of gathering and planning some deer protection for our garden since the community does not allow fences to be built, so that we can maintain the natural wildlife that this area is known for so if you have any great tips on keeping deer out of a veggie garden that does not include a fence, please leave a me a little note!
So far, we are enjoying our time here in California – especially the sun and warmth and slowly making this new house a home. Because I wont have my baking pans and all my other kitchen things until the end of May, I wont be posting too many recipes until at least June but I have decided to do a Foodie Photo Challenge! Basically, I have a list of photos to take that are photo related and I will post one per day intermittently with any recipes that I haven’t had the chance to post and gardening posts as our garden really gets going! Check my next post for the list of photos for the Foodie Photo Challenge!
Sending plenty of warmth and sunshine to you, dear reader, wherever you may be! Have a fantastic Wednesday!