Category Archives: Countdown to Departure

Santa Fe and Albuquerque 2014

The time really is getting short now. I can almost hear NASA counting down to blastoff. We’re not quite all packed, but close, so we decided to take another quick trip down south to Santa Fe and Albuquerque for a taste of spring and a temporary goodbye to some family. Our room at the Inn at Vanessie was super-Southwesty-cute:

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The piano bar was enticing as ever, with the beautiful artwork that characterizes Santa Fe:

Painting in the Piano Bar at the Inn at Vanessie, Santa Fe
Painting in the Piano Bar at the Inn at Vanessie, Santa Fe

I’m afraid a still photo does not begin to capture how mesmerizing the wind sculptures outside were in the breeze:

Santa Fe
Santa Fe

The taste of spring was a little elusive. We woke up to snow Saturday morning. Really? Will this winter never end? But within a couple of hours the snow had melted away and we were encouraged to see the trees in Albuquerque are in bloom:

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And, double bonus, the High Noon Saloon did not disappoint:

High Noon Saloon, Albuquerque

The moving van arrives on Wednesday to load up everything that hasn’t been pitched, donated, or temporarily farmed out to foster families (piano, etc.), so we have two days of intense final packing ahead of us. In a way, it’s good, because we don’t have time to think about all the dear friends we’re leaving behind. One of the Bon Voyage cards we received said something like, “I’m terrible at goodbyes, so I’m just going to pretend we’re playing Hide and Go Seek, and you’re just really hard to find.” So here we go, cover your eyes . . . 100, 99, 98, 97 . . . .

The Plan — Part One

I’ll spare you any more photos of boxes, but you can take my word for it that they’re piling up around here. And I, dear Reader, have finally packed TWO of them. Gold star for me. Until a few days ago, I’ve been wielding my highly developed instruction-following skills by putting together our massive dossiers for our long-stay visa applications, and last Thursday, I hauled nearly three pounds (yes, THREE POUNDS) of paperwork over to Kinkos and shipped it FedEx — as instructed, of course — to the French Consulate in Los Angeles. As of Wednesday morning, the bank shows they’ve run the card for the payment of the fee, but I have no idea if that’s a good sign or not. On verra! (We’ll see!)

It has been brought to my attention that the minutiae of our projected adventure are not quite as widely known as I had somehow imagined. Quelle surprise! What else could anyone possibly have to think about? I’ve even been asked where we’re going, a subject on which I was fairly certain I had been monopolizing conversations for at least a year. So here, briefly — or as briefly as you can reasonably expect from me — is a bit of the itinerary.

We’re temporarily leaving views like this:

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

And castles like this:

Bishop Castle, Colorado
Bishop Castle, Colorado (More on this place later!)

For views like this:

Paris, from the top of La Tour Eiffel
Paris, from  atop La Tour Eiffel

And this:

Dordogne River Valley, France
Dordogne River Valley, France

And castles like this:

Château de Chenonceau, France
Château de Chenonceau, France

And this:

Château des Milandes, France
Château des Milandes, France, Josephine Baker’s Humble Abode

The Plan — Part One: In March, we’re heading off to France, for just enough more than three months to require the aforementioned long-stay visa, then back to the states for a New England summer, then back to France, for about two and a half months, but just soon enough after the previous trip to require another visa. Yippee. Excellent planning, non?

After the second France trip . . . ah . . . you’ll have to stay tuned!

Have Passport, Will Travel

So much to do before we’re off on our adventure. Favorite (and only) husband is doing productive things like packing boxes for storage, donating too-long-hoarded possessions, arranging movers to take the piano to its temporary home. Just packing our books will probably take weeks.

Yet to pack!
Yet to pack!

I, on the other hand, am sitting on the couch creating a blog. And he hasn’t complained once. Excellent quality in a husband!