Sunday, July 13, 2008

But wait -- there's more

Thanks to all of you who commented or sent emails or called me about this week's photo slide show... seems it was a fitting way to wrap up an amazing two years abroad. Don't go waving us out the door just yet, however, because we still have 2 and a half weeks of nearly non-stop action, including just one more European adventure, ahead of us before we call it quits and head stateside.

If it feels a bit disjointed have watched a departure-themed retrospective only to now read about our plans for another vacation and upcoming swimming lessons and playdates and camp here in London, well, welcome to the confusing schedule of events and emotions that is my July. The kids' last day of school was last Thursday and with it came a flurry of goodbyes and the end of our regular "life as we know it" routine in London. It was an emotional week, full of busy schedules and sad farewells and way, way too much sugar. With all of that now behind us, I feel very much as if our time here has reached its natural conclusion. It's time to go. And yet due to Paul's work schedule we really can't leave for good until the end of the month, so here we still are.

People tend to get out of London pretty quickly when the school term wraps up, and a lot of the people we care about are already gone or departing momentarily. We knew this would happen and so we booked one last trip to forestall the melancholy emptiness I knew that we'd feel once we had said our goodbyes. It was a good idea... in theory. But packing for vacation when we're also packing for the US is bizarre and looking forward to the week and a half that will be left when we get back here is even odder. It's hard to know what to look forward to and what to mourn and what to think and what to pack. It's harder still to know how to feel.

Several hours from now, we will be in Austria, climbing every mountain and fording every stream and hemming and hawing bizarrely when people ask us where we're from. This will either turn out be the best way we could have spent this week or money down the drain, but the trip is booked and so off we go. Tune in a week from now to hear about Salzburg and Zell Am See. For now, to London we say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen... but not quite yet goodbye.


Anonymous jamie said...

These transition trips always look good on paper, then almost kill you.

You're doing the right thing though (but you knew I would say that), you would lose your mind if you just hung out in town for 2 weeks...

Hang in there.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Oh, I can't wait for the pics and stories! I would go nuts too - just sitting and waiting, missing people who had already left the city. But packing and unpacking while packing? Craziness.

I speak from experience. Travel safe.

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

I have been lurking around your blog for some time now and really enjoy reading your posts. I am also an American living in North London (I moved here about the same time you did). I have just set up a blog of my own at I hope you don't mind, but I have added a link to your blog on my page. Enjoy Austria, and I hope you'll continue blogging from New Jersey!

2:24 PM  
Blogger E said...

The transitons are hard no matter where you are making them. Better though to have this big bang and a whirlwind to help you through it...You are a clever girl

3:44 AM  
Blogger Iota said...

"...departing momentarily." Hm. So these two years in London haven't managed to instil in you a British hatred of the incorrect use of that word then? (Actually, I fear these days most of us use it the American way, and find it fills a useful gap in the language.)

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Bec said...

I have been visiting your blog for a few months now, but this is my first post! I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading about your experiences and wish you all the best for your return to the US.
I am an Aussie who, after living in the UK for a few years, is headed back to London next year, indefinately! You have made me look forward to my move all the more! Thank you!!
Bec ;-)

1:50 AM  
Blogger Iota said...

I woke up in the middle of last night after a dreadful nightmare, the result of watching "Casper the Friendly Ghost" (Certificate U) which we had carefully chosen as a film which wouldn't give the children nightmares. I then had one of those four-in-the-morning moments, when a thought hits you out of the blue. I suddenly thought "oh no, that comment on Rebecca's blog was totally wrong - she used 'momentarily' correctly and it's me that's wrong - or is it? help! I can't remember any more". I then couldn't get back to sleep, all confused about which use is American and which is the "proper English" one.

I suppose I could look it up on google, but I prefer to live with the uncertainty, as being reflective in some way of my current life status - caught up in some UK/US confusion that festers away in my brain even when I'm asleep, but will probably not do any serious harm in the long run.

All the best for your final days, and the trip back to America.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Liesl said...

Wow, I can not believe it's been two years in London for you. The time went by so quickly from my vantage part. I do hope the trip to Austria is both fun and healing for you. Austria is one of my favorite places; I know you'll love it there :)

1:11 AM  

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