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Thursday, 4 April 2013

The BIG Move ~ Part Two

'We made it!!'

Continued from 'The BIG Move ~ Part One'

Well for those that are following me on Facebook you will know that yes, we made it!! We are now officially residents of Southern California, USA! Or 'SoCal' as the cool kids say it!

I think it's only just starting to sink in....

Although we had a fantastic time going between Brisbane, & the Gold Coast (where our families live) over the Christmas break, the time eventually came to say our 'See you soons' to all of our family at the airport.  It's a little bit different when it comes to my family however...because even after almost 12years that I have been away from 'home', it is still hard to put on a brave face & do our usual 'See you soon' farewells with them. They are my family after all, & it has always been hard being so far away from them. They probably think I'm fairly 'cold' sometimes in these situations, but it is easier for me that way. This time though, we have moved further than the usual 4.5hr flight. But! We had some fantastic times together over Christmas & made some great memories that we will all have to laugh about for years to come. I'm counting down to the 'Christmas 2013 Gingerbread House Bake Off' with them already!!! It's on little Sis! Haha!
My beautiful sister & I with our awesome Gingerbread House!
Thanks to our Nana for help with the decoration prep & to our wonderful Mum who
'helped' by snacking on the lollies...you're lucky we had just enough to finish it off!!
Once we said our sad farewell to our family we made our way down the walkway to board the plan...& we were greeted with THE BEST seats in the house!  Ok, plane...but you know what I mean :) Business class tickets alllll the wayyyy to the U. S. of A baby!!! Whooop whoop!

We made ourselves at home aboard the plane & prepared for a 14hr flight with a 1yr old...JOY! Although, I am sure that what I'm about to say next will cause some people to throw 'hate daggers' in our direction :) Our little Kayla slept for approximately 10hrs of the trip!! Yep! That's right. We officially have the most easy going, calm & well travelled baby in the whole entire world.  How you 'get' a baby to be like this....? I have no idea. And to tell you the truth it makes me nervous about having a second child. Surely this little one is a fluke & we wouldn't be 'entitled' to two amazingly calm munchkins. That just wouldn't be fair to other parents :)

So during the flight Kayla had two BIG sleeps & woke to be fed & entertained for a while in between. I guess we were very lucky to be travelling first class with Kayla also having her own 'Sky bed' between hubby & I.  This meant that myself & hubby were able to watch a few flicks & catch some Z's before we landed, meaning all of us were well rested & ready for the early morning start in Los Angeles. For hubby, this also meant dealing with our gigantic pile of luggage again & manoeuvring it through customs (while getting shitty) & sorting out a way to get out of LAX & across the taxi ranks & road to the Hire Car Shuttle Service.  But we did it....with a few falling bags in the middle of the exits automatic doors & people stepping around him instead of offering to help. But it's ok, the 'lady with the baby attached to her' (that's me!) can help pick it all up! Not the most kind strangers at the airport here compared to back in OZ. Ohhh this makes me smile just thinking of it, sorry Jase. Next time, we pack lighter!

So we pick up our hire car...ahem...correction...MINI VAN & make the drive south to Oakwood Apartments in Carlsbad, CA. Our new home for the next month. My goodness, was that a month I wish I could have fast forwarded!! It was a nice enough hotel, but the drama that followed with trying to arrange Social Security No's, ID Cards, Bank Accounts, new phone contracts, & buying new cars was a lot of work.  A big thanks to hubby for getting it all sorted too. There wasn't much that I could do seen as I pretty much don't exist here in America because I don't have a Social or a 'paying job' :) Oh & did I mention we arrived to one of the coldest winters that California has ever had!? That's pretty damn cold considering we just came from 3yrs of hot weather in Darwin, NT!

BUGGER! Damn computers.... I had a big paragraph that was meant to be right here about our time at our hotel...but it got 'stolen' by the computer somehow while I was dealing with Kayla whinging for more food (I swear, all she does is eat these days).  Let's just say the paragraph boiled down to me being happy that we were moving out of a place where it felt like elephants lived above us & a snoring bear beside us.  Moving on....
Our beautiful California Beach House :)
After a few weeks of searching for a home, we locked in our move-in date & our furniture delivery date.  It's amazing how long you can live without items you thought you realllly needed :)  There were a few hiccups with the rental furniture, so we had some replacement items sent which we then had to wait for our original order items to be delivered.  The final delivery only happened a couple of weeks ago. But it was worth the wait! I am in love with some of the pieces & will be trying to convince the rental company (& my hubby) to let me take them home to Australia with us :)
The Leather Chair that I want to keep!
So much for my nice reading chair...

it has become Kayla's 'snack time' chair as it's so easy to wipe clean :)
We are now all settled in & live in a nice little community, one block from the beautiful Carlsbad State Beach, with our 'local' being the brand new Hilton Hotel & Spa 2mins walk down the street. If I ever feel like an Apple Martini or Cosmo we can just drop down there for a drink...that is, before Kayla has to go to bed. I think it's almost time to arrange a sitter for a Mummy n Daddy night out :) I know I am in need a 'timeout' even if Jason isn't!
The view of our local beach at sunset! Beautiful!!
A pic on one of our afternoon walks :)
Kayla & I get to spend our days enjoying long walks along the coastline.  She loves watching the pelicans fly past & I love trying to spot a celebrity, sea lions, whales or dolphins.  As a side note, I have only seen one celebrity so far...that's Dean Geyer from Australian Idol...also now on GLEE!! It's the 'celebrity spotting moments' when I want my girlfriends or sister around to share it with them...Hubby just doesn't get excited enough :)

We are also enjoying having the family time while hubby isn't so busy at work at the moment like he has been for the past couple of years whilst in Darwin. Spending time together going to the beach, the pool, or going to the Farmers Markets on Sundays, or trying new restaurants & finding new 'favourites' is so much fun. Of course, I can't forget to mention how much fun it has been to enjoy weekends away or even just day trips! We have so much available to us now that we won't have to worry about not having anything to do for a long time :)
Just another day in paradise... :)
A quick snapshot so far of where we have been & what we have been up to:
1. Visited the Aquarium at Legoland & scared the crap out of Kayla with the giant crabs & huge fish.
2. Driven out to Mt.Laguna near the Rocky Mountains to show Kayla snow for the first time.
3. Went to Seaworld in San Diego to see Shamu & the new baby whale. Oh & scared Kayla with a pic with the 'Cookie Monster' from Sesame Street...a big furry blue character scary? I guess so!
4. Spent a weekend in Anaheim to visit Disneyland...where we also scared Kayla with all of the characters. Although she did blow a kiss to Minnie! Very cute.
5. Drove up to Santa Barbara County for the Easter long weekend & went to the Santa Barbara Zoo, Vineyards, Ostrich & Emu Feeding (random...I know) & Santa Monica Pier. A great weekend away!

A few fave snapshots from our trips:

Along with the new sights to see comes the new food to try!  I have never paid so much attention to the adverts on TV in regards to brands & types of food to try.  But, apart from that we have eaten a crap load of bagels with cream cheese, 10 too many cupcakes, a tonne of Mexican meals & I have taste tested plenty of Margaritas (haha! Mum, you'd be proud...& jealous I'm sure).

We have also had a few weekends around the house, making it feel homely & spent A LOT of time at Bed, Bath & Beyond! Loving my new coffee machine too!!!!
A coffee for Mummy, a hot choc for Daddy & a babychino for baby Kayla :)
So what comes next now that we're settled in...?

Hmmm....possibly a trip to Viva Las Vegas!!!!!!
Stay tuned.

xoxo T

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