Moving back to the U.S. has had a few challenges.
We have to close down all our utilities. To do that we had our wonderful friends help us write letters (in Dutch) to the different companies to notify them that we are moving out of the country. We also have to buy a paper the day before we leave and take pictures of the meter readings next to the dated paper to send to those companies.
We are very grateful that the company Andrew works with has organized and paid for shipping our belongings back to California. De Haan shipping company was here yesterday to pack and take our belongings away. They were very fast and efficient. I had done about 1/2 of the packing myself and had everything to be packed in piles so it only took about two hours!
Today Andrew turned in his leased car. Andrew is able to take the afternoon off, so we are going to take the train to the beach in Zaandvort. The weather has been beautiful and we'd like to take advantage of our chance to enjoy it!
I have emptied out all the food products from the cupboards. We have been trying to use up some of it and will be setting out the remaining items when we have our neighborhood party tomorrow. Whatever is left my sweet friend Isla says she can pick up and bring to Salvation Army. I just can't throw away good food...it's not in my nature!
We are truly going to miss living in Haarlem. It's a beautiful small town. It's been a wonderful place to live!
Last night we took Sammy to the Parck Restaurant across the street and sat and had a beer and some bitterballen while people watching. We will miss that part of living here. It's so relaxing and everyone here is so very dog friendly.
We have been going back and forth about renting or buying in the Bay Area. We have had trouble finding a place that will rent to people with a large dog. Sooooo, we contacted our realtor in the Tri-Valley and had her go look at some condo's in that area (we don't want to retire there, so we don't want to buy a house there). She found one she thinks we'll be happy with. The square footage is good, it's only 10 years old, there is a nice view, it has indoor washer/dryer, one car garage, etc. We put an offer on it and it was accepted last week. We have 17 days to pull our offer...so we will see it before that time element expires.
The day we land at SFO we will be staying in a hotel in Sunnyvale. The company had a difficult time finding us housing (with the dog) also, so then the following night we have to move again to corporate housing in San Jose. We can stay there for 30 days. We're hoping during that time we will be able to get everything done in the condo that we're thinking about doing (replacing the flooring and countertops) before we have to move again.
We will have two rental cars for a couple of days. We will have five bags, the kennel and Sammy to transport to Sunnyvale and then San Jose. Thursday one of the rentals will be returned at San Jose Airport.
We still have all of our belongings from the house we sold 2 1/2 years ago in a large storage locker in the Bay Area. Because the condo is small, we'll have to continue to keep some things in storage. It's going to be a challenge separating all the things we want to keep in storage and the things we want to put in our new 'temporary' home.
We are going to miss all of our friends here most. It's so very hard to say good-bye.
We fly out on Tuesday, 23 September. Yikes, time is flying!