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Archive for August 5th, 2010

You CAN go home again, but …

I’ve been meaning to post an update because I realized I left things hanging a bit, but life has just been all consuming since I got back. Apologies for it taking so long! (When I first arrived in England someone told me that if you start by saying ‘apologies’ all will be forgiven no matter what it is – and I did find it to be true much of the time!) Anyway, I really am sorry for neglecting my blog and promise to be better from now on, especially since the road trip is quickly approaching.

So much has happened in the past two and a half weeks, I hardly know where to begin. I guess I’ll start at the end of the last post: yes,  I did stop crying on the plane, and yes, I did have a big smile when I saw all my family and friends. But it hasn’t been all good. I have to say, Marion’s comment about my last blog was right on: “You can go back home, but it’s never quite the same as it was before…not so much because IT has changed, but because YOU have!” In fact, I’ve experienced more culture shock moving back home than I did going to London – not at all what I expected. I won’t go into all the details as I don’t want to dwell on them and am somewhat getting over it, but let’s just say it hasn’t been easy and if it wasn’t for my family and friends being here, I’d move back in a heartbeat.

I want to focus on the positive:

  • We got to see LOTS of family and friends, including several of those from Florida and West Virginia. We had a house full for a while but it was so much fun – like one big sleepover!
  • Speaking of the house – it was as bad as I anticipated.  But there are positives to this too! My mom, Mark and Katrina (and Seth with the lawn) did their best to make it nice although I don’t think anything would make me want to be there.  Other family, especially my brother and sister-in-law , also really helped while they were there. (And Ally, I still can’t believe you cleaned my fridge!) The best part was the yard sale and the dumpster, which was completely filled. Literally getting rid of most everything I could definitely helped! It will now be ok until I can sell it and finally move on.
  • We bought two new cars. No, I didn’t go with the Mustang, but I did listen to many of my friends who gave advice through this blog and followed my heart AND my head. I got  a 2010 silver Volvo S40. I always wanted one like that and absolutely love it. And while I was looking for certified preowned as some suggested, I ended up with similar – a car that had been used by the dealer so has some miles on it, but was officially new.  The dealership was great (Steingold Volvo in Pawtucket, RI) – very straightforward, easy to deal with and relaxed even as Mark checked over every single spec of the car (he literally said to the poor guy ‘I’m your worst nightmare’ – hee hee). I definitely recommend them. Then – after a zillion hours of searching on Craig’s List and finding cars that weren’t exactly as described – we lucked out on a car for Nick, too. Uncle Tom brought us to some car dealer friends of his at Rojo Auto Sales on Rt. 1 in Norwood and we got a great deal on a 2001 white Volvo S80 for Nick. So he’s in seventh heaven, too. And I’m just glad to have it all over with!
  • Phones – as many of you know, that was a dilemma too. I did decide to stick with Verizon as they seem to have the best nationwide coverage which will be important when I’m travelling the country. Nick stuck with the Blackberry and got the latest Curve (so he can bbm for free with Alivia), while I went for the brand new Droid X. It took forever to get and many hours at the Verizon store and on the phone with Verizon, but now all is up and running. Am really liking it – it seems to be able to do all I need and want it to. The only major downside is the battery life -it doesn’t even last a whole day when you’re on it a lot. But I have the car charger and will be on the road a lot so will just keep it charged, and will probably buy an extra battery. I thought the size would bother me too, being so big, but I haven’t had any real issues with that.  
  • I’m back to work for my final weeks and that is going great. I am so enjoying being in the office and seeing the people I’ve worked with for most of the last fifteen years. I’m thankful for this chance to say goodbye. I will miss everyone, but I won’t miss the hour and a half commute to Waltham! Luckily, I still believe I’m doing the right thing (even though I’m also still scared to death) and know I can keep in touch with everyone through this blog, facebook, email, etc.

So yes, I am really, really missing London and everything and everyone there, but am going to try to put that out of my mind and focus on the road trip. I am now officially giving myself permission to start planning – woo hoo! Time to get out the maps, US guidebooks, talk to AAA, explore other road trip Web sites, and start connecting with all the people I want to visit along the way. Keep sending your tips, suggestions, places to see, people to visit, songs to listen to, etc. I’m open to anything! Well, almost anything…

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