Sunday, December 5, 2010

We're Finally in England!!

Well, after knowing we would be moving to England since February, we finally arrived one week ago (Nov 30). It was a long flight, and none of us slept much...although Aine slept the most (about 3-4 hours). We were exhausted when we arrived at London Heathrow! A nice customs agent let us start a "new" line (basically let us skip the entire line) which saved us at least 45 minutes....thank you thank you thank you! Then we had to collect all our bags. You should have seen us trying to navigate the airport with a stroller and two overflowing luggage carts. Thankfully our sponsor's wife was there to pick up the girls and I while a taxi from the base was waiting for Eric and our luggage...and thoretically, the cat. Unfortunately Eric couldn't pick up the cat that day and had to make the 2 hour trip to London again the next day. Fortunately a friend's wife was a available and drove him to spring the Boo Man! We were welcomed with snow and snow-covered beautiful! We got checked in and have a comfortable (if not older) TLF room. Unfortunately, they didn't have any pet-friendly ones available until tomorrow, so we've been hiding Boo and declining maid service. We can't do that forever, so Boo had a sleep over with Marc and Rachel for two nights. But we got him back yesterday and will move tomorrow to a new pet friendly least that's the plan!
It's been a crazy time so far. Eric did a lot of prep work on the computer to find a home a car. He and Marc looked at a couple homes while they were running errands, but the first one we looked at we fell in love with. We couldn't live like that in the States. So we are in the application/approval process and have been told we can move in on the 16th. Thankfully only a week or so. It's about 25 minutes from base and a beutiful drive through hilly farmland. At two places the road gets really narrow, but I'm sure we'll get used to it in time.
Eric's always wanted a BMW, but we couldn't afford it before. Since they're pretty common over here, we wanted to work it out for him. He researched the internet and found a private seller in Birmingham (about 2.5 hours from here) selling the 330 he's always wanted, so Saturday we went on our first English road trip. All I have to say is thank you Jesus for GPSs!!! We had borrowed a car from a guy in Eric's squadron who's deployed, but his cigarette lighter doesn't work, so we've been relying on the GPS' battery. Well on Saturday, the GPS battery took us to Marc and Rachel's to drop off Boo and then to the seller's house in Birmingham. As soon as we turned around to get some lunch first, the battery died!! How's that for timing :) Since we hadn't taken our driving tests yet, we didn't have a gas card for base, so we had to get gas "on the economy". It was expensive...105 pounds to fill up both cars....approx 160 dollars. Thankfully the guy took a hundred pounds off the car when Eric asked. When Eric tried to get the gas cap open, it wouldn't...he had to go in through the trunk and open it manually. So it's in the shop now (the man offered to pay for it though). So I'll post some pictures once we (hopefully) get it back tomorrow.
Mildenhall has an indoor playarea for the kids with a computer area right smart. We've been there alot! I had been planning to take pictures of the snow covered base, but it warmed enough on Saturday to melt the snow. Oh well...I'm sure we'll get more. Today everything is iced over, so I made sure to get some pictures this time! (they're below).
Now we're just in waiting mode. We've set up a bank acct, got cell phones (Eric got me an iPhone for Christmas...LOVE it), found a house and car, have our household goods scheduled for the 17th. Now we're just taking care of little things. It feels nice to have the big stuff done. We miss everyone, but absolutely love it here so far. Hope you're all well :)

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