July 20th, 2006

No Worries

(no subject)

Jamie and I are now settling into Seattle, after a chaotic last day in New Jersey. I'm usually a bit cumbersome and chaos follows me, but I'm pleased that this time it wasn't my fault. We have five of our six bags (one more is sitting in Seattle's airport, waiting for us to pick it up) and both cats came through everything safely, though I think they now share Jamie's fear of flying. Our last day in New Jersey was what we wished every day would have been like. We had a lot of people show up, and we had a lot of hugs and tearful goodbyes. I feel like a lot of our friends have either shown interest in the West Coast, or would fit right in to this state, so we'll see what happens from there. Jamie and I stayed up all night and prepared nearly everything, ready to go for about 5. The one thing we didn't check was what time Lois thought we were leaving.
Regrettably, we rushed her a little - she woke up at 4:30 and expected to leave for JFK at 6. We were certain we had to leave a lot earlier, and after feeding the cats and dogs and taking the last of the cases downstairs we were out and heading for JFK at 5:30.

The trip to JFK is considered a nightmare. We know many people who will not drive there. If everything goes well, it's a 40 minute drive (traffic can knock it up to 2 hours, especially as we were approaching rush hour) and you'll find the spot you're meant to depart from at the second attempt, because it's such a mess. However, we were quite lucky in that we'd gotten to the spot we were meant to at 6:30. All we had to do was check in and hug Lois and we'd be okay.

Because we had cats and oversized luggage and extra luggage, we had to join a large queue, instead of using the convenient automated check-in machines. This larger line moved us about a third of the way through it after an hour. We were looking at the clock and were sure we'd not make the flight. Even Lois was looking very concerned, and was appreciative we'd told her we had to leave a lot earlier: she'd have felt so guilty if we hadn't made it there based on a decision of hers. Eventually, one check-in clerk shouted that all the Seattle people had to join a special queue, to rush us through. However, due to our situation, we did not help in the rushing. By 7:45 we'd gotten ourselves checked in, and our luggage 'might' make the plane. We were told we had no time and rushed ourselves through everything, giving Lois a quick hug and a yelled goodbye as we ran into the distance, followed by a rushed attempt through the metal detectors, grabbing the bemused cats out of the bags and throwing them back in once we were through, half-running with our stuff to the departure gate, dropping and having to grab our tickets a few times (again, the poor cats got whacked around as we ran) and we even had a scare that Jamie lost her passport. Even that went okay in the end, as we found it in a folder.

We were so late for this flight that our seats had been given away, so Jamie and I had to sit apart. The cats and Jamie made me proud, everyone enduring a more stressful than average flight with steely determination. The cats found a state of zen, almost meditating in the bag without any interest in the noisy scary world around them. If only babies could find that state of zen too.

I'd built a rapport up with the guy sitting next to me during the flight, and we'd talked about how we were both very happy with where we used to live, but as soon as we saw the mountains, we both agreed Seattle was going to be a wonderful place to live. We had the best view of Mount Rainier I'll ever see - I didn't have a camera to hand, but no camera could have taken a picture that would have been worthy of that sight.

I feel at home here already; I feel comfortable despite the lack of space for our items right now, or the lack of meat allowed in the house (I'm living with vegans. It's fair). We bought some snacks and I enjoyed a tofurkey hot dog and really liked food at a local Vietnamese restaurant. My family back in England would have been stunned to see me eat that kind of stuff. Jamie's got an energy to her life all over again, it actually makes me a little sad that I'm typing this instead of going somewhere with her, but we've got time for today - we're going to travel into Tacoma and see the sights.

Even the cats are settling in. A mutual love for the sound of birds and laser pointers has gelled our Schnitzel and Hobbes with Jamie's sisters' (Sandi and Autumn) cat Skooky. There's the odd hissing fit as Hobbes doesn't like Skooky following him, while Skooky is confused by other cats being in his home. Give it a week and we'll have the three cuddled up on the sofa together, though.

The second move of my life. I'm starting to enjoy this moving about lark. I'm really in love with this area. The only thing that will make me happier is taking a shower. Give me 30 minutes and I'll somehow be happier than you could ever imagine.
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