Sunday, April 30, 2006

Onto Phase II....

We finally vacated the condo yesterday and officially handed over the keys to the new owner. We are staying with my cousin P2 and his wife Jaisri and their cute kid Arundati - see picture. Started the day by making a trip to oversee the carpet shampooing....then picked up a bunch of stuff that we had stored in the garage to be give to Goodwill, then we both went to the chiropracter for what may very well end up being our final "adjustments", then a trip to the travel agent to book our one way tickets home, then to the licensing office to transfer the title of my car to the new owner, then back to the condo storage to pick up more stuff for a friend.....we thought we would just pop inside to see if the carpets had dried and it was a good thing cos the carpet cleaner had dumped the icky water and junk in the toilet and had clogged up the toilet drain!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we had to "Drano" it and wait 15 minutes for it to unclog - which thankfully it did. Then a final last look around and back to P2's place. Then as if we hadn't done enough during the day R and I went for a 3 mile walk around Greenlake. I'll really miss the water when i get back home. Seattle has beautiful lakes and parks and you cannot go for a mile without seeing some sort of lake....well, I guess i will have Hussein Sagar lake in Hyderabad. So obviously i was too exhausted to post anything on the blog yesterday.
Now we have a lot of leg work to do for our US road trip. We leave Seattle on the 9th of May and will be going by road to San Jose, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone, Billings, Duluth, Toronto, Buffalo and then finally New Jersey. All this in about a month. Then a couple of trips by air to Miami and Florida and then back to New Jersey for our final week's stay before we leave for Hyderabad on the 27th of June. So we have to finalise car reservations, accomodations en route and flight details. Whew! Even tho its a lot of work we're enjoying every minute of it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

No turning back now....

yikes! All gone...There goes our container with all our wordly possessions - all 247 items - on its way to we have no choice but to follow it :-)Our condo looks like it did the day we moved in 2 1/2 years ago, and probably quite happy to be rid of those 247 items..... 247!!!! I wouldn't have believed it if i hadn't see each item clearly tagged and numbered.

12:05am - Its here - D DAY!! And i think I am finally getting it! Reality is sinking in...not in a sad way or anything, but just the finality of the move. A lot of mixed feelings - sorry to be leaving Alki, excited and nervous at what lies ahead, happy to be closer to my parents,hungry cos we haven't even eaten breakfast and its past noon....And wouldn't you know it, its one of those perfect days again, its low tide outside and you can see stretches of sandy beach from the living room. I didn't think all our stuff was going to fit in a 20' container even tho Dave convinced me it would. Well dave obviosuly knows what he is talking about because they are about half way done and there still seems to be plenty of room. It takes an expert packer to load it all in right!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

D Day plus one

Finally it was packing day....3 guys from the moving company showed up. Steve, Rob and Dave, and they were packing maniacs! They were super speedy, super efficient and super talkative. In about 7 hours they had all collectively packed each and everything in the condo from a teaspoon to the armoire, each item individually wrapped and double wrapped in super strong brown paper and then put in boxes. I tell you, these guys were amazing. For one thing they are all incredibly strong....Dave single handedly wrapped and packed our Califirnia king futon and then cooly lifted it and propped it up against the wall...last week Raga and I struggled to move it about a foot!!! Then suddenly i found Rob, the guy in charge of the kitchen, packing up some odd mismatched spoons i had kept to throw away. If i had stood there long enough without moving, they'd have wrapped me up too. Anyway, they finally got done and tomorrow is loading day. that should be something to see....i got a couple of pics before the battery ran out.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Short and sweet

This is going to be short and sweet because I am totally exhausted! I just HAD to take a picture of the sunset..the weather has been so beautiful these past few days as if to entice me to stay longer! It was totally crappy until last week and now during this final week of our stay here, it is unusually warm and the sunsets have been gorgeous. For those not too familiar with Seattle, we are surrounded by lots of islands and the ferry you see in the picture is probably heading to either Bainbridge or Bremerton.

Monday, April 24, 2006

4.50pm - Another spectacularly beautiful spring day outside and frenzied packing day inside. It looks like all of Seattle is outdoors, not just outdoors but they have all landed on Alki. There has been a steady stream of traffic all day long and non stop action outside from joggers, bikers, roller bladers, walkers, cars with boom boxes, motor cycle guys and for the first time this year - the ICE CREAM VAN!!!! Thats a sure sign of the weather warming up. I still remember when G was a kid - oh about 3 years old -he'd jump up from his afternoon nap when he heard the van come by. That was so cute and sooooo long ago :-(
9.41pm - Anyway, today was another very productive day in terms of packing. Our kitchen cupboards look like Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards - say that twice fast - we're down to bare essentials, milk, bread, eggs and butter. Dinner was a feast today - soup and omelettes instead of a protein shake or cereal - woo hoo! Had 3 people come and take a look at my car which is for sale. They are all interested and are all trying to get us to lower the price, so we're also playing the cat and mouse game...lets see what happens. Watched another superb episode of West Wing tonite. They are down to the final 3 episodes before the show ends May 14th. I think that is a sure sign that its time for us to return to India....i mean with West Wing no longer airing new shows, there's no reason for us to stay?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chaordic: Simultaneous chaos and order

Disorder reigns supreme in the Raghavan household. Boxes, cords, cables, clothes, packing tape, suitcases, dirty laundery, clean laundry waiting to be packed, shoes, bedding...all piled up all over the place..its as my dad would say "utter chaos"! And surprisingly my blood pressure has not risen...its in a way sort of liberating and fun to not have to worry about things being kept clean and neat all the time! Raghavan and Gautam knew this all along and never told me!!!!!!!
Made another trip to Goodwill today - and it probably won't be the last one. The weather is absolutely gorgoeus...a picture perfect Seattle spring day. The sun is out, a little breeze and cherry blossom flower petals flying around all over the place....along with some nasty pollen that has been attacking my sinuses. The mountains are capped with snow and look spectacular.

Friday, April 21, 2006

No soup for you! was a major breakthrough day in packing. Didn't get a whole lot accomplished last night cos i watched an hour of The Amazing Race and then 1/2 hour of American Idol - Ace got booted out, yay! R stayed home today because i think it suddenly dawned on him how much there was for him to do. Started out by taking my car to the shop to get it detailed and ready to sell. Then we went to the PO to mail some stuff R sold on Ebay. (On a side note-its amazing what you can sell on Ebay...he got $90 for a lousy Apple II computer (he says its a collector item)that he bought for 5 bucks at a garage sale wayyyy back in 95 or 96!!!!)
Then back home and non stop sorting and packing till about 4pm. Made a lot of headway and its going faster than i thought. Its soup day for both of us just like it was yesterday and the day before and i think the day in between bouts of packing and sorting, we kept drinking soup. We're so tired of eating out so most nights, for dinner its either cereal or soup or a protein shake. PCC has some really good soups and i think we've tried every single one they have. You'd think i'd be losing some weight working so much and consuming so little but no such luck!
Anyway, its almost 7pm now and i think i'm going to call it a day! Have to watch American Inventor tonite....i tell you, this TV is a bad thing. I'll be glad come Sunday when its all takes up way too much of my time!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blogging 101

Still trying to figure out this whole blog thing. Never realized it takes up so much time...maybe once i get really good at it, the words and ideas will start to flow. Anyway, Gautam - our son - was visiting from DC and so i asked him for some help. His first comment was that the original title i had come up with sucked - i actually thought it was pretty clever - and he suggested i change it. I still haven't come up with anything yet. Anyway, while he was here, we took some pics outside the condo by the posting one of them. He left last night and now i can get back to some serious packing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A new beginning..... i finally gave in and succumbed to it. I started my own blog! Since R and I are starting out on a new adventure, a whole new chapter in our lives, that of returning to India, i figured now is a good time as any, if not the best time. I have also been bombarded by requests from friends to keep them posted on our experiences. So here goes.....

As stated above, R and I are returning to Hyderabad, India after 22 years in the US, 21 of them in Seattle. A lot of reasons contributed to this decision, the most important one being that we felt we needed to be closer to our respective parents back home. I didn't really need a lot of convincing, but when R said i could basically chill out the rest of my life and the only work i would ever have to do is maybe pack a couple of suitcases to travel for 2-3 months every year - i coudn't refuse!

Moving back to India after so long in the US is a monumental task in terms of the amount of planning to be done.....i spend more time making "to do" lists than really doing anything. Some days i am so overwhelmed, i don't know where to begin, so i end up doing nothing! But the time has come to stop procrastinating...and get to it.

In the next few days, i shall try to record my daily thoughts and actions pertaining to this new adventure. It may come across as a bit garbled and i may start rambling a bit....till i become an expert blogger!

Check out this cool video of India...