Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A quick week of travel

Many of you out there live away from your families, I know this because I stalk read many of your blogs. Even those of you that might live close to your family and friends can imagine what a trip home is like. Here is a brief overview of how my trips tend to go:
  1. Before you leave you need to plan your time home. Who will you see what days? You might book lunches and dinners and movie times. Don't forget the family time.
  2. Arrive feeling like you have actually walked to your destination as opposed to flying. While carrying your luggage of course.
  3. Feel guilty that you have not made arrangements with more people than you have, so you try to blend a few groups together maybe. Or maybe not.
  4. Feel bad that you didn't buy gifts for some people because you know just what they would like but it was raining/snowing all week and you didn't have the will power make the time to drive to the big grocery store.
  5. Stand in amazement of how we functioned without cell phones once you arrive (because you don't have one). Sometimes I get a throwdown phone for the time I will be there just in case.
  6. Make the rounds, wishing you had more time to visit family and just hang out and watch TV, because you actually REALLY like to do just that. Sometimes just being in the same room with family is what I miss the most.
  7. Eat LOTS of Mexican food.
  8. Board the plane home knowing you forgot to buy gifts for people that you should have.
  9. Arrive feeling like you not only walked to France, but that that you had to push a cart with other people in it and swim across the Atlantic.
So I know many of you are thinking "oh I wouldn't do that, I would just let people know that I can't see them. Yes, I try to do that too. The problem lies in that I really DO want to see these people that I miss. So here is how my trip went this time:
  1. Pack up a few gifts to take but see #1 above. We also packed clothes to leave in Houston because when we move we won't have our things for another 4 or 5 weeks. We plan to take our honeymoon after our things are shipped and leave two suit cases here; one for honeymoon and one for going back to Houston that we will pick up when we return from Egypt. I made a few phone calls and sent one or two emails but didn't plan much (which I am glad).
  2. See #2 above, although after a good nights sleep it's not that bad when you fly west. Sunday morning we felt pretty good. Until I almost had a heart attack when the front desk lady handed me a note and told me there was a family emergency. Turns out it was a little serious, but my Dad will always tell me nothings wrong and he is fine (yes Dad, I am on to you and will still worry about you). He's at home now though and making a slow comeback.
  3. Spent all day, I mean all day, Monday looking at rent houses. We found some we liked and decided to fill out applications for them.
  4. Had dinner with my Mom and some friends throughout the week, even got to see my friend Missy, oops, Melissa (she is so grown up now) and her 4 week old baby. Hello there River!!
  5. Waited until Thursday to get responses from house folks. Turns out both of the ones we liked found renters that would move in during the month of March. We really need May 1st but would pay for April 1st. We lost both of them.
  6. Friday - stress a little about the housing thing but realize we can find a place when we get back. There is a ton of stuff on the market. Besides, maybe we should buy...prices are great and with the tax benefits Obama is talking about it could be good. Still have time to decide.
  7. Friday night - go the Houston Rodeo Cookoff!! Rodeo is starting and the cookoff was going on . We had tickets to some booths and proceeded to stay out until 1:30AM. Then we ate at IHOP at 2AM. An American tradition...though Cyr didn't eat, maybe it is just an American thing...
  8. Saturday - buy $25 Levi's for Cyr and $25 Converse for the beau-frere at Target. In France Levi's are about 100 euro and Converse can be found on sale for 60 euro. Crazy...should have bought some and sold them to my students.
  9. I think I ate Mexican food 6 or 7 times. :-)
  10. See #8 and 9 above.
I'm glad we went and I was able to see my Mom and Dad and Sandy (step Mom) and even my Aunt Mary. But the week was too short and we were so busy. Right now I'm recovering from jet lag and working this week at my Big School and tutoring three days. I need to start worrying about tax stuff and get that all to my cousin...sorry Sally!!

Looks like my days here are numbered. I have a friend coming in from the 12th to the 20th and we are trying to schedule the movers for right after she leaves. Then we will have our honeymoon, come back to France for one day, pick up Duncan and fly to Houston to live in a hotel for a few weeks until we find a place.

Oh...and on the flight back Duncan (cute little black cat) is going to ride in the cabin with us because he so small. I'm a little worried about this. We are going to the vet to get some Kitty Quaaludes to make him sleep, but this will be a 13-15 hour trip for him if you include the train ride from Lille and time to get to the hotel in Houston. I was told to put a shoebox with litter in it in his bag so he could do his business in it if he needed. Anyone out there have to make a long trip with a cat in a bag? I decided this week he is going to take some field trips in it around Lille to practice. I don't want him freaking out too much. Any advice is welcomed, please post a comment if you know of something!


Isabelle said...

About traveling with Duncan, didn't his vet had any good advice to give you?

I'm going to miss your blog, Susan!
I hope that you will keep writing as Susan in Huston :)

Susan said...

My approach to the visiting home thing is actually to visit 'home' extremely briefly, then make sure we all go on holiday somewhere else together. This works much better, as if I just visit home, everyone continues with normal daily life and it is as boring as heck. If we are all on holiday together, everyone relaxes and has a good time enjoying each others company.

Leesa said...

You top list looks EXACTLY like my list back to the States, too!!! I can't tell you HOW many people I grouped together in order to see more people... I always make the get togethers at restos so that Alex could eat and wouldn't feel so left out when everyone was talking in Eng.... I saw sooo many people but of course, couldn't see everyone...
When I go back in July/August... I'm NOT emailing everyone.. I'm just going to hang out and see fewer people... It's soooo hard and not really much of a "vacation" if you have to spend the entire time "visiting!!!!"

PS... I hope we will have a chance to come up to Lille before you move back to the States!!!!!!! I would love to see you again before you leave... Maybe we can make it up for a Sat/Sunday....
Let me know...
Hugs, Leesa

Melissa said...

Boo -- I didn't know about the Mexican food thing...

Steph said...

I think the best way for Duncan to not freak out is to not leave Lille! :)

Kate said...

Your description of trips home is eerily famiar to me. The only difference is that my mom fills my time so full with this and that social obligation that there is never any time to just kick back.

Susan in Lille said...

Isabelle - We went to the vet and got some meds for him (see next blog), and thanks for the kind words!! I will still blog from Houston...though I don't know how exciting it will be. :-)

Susan - Ah...fantastic idea. You are so right.

Leesa!! I have been meaning to call you...I have a friend coming this weekend to visit. How about coffee on Thursday or Friday morning?? I'll call you...would love to see you.

Missy - Are you kidding? I asked you to go there if you remember!! I would have eaten it 10 times if I could. ahhh...

Steph - I can't agree more...

Kate - That's funny, my Mom just hopes to get some time in with me. :-)

Leesa said...

Hi Susan,

I just read this...

Are you coming into Paris??!! OMG!!! Friday may be possible if it's around 10 am... I have to meet someone at noon at Aimee's. Are you staying at the same hotel. PLease let me know.. I'll call you today... Leese