It’s been nearly two years since my last post. Within that time away, a lot has happened, including our return to the U.S. and a lot of subsequent moving and settling, moving and settling. (Little adventures filled with the mundane chaos of life.)
Here’s an overview of what we’ve been up to:
After Cannes, we took a train a couple of cities eastward to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which borders Monaco. The gig there involved live-in pet-sitting for a British woman named Jan, who had soon-to-be-three pets: a half-wild bengal (pronounced bane-gal) cat named Piccolo; an old, obese, and highly repressed Dalmatian named Bailey (Baw-ee-lee); and a Weimaraner puppy, Ruby, arriving in December. Needless to say, we quickly learned that the gig was not as marketed, and although we stuck it out for a month and a half, things didn’t really end on a high note. We decided it was time to return to our country (somewhat with our tails between our legs).
Before our return to the U.S., Jan’s friends, empathizing with our situation, graciously offered a couple of nights in an ultra-chic vacation home in Antibes (next-door to Cannes) in exchange for pet-sitting their two dogs. Deal! The house in Antibes was gorgeous, but honestly, the best and most memorable parts were trying and failing to get the central heat to work (the house was freezing!) and the stove to turn on (never happened!). Stupid Americans? Maybe. We were impressively creative in our attempt to cook without heat–but not nearly impressive enough. We ultimately ended up at a very FRENCH Mexican restaurant up the street. We also finally purchased Ryan a coat in Cannes (a sweet end to trip-long searching). And my favorite: discussing life while huddled next to a wall heater in one room of the house.
On our way out of Europe, we flew to Cologne, Germany, where we spent an evening exploring the Christmas markets. I highly recommend seeing these at least once. (A little incentive: some of the best hot chocolate of my life came out of this experience.) From there, we took a train to Dusseldorf, where we boarded our ride back to the U.S. We met up with my family in New York City for a whirlwind vacation and then flew to Portland, OR, to be with Ryan’s family for the actual holidays.
In early January, we returned to Utah to live with my parents while Ryan looked for a job and I got back into my freelance business. After living in France for several months, I was continually surprised to discover that people were speaking English around me. It also took some time to figure out where I was, geographically, in a given moment. I would have mind-blanks in the morning and even during the day when I would genuinely ask myself, “Wait, what country am I in right now?”
My parents really are the best. It was wonderful to have so much support and family time–and be available for random chats and movies with my mom and sister. (I had two siblings still living at home at the time.) Ryan and I like being independent–it’s a need of ours, really–but I feel fortunate to have had this time with my family.
Thanks to a few awesome clients, Ryan and I had enough funds to move to Park City for the summer. (Utah Valley summers are too hot for me; this was a real treat.) We watched the autumn come and go in the Rocky Mountains. I ran on the trails there. We took drives along mountainsides filled with jewel-toned leaves. It was love, I tell you. Thus began our plot to own a summer home in Park City one day.
At the first sign of snow, we packed our car with all our stuff (literally, with the exception of a few boxes) and moved to Portland, OR, to be with Ryan’s family. (We figured, we’d spent eight years with my family in Utah. It was time to be closer to his side.)
Oh my, the Pacific Northwest is my paradise. So breathtakingly beautiful–even in the gray of winter. And being with his family was a treasure. Ryan and I were very busy trying to survive–he was still looking for a job at this point–but we stuck our heads out of our apartment every now and again to take part in activities. I still feel so lucky to have experienced this time, even for a fleeting few months.
Our time in Oregon was cut short–I still try not to think about that–but the reason for the move was a happy and exciting occasion. Mid-April, Ryan landed an awesome job in the Bay Area, and we moved there in May.
Fast forward to the present, and here we are! There are rumors of another move, so we’ll see what happens. I’m kind of getting sick of moving, if you can imagine, but I’m always excited at the prospect of a new location, a new experience. For now, we are here; we are loving it; we are happy. The next adventure is always just around the bend.