It's been two weeks since we left the US for Spain, and in someways it feels like a million years and in others it seems like we are only just getting here.
We left Atlanta on 22 Jul for a few days in New York City with my parents. The big cornerstone of the trip was that #3 and my Dad were to catch the final game of the Subway Series on that Sunday night. Unfortunately, the game was washed out and my Dad and my youngest--both of whom had been looking forward to this game for months--were left sorely disappointed.
Monday was a low-key day; we took the subway to Battery Park, caught the Staten Island Ferry for a quick hop out to see the Statue of Liberty, and then walked back up to the 9/11 Memorial. These were important stops for our family both personally and communally.
My paternal grandfather, the one with Spanish roots, emigrated to the United States through Ellis Island. Lady Liberty likely greeted him and his brothers as she did so many thousands of exiles when they arrived on the shores of the United States. While Ellis Island is no longer in use, I trust that Mother of Exiles will continue to symbolize a welcoming and hopeful land of opportunity.
It was also important for my sons to see the World Trade Center site. I know that when I was a kid, it was easy for me to think of things that happened before my birth as ancient history, regardless of how near or distant they were in reality. While the boys were not able to grasp the impact of how drastically life in the US changed on 9/11, seeing the two gaping holes left where the towers once had been gave the boys a sense of how big these skyscrapers were and how many lives were lost.
On Tuesday, we woke up and said our "see you soons." As you can probably imagine, it was emotionally hard saying goodbye, and more than a few tears fell. I love my parents very much, and one of the reasons that we had not left Atlanta before was because I placed a high priority on my sons knowing my parents and having strong bonds with them. That hasn't changed, and I am thankful that my parents remain in good health and will travel to visit us and we will visit them.
That afternoon we began the actual journey part of the move. We left the hotel at 1:30, way earlier than necessary for our flight, but I would rather wait 3 hours at the airport gate than sweat because of long security delays. Because we had so much time, we ended up buying a one-day pass to the Delta SkyClub which was worth the price in sodas and snacks alone.
The flight was easy and getting through customs and out of the airport was even easier. There were hours of wasted time at the Madrid train station because I over estimated how long customs would take, and we arrived at our apartment at about 5:30pm on Wednesday evening.
We met our agent at the front door, and she let us into our beautiful, light-filled apartment--it really was as wonderful as the pictures made it look. Since the apartment was rented completely unfurnished, C found us a fantastic place for two nights until we could get beds. After dropping off the majority of the luggage at the apartment, we made a quick stop at the 2-night rental and then hopped in a cab to IKEA to buy beds. I think one of the hardest parts of the journey was lying down to try out mattresses without passing out from exhaustion!
Mattresses, bed frames, duvets, nightstands, and a kitchen shelving unit later, we were in another taxi and headed back to the 2-night rental to sleep. It's hard to believe, but that was not quite 2 weeks ago. Most of the items were delivered before we left the gap housing on Friday.
A lot can happen in 2 weeks: Google can process 50 billion searches; or, you can move to the other side of the ocean and begin setting up your life and an apartment.