it's almost hard to remember everything, since it was already a month ago. but omg i've been TOOOOO BUSY to catch my own breath, let alone catch all y'all up on our stories! long story short: we're in texas now, ready to begin our new lives. but first i have to back up and tell you about our last day in hengelo, cuz it was just lovely and wonderful and sad.
we planned it all out pretty well for the most part: the movers and cleaners and shippers and all those dudes came on monday, and took all our stuff away. then we had a cleaning party. then adam and mg and i all spent the night in a hotel around the corner.
adam ran out to the bakery and got us some croissants and beautiful pieces of bread (oh dear lord how i miss good bread!) and we reorganized our bags -- we knew that we'd be cramped for space and time over the next 48 hours, so we wanted to have all our stuff together and in order. we packed one overnight bag for the three of us, which we would use in our itty bitty airport hotel room and again immediately after returning to colorado springs so that we wouldn't be jet lagged and searching desperately for saline solution and toothpaste in the bottom of one of our huge bags. the rest got organized into large suitcases, weighed, and zipped up tight.
after reorganizing, i took mg to the park. our last day in the park! sad! we have LOVED this park -- it was redone over the winter, and opened at the end of may, and nearly every day after that we spent it in the park, drinking rose' wine or sparkling water, pushing gracie on the swing, or splashing in the water and digging in the sand. we have a LOT of memories there!
while gracie and i were playing, adam was finishing up a few errands: returning our internet modem to the right people, and reading the meters. then he met up with us in the park and we went out for a lekker lunch at the twee wezen, our favorite restaurant in town. i was craving a really amazing sandwich, since i knew it was going to be hard to find something like that in the usa... we just don't have incredible cheeses or bread here like we do over there, so that's what i wanted. i got a wonderful tuna-fish sandwich, on this beautiful brown roll, with a wasabi mayonnaise and lots of fresh things on it. it was divine! adam got himself a big-ass meatball, which he shared with gracie, and she just mostly at a ton of fries since that's her favorite food and the dutch know how to do great fries! we watched all the "fietsers" (bicyclists) pedal past us under the clear blue sky, with the church steeple and bells ringing, and it was simultaneously exciting and depressing. we are so homesick already for hengelo!
as long as we were right next to the church, we thought it would be a good idea to go in and see mary one more time, light a candle, and ask for protection and guidance and support during our long, difficult transition home. i have felt comforted by my weekly visits to our big basilica, and i pray that i will also find a spiritual home here in denton. or, at least a place where i feel welcomed and calm, a quiet space in which to think and to light candles. i know nothing here will feel as big and old and mystical as sintlambertus kerk, but i do hope i will find SOMEPLACE out there where i will feel as peaceful as i felt when i walked in those old doors.
after lunch it was naptime, but since we had already checked out of our hotel, gracie had to take a nap in the park in her stroller. adam sat with her under a shady tree on a bench, looking at all the little baby duckies, and i picked up a few things at the hema and at the etos (one is a department store and one is a drugstore -- both on our street. or, rather, on our old street. sad!) then it was time for me to meet my friend, josine (pronounced "yo-see-nah"), who was helping me with our check-out procedure with the realtor.
the realtor was right on time, predictably dutch, and walked through our beautiful house. it was painful for me to be there, empty and echoing, looking around at all the memories that took place in every corner of every room of that amazing, loving, lovely home. i couldn't bring myself to even step one foot into gracie's room during the checkout, since that was always my favorite room in the house: her pretty yellow room, which adam lovingly painted for gracie before she was even born, and where i nursed her in the middle of the night, and laid her to sleep every evening, and met her in the sunny morning. i stood in the hallway and shouted out my answers as the realtor asked me about the keys in the door and the plaster on the ceiling. this is me locking up for the last time. i'm not even hamming it up for the camera -- i was really pouting this much! waaaah!
we passed with flying colors (though we STILL have not received our deposit, and somehow i'm totally not surprised even though i am pretty irritated), and to celebrate i bought ice cream cones for adam, myself, and josine. we didn't bother buying one for gracie since she never ate ice cream whenever we presented it to her, but wouldn't you know it, on our last day there, she was suddenly very interested in MY ice cream! i got mango and raspberry sorbets, and i think the colors looked really appealing to her (much prettier than the usual vanilla cone we usually buy for her!). so she pretty much stole that away from me and devoured it herself. way to go, gracie! i shouldn't have bought myself TWO scoops anyway! i was happy to share.
okay, now we had to swing by the hotel to pick up our heavy bags, and then walk to the train station to meet our train. and who did we see there? our friends! a group came with balloons and cameras, and hugs and kisses, to properly send us off on our way! oh, you guys! you are soooo sweet! it was just like at the movies, hugging and crying at the station, with balloons and a million bags, and a train approaching to take us off into the sunset...
we boarded the deutschebahn (got ourselves 1st-class tickets, too, so that we could relax in our own private cabin with all our bags, and it was worth every penny!) and rode west to amsterdam, where we got off at the end of the line: schiphol airport. we walked a few meters to our hotel, checked in, and called it a night.
check out this hotel, though! it's all one room! the toilet and shower are right next to the bed and have these circular walls that pull around them for "privacy." (though if i had to use the toilet, i don't think glass walls would make me feel like i had any privacy!) the hallway looked like a bunch of storage closets, cuz the doors were all so close together, but those were actually our rooms! amazing! it was actually really comfortable, and surprisingly quiet given that we were AT the airport!
off to bed, then up the next day to fly home. or, "home." or, ... back to america. where is home now? i feel so transient these days!