Hotel vs House

We arrived at our house yesterday morning only to find the previous teacher left pretty much everything behind (cigarette butts, razors, socks, condiments, you name it). We also learned a very quick lesson on cleaning standards. Exhausted, we asked to stay in a hotel for the night so they could purge all of the crap (except for the 200+ DVDs we found in the closet, those could stay). The hotel was great, the rest very much needed.

Our dilemma is this: we are just not big fans of this house. We are trying to get over the horrible first impression and balance our decision making. We learned of another house for rent (only $266/month) down the street which looks pretty fantastic. Our appt to see it is tomorrow. Until then, all of the hotels have booked up, so we’re stuck in the meh house. It is definitely one of those situations that if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.

And just so you know, because I bet you were dying to ask, Eliana is doing amazingly well. She gets so much attention, every where we go people (men and women) say hi to her and want to touch her cheeks. Rarely she gets shy anymore, but now eats it up and strikes up a conversation. She even said “terima kasih” to the driver today, which means thank you in Indonesian.

One step at a time.


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I didn’t realize we would have to get off the plane in Japan, but we did. It felt good to stretch our legs and spot Hello Kitty gear.

Now we’re in Singapore, waiting for our last leg of the trip. Of course the Skytrain is closed at 3:00am, so we’ll need to walk the three terminals. But first, we dine on coffee and Belgian waffles. A treat!


Let’s do this

After a six and a half hour drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles with my dad, we arrived for a BBQ and swim. We’re staying with family and plan to see more today. It feels good to reflect on the past week and how we’ve been able to see so much family and friends before we leave the country.

Time has really flown by. It’s a little hard to believe we leave tomorrow. I’ve been asked a hundred times if I’m scared or excited. Maybe both? I don’t know. It’s really one foot in front of the other right now.

We have a few loose ends to tie up: repack our bags, cancel our phone service, work on our budget a bit. We’ll do what we can to prepare, but I have a feeling we have a very small idea of what we’re in for. I know it will be amazing. Yes, I am excited. I am scared.

Let’s do this.





Why are we in Arizona?

Fortunately Seth and I both have family and friends in Arizona, so to visit is always something we both look forward to. My father has a horse ranch, so we decided that Maxi may really enjoy staying here during our expat adventure. So far, she’s tries to herd the horses without much success, but I think she really loves it here.

It’s 6am right now and Seth, my dad and Grandpa are golfing. Eliana and I are eating Grandma’s amazing pineapple upside down cake for breakfast before we ride the horses. BBQ this afternoon. All in all, a pretty stellar start. Tomorrow we drive to LA!


Preparing in our own ways


As Seth and I work through the house categorizing items by whether they should be given away, stored for 1-2 years, or packed in one of our three checked bags… Eliana swims. We figured (and thanks to Savta) that swimming lessons would be essential before moving to Indonesia. So far she’s learned a new song and can do a perfect backfloat, with pointed toes and all.

We are each approaching this move in different ways, including our friends and family. The daily unexpected visits have been wonderful. The help tremendous. The hugs amazing. It’s starting to sink in… and like I recently told my friend, we’ve begun to run around like chickens with our heads cut off, yet in a hipsterly dignified way, of course.

Bakakak Ayam

Sorry veggie friends, but the fried chicken (and duck) in Indonesian is out of this world. We are so very much looking forward to the flavors and accessibility to amazing food like this again. And hello, do you see the heart cucumber? Love.

I found this picture on, which is a PR site for the city of Bogor. I love their pictures. For more, check them out!