Settling in

Moving in commenced on Friday! We were able to get keys, inventory the house, and receive all the boxes by 1 pm. Or 8 am EDT. Or 5 am PDT. Leah stayed and unpacked while David was able to go into the office for a half day.

We love our flat more and more as we settle in. Instead of Memorial weekend, we had a bank holiday here, so we got a lot done. We take breaks to eat on our tiny balcony and truly enjoy using our own plates. It has been challenging for Leah to rest because she/I just wants to be settled finally and is anxious to finish unpacking. David is busy trying to find us a free wardrobe for our closet-less bedroom.

After 7 different beds these last couple of months, it is wonderful to sleep in our own.

Some ‘before’ photos from Friday…

In progress…

And where we are today, Sunday…

So we celebrated with a walk.

The walkway above the train tracks. Sunset isn’t until nearly 10 pm.

First week of work

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind week. Tuesday was my first day of work at Rocksteady, so it was a shorter week. Here are a few general impressions so far.

Everyone seems very nice. I’ve felt welcomed, my opinion has often been asked, I’ve been given responsibility over various initiatives. I still feel like I have a lot to learn about the code, about the structure of the company and how to move things forward, but generally it seems like the structure rewards personal initiative, and that’s how I like it.

The office is beautiful, and has a fancy espresso machine that I’m slowly learning how to use, as well as other free drinks and snacks. Around lunch, someone yells, “Salad man!” or “Soup man!” as someone comes through and sells those things for folks that want to buy lunch to eat in. There’s also a regular group that has a pattern of which day they go where for lunch. And there’s a group that stays around and plays video games over lunch. Seems familiar…

A few random things from the week:

Work folks and I¬†went to “Wahaca” (butchered spelling of Oaxaca), a mexican burrito place that’s very popular here. Leah is protesting all mexican food here, especially places that claim things like “real California burritos”. I think they were just okay, not terrible, but not great or anything really like Californian ones, though you can tell they’re trying.

There’s a lot of folks who go out for beers on Friday after work, so we did that with some folks and Leah came too and that was nice. Barely starting, but starting to get to know people.

We got a bank account! Seems silly to celebrate that, but it was difficult! We got turned down by 2 or 3 places for not having the paperwork they required to prove UK residency, but managed to get an HSBC account with the help of Rocksteady. Our contactless debit and credit cards come in the mail soon, so hopefully soon I can stop carrying around cash and the millions of tiny 1 and 2 pence (and 1 and 2 pound) coins that inevitably result from that.

Our phones are all up and working! You can call our US phone numbers and it will magically travel through the internet to reach us via data, and it uses so little data to be a non issue. Texting works, too. So give us a call!

I’m sure Leah will update you all on her impressions of her first week, too, but that’s all from me for now. Here’s a picture of the view I had from the lobby waiting to enter work for my first day:

2016-05-03 10.44.47

First Day in London

When last we left off in our adventures, we had landed at Heathrow Airport and were waiting to go pick up Zeke.

Well, we got him! We took an Uber XL with all our bags in a roundabout trip around the whole airport before we found the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre. We walked in, and they told us Zeke was almost ready! We only had to wait 5 minutes. He came out wiggling, super happy to see us, and seeming completely like himself. Thank goodness. Seems the trip wasn’t so hard on him.

We waited for another Uber XL and then took the traffic-filled, 90 minute trip to our hotel. The driver was really nice and chatted with me during the ride, while Leah and Zeke passed out in the backseat. Then we managed to get checked into our temporary house and get all our bags upstairs.

It’s really nice! We were expecting a studio apartment, but they actually gave us a 1 bedroom–it has a kitchen with everything: a washer/dryer, a living room, and a nice bedroom with a closet, chest of drawers, etc.

The rest of the day has been spent relaxing, getting phones set up, napping, and eating delicious mediterranean food. OH! and we took Zeke to the nearby King’s Square Gardens for his first London park adventure! He got his ball stolen from him by a yellow lab and then once we got it back he played really well. Just like in America!

Tomorrow we try to run a few errands like getting a bank account set up and getting our permanent ID’s.

Picking up Zeke at the Animal Reception Centre

Driver on the right side... that will take a bit to get used to.

Zeke playing in King Square Gardens

First sunset: view from our temporary apartment

Wendover, Utah to North Platte, Nebraska

Today is my first post on this blog. I think all of the busyness of getting ready to leave has made it difficult to wrap my head around all the emotions I’m feeling in leaving San Francisco and moving all the way to London, but now that we’re out on the road with no real deadlines other than needing to get to our hotel before we pass out, I’ve had more time to think.

I am sad to be leaving San Francisco. All of the good-byes to all of our friends has made it really clear how loved we are and how much we did have a real home there, even if we knew it was never going to be forever. I’ll miss driving in the Presidio on the way to work, getting probably the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ll miss the beach and running at Land’s End. I’ll miss all of my friends at Telltale. And part of me will miss the possibility that never materialized, that is moving to the East Coast for a job or an opportunity for Leah there.

But, as weird as it is, I am really excited to move with Leah and Zeke across the world to London. I’m not sure I can fully put into words why. It just feels right. I’m excited for new possibilities and my new job at Rocksteady. I’m really hopeful for new opportunities for Leah to advance her art practice over there. But mostly I just feel it’s how God is going to move our family forward. We felt somewhat stuck in San Francisco, as amazing as it was. And even though I don’t know all the details, like I like to, I trust that God is going to use London to do some pretty amazing things in our family.

Anyway, enough feelings for today. Today we drove through all of Utah and all of Wyoming. Leah had driven through most of this before , but I’d only driven the southern route before. It was really beautiful and a lot more snowy than I had imagined. Zeke got to play in the snow. He was mostly good though I think he’s getting a bit sick of being in the car all day. Here are some pictures.

– David