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August 27, 2006

Last day of Summer

August 26th was a perfect day in so many ways. We got up early, got ready & enjoyed a nice breakfast anticipating the day's events. We were all quite relieved to wake to the sunshine rather than the predicted rain. The groom showed up looking dapper and was greeted by very proud parents. The main road to the church was closed because of construction so a peaceful drive through Linz's rolling countryside was enjoyed.

The reception was beautiful. Since it was in German, I did not understand anything except that two people who were definitely in love would be joined together on this day as husband and wife.

Afterwards champagne was shared in the church garden, along with many kisses and congratulations to the newly married couple. Paul and I got to re-unite with many that we had met the night before at the "meet and greet" at Simone's new art gallery which I might add featured some of Thomas's incredible paintings.

A short drive to the hotel where the festivities would continue. The hotel would best be described as, old school European. Basically, all around classy.

We dined on exquisite food while the room was filled with classical music from the string quartet.

Glasses clinked together following the speeches, which once again were not understood by me, but the message was clear.....love and happiness.

Coffee, tea, wine and cake were had in the garden where the quartet followed.

The bride and groom gave hugs and kisses to all before driving off to an undisclosed location in a 68 Citroën DS with tin cans clunking behind.

Since then, it has rained off and on everyday and the temperature has dropped significantly. What a great way to remember the last day of summer.

August 24, 2006

Not Enough Words

Right now I am sitting at a cafe in Linz looking over the Danube. The sun is shining; Paul is sitting with his cousin Thomas getting a chance to catch up on the last 2 years of their lives, sharing anecdotes and enjoying each other's company. All around me is a gentle buzz of people chatting in German. I may understand a word or two, but only if I pay really close attention.

Already the language barrier leaves me unable to express myself fully. It makes me realize how often we pass up the opportunity to share of ourselves because of our own personal barriers.

So I would like to take a moment to express with my whole heart.....danke...Thank you! With the experience of selling our house, our belongings, transporting ourselves, our dog and our stuff to Montreal and then hitting the road, I have often thought of how incredibly lucky Paul and I are to have such an incredible support system.

We have been surrounded by caring neighbors in Encinitas who were always offering to lend a helping hand. For the first time since moving away from our homes in Montreal, we were part of a community again. Our friends were a great sounding board and we enjoyed getting excited with them of what lay ahead.

Arriving in Montreal into the loving arms of our families was just what the doctor had ordered. The support from our families is more than we could have ever dreamed of. They have been with us on our virtual rollercoaster ride and they don't get off when it slows down. They continue to be on if for the long haul. Our families have helped to make our dream come true with their over flowing love and support. While my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation, there are not enough words.

So I will keep it simple...thank you all for being you and helping us to be us!

August 23, 2006


For the last few months, as our dreams have slowly become actualized, I have yet to experience the "aha" moment. The moment when it stops being a dream and realize that it is being lived. It comes in doses at unsuspecting times but continues to feel like we are dreaming more than we are living. So I process all of this newness the best way I can and accept the changes of mindset and environment as they come. Maybe there will not be one specific "aha" moment. Maybe my "aha" moment has come and gone, but there was too much going on to acknowledge it. It's just really nice to take a deep breath and enjoy our surroundings once more.

August 22, 2006

Heavy Burden

My impression, formed in the first hour of our carrying our bags is that we’re carrying far too much with us, despite obsessing about it for months before leaving.

The bags at 10-12kg (22-26lbs), which is a little on the heavy side, but very much on the BIG side. Unmanageable on the lap, and too big to walk through a store with or wear in an elevator. I certainly don't feel light and airy with it on.

We need to cut what we have with us. We don’t want to feel like loaded pack mules as we did when we made our way to the train ticket office at the Munich airport, forced to take the escalator rather than the stairs, or how the first thought on arrival at the train station was "do you think they have a place we can store our bags so we can have a look around?" ... exactly what we wanted to avoid.

Look for us to cut down on our burden as we figure out what we’re really using all the time.

August 21, 2006

Sweet Departure

Surely eighteen days in Montreal should have been ample time to get "the last few things" done and soak in some good times with our families and friends, with plenty of time left over to look back on the life we left behind in San Diego and look forward to what awaits us during our travels.

Yet, as we sit here in the airport lounge awaiting the first leg of our big journey, we take what feels like the first free breath. "The last few things" turned out to fill mostly 18 hour days with busy prep work, right until the last minutes before leaving for the airport. What an enormous undertaking.

Each day, we'd add as much to our to-do list as we'd take off, whether it was making and notarizing our wills, unpacking our moving truck into Jo’s mom’s basement, closing on the sale of our house, arranging travel insurance, picking up the last pieces of gear or seam sealing and waterproofing them, getting calling cards, or obsessively packing, discarding items, tweaking and repacking.

After it’s all done, we feel great knowing that our affairs are in order, our belongings stored away safely and we have a couple of light packs with us with nothing but open choice in front of us.