Friday, January 30, 2015

Here I Am!

Happy New Year, everyone! A little late, yes, but it's still January for a couple more days. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and are having a great 2015 so far.

So, where have I been?

More like, where haven't I been?

You probably remember me mentioning a couple of months ago that hubby and I were moving cross-country. Well, we made the journey and we're both finally getting settled in.

A week before Christmas, the movers came and packed up our stuff in Louisiana.

Movers are always super happy when they find out that our apartment is on the third floor. And also that there's no elevator.

The next day, we drove home to Florida for Christmas.

Those presents are mine, you understand? All mine!

It was nice to have a break in between the chaos from the weeks before and the chaos we knew was looming in the weeks ahead. We savored having nothing else to do but relax and spend time with family and friends for a few days.

We even had time for our annual Goofy Golf tournament. I lost. Again. It's a holiday tradition.

A couple of days after Christmas, it was time to pack up the Family Truckster and hit the road. We spent six days driving through the great states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before arriving in California.

This represents approximately 2,100 miles and 32 hours of driving.

I said farewell to my car in Louisiana, so hubby and I made the trip together in his car. I was not looking forward to the long drive, and probably neither was my husband since after only a few hours in the car I tend to get agitated and basically become a giant three-year-old. ("I'm bored ... I'm hungry ... I don't want to be in the car anymore ... I have to go potty.") We made the trip more manageable by breaking it into 4-6 hour days, with the exception of the 8-hour drive from Florida back to Louisiana, so it wasn't all that bad for either of us. And the car drove like a champ and gave us zero problems, which always makes road trips nicer.

And we got to smell the calming scent of lavender all the way to California after one of my fragrance oil bottles leaked. Fortunately, the cardboard box absorbed it all and none of it stained the floorboards. Hubby's car still smells faintly of lovely loveliness. (You're welcome, hon! Enjoy!)

The terrain was pretty flat from Florida to Texas, but as we got closer to El Paso, the topography began to change. Mountains began to appear and the landscape became more desert-like. As the roads became more hilly, my ears began to pop. The scenery was definitely different from what I'm used to, and the drive through the southwest was very pretty. It was so pretty that I sometimes even forgot to whine about being in the car.

Here are some snapshots from our journey:

Wind turbines near Odessa, TX

Hey, look, Stitch was hanging out in New Mexico, too!

Las Cruces, NM.

Between El Paso and Tucson, we saw several billboards coaxing us to make a detour to behold "The Thing."

We didn't stop to visit The Thing, but we did visit the Googles and found some info about The Thing there. (Spoiler alert.)

Somewhere in Arizona along the interstate.

FINALLY made it to California!

We rolled in to town on New Year's Day. Talk about a fresh start to the new year! Our stuff arrived about a week after we did, so we stayed at Base Lodging in the meantime.

Moving-in day.

The house was a disaster for the first week or so after unpacking. Here is a before-and-after of my soap supplies storage room: 

Before                                                                   After

The move came with a few glitches and headaches. We lost a few screws (literally and figuratively), and I'm still not quite sure what's going on with our mail. But I think we've got most things worked out now and we're settled enough to start checking out our new surroundings.

We've already found some restaurants and shops that we like, and I've got a jogging route and a routine at the gym squared away. There are lots of fun things to do, both of the indoor and outdoor variety. And we are treated to some gorgeous views around here:

Now that things are finally calming down, I think I can even begin to think about making soap again soon! I am short on a  few soapy supplies, but that should be rectified shortly. I do have some coconut oil and pink Himalayan salt on hand. A batch of salt bars may be a thing that is about to happen ...