A funny/odd thing is happening with timing right now. We mentioned it before, but just to clarify – on the day this is published, we will actually be a week or so in to another trip. If you’re thinking “wow, that’s a lot of travel” then you aren’t alone. We kinda think our travels eyes were bigger than our travel stomachs; more on this subject when we have a quiet moment. In any case, we’re just going to catch up on a couple things here, then it will be on to the south of France. Wonders abound!
When we left our intrepid explorers they were wrapping up a trip to the Emerald Isle with some mundane shopping that was nevertheless welcome. We both left the shop we poked our heads into with shoes that felt much better on the ole tootsies. Our trip back to Braga was pleasant enough, helped along enormously by neither beginning nor ending at one in the morning. During this travel day, however, there was a flurry of communication that we suddenly had to stay on top of. You see, we had two pallets of our belongings, our last belongings in the United States, sailing over to us on a boat. Communication on the subject had been sketchy and we had a pretty large window of potential delivery dates. (There will be a whole lot more written on this subject in the future.) Naturally, while we were in another country the window began to tighten until we had a few potential days that our goods could arrive in Braga. Sure enough, a golden day for delivery was our travel day. We had contingencies in place, but they turned out to be no match for the communication issues that arise when at least three parties (the shipper, the folks receiving our stuff for us at a storage unit, and us) are trying to communicate and none of us share a common primary language. Good times. This actually made John a little happy only in that it pushed the delivery day to one where we’d be home. Thus he was there when the truck showed up… and thus he got to see the truck driver decline to back his truck up to the facility.
Long-ish story abbreviated, he felt the turn radius of his truck was no match for the space he had available to line up with the driveway. Fortunately, this is still Portugal. He walked down the street and had a chat with a nice young man in a Home Depot-esque supply store, who drove over with his forklift and extracted both pallets from the truck, and scooted them down the driveway and into our storage facility. Then he lent John a pallet jack so that he could get said pallets into our actual unit. All of this was at no charge, just being neighborly. Ye gods and little fishes. Goods secured we called it a day, and a weekend. On Monday, with the help of a nice young Portuguese man we first met when we had a yard that needed mowing, we made a couple of trips with a van and moved our things into our apartment. Our resultant feelings of satisfaction at having our things will also wait for another time; suffice it to say we were tickled pink.
And a little busy for a day, unpacking.
While all of this is going on, we’re having after-action conversations about how our trip went and what we can learn for the next time. At the moment we’re having long conversations about luggage. On the one hand, we aren’t looking to re-accumulate a house’s worth of stuff. On the other hand, we are genuinely bumping into occasions where we feel the need to check our roller bags but only barely, leading to the thought that once we hit the point of checking a bag no matter what, why not have bigger luggage so that we can expand what we bring? There are no conclusions at this time, and honestly we welcome any thoughts any of you might have!
And while these things are occupying us, we are a) trying to get ready for our next trip that starts this week, b) trying to catch up with at least some of our friends here before scooting away again, and c) trying a little clandestine sneaky sneaks to get ready for Lisa’s impending birthday. This is a lot busier than we ever expected to be when neither of us has so much as a part-time job. Nevertheless, the things that needed doing got done, the thoughts that needed thinking at least got some attention, and bags that needed re-packing were packed. Next stop – Nice!