Saturday, May 16, 2015

Our next couple of weeks.....

Well just a quick blogpost to let you all know that we haven't dropped off the seminary planet. In fact it's the opposite we've been very busy with seminary and trying to finish homeschooling. Albert has finished classes and still has some exams to go. DV he will finish seminary for good on Monday. It will be a surreal day, we have thoroughly enjoyed the seminary experience but it is also good to finally have an end point. I finished homeschooling a week early as I physically can't pack/sort etc and school at the same time so I made an executive decision to finish. Almost all of the curriculum is finisished bar some science for the little girls and maths for the big girls. I asked the girls they other day what they thought of us going home. To my surprise while they are looking forward to seeing family, they are actually quite sad to leave their USA home. I suppose that's my own fault since I was determined to make it an adventure for them :). 

Next week is going to be pretty busy. A final senior dinner with faculty on Wednesday night, Graduation on Thursday night, out with (out of town) friends on Friday night, our farewell party on Saturday night and spending time with a dear friend on Sunday. Albert is preaching his final sermon at our home church that Sunday too. The week after that will be completing our packing, having a garage sale and tying up some loose ends no doubt! Hopefully we can squeeze a last visit to the Museum. Albert hasn't seen the latest space movie (which is free with the membership) and so a visit is a must :). 

We are moving out of our house on the 27th of May to stay with the other NZ couple in our church! We are hoping to have a garage sale on Thursday and clean the house. 

We leave Chicago on the 1st of June via the Amtrak train. Albert's parents took the Amtrak train from Los Angeles to Chicago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This got us thinking and after doing some research and talking to other people about it we decided to take the train from Chicago to San Francisco. We haven't seen the west yet and so thought it would be a great opportunity to see some of the country side since we need to fly out from San Francisco anyway. Unfortunately we just found out that the dates we are travelling they are doing some work on the tracks and so we are not going through the mountains as was originally the plan.  The train trip takes about 52 hours. We have booked sleeper cars so that we are able to sleep on the train, not sure if I would still be sane to spend 52hrs in a sitting position! All the meals etc are provided so it looks like a great opportunity to wind down and relax before our return to New Zealand. 

We arrive in San Fransisco on the Wednesday and are staying until Sunday night (cheapest flight out without arriving in New Zealand on a Sunday!). Finding 'cheap' family accommodation in San Fran is quite a challenge. I looked into renting a house for the few days that we where there but since San Fran is hilly and we have no car, this was not a feasible option. I ended up finding a youth hostel that accommodates families. I have stayed in quite a few in my youth (with my family) in Europe and really enjoyed the experience so hopefully we will too! One of the huge benefits of this is that it comes with a communal kitchen so we don't have to 'eat out' for all of our meals. A couple of other benefits are that we are very close to the Golden Gate Bridge, supermarkets and the tourist attraction Alcatraz. Another bonus is that because Youth Hostels is for youth travelling on budgets is that the Youth Hostel has researched all the free/cheap things to do! A BIG bonus! We leave late on Sunday night for Auckland, NZ arriving very early Tuesday morning NZ time! 

Well that's the next few weeks in a nutshell! Hopefully I will be able to post some photos otherwise I'll catch up once I get to New Zealand!

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