Friday, September 25, 2009

Casa Cali

After a marathon trip that involved two back-to-back 11-hour flights and a 12-hour layover in the mix, Rico and I made it to California two days ago. I'm incredibly grateful to report that, after an equally gruelling trip, our three cats made it across the world as well. They arrived soon after us, and despite some initial shock and yowling about, everyone is nicely settled in and feeling at home.

Rico made it through his immigration interview without incident, and received a hearty, "Welcome to America!" from the attending officer. Our luggage arrived on time, the few cargo shipments we sent (sculptures, paintings) seem to be on track, and nothing serious was lost or damaged in the move. In all the international travel I've done throughout the years, I can honestly say I've never had a trip go quite so smoothly.

Casa Cali is gorgeous, much more cozy than Rico and I had expected from the photos. We have wooden floors, a spacious kitchen, two decks and a stunning view across the bay where, on clear days, we can see the San Rafael bridge. We also have a mature garden that I look forward to learning how to make flourish. We've met some of the neighbors, and are getting to know the basics of our new place of residence (i.e. how to get on the freeway, where to go for a jog, how to get to the nearest BART station, where to find the bank and supermarket).

Rico and I are in the midst of the low-level craziness that is moving into a new house, unpacking and trying to establish a routine. We had the requisite American experience of going to COSTCO yesterday, which was quite a trip. We've been trying to figure out what all still needs to be purchased, what can wait, how we will arrange the furniture, which room will be my atelier and which will be Rico's office. It's a bit exhausting, but I am absolutely loving this process.

I will likely be posting infrequently for the next week or so as we get settled, but please know that I fully intend to continue blogging, and that I also will keep writing about Mozambique and our experiences in Maputo.

12 comments:

Jo Ann v. said...

That's so exciting !
Don't forget the pics !!!

poppy fields said...

yay! I 'm you made it!

alphawoman said...

Good, I would miss you very much if you did not blog. So happy that the trip came off without a hitch and the kitties arrived safey too. Welcome home.

laundrygirl said...

Glad to here it was a safe arrival! Welcome to California!

The Girl from Mozambique said...

Welcome to the west coast.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home!

Guilherme.

Safiya Outlines said...

Glad you had a safe trip, really looking forward to hearing about your new life!

RD said...

Welcome back home, Ali and family! I hope the transition is easy and much happiness follows!

Anonymous said...

The tune from "Welcome Back Kotter" is running through my head.
Thank goodness for a safe trip - and that the kitties made it ok.
Ali, since your post last year about Pho in Vietnam I went looking for a place here. When you get back to Albuquerque check out Pho Nguyen on Menaul. Great food.
Happy that you're home.

Stacie said...

Cant wait to see pics....

Leau said...

I there, I am "de-lurking" here. I read your blog with interest and came by way of Tara Bradford a while back. I live in ABQ and so that peaked my interest as well. As it turns out, I now work at the VSA North Fourth Art Center in ABQ and at the end of the month, we will be hosting a dance company from Mozambique! It seemed like the perfect time to say hello. So if you guys are planning a trip home, that might be a good time to come...or tell your folks to come! Hope Casa Cali is all you hoped for. Leau

Ali la Loca said...

Thanks, everyone.

~Anonymous - There is a relatively large Vietnamese community in ABQ. I'll check out that place on Menaul. There is another one on Montgomery, if I'm not mistaken, up in the Heights, that is delicious. It's in the middle of a strip mall, hard to find but worth it.

~Leau - How cool!!! So glad you delurked, and I'd love to hear more about the dance group you will be hosting. Feel free to email me details: rosa_brazil at yahoo dot com. Unfortunately I won't be back in NM until late next month, but I'm sure it will be a wonderful show.