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.