Monday March 6, 2006, Long Beach, California
We are finally here. All those months of preparation involving decisions, big and small. At times we were so exhausted we thought we couldn't function anymore. At times the stress was to the point of unbearable. And through it all, the idea of our upcoming journey seemed to be just that - an idea.
But now we are here - I am sitting at the table of our little studio appartment (on Bay Shore Avenue in Belmont Shores, a part of Long Beach) and looking out directly on the bay with its sailing boats, and the houses and palm trees of Naples and Treasure Island across the other side.
We arrived on Saturday and my good friend Suzy met us at LAX and brought us, and our mountain of luggage, here. Since then we have slept, eaten and relaxed. This morning we walked the length of 2nd Street in search of a mobile phone (we have to learn to call them cell phones - along with a lot of other language changes, e.g. "Where's the bathroom/restroom?" - although Suzy really thinks 'loo' is cute!) And now we are connected, so today's task is completed.
On Wednesday we will head out of town to check out and hopefully purchase our slide-in camper. And on Saturday we will fly on to Oklahoma City to pick up our pick-up truck - which we bought on Ebay back in January. But until then we can mostly do whatever takes our fancy - it's a bit hard sometimes to accept that, as we have spent so long with tasks lined up in front of us!!!
Thursday March 9, 2006, Long Beach, CA
Happy Birthday Juergen - we had planned to be out of Australia by this day, and we are. The weather is not very kind and the wind is quite fresh - anyone who knows the 'birthday boy' will know that cold wind is one of his least favourite things! But it is very pleasant here in our little studio with the sun shining through the glass and the gorgeous view.
Every evening hundreds of seagulls land on the beach in front of this place and they sit looking in the same direction - some look like they are sleeping, others clean themselves and even take a bath. Then they all disappear once the sun goes down. We think they just like this place to watch the sunset...
Yesterday we bought our 'house' - well it will be our home for the immediate future, how ever long that will be...
We drove about 140 miles east of Los Angeles to a place called Indio. The Californian countryside in that part is fairly stark and barren - except for huge windmill farms. Juergen said that there were so many that they made him feel dizzy, as he drove toward them. The mountains still have snow on top (our first sight of snow and probably not the last!), but the country we drove through looked like it hadn't seen precipitation of any kind for years rather than months!
Ron and Marilyn were most friendly, hospitable and helpful. Our camper is pretty much ready to go with almost everything we could need - except the truck to put it on!!! It was very exciting to actually see it, touch it and climb inside it - after just seeing pictures and floor plans on the internet. And we are really grateful that we can leave it with them for as long as it takes to get back here after picking up our truck and visiting friends in Louisiana.
We had a lovely dinner last night at 'Sushi of Naples' - we can recommend it to anyone who ever spends time in the Belmont Shores part of Long Beach.
Our only frustration at the moment is our computer - namely internet access. The computer is supposed to connect to the internet via wireless - there seems to be a problem with this and we haven't really found anyone who can solve it. So, although I am spending the time writing this diary, it will take a little time to get our website updated with this information.