Alright! Day one in England. Departure went very smoothly, getting the dogs through cargo was easy and cost less than we planned for, which is always a nice surprise. Rental drop-off was easy, and we had plenty of time for breakfast and mimosas (me) before our flight left. We ended up running to our connecting flight – turns out there is a two hour time difference from Phoenix to Dallas, not one. The flight was long but involved lots of sleeping and movie watching and actually went by pretty fast. My skin was already feeling the benefits of the new climate by the time we got to the Passport line. After soaking my hands in steroid cream for the past year to keep the painful, skin cracking eczema at bay, my hands are already looking their age again. Sweet relief! Our luggage all made it in one piece, and we had time for some tasty rashers and eggs with a spot o’ tea before we headed over to the animal reception center to claim the dogs. The waiting room was full of stressed folk waiting for their precious pets to be cleared through customs, and about every 20 minutes an official would come out and tell someone that their paperwork was insufficient and they would end up sitting there for hours and hours waiting for their vet in America/Canada to open so they could contact them to rectify their documentation. Our hearts pounded every time someone would come into the waiting room thinking that they were either bringing our babies out or they were going to tell us that our paperwork failed and we couldn’t have them for god knows how long. As the hours went on, those of us in the waiting room became quite the team, cheering every time someone successfully got their pets back and rallying behind the ones that were getting screwed by the incredibly inefficient and cumbersome system that we all had to navigate to transport our pets. 6 HOURS LATER everyone cheered as our paperwork cleared and we got our beautiful (though stinky at this point) dogs back in our possession.
After a 2 hour drive around London and through endless green fields and acres of yellow flowers and countless trees of a species I have never seen before that I am now obsessed with, we arrived at Lakenheath. All the buildings are British-style brick, and the base is very compact, which makes it very walkable. Crossfit is over on the next base (a 10 minute drive), so I still have to figure that out. I’m on the hunt for a buddy and just doing the travel workouts until I figure out how to get over there. Tomorrow the job hunt begins, and Monday is the in-processing orientation. We are currently in temporary lodging, which consists of a two-level, 4 bedroom townhouse. The dogs have never had stairs before and are in love with running up and down them. We were quickly reminded of the joys of European plumbing and heating as well. The head-face promptly blew off the shower, which resulted in water shooting in literally every direction possible and my attempt at washing my face appearing similar to a battle to the death with the Kraken.
So now we are just waiting for all of our furniture and household goods to arrive, and we can begin to set up ‘home’. Hoorayyyyy!!!