Eight days until we fly to Istanbul. Our time is rapidly diminishing. Because of everything going on here and Christmas coming so quickly we have this feeling like we are just hunkered down in Texas and will be here for a long time. But we are just a week and a day away from needing to be fully packed, on our way to the airport and off for most a year in Europe before returning to New York, not Texas. We won’t be returning to Texas for a full year, or so the plan goes. This is our first time on our travels where we are going to be away from the US for even a complete three month stretch, let alone almost six months! Our longest was when we were in Spain for two and a half months, plus a week in Norway and a day in Ireland. It was just under three months. Nicaragua would have been nearly as long but we returned a little early. This will be longer than both of those trips combined. There is so much mental and physical planning to do. I’m not sure if we are really going to be ready or if we are just going to panic and run for the airport at the last minute.
I am home alone this morning. Dominica and the girls spent the night at the Grices’ so that I could get some time to relax and get some things done on my own. It is very hard to be productive when everyone is around all of the time and you don’t have any quiet space. This actually works out quite well.
It is a nice, foggy day on Galveston this morning. Much like yesterday. I have the door and many of the windows open. It is sixty nine in the house, just about perfect. And the light is soft and white. I can see someone surfing in the roiled Gulf while I write.
The video game downloads continue. I was right when, several weeks ago, I predicted that I would need the full month in Texas to get the games that we wanted. We only have a week to go and are definitely not going to be able to get everything, but certainly have been able to get enough. We have tons and tons to play, that isn’t an issue. Now just making sure that we have the selection that we want. I suspect that once we are in Greece for a week that the girls will start playing games quite a lot. They are both such avid gamers. We are so happy that they have started to play games all of the time rather than watching YouTube or whatever like they used to. So much more interactive. They still loving watching YouTube shows about games and learning about their games from that, but that is a pretty good use of YouTube. They use it to learn about games that they want to play and about how to play the games that they have.
I was home alone until five forty when I hoped in the Spark and drove up to League City to have dinner with the family. Nothing fancy tonight, just cooking at home. Something simple. Vegetarian fake turkey and green beans with potatoes.
The kids had apparently begged for popcorn and a movie night. So the little girls and Emily sat in the living room and watched Cinderella, the live action version. I sat in the media room where I could see Liesl on the couch sitting with Francesca and I watched reruns of The Drew Carey Show on Laff. I’ve not seen that show in easily a decade! What a great show it was, too. Luciana started the movie but was tired and asked to go to bed almost immediately. So she was in their bedroom at the Grices’ sleeping most of the time that I was there.
After the movie was over we packed up the kids and drove back down to the condo. It was an early night for us. Luciana was so tired, she was straight t bed and asleep in minutes. Liesl was up for thirty minutes, tops, but did not want to go to bed but we sent her as everyone needed to get sleep tonight. Dominica was the most tired and was in bed before I could even turn around. I managed to get myself to bed in about an hour. I put in twenty minutes of playing the Enigma Express on the iPhone before I fell asleep.
It was easily only ten when I nodded off. A very early night indeed.
Tomorrow the plan is to sleep until everyone wakes up. Then I am going to drive the family up to League City and drop them off. Dominica is hoping to do this around nine. I know that more realistically it will be closer to noon. Everyone is tired and getting sleep is important. I will be home alone again tomorrow all day and they will spend the next two nights at the Grices’. I will join them on Christmas Eve in the afternoon and spend the night there that night as well as it just makes Christmas a lot easier to deal with logistically when we don’t have to drive half an hour or more in the morning after waking the kids up to get up there to celebrate. Way easier to already have us all in one place.