Monday, 22 July 2013

Road Trip to Florida

We have just taken our first holiday out here in the states. Paul has taken us all down to Florida for my birthday (which is today!!).

Paul and I have been to Florida before but this is Calleigh's first time going and it is our first time driving. Obviously you can't drive from England so last time we came by plane. We decided that this time, as we are living a drivable distance from Florida we should take a road trip. 
I planned out the route a week before hand so it would be a easy drive down.

On the way down we went through 6 states, starting off in Missouri, heading off into Illinois and then passing through Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia before finally arriving in Florida.

All together it took us 2 days with a night stop in Atlanta, Georgia. We were on the road a total of 16 hours and travelled 1020 miles. As we decided to do it in two days our first leg from St Louis to Atlanta, a total of 595 miles, took us about 11 hours. That includes a breakfast stop, gas stop, a quick stop in TN for a break and a final stop for some dinner and more fuel. On the second day we went from Atlanta to Orlando, travelling 425 miles in 6 hours. Again we stopped a few times for quick breaks but as we had breakfast before we left we didn't need to take a long stop for any food.

On the way back we have chosen a different route but taking it slow and doing it over 2 days again. We will be staying over the night in Alabama. I will let you know how it goes. If you want to know how our trip went you can find it here.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

3 Month Update

Can you believe that we have been here for 3 months already. Where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday I was waving goodbye to the runway at Birmingham Airport. 

We have been very busy these last 3 months, attempting to settle down into our new surroundings and I must admit I think we are just about there. The house is really starting to look like a home now and I no longer wake up in the morning thinking I have to go downstairs to get a cuppa (our bedroom is ground level). We have added our homely touches to it, stuck loads of family photos up and Calleigh has done her part by ensuring it is a mess 24/7. 
We are getting to know the area very well and although I am sure there are still many hidden wonders we have yet to discover just around the corner from us, we know all the places we need to. Where the nice parks are to take Calleigh, good restaurants to go to, where to get our haircut and good places to go shopping. Road wise I no longer rely solely on the Sat Nav to get me around and am much more comfortable with Interstate driving and we have even found some sneaky little shortcuts (albeit they may be on what I call death roads- narrow roads with massive drops either side). 
Paul and I passed our US driving tests not longer after we got out here and now hold both a Missouri and British driving license (go us!) 

We have encountered a few problems out here mainly to do with trying to get a car. It seems that we are what they like to call "ghosts"- no credit history- and most dealers are only willing to sort finance over a very short period with a very high interest rate. One even wanted to charge us 30% Interest!! I will probably go into this more on another post, it's much too annoying to go into right now. For the time being we are relying on the kindness of Paul's work as they are lending us a car to get around in. 

On the weather front it is finally starting to look like summer here, although as I write this there is a bad storm going on outside. We have seen much higher temperature's in the past few days and much more sun. Which is much better than it  has been. Just a few weeks ago at the end of May we experienced our first Tornado warning and had to wait it out in the basement, Luckily it passed by us.

At the moment we are very happy with the way things are going over here and Paul has even had some news regarding our green card process and it looks as though we can start applying for it now. Depending on approval this would make us official residents of the United States.

We are missing our families back home and especially missing the extra help we had with Calleigh. I don't think we have had a minute to ourselves since we got here. In a couple of weeks my mum and sister are coming over to visit and I can't wait. It will be great spending time with them and I am so happy for them to come and see our home and the area where we live. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

We Are Back Online

After an incredibly long wait to get our TV and internet installed (we were left with nothing for 6 weeks!!) we are finally back online. We got everything installed on Saturday and I couldn't be happier, Calleigh is loving having Disney Junior back and I'm glad I don't have to watch the same Little Einsteins DVD over and over again. 

During our time without the internet we used a 4G wireless device to get us through thanks to Paul's work. Unfortunately 4G is still unavailable in our area so it could only connect to a 3G network which meant we were very limited on what we could actually do, hence no posts in the last couple of weeks. I concentrated on Calleigh's blog during this time. 
It also meant that using Skype to talk to the family back home was out of the question as work paid the data  and we didn't want to give them a massive bill, cue one unhappy great Nanna who didn't quite understand why we couldn't talk. 

Thankfully all that is behind us now and we can catch up on all the TV we missed and chat our hearts out to the family. 

Also because of this I have a lot of catching up to do with this blog. I have a few updates I need to post and some pros and cons of moving abroad to come so keep a look out for those.