plane flights, kitty crates, a snow storm and polka-dot socks

We’ve made it! It’s been months of anticipation, but all of our planning has paid off and J and I and our two sweet cats are now safely tucked into our wee apartment in Edinburgh, Scotland. It still hasn’t sunk in that we’re actually here, but bit by bit I’m finding a new rhythm and getting all nested into our new home. I promise to get pictures posted of our new flat soon, but for now I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite corners in our new home and the tale of our journey to Scotland.

Our Sam boy...

First, our trek. This was truly an incredible undertaking as we decided to take our two dear cats, Sam and Luna with us to the UK. They are such sweet companions and have been with us through a lot so there was no way I could leave them behind. That all sounded well and good until we found ourselves on a flight from Salt Lake City to New York with a frantic little

...and Luna girl

Sammy boy high out of his mind on kitty-valium, yowling as loudly as he could to make sure all who could hear him would know just what he thought of his traveling companions. Luckily, J had the foresight to book us one day memberships with the Delta Sky Club (which I highly, highly recommend) so we were able to take the cats to a quiet corner, allow Sam to come down from his high, and get them a bit more relaxed before we had to part ways with them as they had to travel as cargo from NY to Manchester, England to satisfy the pet immigration laws. Needless to say dropping them off at the cargo loading center while they peered out at us from their cold little cages was a definite low point for me. But, thankfully, an uneventful ten hours later we found ourselves in England. Customs was a bit of a nightmare as they were all out of trolleys and we had four 50lb Rubbermaids, two large roller bags and our carry-on luggage that needed to get from the carousel through the customs gate. After 45 minutes of standing around impatiently and muttering under our breath about the lack of efficiency of our new homeland, J ended up dragging each of the tubs through the customs gate one at a time while I juggled our carry-ons and roller bags. I’m sure we were quite the spectacle…

The next step of our journey required us to rent a car, pick up the cats from the animal immigration center, and then hit the road for a five hour drive to Edinburgh. J was a true champ as our car was a manual and Manchester had a good four inches of snow, (not to mention we were now driving on the opposite side of the road) but he hopped right in the car and got us safely out of the airport. I was very impressed. Next we went over and picked up our very disgruntled kitties. Fortunately for us, their horror at what we had just put them through was offset by their joy at seeing us again. So, the four of us piled into our car, pointed ourselves north and made the long drive to our new home.

The drive actually turned out to be about twice as long as anticipated as we ran into that snow storm again about 30 miles outside of Edinburgh where our highway was suddenly closed. So we had to turn around, retrace about 60 miles, then drive to Glasgow and take the highway east from there to Edinburgh. We did finally make it though, and some of our new friends had graciously collected the keys to our flat so we were able to spend the night in our new home. What a welcome sight that was! Unfortunately our first few days were a bit on the chilly side as our boiler wasn’t working, but once we got that issue settled, made a couple trips to Ikea, (once with our rental car and once by bus!) received our first delivery of groceries and got some good sleep in our comfy new bed we were once again filled with excitement over all the adventures that await us during our time here in Edinburgh.

One last funny detail to share… In the frenzy leading up to our departure we accidentally left a load of laundry at our home in Boise. Sadly for J, this was a load full of his socks. So, today as I sit writing this post I can’t help but smirk as I glance over at my husband and notice that he is now wearing a pair of my polka-dot socks! For those of you who know J, you will realize what a funny sight it is to see my 6’5″ husband with size 15 feet wearing my little socks… Ah moving, you have given me yet another funny mental picture to add to my collection of the ridiculous.

And now, onto a shot of one of my favorite little corners in our new home. The fireplace is purely decorative, but I still love it. The little bird was a Christmas gift from my sweet sister and it makes me feel at home. There will be more decorating to come, but this little space makes me feel settled and like the distance from my family is maybe not so far after all.

  • Deanna

    So great! Please tell me you took a picture of J in your socks! ( : Love the sweet little bird too. I’m sure the whole place will be settled in no time! Love to you!

  • http://scottybecca.wordpress.com Rebecca

    Hi! Welcome to Edinburgh. I can’t believe your adventure in getting here. Would love to get together soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can to to help you settle in.
    -Becca

    • sparrowhopes

      Hi Becca! Thanks so much. I think we’re getting settled in pretty well. J is off to school today so he’s as happy as can be! :) We’d love to get together with you guys too – let’s do it!

  • Janice

    Oh, my!! That is quite the trip. But, sounds like you had good spirits and a great attitude! I can’t wait to hear updates as you adjust to life overseas.

    Looking forward to pics of the flat in the coming days.

  • Marla

    Hi Sis! I loved reading every word, and laughed out loud picturing Jer in your polka-dot socks=)! I am not sure if you will be getting those back! Miss you like CRAZY, but know we smile everytime we think of you two beginning this next season together! Can’t wait to come see you!
    Love from across the pond, Mari
    PS-Your little bird looks perfect in your new flat!
    PSS-Give Sam and Lulu a snuggle for me!

  • Marcia

    What a delight to open up my computer this morning and find Sparrow Hopes up and running again. The nightmare of hauling your tubs, suitcases, etc. minus a luggage trolley must have been awful!!! I’m so happy to hear you are snuggling into your new home and can hardly wait to see all the pictures of what you do to make it have the Katy and Jeremy touch! Hugs to you both.

    Love,

    Mom.

    (p.s. I’m LOVING our iChat time!!!!)

  • lucashannon

    Wow! What a story of getting everyone to Scotland! I’m so glad you all made it safely and I can’t wait to see more pictures of your place and all the sights you will see. We love you guys!

  • Dad

    Hi Sweet Kate,

    Great update on your trip. You guys are amazing…veteran travelers for sure!!!!! I love the pictures you posted. The cats look great. Give them a McMeow for me. Enjoy your new adventures, we can hardly wait to hear more.

    Love forever,
    Dad

  • Shauna

    Love the pictures and stories, and can’t wait for more! :)

  • Megan

    So good to hear about your adventure to Scotland! I’m glad you’re finally there, as it was long anticipated :-) Looking forward to hear of your adventures there–
    You’ve got to love a decorative fireplace!!! I bet your place is soooo cute.

  • Ashley

    Hey Katy!

    I went to your facebook page to check in with you guys, and it notified me of your “blogiversary!” I had to celebrate that for sure!! Thanks for all the news and details about your adventure– and for including the pic of the fireplace.. I love that one little decorated corner, a husband in polka dot socks and two special furry friends can make you feel right at home. Love you!! I will definitely follow you on this! Can’t wait!

  • David Hill

    Hello to you and Jeremy. Wow, you guys are “world” travelers! Katy, sent an email to your SPU address. Don’t have J’s email…. and wanted to catch up!