Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

They Crazy month of July

Hi Everyone,

July was the CRAZIEST month of our lives! 

We arrived in Denver on 5 July and the crazy began! While we were lucky enough to have a rental car and a serviced apartment, we only had 3 weeks together to buy a couple of cars, find a house to live in, furnish it, and get prepared for a few months apart. 

We looked at about 12 houses. They all looked like cookie cutter homes out of a Plesentville film: some were breathtakingly beautiful, but out of our budget; some were so filthy you would have thought that gorilla's moved out the day before; and some you could happily live out your life completely content in.  They all had similar features: double story + basement, backyards with polite hip high fences so you can chat to your neighbours with ease, double ovens, and 3 garages.

In the end, we found two houses (across the road from one another) that we REALLY wanted. One was a 5 bedroom house with a lovely kitchen, great living areas, and small deck. The other had 3 bedrooms, smaller living areas, 3 outdoor areas and the most spectacular views of a lake.  Following the flip of a coin, we moved into the 3 bedroom house - the other Aussie family that moved over at the same time as us took the other house. So we are neighbours! 

Next we needed to furnish the house.  The catch: it was so enormous that we could have easily fit our old house into it.  Luckily, the other families help set us up with a furniture rental company, and after several hours scrolling through pages and pages (and pages and pages) of options, we selected everything we needed - and more! 

Tristan took care of finding us suitable cars to own.  He selected two Fords: and Expedition and and Explorer (the fact that he owns 2 Fords should bring mirth to many).  The smaller Explorer is the car that I will drive until the snow flies.  The Expedition is currently owned by one of the Aussie families that will go home in a few months, so we won't collect it until October.  It will be the "family" car (read: gas guzzler), so I think it will be my car in the end, as I will do less driving ;-) 

Lucky for us we are surrounded by many lovely Aussie families that spolied us during these few weeks with dinner invitations, and trips to the baseball and the mountains.  I can't even tell you how many times we ate out or at other peoples houses!  We really got to experience the good life.  We saw the Rockies win (baseball), experienced the boutique nature of the local breweries at a beer festival at Breckenridge (a lovely snow village that is at a higher altitude than Mt Kosciusko), learned about the gold rush days under a mountain, went to the outlet mall at a place called Castlerock (very strange looking rocks surround this shopping village), and ate and ate and ate EVERYWHERE. 

We conquered driving on the right side of the road. However, I'm still learning to drive on the interstate corridors that are 5+ lanes, speeding at 120kms/per hour +,with 1000's of cars swiving in and out to the various exits.  The most difficult thing about it all is that it can be difficult to see the lines on the road... so staying in your own lane... well....when it's raining and dark... ekkkk!

While I'm not sure that Tristan noticed the impact that the altitude had on a few drinks, I most definitely noticed that walking up and down stairs left me huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf. It is also incredibly dry! If you don't moisturize your skin can crack in days.  It is also very easy to get dehydrated, so everywhere we go you need a couple of water bottles on hand.  The smaller adjustments you need to make when moving to the other side of the world.

So with the lease signed, car in the drive way, and many Mexican men crawling through the house setting up the furniture, Tristan and I finally moved into our new home on
22 July.  Unfortunately, we only got to spend one night together in the house before he left for training..... Checkout my facebook if you would like to see pics of the house. It's lovely!

After a week (or two or three), the internet is connected, the cable guy has come and gone, endless tradies have come in to fix the teething problems of moving into a new house, and life and become more steady.  I have found our mail box - not in our front yard, but down the road and around the corner with the rest of the neighbour's.... I think that is the strangest thing I have come across.

I've found the local SUPERmarkets - the large bulk carriers; the slightly smaller walmart that is a Coles and K-mart in the one-stop-shop; the cute little green grocers that sell fresh vegetables and other "health food"including baking ingredients that I recognise; and the super green grocers that have everything local and organic including a lunch buffet and chocolate factory...mmmm.

Life's good, busy, and still an adventure :-)

Missing you all so much! Hope you are all safe and well

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