Friday, February 11, 2011

'Twas the night before a transatlantic move...

I can't believe it's been almost a year. Dan and I realized that we were sitting in the middle of Transatlantic Move Eve last night (well,technically it would have been about 6 hours ago Chicago time), and it just brought back memories of the insanity that was our last couple of weeks before heading to O'Hare Airport with 10 bags on the morning of the 11th of February, 2010.

[2 bags not shown.]

The better part of the last two weeks of our time in Chicago was spent jumping through red tape hoops, as I needed to not only change my name (which is a long drawn out process in itself), but also had to get a new passport with my new name, and get both a french and swiss visa before leaving. Most of what I remember of this period was filling out paperwork (lots of paperwork), taking a number (lots of numbers), waiting in line (lots of lines), and being told that the documents I was holding to prove my identity weren't worth their salt (who knew there was such animosity between social security and passport services). The bureaucratic stars aligned however, and about a week before we left I had all the stampable scannable presentable papers that uniformed people would want to see.

So what else did we do during this time? Aside from a lot of packing like our (read: Dan's) Tetris reputations depended on it, we ate a lot of pizza. And not just any pizza, Chicago style Lou Malnati's deep-dish pizza.

We also got in a lot of face time with our number one favorite coffee shop in Chicago, "Star Lounge." One of the things I really miss about the US are coffee shops. There are cafe's here, but no "coffee shops" in the American sense. No couches, no free wifi, at least not that I've found yet. Most of our packing plans, paperwork filling out, and generally trying to relax before such a big move happened here.

[Someone doesn't look very relaxed.]

So, we actually had 2 Transatlantic Move Eves, truth be told. We were orginally supposed to leave for France on the morning of the 10th, but Chicago was in the middle of a blizzard so our flight was cancelled. However, it wasn't cancelled until about 9 PM on Eve #1, so I spent that day running around Michigan Ave picking up last minute essentials like American Apparel t-shirts, lululemon running pants, and Chanel Blue Satin nail polish. It was beautiful snow to be out shopping in for most of the day, and it made downtown look so pretty, but once it got dark that snow turned to wet slush. By the time I got done shopping downtown and picking up plane snacks at Lincoln Park Whole Foods, my Uggs boots were soaked through completely. Good thing these were my only pair of shoes as the rest had been shipped over to a friend's place in France the week before. My Uggs were so wet, that they made squish-squash noises as I walked to the door, and little sludge colored bubbles came out the side everytime I took a step. Trop fort. No way these were dryin' by the next morning...

By the time I got back to the apartment where Dan had been finishing up some cleaning and packing, we both needed a break. Badly. We hopped in a cab and went out to our favorite restaurant in Old Town, had some shish kabob, some wine, and some baklava. It was at dinner that we found out our flight had been cancelled for the next morning. Dan then spent half the night on the phone getting us re-routed for the following day, but I think we were both secretly happy for the extra day. I honestly can't remember what we did on that last day, because we were so exhausted, but I'm pretty sure Eve #2 was spent with bags being repacked by my Type-A packing machine. And maybe another Lou's.

I hope we had another Lou's.

Tomorrow: Our one year France-a-versary...

A la prochain friends...


  1. AH! This is such a cute post! Congratulations!!

  2. Congratulations on one year in France! Thanks for sharing the tale of your departure and reminder about how great Chicago is (I grew up close to Chicago and went often). A very nice post!

  3. Yes COFFEE SHOPS! I'd forgotten about those