It's totally surreal but the day is finally here. After all this planning and frantic activity we are now flying south to begin the grand adventure on Mowzer.
Backing up a bit... The last ten days since I left Genband has been full of crazy activity to say the least.
- After the big house contents sale we still had quite a lot to dispose of. A truck from the Diabetes Association came and picked up boxes of household items and clothing. We did a big drop off for Nelson House and Gerry helped us out with his truck and trailer to do a number of runs to the dump.
- We obtained a small storage unit where we've placed a few chosen heirloom bits of furniture and paintings, photo albums, a few household items, and some winter clothing. Probably kept more than we should but we'll make that assessment when we look back. Last but not least I put the shoes I was wearing yesterday in there, but I had forgotten to take an extra pair with me to get home, so I arrived back at Peter's place yesterday barefoot ... in Ottawa ... in October.
- We packed up our shipment for Mowzer. Once we were done we had 19 items ranging from a number of boxes, the inflatable paddle board and it's paddle, and my heavy-duty sewing maching. All told they weighed in at 800 pounds and we carefully arranged and shrink wrapped them on two pallets all ready for pickup by Speedy Courier to transport to Toronto. Well, we waited and waited with assurances that they were coming but on Wednesday afternoon we discovered that they were not willing to ship household goods and we were going to have to figure an alternative plan - thanks a lot "Speedy"!! Henry quickly rented a van from the airport, we unpacked our beautiful pallets and off he went to Toronto. After a few hours of sleep on Caitlin's sofa that night he delivered the load into the hands of CaribTrans who is now in the process of getting it to Miami and then on to St. Thomas. Who knew that the first 400 km would be the most difficult??
- All cars sold (one transferred to Caitlin) with the last one going on Thursday night - so kind of the buyer to allow us to keep it up to the last day. We helped the new owner of Blue-By-You do the winter haul out - fair winds and happy sailing Jim!
- The sale of the house closed on Wednesday and with final clean out and such a cordial handover with Myrna & Bernie we handed over the keys and made Peter & Beth's spare room home for the last few days.
- Last but not least we have said farewell to so many good friends and family. Thanksgiving weekend Caitlin, Jim and Jamie all came up to Ottawa and thanks to Peter & Beth for hosting a wonderful family gathering. And the turkey was pretty amazing too! Teary farewells but we know we'll see Jim at Christmas and hopefully soon for Caitlin & Jamie. Dinner on Tuesday with Linda & Gerry at our new favourite spot, Kungfu Bistro in Stittsville. Daryl and the crew at 3 Brewers joined us for a beer and dinner on Wednesday before Henry headed off to Toronto (light on the beer there Henry). I had a chance for a final chat with Petrena, Tina and MaryBeth at Genband - sorry I didn't make it in once last time! On Thursday evening we were treated to a gathering of wonderful friends at the Richmond Curling Club. Kudos and hat's off to Ron & Evelyn, Diane & Dave, and Robin & Greg for organizing such a great send-off. We sure are going to miss you guys both on the ice and the links! Finally, on Friday with Peter as our chauffeur we finished off some last errands and took Mom out to lunch at the Ashton Pub. Such a nice spot.
Now the boat prep ensues but that's a topic for another posting...
I'm finishing of this missive as we have just flown out of Washington. In a few hours we'll be on Mowzer in the sunshine and tropical showers, and the stress of the last few weeks/months will hopefully melt away.
A very special thanks to Peter who offered (and amply provided) so much help - couldn't have done it without you bro'!