Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Endings and Beginnings

Hey Everyone-
It's been a few weeks since we left LA and I am just getting around to posting our first entry here.  What a journey it's been so far!  For anyone just discovering this blog randomly, my fiance, dog and I left our lives in Los Angeles behind to go open a restaurant in Puerto Rico.

How did that come about, you ask?

Well, we'd been talking about it for a while since we were both getting a little burnt out in LA.  We planned a trip to PR in October of 2012 and decided that we were going to take the plunge and move there.  Tommy had been a number of times in his life but this was my first time.  I fell in love with the place immediately, he had loved it forever.  It was also an amazing trip since Tommy proposed on the last day we were there! Here is a picture of us immediately post proposal in Old San Juan.

You can see one of Old San Juan's historic Forts in the background.
So we got back to LA and started formulating the plan.  Within the next few weeks we had both informed our employers that we would be leaving in January.  We also had to sell most of our belongings.  It was a TON of work but we're both really happy with how things went.  There were some uncomfortable nights sleeping on the floor right at the tail end though.  Here is a picture of the apartment on the last night:
our "bed"

Everything we now own...

We decided to spend about a month on the East Coast visiting with Tommy's family before we fly out to our new life in PR on 3/5.  We decided we'd kick that off with a cross-country drive from California to Pennsylvania.  All of our stuff went into a Cargo Van and we we're off! 

Zorra had the best seat in the house!

We had to get to Tommy's grandparent's house in New Jersey before Feb. 10th so we had to make the trip a pretty fast one.  To anyone who is curious, or doing this at some point, here is how much we spent:
Cargo Van Rental from Enterprise (Unlimited Mileage, One week Rental w/Insurance)-$1400
Gas-$700 ish
We only spent the night in one hotel, which we cannot say enough good stuff about-The Red Roof Inn in Gallup, NM.  Super clean, cheap and really sweet people running it.  The other nights we were graciously accommodated by dear friends-see pics below:

First visit was with Derek and Kerry in Taos, New Mexico.  She is a tattoo artist and he is a body piercer and they are old friends of Tommy's from Baltimore.  They also make Thai Fishing pants and handmade soap---so eclectic and talented.  We are convinced they are the coolest couple in Taos. :)

The longest leg of the trip was the 16 hour drive from Taos to Westwood, Kansas to see my dear friend, Shayla Mendy.  I was so tired when I got there that I forgot to take pictures of her lovely family--she has two adorable kids and a super awesome husband.  I did get some pics of their very cute house the next morning, which was quintessentially charming in true Kansas style:

After Kansas, we headed to Indiana to see our favorite old neighbor, the one and only Chuck Fry.  We love our little Chucky. He greeted us with open arms when we arrived late late late and took us to breakfast the next morning at Macadoo's.  I kept thinking about the character, Woody from Cheers who was from Indiana.  Everyone seemed nice, unassuming and kind.

Zorra went crazy in the snow.  Loved it!

outside Macadoo's

Tommy and Chuck plotting our route to PA.  
Having never been on a cross-country drive before, I was really interested in the changing landscapes and discovering the little cultural nuances that made each state different.  New Mexico was very interesting because I had honestly never seen so many Native Americans before.  I'm not sure I saw a single Non-Native when we were there.  Seriously!  Driving through the midwest, (when not near a major city) was a bit depressing.  The towns seemed very desolate and decent food was realllllly hard to come by.  If you know me, you know I'm a bit of a health nut and I was going crazy trying to eat something other than fast food.  It was a little depressing when the "best" thing I could find was a corn dog, no joke....That being said, there was a lot of charm in the towns where we saw our friends and the stress level was so far below what we had accepted as "the norm" in LA.   Anytime we hit something someone defined as "traffic" we had to chuckle.  The pace was slowing down and I couldn't have been happier.

It was now Tuesday, February 5th and we were right on schedule to arrive in Freeland, PA at Tommy's dad's house.  Thankfully, it was the shortest leg of the trip at only 9 hours (yikes) and we arrived to his back country cabin around midnight o'clock.  We were so happy to be able to stay in one place, even if only for a few days.  Tommy's dad is a true mountain man--he is an expert hunter and gardener and he is off the grid for the most part.  It wasn't hard to bring a rustic quality to the photos I took.

this Cali girl had to buy some Winter boots!

The bird feeders have been providing a lot of incredible nature type excitement!

And that, my friends, is the story of the beginning, or the ending or the ending of a beginning....something like that.  We went on to successfully cook a feast for Tommy's grandmother's 80th birthday party, see some of the leftover devastation of Superstorm Sandy and visit friends in Maryland.  Upcoming adventures may include butchering a pig...Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Best new blog title I've come across in ages :-) It will be very fun to follow your new adventures in this venue, Juni -- looking forward to the pig-slaying adventure!

    (sort of ;-)