Friday, December 19, 2008

Hepatitis B

December 19, 2008 Hepatitis B
Before we left St. Louis in August, we both made sure we took all the shots we might need during our travels. Unfortunately, after I took my Hepatitis B shot; I was told that I had to wait at least three months for the booster I would need. My doctor knew that I would have to pay “out-of-pocket” for all of my medical costs, since we no longer have insurance through our jobs. She told me to call her in December when we were coming back in town and she would give me the number of a clinic, where the shot would be cheaper than in her office.
So when I called her office, and explained that I wanted my booster shot; the nurse said, "Oh, just come on in. We can give it to you here.”
“No,” I explained, “I don’t have insurance and the doctor told me to go to a clinic. I just need to find out whether I should go to the St. Charles or the St. Louis Health Clinic.”
“Where do you live?” she asked.
“Well, I’m homeless” I replied.
I could tell she was thinking – no insurance and homeless - and could hear the condescension in her voice as she said, “But where are you staying?”
“Well, I’m in Arkansas right now, but we’re coming north next week.”
I imagine she could almost hear the hillbilly banjos playing in the background!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Paul and the Italian Police

October 21, 2008 Paul and the Italian Police
We left San Gimigniano at 6:15PM just before dusk and decided not to follow the advice of the computerized Auto Route trip planner that suggested we drive north to Florence and then back to our village of Anghiari. Why drive way up there and then all the way south?! That would take almost 2 hours! We could tell by the map that we were exactly west of where we wanted to be and there was a road directly east to Anghiari. Well, after one hour in the dark, just after a rain, on the one lane winding mountain road, with hairpin turns every 50 yds; we knew that we had probably made the wrong decision. We finally made it to the city of Arezzo at 8:30PM - two hours and 15 minutes later and still 30 minutes from our village. We were hungry and tired. Paul was driving and he was exhausted, too. We decided to eat in Arezzo and then finish our drive home. As we drove through the city, everything seemed to be closed; but at the curb of a main road, a police officer standing next to his car waved us over. Uh, oh. Were we speeding?! He asked for Paul’s license. No problem. Then he asked for the car’s registration papers. Problem. We couldn’t find them. Ken looked in the glove compartment. Vicki checked her purse. Paul checked the center console (candy wrappers went flying everywhere). No registration papers. The officer finally told us why we were pulled over. We had the headlights and the fog lights on! No fog lights allowed after 6PM! What kind of a law is that!!??? Well, it’s a 36 Euro law ($50.00). Fortunately, because we didn’t have the registration papers; it was going to make writing a ticket really complicated, so the officer let us go. No fine. Yeah! We all were so nervous and excited about the whole situation that we drove home to eat in Anghiari.
P.S. The registration papers were in Vicki’s purse all along.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Joining a Nudist Colony

October 8, 2008 Joining a Nudist Colony
Joining a Nudist Colony?! No, but going to the Friedrichsbad in Baden-Baden was probably as close as we’re going to get. People have been going to this bath house since 1877; but, if Mark Twain, Rick Steves and his wife could do it, I guess we could, too. I was a little hesitant, but when we saw the building itself, I knew this would be a class act. The outside of the building looks like a palace. There are 17 steps to the bath experience. We were told that steps 7 through 11 would be coed nudity. Uh, OK, I guess. Anyway, once you enter you just follow the numbers on the rooms to each stage of the experience. They kind of lull you into the whole thing by placing a large sheet in the locker where you undress. A lot of good that does! You wrap up, walk down the short hall to find out Step One is a shower in a large room with 6 large rainshower heads and wall jets. The attendant takes the sheet and that’s the last time you’ll be seeing one of those for a while. After several dry saunas of varying degrees of warmth and another shower, you get a soap and brush massage that is wonderful. Then off to the steam room. By this time, I was almost not even noticing all of the nude women walking around. It was all too relaxing to worry about it. The next step was the tepid whirlpool. Ahh, that would feel great; but when I push the door to enter, I thought, "What stage begins the coed thing?" Whoops, too late. I was there. Well, I just got in like everyone else with only my head sticking out of the water and was totally relaxed. I was actually congratulating myself for being so cosmopolitan and blending right in, but then this pear shaped woman got into the pool and instead of sitting down immediately like everyone else, she bent over to touch the bottom before sitting. Yikes! I didn’t need to see that! I tried to look up at the beautiful ceiling with the stained glass and Roman columns, but it didn’t help. I started to smile and then kept biting my lip to keep from giggling. At which point, Paul finally showed up. Thank goodness. We stayed in the two main pools for about 20 minutes and then parted to continue the last half of the bath. The whirlpools were followed by a tepid shower and then an ice bath. Wow, that will wake you up. As soon as I got out, an attendant was there with a warm sheet to wrap in. That was great. Then the moisturizing cream application and into the relaxation room. That was fabulous! I walked into a large dimly lit round room with beautiful moldings on the walls and ceiling. Several women were wrapped like sarcophagi on a circle of tables. The attendant wrapped me in a crisp warm sheet and then pulled up the blanket to wrap me like one more mummy. I immediately fell asleep. After about 20 minutes I woke up and went to the last room, the reading room, where they had a variety of magazines in several languages and cool water to drink. I think I’m ready to buy the season pass.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Festivals and More

October 6, 2008 Festivals and More
We still can’t get over the diversity of festivals here. On Saturday we went to a Grape Harvest festival in the morning and a Flower festival in the afternoon. On Sunday it was the Wild Boar festival followed by a Sauerkraut festival. Each one is hosted by a different town and they are all different. Some are really small. Last week we went to a New Wine festival in Mittelbergheim. We should have known when we drove into town and easily found a parking space that it wouldn’t be much. We walked into the town hall where it was held and there we were with about 8 locals, all sitting at tables drinking the new wine (which tastes like a grape cider) and cracking English walnuts with mallets. Now that’s a festival!
Our favorite festivals have all had German oom pah pah bands. It’s so funny to hear them sing all of the songs in German and then thank the crowd with “Merci!” The dancing is entertaining, too. They play a polka and everyone polkas. They play a waltz and everyone polkas. They played a rumba and it was hilarious. All of the couples started to dance a polka to a Latin beat, but it just wasn’t working. You can only imagine what happened with the Tango music!
We loved the decorations at the Sauerkraut festival in Riedwihr. Cabbages were hanging from the chandelier and all around the inside of the giant tent. Outside a huge wagon of green and purple cabbages waited to be tossed into a grinder that pushed them up a conveyor belt and into a vat where a couple of workers scooped up (with their hands, no plastic gloves here!) the shredded cabbage and dumped it in plastic bags. The bags were weighed at 5 kilos (12 lbs.) and sold to the lines of people waiting for them. Other tents were pressing apples and sharing free samples of the juice. It was really cool to get “free” samples and not feel like you should buy something from them. There was no juice for sale!
We didn’t know what to expect at the Wild Boar festival in Ebersheim. Basically it was just like a Lutheran Church sausage supper with a different menu and live music. After buying a ticket, we were shown to a seat at a long table next to other people (none of whom spoke English). The meal was brought out in courses and the German band played and people danced the entire time. The wild boar was delicious and tasted like a lean roast beef (not tough or wild tasting at all).
Too bad we’re leaving France this week. Next weekend is the Pumpkin festival, the Chestnut festival and an Accordion evening. I guess we’ll just have to come back next year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


October 2, 2008 Adjusting
Now that we’ve been here for 22 days, we are starting to adjust our lives to reduce frustration and save money. It’s really hard to get past the fact that the stores and offices are going to close at noon (but many times at 11:45 AM, even if the door says noon) and don’t reopen until around 4:00PM. This has always been true in Spain, but when did the French start having a “siesta”?! Yesterday, I put my debt card into the machine to take out cash at 11:54 AM and the machine kept it! Suddenly, the screen said, “Windows is shutting down.” And that was that. Even though there were people working in the bank at the time, I had to wait until 1:30 for the bank to reopen to get my card; they were all going to lunch! Also, cafés and restaurants are done serving at 2:00. Don’t even think about eating between 2:00-6:00. Not gunna happen, unless you want pastries, which are available on every corner – much to my dismay. I am still eating my way through France in search of a bad pastry.
Saving money? That’s a joke. We have only been under our budget of $200.00 /day for eight of the 22 days – in part because there are such cool things to buy – an antique wooden tap for a wine keg, all kinds of interesting wine serving gadgets, an iron door bell with beautiful iron work - how to get that home? (We just found out that Lufthansa will only allow 44 pounds per bag! Will my wonderful sister, Carma, who’s coming next week, help out? News to come. . .), but best of all an entire 14 piece place setting of Guy Degrenne china. That’s its own story. The french stores won’t send it to the USA, so we got online and found out it’s not sold in the US, but it’s available in Canada. Twenty e-mails later (no exaggeration!), a really nice guy, Jeff Gilman, in Montreal is pulling together the whole order and will send it to Arkansas for us. Someday we will be serving all of you on a beautiful plate decorated with olive branches and olive trees and it will have all been worth it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Chemin de Saint Jacques

September 29, 2008 The Chemin de Saint Jacques
Today we decided to hike from our village of Kientzheim to the neighboring town of Riquewihr about 2½ miles away. We left at noon with lunch in our backpack, cutting through the vineyards, headed directly toward the hills. At the first crossroad there was a stone crucifix and markers showing the direction of the path. Suddenly we saw a shell symbol on the marker. We were on the Chemin de Saint Jacques! It’s the French segment of the Camino de Santiago. We never realized that we would actually be walking the trail in France before we began it in Spain next spring. As we continued to climb, the day warmed up and we took off our long sleeved shirts. When we finally traversed the last hill, there lay pretty little Riquewihr in front of us.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Burgundy and the Grape Harvest

September 26, 2008 Burgundy and the Grape Harvest
Today after a typical Burgundian breakfast of coffee or hot chocolate and a basket of croissants, spice bread, pain de vignerons (a raisin nut bread) and baguettes served with local honey and jams (strawberry, apricot and blackberry jelly along with dandelion, a new favorite); we left for the vineyards. The weather was clear and crisp. The rows of grapes stretched as far as we could see, up the side of the hills and throughout the valley. Workers picked in groups of about 20 – two or three with huge plastic baskets strapped to their backs wandered through the group while the rest cut the grapes, placed them in small pails and when they were full, dumped them in the large baskets. Along the road near each group a truck pulling a metal vat waited for the harvest. What an opportunity for us to be here right now to see this! A limestone cliff lined the west side of the valley, so we made our way through a small village with a 10th Century church of the Templar knights and climbed to the top of the cliffs. The view was fabulous - small red roofed villages and miles and miles of straight rows of vines outlined in short stone walls that have surely been there for centuries. The best vineyards even had huge wrought iron entry gates with the names of the label they produced. What an experience!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Medieval Picnic

September 20, 2008 Our Medieval picnic
Today we left Amboise in the Loire Valley headed for Burgundy, our car packed with the picnic lunch we would enjoy. We were hoping to find a picnic table along the road. About 1:00 we were getting hungry and decided to just pull into the next town we saw and hope to find a park. That town was Mehun-sur-Yèvre, a small village just outside of the large town of Bourges (we had never heard of either). What a find! We followed the signs for Centre Ville (downtown) and there we saw a sign for a château. Well, unlike the others we had see, this was a château in considerable disrepair – only two towers were left and some of the lower walls. Perfect. We sat on an old stone wall which must have been a lookout station in the 11th Century under the shade of the towers. Down below us meandered a little river with a park on the opposite bank. No one else was there. After our picnic of baguette, Brie, roast chicken and apples we climbed down the old castle ruins to cross the river. There in the park was a wedding party posing for pictures in the idyllic setting. Another perfect day of our adventure.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vive la différence!

September 16, 2008 Vive la différence!

We’ve only been here one week and everyday we feel like we’ve got a lot to learn before this will all seem normal. It’s part of the adventure, but here are some of the differences that we hadn’t expected:
1) TV programs start anytime, not just on the hour and half hour - 6:50 PM is just fine.
2) Public toilets are everywhere – nice - but for men you go into a large phone booth type place on the sidewalk behind a metal half door. Flushing turns into a waterfall – look out for wet shoes!
3) Mini lap top computers (10 ounces!) – cost $425.00 – but watch out for the French keypad!
4) Cars yield for pedestrians in the crosswalks (don’t try that in Spain!)
5) Restaurants only serve from 12-2 and again after 6PM – don’t try to eat in between, no service.
6) Stores don’t pull down an iron grate over their windows at night.
7) When you pay with a charge card at the restaurants, they don’t take your card out of sight; they bring a hand held swiper to the table.
8) You can only park in spots outlined in white, not blue (we learned that the hard way).
9) When you are eating a block of cheese or getting butter from the stick, you need to slice it so that it retains its original shape (ie. Don’t cut the tip off the Brie or cut the corner off of a stick of butter). Paul cut the corner off of the new block of butter at one of the B&Bs while we we eating with the owners – glances were exchanged.
10) We have a combination microwave/toaster oven above our stovetop.
11) We wanted ice for our cooler at a grocery store– none to be found. One store person suggested a box of icecream!
12) When you set the table, forks are placed tine side down.
13) Dogs are incredible – no runnings around, jumping on people, barking – even without leashes. Owners barely say anything, let alone yell, and the dogs stay right with them.
14) When you go to a restaurant or café even for just a coffee, the table becomes yours for as long as you wish to sit and watch the world go by. No one comes to see if you want something else to encourage you to move on. It is impolite to bring the bill before you ask for it.
15) When you meet someone, even for a dinner party in which you will be sitting at the same table for several hours; people do not share their first names. Even people who know each other well call each other Madame or Monsieur.
16) The Hotel de Ville is not a hotel. We saw the beautiful building in the center of town and decided to go in to check out their rates – it’s the City Hall!
17) There is very little graffiti here and the streets are super clean.
18) We found the WalMart/Sam’s/Target of France! It’s called E. Leclerc and it’s a huge building complex on the edge of town with really nice quality and selection at cheap prices - gas ($6.75 per gallon), electronics (we bought a coffee maker for $20.00), pharmacy (haven’t needed it, yet!) and food (we bought a whole baked chicken for $7.00, usually over $20.00). There are some things about the USA that we really do miss!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Table d'hôte and the Market

September 12, 2008 – Table d’hôte
We just experienced our first Table d’hôte. What’s that?! (We weren’t really sure what to expect, either.) Before we left the USA; Martine, the French teacher at Parkway South, had told us that a table d’hôte was a fun experience that was a good value for evening dining – and she was right! Basically, the owners of a country inn invite a limited amount of people (6-8) to have dinner in their home. We paid 20 Euros ($28.00) per person for the "mystery" meal and were told to arrive at 7:45PM. We weren't sure what to wear, so we opted to go dressier rather than casual – good idea. We watched for the other people to arrive and walked in with them (on time, not like in Spain). There were 8 of us – the two owners, a couple from Switzerland and a couple from France. Thank goodness three of them spoke English! The lovely table and candles set the mood and we were off – first course, pâté and goat cheese on small toasts served with a grapefruit liqueur mixed with rosé wine from Chinon ; second course a tiny glass of cucumber, garlic, crème fraiche, and avocado mousse; third course, sweet cantaloupe with Basque ham served with a red wine from Chinon; fourth course, salmon with julienned carrots and onions en papillote (that means it was baked in a little paper bag for each person), angel hair pasta with a cream sauce topped with shaved truffles; fifth course, a cheese course of three different local goat cheeses and a Brie; sixth course, a plum tart tatin; seventh and final course, coffee and liquors. We left the table at 10:45 after three hours of wonderful food and interesting conversation. Now we can’t wait for our next table d’hôte next week in Burgundy!

September 14, 2008 – The Market
Today is Market day here in Amboise and since we finally have our own kitchen, we wanted to take advantage of the fresh produce and local cheeses, meats and fruits sold there. We knew that we should carry our own cloth bags for the purchases, like the locals - and we did (but no one was fooled – I’m sure we looked like newbies, since we oohed and aahed at every display). Food, even at the market, is expensive; but a lot of it is organic. They really advertise it and that’s where you see all the locals buying. We saw whole rotisserie chickens for 12 Euros ($18.00), which is actually cheaper than they usually are. (We still didn’t buy one.) We stocked up on huge brown eggs, fresh butter, shallots, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, and local melons. One stand had fresh prunes that were outstanding (even Paul likes them!). When we threw our baguette of French bread in the sack and it stuck out the top, we felt like we were in a French movie.
After a stop at the regular grocery store for milk (no refrigeration necessary) and Diet Coke (so American!), we headed home for a great lunch. The windows are open (no screens, no bugs) and the temperature is in the mid 70s. So we’re off to visit the Château du Clos-Lucé (Leonardo Da Vinci’s home and gardens), which is about a 10 minute walk from our house this afternoon. We might have to stop for a pastry on the way back. I’m making it my mission to learn the names and flavors of all of them while we’re here – it may be difficult, but I’m going to keep at it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Loir(e) Valley, France

Sept. 10, 2008 – The Loir Valley, France
It’s hard to believe this is real. Even though we’ve been to France several times before, we’re constantly discovering so many new things – kiwis the size of pears growing on vines that look like grapes, tomatoes that look like huge banana peppers, begonias the size of saucers, pears and apple trees shaped like topiaries and loaded with fruit – all in the stone and rock wall enclosed garden where I’m sitting right now behind the manor house, doves cooing, the smell of lavender filling the air and the weather absolutely perfect.
So many things are different than we’ve experinced in Spain – libraries and churches have doors standing wide open all day – no charges to enter, even in the great cathedrals like Chartres. When we went into a phone store today to look for a surge protector for the computer, the man handed us a brand new one in the box and told us, “No charge”. Wow! When does that happen - anywhere?? The grocery stores are filled with local wines ($2 - $7.00 US per bottle!) and cheeses. We can’t wait until next week when we have our own kitchen. But for now we’ll just have to settle for a bottle of “Two Buck Charles”.

Sept. 11, 2009 - The Loire Valley, France
After leaving the northern Loir Valley, we traveled about ½ hour south to the Loire Valley (two different rivers, both pronounced the same). Wow, is that confusing?! Beautiful gardens at Villandry, but then it started to rain and the temperature dropped from 78 down to 55. That kind of ruined our walk through Azay-le-Rideau; so we headed for our B&B near Richelieu and with the help of the GPS in our Renault Scenic van, we came right to it. It’s a beautiful manor house with servants’ quarters. (That’s where we’re staying, of course - just like our last place.) The owners can probably never afford to keep the places they have without renovating and renting out the old stables, etc. It’s actually really nice and the rooms are larger than I would have expected – room for a table, desk area, seating area, etc. (Be sure to check out the pictures on our website.) But we’re not here to sit in a room! Hope the rain stops tomorrow!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Big Move

Aug. 24, 2008 - Well, we never thought it would be easy, but we really didn't know what was in store for us back in January when we began packing. When Paul and David, his brother, took the first 12' trailer load to Arkansas in April, they arrived at the storage facility only to find out the 10 x 20' unit we had reserved was no longer available. We should have known then that this would not all be smooth sailing. (They were able to get 2 smaller units, thank goodness!)
When we finally put the house up for sale at the end of April, I thought that it would sell before the end of May. Of course, as we watched the newspaper and saw the daily headlines announcing the poor housing market and plummeting prices; our hopes fell and fears increased. We should have known that God had a plan for us that was better than anything we could have prepared on our own.
We had been trying to sell Paul's car on, and finally did the third week of June. Two days later, I totaled my car! Suddenly we had NO cars. Fortunately, Carma and Ken have two cars and a truck and let us use their truck, which we affectionately called The Behemoth. It turns out that it couldn't have been better. We really needed it to haul our stuff.
Then along came Aaron and Catrina Shipley to an Open House we held (because of Carma's insistence) from 2-4 PM on Sunday in the last week of July. Everyone said an Open House was a waste of time, so we went ahead without much expectation. After 4:00, we ate dinner and left the dishes on the counter. I decided to put out my sewing machine on the kitchen table and work on some projects I had been putting off and Paul brought the laundry down to the living room and had piles sorted everywhere. After all, we had never had one buyer looking on a Sunday night in 3 months! As soon as I had fabric and thread spread out everywhere and the wash was going, the phone rang and Carla, our realtor, asked if it would be alright if a couple that saw our house that afternoon came back. Great!! We had never had anyone come back!! When did they want to come? . . . Carla said, "They're sitting in your driveway." OMG, I said, give us 5 minutes. You can't believe how fast Paul and I shifted into overdrive and flew around the house trying to clean up the disaster. Aaron, Catrina, his mom and dad and their daughter all walked in. They loved it, but didn't want to commit.
The next morning after breakfast, Paul and I started the same sewing and laundry routine and couldn't believe it when Carla said they wanted to come again in 30 minutes! They were trying to decide between our house and another one and were going to write a contract on one of the two that day. We had to leave that afternoon and kept waiting for a call. By 5:00 we were starting to get a bad feeling. By 7:15 we decided it just wasn't going to happen, so I called Carla to see if she had heard anything. As it turned out, their meeting with the realtor to make the decision wasn't going to happen until 7:00, so we got back on the emotional roller coaster and kept waiting. Finally at 9:30 on July 28, Carla called to let us know they had picked our house. The relief was incredible.
After that everything went super-fast. The Shipleys wanted to close the next weekend, but we wanted to wait until the end of August to finish wrapping up our St. Louis lives - doctor's appointments, finances, pension checks, no forwarding address, moving van, garage sale, movers for the baby grand and last time get-togethers with our friends.
Our last day in St. Louis was on Thursday, Aug. 21. Paul picked up the 26' moving van (the largest they have) and drove it home at 7:00AM. We wanted to get an early start wrapping up the house before the movers got there at 10:00 AM. We kept watching the sky and the radar, but it continued to pour rain. The two movers arrived a little early and that was fine. Then the problems began. The guys disassembled the china cabinet and decided to carry the bottom (the lightest half at about 200 lbs.) out first. When I saw that they were carrying out the wood cabinet without any cover on it, I grabbed a towel and ran out to the moving van. They were already starting to cover the piece up with a moving blanket - WET! I told them that I needed to dry the wood finish before they wrapped it up, or it wouldn't be worth keeping the furniture. The one guy said he need some tape to hold the blanket and I ran into the house to get it. The next thing I heard Paul saying was, "Where are the guys going?" "What guys?" "The movers." "WHAT??!!! You have got to be kidding me??!!!" And they were gone.
In a panic, Paul got on the internet to find movers who could come that day. (Ha, Ha) I called Tiffany at work. "Tiff, do you have any young guys who could help us move right now? We are paying $50.00 an hour." She called back in 5 minutes. Josh, the guy who works in the desk next to hers, immediately asked his boss for a vacation day and was at our house by 12:00 quickly followed by another friend of Tiff's, Chris (a huge guy the size of a refrigerator, much to our glee). Mark, our friend, came to help during his long lunch/workout hour(s). The guys stayed for 2 hours and by that time all of the biggest, heaviest pieces were on the truck. Paul and I finished the job by 5:00 PM.
Friday morning, Paul and I were up at 3:00 AM and after the last minute packing and cleaning we were ready to leave the house at 6:00 AM. Paul had one more thing to stick in the front passenger seat of the Big Behemoth. As he opened the door to the cab, out fell our Austin sculpture. His hands were full, so he tried to drop kick the statue into the yard with his foot so it wouldn't hit the concrete driveway; unfortunately, the darn thing hit the cement and knocked her head off. I heard the crash. Paul came around the back of the truck with the bubble wrapped ceramic cradled in his arms. He was sick about it. We had worked so hard and then this. Oh, well, we had planned for problems and this was just one more.
As we did the last walk through our home of 27 1/2 years we started to get sentimental. Then we walked into the dining room - and what did we see??? The doors to the china cabinet had been left leaning against the walls! Oh, brother, what else could happen?
So we were off, Paul in the Big Behemoth and me following in the Little Behemoth. Ten hours of driving in darkness ands rain later, we arrived in Hot Springs.
The next morning Paul and I were unloading the van at 7:00 AM, so that we could get a lot of the boxes off of the truck before the movers arrived at 10:00. Well, at 10:00, no movers were in sight, so I called the company. Nick (the boss in Little Rock) apologized for not writing it on his calendar and said he could get some guys there by noon. Paul and I continued working, but soon realized all of our stuff was not going to fit in the two climate controlled storage units. We needed another unit and it was threatening to rain. We had stuff laying everywhere out on the gravel and had to get it stored before it got soaked. No surprise, the Storage management is not there on the weekends and there was no one there to ask! So we drove around and found an open unit. As I write this, we are squatters! At noon, no movers. Nick said they were getting ready to leave and should be there by 1:30 or 2:00. Paul and I continued unloading. At 2:00, Nick said they had broken down on the road and should be there by 3:00. They finally arrived at 3:45. Paul and I had unloaded all but 7 pieces of furniture. In 45 minutes they were done and left. Ten hours from the time we started, Paul and I were DONE and exhausted.
Today, we are the happiest people in the world. Let the adventures begin!!