I thought I should start this post with some pictures from our last days in Cincy. Brace yourselves - I have a ton of images to share!
(click to see images larger)
On Friday I had a girls lunch with my mom and sisters. It was so much fun - I'm really going to miss all our time together. We went to Bonbonerie for dessert and coffee. I got this amazing French Chocolate Mousse.
Our last night at home my family had a little b-day party for me and Brent (his birthday is Oct 15th and mine is the 25th). We had the most delicious pork chops, played games, opened presents. It was the perfect last night together. Here's some pictures from my parents' front porch:
The night ended with a bunch of teary farewells. Oh my goodness, it was so rough saying goodbye to my sisters. They are my very best friends and absolutely mean the world to me. Brent will tell you, I am never more passionate, protective, or defensive than when it comes to my sisters. (Sarah, Amy, and Joy - you three are the most amazing women I know and I already miss you incredibly.) After saying goodbye to my dad before bed (he left for work before we woke up Monday), I went up to our room and cried and cried. My face felt swollen and tingly. I worry so much for my sisters, and what if something happened to them while I was gone? Who would take care of them? I tried to calm myself down by remembering that my whole family is in God's hands (which are far more capable than mine!), and that 20 months will fly by, but rational thoughts aren't my specialty past 11 pm.
Moving on to Monday morning...we ate breakfast with my mom, ran some last minute errands, and off the the airport (after weighing our bags for the millionth time!). I was so grateful my mom took the day off to drive us to the airport. It felt like the first day of school, when I was all nervous and weepy. Luckily my strong mom kept me from falling apart at the dropoff. No easy task, for sure! We had plenty of time at our gate, so we got a Brueggaccino and called family (Dad - I called all three sets of grandparents!). These are a funny series of pictures - Brent was looking at his phone and heard something interesting on the TV, he turned his head so quick, then back to drinking.
Gate 3 - flight to Miami
Up in the air
Waiting to takeoff in Miami
We arrived in Grand Cayman around 9:00 pm. Here was my first glimpse of palm trees from the plane window.
Our new friends Jenn and Nate were there to pick us up. Nate and Brent will be working at the same place, and we met online through our blog before we left. They've already been on the island three weeks, and we were so grateful to have their "expert" advice. They are staying at the Sunshine Suites with us now, almost immediately below us. There have been so many funny connections already - it didn't take long to realize we were totally destined to be friends!
Driving back to the hotel that night, the weirdest part was seeing in real life all these places we've been looking at on a map for the last six months. We kept saying - there's Camana Bay, there's Lakeside, there's Lime Tree Bay! It was so surreal - like actually visiting a town from your favorite fiction movie or book.
The next day we had breakfast and lunch at The Sunshine Grill outside our hotel. Very delicious!
Love the fan
Lunch - Triple Decker Quesadillas for Brent and Island Fish Tacos for me (aren't you so proud of me that my first real meal was seafood??)
Hanging out at the hotel - Brent trying to make appointments to see apartments (more on that in a later post).
All in all, things are going well - off to a fast start. It's weird...we kept saying how these first two weeks would be like a vacation because Brent wouldn't be working and we'd be living in the hotel. But it honestly feels nothing like a vacation. I guess that's because we are mostly doing administrative things to get settled. And I'm not super bothered by all the rain because I know there will be plenty of time for sunshine.
I'm sorry this post was a long time coming. It will be much easier once we are settled and in a routine. I'll keep taking pictures and uploading more. We miss you all!