Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Moving Day

After all of the list making and preplanning, moving day finally arrived. I returned to Grand Rapids on March 6 and woke up on March 7 with no voice (only a faint whisper). With no time to loose, I started piling and sorting what we wanted to bring and met with our move advisor.

On March 8, my voice was even worse. Lucky for me my friend Karen went shopping with me so she could talk to the clerks and interpret my croaks and squeaks. We got most of the things on my lists and then it was back to sorting. 

With lots of help from family and friends I had everything sorted and inventoried by Sunday night. The detailed inventory was the most tedious part, but thanks to Kyle it is in an excel spreadsheet so the return inventory will be much easier.

Monday morning arrived along with Dave, Rosalie and Angie to get everything into boxes. They were friendly and efficient and made everything go smoothly. Rosalie is from the Philippines and lived in Hong Kong for ten years. She knows our building and was even giving me hints on some shopping and such. By the end of the day all of the piles had disappeared into boxes. The only thing missing was my voice. Part of it was back which meant I sounded like a bullfrog instead of a mute swan.

Tuesday saw the container arrive and with all of the advanced preparations it was loaded in about two hours.

The crew worked tirelessly and made sure our belongings were safely stowed.

Once the last of the boxes were on board and everything was tied down, Jerry (the container driver) headed off to the Chicago rail yards. From there it's on to Long Beach by train and then by ship to Hong Kong. Our expected delivery is April 19. Until then we will have just enough in the apartment to get by - it will be like camping! 

So as I said a temporary goodbye to our belongings...

... I now have other details to put into place. Then it's back to Hong Kong to move again from our serviced apartment to our new home. How lucky is Ken to be at meetings this entire time? Some people just know how to schedule. Oh, my normal voice is still among the missing but getting better each day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Home to Pack

A short update today as I leave for the airport in a few hours. I am heading back to GR to pack up furniture and clothing for the year ahead. 

The apartment is secured, delivery of everything electric is set (with local electric at 220V, it is safest to buy anything that plugs in here).Guest bed ordered so we can sleep somewhere till our container arrives. And IKEA items have been purchased to fill in. All are set to deliver on the 29th. Next day PCCW comes to set up wifi and cable and we will be officially moved by the 31st.

Of course, our container will not arrive till mid April, but we will have enough to get by with till then and Ken will be traveling part of the time - I just may tag along. For a while we moved so often that is was second nature. But it has been over 21 years since our last major move, so I have lists upon lists upon lists. Once things are packed, there are a few more details to iron out. I have decided to sell my car (anyone need a PT Cruiser in good condition?) rather than have it sit any longer. I was ready for a newer one anyway so this makes sense. There are some details for the house like lawn and snow service and then we will be ready for Patti & Ken's Hong Kong Adventure Part II. I hope you continue to come along for the ride.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Home Sweet Apartment

My posts have been a bit sparse lately and that is because we have been very busy with details, details and more details. For those who have not heard, we have been given a one year expat assignment here in Hong Kong through February 2013. 

As you can imagine, this is exciting news for us and it has brought with it lots of things to accomplish in a short amount of time. First up was the process of finding another apartment. We have been living in a serviced apartment for the past 11 month. While I love having daily maid service and not having to buy my own tp and paper towels, I miss cooking and having closet space and drawers. The staff here at the Ovolo is fantastic and we will miss all of the smiling faces, but we are thrilled to have more of a "home" feel rather than "hotel."

So, after one day of looking there was no question as to the property we wanted. And we were very lucky to get it! We will soon be living in the Mid Levels which translates to higher up the mountain from where we are. The property is called Palatial Crest and our flat is on the 35th floor. I can even give you a small tour.

Our living/dining room.

Our amazing views of Central, Admiralty and Victoria Harbor. (It was a very cloudy and rainy day.)

The master bedroom and it's view.

The guest bedroom. When are you coming?

The office.

And the kitchen.

I will repost a tour once we are all settled in and when the sun is shining so you can really see the views.

Another great advantage to this property is that our friend Janet and her daughters Michele and Catie live on the 37th floor. So we already know one set of neighbors.

To get this all in place, I am flying home on Tuesday to sort and pack up what we will be bringing from Grand Rapids. I will also work on getting the house closed up on a more permanent basis. I return to Hong Kong on the 25th and get everything moved from Ovolo to our new home. We move in on April 1st. 

Most likely our belongings from GR will not arrive for a couple of weeks after that, but we are buying a guest bed here and with that and a TV we will make do until our delivery. 

We are very fortunate that all of our family is very positive about our extended stay. Shayne and Kyle are planning their visits and well as some other family and friends. We are especially excited for that. I have even become quite the tour guide by now. 

So our three month adventure has grown and grown and continues to grow. We are truly blessed.