And We Are Off!

Day 1:  Leave California and fly to Iceland.

Holy cow! I thought we would have some stress leading up to departure – but the past two weeks exceeded my expectation by an order of magnitude.  Here is a partial list of the major things we have been working for the past several weeks.

  • Host a party for 130 neighbors, family, & friends
  • Host a weekend get-together for college friends who missed the party (we love you all – and wouldn’t do anything differently)
  • Store or dispose of all belongings – and begin sleeping on air mattresses
  • Prepare the house for rent (fix, clean, document, etc)
  • Set up banking and credit card arrangements for travel
  • Cancel, transfer, change utilities and insurance
  • Say goodbye to friends and family for 2 months (we were the people who just didn’t seem to leave after you said goodbye)
  • Transition job responsibilities and quit gainful employment
  • 9 injections & a typhoid vaccine (kicked our back sides)
  • Little league championship (We came in 2nd, go Giants!)
  • End of school and the play dates and sleep overs that go with the beginning of summer
  • Confirm and print detailed logistics (flights, housing, transport) for 4 months of European travel
  • Plan for a year of roadschool

Probably a few other things I can’t remember right now….  Of course all of this was self induced; so no whining!!!

The stress effect showed in different ways for each of us. Suzanne & I became exhausted – having a difficult time sleeping thru the night and becoming one of the walking dead by 3 PM every day.  Maybe this will end up helping with the jet lag. (Looking for the silver lining here) We all became a little more sentimental. Alex video taped the entire house (and Grandma’s house) with her new phone so she can remember what home looks like. Patrick and I had a dust-up because I insisted that we use Amazon Ap Store rather than Google Play to download a game called “Plants vs. Zombies”. Gawd….

Anyway, thanks again to all the family and friends who supported us during this time. By last night we were pretty much exhausted, grumpy, and dangerous operating heavy equipment or a computer.


So, thank goodness we are now past the “launch weeks”. As I write this we are sitting on the plane, flying over snow covered mountains on our way to Iceland. We are beginning to feel (and act) human again. Suzanne & I ordered some sparkling wine to celebrate. Unfortunately Icelandic Air ran out of sparkling wine and everything but cold sandwiches and chocolate bars. Turns out that row 22 is the last row served on the plane, by which time all the good food is gone – something useful to know next time we are reserving seats. The kids also learned that one should go to the head (aka toilet) on an airplane before the flight attendants start rolling the food cart down the aisle. This is really useful roadschooling.

The adventure begins!!!

20 thoughts on “And We Are Off!

  1. Hi Les & Sherry,

    I was just linked to your blog from my friend Jenn Keohane’s blog NOTES FROM A BIG WORLD. Your trip seems amazing and I can’t wait to read more of your posts and see your great photos. My wife Francesca and I did a 5 month RTW trip in 2009-2010 and had the best time ever ( But now that we have a 1 year old child and are planning on a second we are getting excited about RTW part deux once our kids are old enough to get more out of the experience. In the meantime, we’ll live vicariously through you and your kids. Enjoy the second half of your trip. Best wishes. Dan

    • Thank Dan. We had a great time catching up with Jenn, Tim, and the kids. We just landed in Santiago and are really looking forward exploring Chile. We will try to keep the posts going and not get too far behind. Les.

  2. Les, It’s GL Zunker here, thought I would check up on you guys and decided to start from the beginning. As I’ve said many times before, what a gift this trip is. I look forward to following you on your adventures. Stay safe, keep posting and don’t forget the rest of us working away back at the farm. All my best to you and your family. GL

    • Thanks GL. All is well and we are having fun. I’m about 6 weeks behind real-time on writing the blog – internet access has been spotty and slow in Turkey and Africa. I do reflect back on the work-a-day world every now and again – but traveling like this consumes most of my energy. We have had precious little down time since we left – but the next 3 days should be relaxing during our stay in Zanzinbar.

  3. Hi Les,, it’s Kelly here. Just savoring the blog about the plane ride. A dream became reality! I am super interested in the way your electronics work out. As well as all the other details! Have fun. Iceland sounds like fun! Did you guys check out the action tonight?

    • Thanks Kelly. The electronics are working out pretty well so far. I initially plugged the electronics into the power with a bit of trepidation – half expecting sparks and smoke. But it looks like the transformer for the computer is working fine. The USB plugs seem to be recharging the phones, MP3 players, etc with no problem. The international phone SIM card is taking a bit to get used to – but I think it will work fine after we use it. The lap top is becoming the resource that we will need to ration between email, blogging, road school research, Skype, etc…. We didn’t party the other night – we are not much for late night parties at home either, so the “jet-lagged Sherrys” are not going to sighted at too many late night dances until we are fully rested.

  4. Wow time goes by fast, im currently in wisconsin and hoping to skype you guys soon. We have to set a skyping time because i have to show you the beutiful lake house. Alex, you will have to text me your new number so we can chat. Have fun in ice land.

  5. We are so excited for you. We hope you enjoy your stay in Iceland and have a chance to rest. Grace, Spencer and Aila wanted to say hello and have fun!

  6. Can’t believe you’re off! Looking forward to hearing all about Iceland when we meet up in London! Enjoy your time, continue to unwind – I figure the Olympics are going to be insane!

  7. I didn’t know you got seasick! I know Suzanne does. How did she do on the boat? How many whales did you see? Are the kids getting over the jet lag?

    • That was me (Suzanne) Vi, I think Les fixed the reply on the blog so you can see who’s writing. Of course, when will I learn that don’t do well on the water!

  8. Love reading your first blog. Glad you made it safe. Hoping the jet lag does not last.too long. By the way…none of us can remember the gecko’s name!

    • We think we slept most of it off last night – though the party in the streets of Reykjavik went on until 4:30 am this morning! I guess this is the regular Saturday night program here. Live bands and street crowds. I was going to go down and get some pictures, but I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed…

      The gecko’s name is Rattler – but he (or she) doesn’t answer to the name when Patrick calls him, so don’t be offended if he appears to be snubbing you.

  9. Congratulations! You are about to live your dream. I hope it is everything you hoped for and more. I am waiting for the pick of suzanne and Tom Cruise!

  10. Whoo hoo!!! Congrats on a sucessful launch! However, I’m laughing — I’m packing more for the 4 of us to travel 8 days, then what you guys are carrying on your back for a year!! Makes me feel a wee bit indulgent wanting to bring my “own” shampoo 🙂 Can’t wait to live vicariously through you!!

    • Thanks Eileen. So far my limited packing is working out ok,but we’re only on day 2. I’ll let you know if it’s still working on 15. 🙂 Have fun in Hawaii!


  11. Wow, can’t believe you are on your way! I’m so excited for you all and can’t wait to follow your travels. We’re considering adding in 3 weeks in Europe (Austria, Slovenia, Croatia) so I’m looking forward to hearing how your kids do in Europe and what you all enjoyed. Have a fabulous time!

    • Thanks Jenn, I’ll keep you updated on what the kids are liking. We went whale watching today. The kids loved that! I get sea sick, so it was less of a hit for me. 😦

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