Travelling to the unknown and our first day in a strange land

We are on our way it’s daft o’clock and I am semi-conscious. Sleep last night, you must be having a laugh, between the hot sweats and the  claws and cries of attention seeking cats, sleep was obviously something that was not to be on my agenda. So at around 4.30am we were on our way and I was feeling beyond sad. I was already missing my mum, my sister, niece and nephew and the cats. Rescued by my dad; we didn’t have to travel by train or on the dreaded underground and that I will be eternally grateful for. I must have fell asleep as the journey didn’t feel like it took long at all.

We, I say we, it was probably just me, but anyway, we were anxious about the suitcases. We were half expecting to either pay extra or dump some of our stuff because yes we crammed as much as we possibly could into each of the cases and used a poor excuse of a weighing scale hanging thingy. And our hand luggage I have no idea how we managed to even carry it without killing ourselves in the process; they were that heavy. To make matters worse we could only take three pieces of hand luggage and we had four.  So somehow we managed to cram a whole other bag and its contents into the other already bulging bags. The flight only took about one hour and twenty minutes. Not bad at all really.

We had a driver wait for us at the airport to take us to our new home. Well an apartment-hotel that we will be staying in for two months, whilst we sort everything out.  The driver was holding up a board that said “FAMILY LATHAM SCOTT,” silly I know but the three of us thought this was just amazing and made us feel a tad special. The driver looked like he didn’t have the strength in his aging slightly overweight body to lift our cases and bags, but he sure shocked us.

We checked in and found out internet was free and unlimited. I cried for joy. Well on the inside I cried for joy.  On the outside I was grinning like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.  With wonder in our eyes we took the lift to the first floor, and as we walked across the bridge outside Ashton said “This is just lovely.”  It was to look at, and you know when you get a sense that you are at ease I felt like that. We left all our stuff outside the door and walked into our apartment together.

I was a little disappointed at first as there is only one bedroom, but that was quickly resolved Ashton was to have the bedroom and we were to have the bed settee in the living room. This is more practical that way and the settee is more comfortable anyway.  Ashton loves that he has a double bed. I placed the stars bunting that I won from the fantastic Monster Bunting (https://www.facebook.com/monsterbunting?fref=ts) across his headboard. His favourite Disney character figurine Goofy on his bed side table, and the toys we have managed to bring on the shelves in his cupboard. He is happy with the space. The kitchen, even though lacking an oven has a sink, dishwasher, hob, fridge/freezer, microwave, kettle, toaster, cutlery, crockery, pans and they even left us some food; how nice of them. Super bouncing crazy happy that we have both a bath and a shower; as for ages now we have only had a shower. Took full advantage of this feature last night and it was just like heaven.

For tea last night we decided to order a pizza, too scared to phone and order ourselves I sent Scott down to reception and asked her to order. We looked up Google translate for some of the menu as they were words we had never come across before. Turns out they were both types of meat. Yes lovely as I am a vegetarian.  Anyway I got my usual mushroom and pineapple and Scott and Ashton got Carnivore and Tourny, which has a fried egg in the centre. Personally I have never ever heard of fried egg on a pizza, which is just bizarre to me but my boys enjoyed it.  Ashton was ecstatic because we let him have a glass of fizzy pop, it being a special occasion and all. That night we went to bed tired but very happy and looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

No cereal equals a not so happy child. Sharing a cereal bar between three doesn’t go a long way. We needed to shop and we needed to do it soon. So once ready we headed on our adventure. Yes it’s an adventure, a massive obstacle going to the local shops, not the tourist shops.  So off we went we found the first store we needed to go to pretty quickly it was only about ten minutes away. Oh my I already forgot what the shop is called Elec or Eclec or something beginning with E. We bought a bottle of Tomato Ketchup (Was totally thinking about my brother in law Kirk for his love of the sauce whilst buying this, plus it was on offer; so win win) and two power cables so we can use our laptops (There is a god, “coughs” ahem or someone smart that knows peoples need to buy power cables time to time.) We did browse round the rest of the shop, but I guess I was reluctant because I knew there was an Aldi and I wanted my hot choccy and the products that I am use to. I didn’t want any of this stuff I couldn’t understand or want to try anything new. I already had enough change for one day thank you very much. So off we went again with our ketchup and wires.

It had already rained a little, we were happy for that as it cooled us down and didn’t last long. We were walking and walking more, pretty sure that Aldi is about five minutes away from the place we will call E. We couldn’t find it. We stopped an older lady who could not speak one word of English. So I thought I’d be clever and ask her in French she couldn’t understand that either. She just smiled, patted me on the shoulder, spoke some French that we couldn’t understand and went on her way. So we walked some more in the direction we were going, then eventually turned back to retrace our steps. I asked a bus driver, she spoke no English I tried to ask her in French, but she didn’t know where it was. Bless her she even phoned a friend that knew English and gave us her phone to speak to her, but she couldn’t help either. A French man gave us directions in the end, in French as he spoke no English and we picked up what we could and ended up back where we started, right back at our own hotel. So we had to do the route again, but this time it was raining fast.  We ended up finding Aldi; it was closed. We were soaked like drowned rats, but all the way I was smiling. I was smiling because even though it was raining and I was wet I wasn’t cold my body wasn’t aching how it usually does from the cold.  So with our ketchup and our wires we went back to E to buy some much needed food, as I was pretty close to cannibalism by now. Well this 15 minutes’ walk to Aldi had taken about two hours. As we were waiting to pay, I was thinking oh my I am going to starve there is no Quorn products nowhere and the only veggie stuff I have seen is the usual fruits, veg and things with cheese in. But then I turn and I see the beauty, something that makes me drool, something that I want, but am not having because who pays for diet chocolate bars at stupid prices. My eyes nearly popped out the sockets when I saw the price. Hehe had an image there of Jim Carrey in the Mask. But then as my eyes followed wantonly across the shelf I came to a vegetarian section of deliciousness and variety so now I am a happy bunny.  By time we got back to the apartment three hours had gone, breakfast had quickly turned into brunch. We still ate croissants, chocolate spread on one and jam on the other and some cheese.

Ashton is playing on the PS4 now, yes typical! Well I can’t really talk as I am a little slightly addicted to Facebook. Scott is cooking tea. It’s time to say goodbye and we will see what tomorrow brings.

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