Yes, we’re finally in our place! A lot of you have asked for a photo tour and here it is. Things are VERY BEFORE. Debris scattered about, including some stuff that isn’t even ours, which I will detail later in this post.
Ode to the Bromley Court Hotel
As part of our relocation deal, Matt’s new game studio placed us in the Bromley Court Hotel, perched on Bromley Hill, for two weeks while we find a more permanent home. When we snooped the place online, we thought it looked great – pretty and relaxing. We were right. They nailed it.
The interior of the hotel is this interesting mix of homey and grand. I mentioned previously, the restaurant is really great. We splurged for a single dinner here and it is probably my favorite UK meal so far.
I complained a lot about our time in the hotel and should be clear – it has nothing to do with the hotel itself, and everything to do with the inevitable misery of two adults and a baby having to share a small room for two weeks.
Here’s a peek at some of the interior:
Brentering: What we’re loving, a dozen days in
Boy, I’ve used this space to complain a lot, haven’t I?
It’s not all bad.
In fact, some aspects of this have been quite terrific, as we’d hoped this adventure would be.
THE AREA IS ADORABLE
Matt’s studio, and therefore, our home base, is located in Bromley, an outer burrough of London. It is wicked cute, with all the British touches you imagine: roundabouts, peaky white houses with dark wood trim, and pubs plunked into the middle of residential neighborhoods.
Brentering Update: Are you close to a house?
Last night, I dreamed that my friend and I were camping in the woods near the hotel, close enough that we could see Matt and Dexter, but keeping our distance as we fervently gathered supplies, so they wouldn’t spot us.
I think my subconscious is telling me I need a break from sharing a cramped hotel room with my husband and son. It’s not even being subtle about it.
I have some fun, photos-and-jokes-filled updates for you guys, but there are a lot of questions about our living situation so let’s take care of some business.
Our First Tea Time: The Lavender House
Our day-to-day schedule is not so bad, now that we’ve moved, considering we’re all cramped into a single hotel room and we’re five hours ahead. But we do frequently find ourselves wishing for an afternoon snack to tide us over till dinner and then yesterday, it finally dawned on me: That is why British people have afternoon tea. DUH.
We saw the cutest little teahouse a few days ago, on the same block as the laudromat (called a launderette, here) where we washed some clothes. It is called The Lavender House and when we tried to head in while we waited for our stuff to dry, we were told they were closing. (It was 4 p.m. Not a lot of demand for tea after that.)
So we went back today.
Dexter Ian: Sixteen Months Old
Dexter Ian is sixteen months old today.
Well, folks, we skipped fifteen months. We were deep into all of the logistics of moving and getting rid of our stuff and securing paperwork and I’m pretty sure we were also visiting family and I was sick as hell…. it just didn’t happen. It is my deep hope that Dexter will emotionally recover from this oversight.
So, strap in. We have a lot of ground to cover.
Sometimes, it just takes a breakfast buffet with your own tiny pot of coffee to make things feel okay again.
Yes, we’re officially in the UK. I know this because when I browse the internet, the ads and suggested links are turning British. Oh, and also when I look out a window I see England. Yes, the trip over here, and first day, were like tiny little hellscapes. Let me tell you why.
As previously reported, our friends Pete and Megan and their adorable puppy Lola graciously opened up our home to us until things got sorted. It was great to have some extra time with them, and the few extra days did buy us time to handle a few things outstanding – mainly, even after shedding or shipping probably 90% of our belongings, we somehow still had too much stuff.
Most of you probably haven’t gotten rid of most of your stuff to move overseas. I know I hadn’t. It is difficult, but not for the reasons you’d think. We actually didn’t find it hard to let go, for the most part. What I didn’t initially grasp is that inventorying every item we own is really just a series of thousands of tiny decisions. I don’t know about you, but I do not make every decision perfectly, the first time, and that’s what led to us overestimating the suitcase space we’d have and coming to Megan and Pete’s with way too much stuff. So once again, there was sorting and decision-making and repacking and despite our best efforts, we ended up leaving behind a small pile of things, for which I am about to issue an apology to Megan and Pete, but maybe Lola would enjoy some of Dexter’s toy balls.
So, despite selling our house and being bon voyaged, we are still in Florida. I will attempt to make a very, very, very long story short.
In order to apply for our visas, we had to obtain a passport for Dexter and then send the whole family’s passports, plus Dex’s birth certificate, our marriage license (all originals!) and a two-inch thick sheaf of paperwork to the British government. The visas were approved while we were visiting family up north, and because the package required a signature, we arranged for it to be delivered to our home Friday, the day after our return to Orlando.
From there, the plan was to spend the weekend packing and discarding, with a break for a bon voyage party Saturday evening. We’re having a 200 cubic foot crate shipped to the UK, and that pickup was Monday morning. Sign papers to close on house Monday evening, officially get out of house Tuesday morning then fly over Tuesday afternoon.
Except, when the package arrived Friday, it only contained Matt’s passport and visa. Dexter’s and mine, along with our important documents, were missing.