Saturday, June 4, 2011


I'm 27!!  My birthday came and passed on June 1st with some laid-back celebration, which was good enough for me-Kris presented me with a new Terry Brooks novel, which is going in my carry-on, Bram Stoker's Dracula in Italian with audio CD in Italian to listen to as I read, which is awesome, and a tiny little Swarovski poodle!  It's really the cutest thing!  We'd talked about going out for lunch but didn't arrange it the morning of so I cooked lunch, and we went downtown and met up with some friends, had a few beers, got me a chocolate cake birthday shot (which remarkably has no chocolate liquor in it but tastes like chocolate cake), played darts, enjoyed the evening, so it was a great day!

We're a day and a half or so from departing on our trip back to the States for three weeks and it's going to be fabulous!   Since our plane leaves at 6:00 am we have to spend tomorrow evening in Milan since the bus doesn't leave that early from here.  I tore through my closet all yesterday trying to make sure I had everything that I wanted ready to be packed and spent quite literally about an hour and a half looking for one particular sweater that didn't want to be found.  Never mind that it's always the black sweater the crops up when I'm looking for a different black sweater, but oh, no, this time it was playing a very annoying game of hide and seek on me.  I swear, stuff in this apartment grows temporary legs from time to time and moves on it's own when I decide to run down to the store for ten minutes to grab fresh bread for lunch or a quick coffee at the cafe next door to the grocery store.  Augh!  (The sweater eventually did allow itself to be found, but it was quite the hunt.)  

As well as the sweater, Chloe's Swiss pet passport also grew legs and has wedged itself into some deep, dark corner that we won't discover until we move apartments in a few months, so had to take her to the vet yesterday and get her signed off to travel and have the vet fill out a whole new passport for her.  She was none to happy about the visit-the first time she saw him, of course, she got a booster shot injection for some disease that pets get here that they don't get in the states-needless to say her first impression carries with her.  Any vet's office, pretty much, she's not excited to be in.  She can smell all the other small dogs in fear for their lives, I think.  We have to carry all her paperwork with her anyway, her rabies shots and chip ID and everything (which, I'd found the form for the chip ID sticker that Switzerland gave us, part of which was required to be placed in a section in her passport, so thank goodness we didn't realize and do it to the old passport before we lost it!)  
But we're going to be in California in two very long days!  Our longest leg is eleven hours, which won't be fun for Chloe at all (she refuses to eat anything, hardly drinks any water, and quite literally shakes the whole time from when the plane starts moving to when it lands on the ground and when people can vacate their seats.)  It's not a very good trip for her which was one of the main reasons we didn't go back home for Xmas last year-it was way too soon, and she actually lost weight on the flights from being to traumatized.  Expecting a slight weight loss again for her.  And of course, airline regulations being what they are, flight stewards/esses are for the most part sympathetic but still won't let us take her out to calm her down.  Ascending and descending elevation are the worst for her-I can't imagine how much more air pressure messes with her ears and such but during those moments she's scratching at her carrier and crying and the most unhappy about it all.  But she'll have a whole week before she has to get onto a remarkably shorter flight between states, and another week before we do it again, and a short week before we go for the long haul back home.  It's going to be hectic for her but she'll get to see people she hasn't seen since we left and smell new smells all over again so I think she'll adjust okay in between.  

Cannot wait to get out on the water!  My father is rapidly finishing up the last few things on our ex-sailboat that need to be done in order for us to be able to sail her and spend a couple nights on her so that we can enjoy and get some ocean-time in!  It's going to be such a blast to be out on the water and even just to relax and hang out on the boat in Monterey so our friends can all come by and see us-it's going to be great!  In Utah Kris's sister will be sponsoring a BBQ at her house so everyone can make plans to come and see us all on the same day, so that will be fun, no doubt.  Then off to Colorado and pre-wedding party and madness for our friend Scott who was Kris best man for our wedding, and has now turned duties vice-versa.  We'll be staying with him and his fiance for a couple of days and then Kris's parents will join us and we'll re-locate to the timeshare they allocated for the weekend, and then it's to the airport the morning after the wedding!  It's going to be such a great trip, so good to see everyone, and to celebrate life and friends in general!  Will be taking plenty of pictures so will do what I can to share some here.  Cannot wait to be there, cannot wait to get all my hair chopped off in a couple days (it's been humid and hot here for a good month so it needs to be done!)  Just going to be a blast all around!  Will post when we get back, I'm sure. 

Allie H,

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