Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Don't We Do It Off The Road?

Well, I guess it's as official as it's going to get, folks:  we're coming off the road.  I'm sure most of you know this, but for those of you who don't, Matt has taken a job in Tech Services with UOP in Des Plaines, which means no more full time travel for us.  We just signed a lease on an (amazing) apartment in Evanston, and we are in the process of becoming all domesticated and crap.  

Sorry if this is a surprise to some... we've been talking about it for a while, but Matt didn't want to say anything before it was set in stone.  (A task which, as you can imagine, was a little too much for me.  I told a lot of people in Arkansas right off the bat, but I waited until we started looking for apartments to say anything to anyone else.  See, I was kind of good.)  I guess signing a lease means we're locked in.  Oh boy.  If you are sensing that the tone of this posting is neither overjoyed nor excited, then you have judged it correctly.  I commend you.  Neither of us was really ready to stop traveling, but we felt like we didn't really have a choice.  Scratch that;  we DID in fact have a choice:  come off the road, or go spend at least a year (probably more) in India on another assignment.  In Gujarat, to be exact.  Just a couple hours away from Baroda, but from what I understand, immensely worse.  The living conditions there are supposed to be pretty terrible, and more importantly, there is no big expat women's community to see me through those long, hot, lonely, depressing days in which I'm filled with bitter resentment toward UOP, Matt, Indian people, curry, rats, cows, trash, dogs, etc.  

Soooo, obviously we're not cut out for more Gujarat.  We'll let someone else handle that while we set up shop in our awesome new rehabilitated vintage apartment in the beautiful and lively community of Evanston!  I've promised a few of you some pictures, and of course I'm not one to go back on my word so...
Here is our new living room!  I especially love the built-in shelves around the fireplace.  And plenty of room for our friends and family to come visit us!  (This was not the case with our old Park Ridge apartment, in case you've forgotten.)

Dining room, with a view into the living room and sun room.  

Sun room.  This is bigger than it looks in this picture... there are two extra windows and more floor space. Probably big enough for me to do yoga in the mornings so people walking by can stop and watch!

Isn't this the cutest little bathroom you've ever seen?  (Emphasis on cute.  And little.)

Pretty good size kitchen with...

A Butler's Pantry!  How quaint and fabulous.  
Anyway, the bedroom is a normal size, but there are two big closets for all of our sundries, and we have a storage unit in the basement of the building.  Cha-ching.  See, I can get excited about this when I want to.  One more "surprise" (I've already told most people about this, too... Don't tell me secrets.  I can't be trusted) for us:  After three long years, (filled with many trials, lots of screaming and some wrestling matches that make WWE look like child's play) we are finally going on a honeymoon!  (I bet you thought I was going to say we were splitting up, didn't you?  False.  We are in a very happy and stable marriage.  I promise.)  After about two days of deliberation - mostly researching cheap tickets - we have decided to go to Spain!  We leave Monday.  It is going to be amazing.  In the words of Alberto, our Spanish co-worker from India:  "I think dis is de best."  

So that's all my news.  Don't be too jealous about the apartment - you are all more than welcome any time.  Even people I don't know who might be reading this.  Feel free to come over.  I'm not a good cook, but my husband is.  He will hook you up with a fresh meal and a... warm bath?  (Obviously I haven't entertained in a while.  I'm not sure what to offer people anymore.)  And don't fret about our amazing, fantastic, wonderfully incredible honeymoon to Espana either.  Soon and very soon I will be back in America looking for a job.  Back to reality.  Or, as Nate so lovingly put it "living in reality for the first time."  Thanks, brother.  

This is us.  We are about to be grown ups.  Maybe.

P.S.  This is not an April Fool's joke.  That would just be wrong.  
P.P.S.  I'm not pregnant, nor do I plan on becoming pregnant in the next 1+ years.  Stop holding your breath.  


Friday, May 6, 2011


I have been having some pretty severe India flashbacks recently, which are exacerbated by the dozens of Indians staying at our hotel.  I'm sure they are nice people, and I have nothing against them personally, but hey, I've already stayed at a hotel with Indians.  For eight months.  Also, this hotel has kitchens in every room, which is nice, but unfortunately, they are not very well ventilated, so whatever anyone cooks floods the hallways (and elevators and lobby) with the smell of whatever they cooked.  In case you weren't aware, Indians like to cook food - curries to be exact.  They like to cook it in their hotel-room kitchen.  Again, I will stress that all of this is fine and I have nothing against them cooking or curries in general.  What I do have a problem with is the curry smell that floats under my door and through my walls, permeating my dreams and giving me nightmares of Baroda.  I think I have PTSD.

Further enhancing my flashbacks are the photos my friend Dori sent me from our scavenger hunt party we attended shortly before we left.  I love the pictures, but am having a pretty severe reaction on a mental/emotional level just looking at them.  Maybe some people just aren't cut out for Gujarat.  Maybe I'm one of them.
Me, Ken (Dori's husband), and some other lady whose name I don't remember posing for one of our scavenger hunt pictures.  We had to take a picture of all of us in an auto.  Not sure if the driver needed to be there or if he just wanted to be included.  If I had to guess, I'd go with the latter.  

Us with one of the front entrance guys at the hotel. (Another mandatory scavenger hunt picture.)  I actually really liked him.  Once, he had a questionable mole or tumor or something cut off the back of his neck.  I know this because he wore a bandage around for a while and I finally had to get a translator to explain what happened.  On a lighter note, check out that mustache!

With Ronald.  Classic.  

I'd also like to mention (in case I haven't before) that my team came in second in the scavenger hunt.  Matt's team came in first.  BUT one of his team member's lived right across the street and had most of the items on the list already.  So he wins, but we'll put an asterisk next to it.  Matt 1*, Cait 100 (I'm counting all the things I win against him in life.  Like Boggle, Scrabble, Taboo, reading, writing and arithmetic, etc).  
Us celebrating our victories.  We look good in Indian accessories, no?  (The answer is no.  We don't.) 

In other news, Sunday is Mother's Day, and you know what that means:  Six Flags Great America!  Matt and I have made a semi-tradition of going to Six Flags on either Mother's Day or Father's Day for the past few years.  It's awesome because there are no lines, so we can ride the Superman as many times as our stomachs will let us!  More flags, more fun!