Two weeks in the States!

Time flies when you are having fun they say. I believe it flies also when you don’t have fun, but that being said and left for what it is, we are having fun most of the times here.

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks already and this is the first time I found a moment to give you all an update.

We’ve been crazy busy taking care of and sorting out all kinds of things. Bank matters, shopping for furniture, looking for Dutch mama’s, visiting family, shopping for cars.

Everything is going really well I must say, we are making progress every day and it feels rewarding.

Let me tell you a bit more about what we’ve been up to in the last two weeks, I know a few of you want to know more details.

Our adventure started with a big delay at Schiphol that is worth telling you about here. Travelling with a toddler, two cats and extra luggage turned out to be quite a challenge for the ground agents at Schiphol. We arrived at the airport 3 hours ahead of time as we did count on extra time for the check in. It turned out we should have been there 4 hours ahead or maybe even 5 hours ahead. It took 3 ground agents and 1 hour and 45 minutes at the counter to check us in. The first ground agent started checking us in and transferred us to a colleague after 15 minutes as her shift was ending. The second ground agent continued checking us in and transferred us to a third colleague after 30 minutes as her shift was ending now too. The third ground agent was luckily for us in a way just starting her shift so she would complete the process but we would be there for another hour. Just about when we were checked in with only 30 minutes to go until the plane was suposed to take off she hit her head in disbelief that she ‘forgot’ to print out the labels that had to go on the cats kennels. The check in proces was closed in the system by this time, every other passenger on this flight was at the gate boarding. Several phonecalls later from the ground agent to the gate and we were running through the airport escorted by another ground agent to bring the cats to a different place where they would be taken to the plane. Too late now, only 15 minutes until the plane was going to take off. At security they shook their head telling us there was no way we would get on that plane now. And we didn’t, the plane took off without us and we were put on a different flight 6 hours later through Seattle instead of Minneapolis. That meant 2 hours extra flying and 3 hours extra of waiting time between for our connection which added up to a total of 10 hours delay in our trip. Thanks God they gave us an extra sit for our toddler so our flight to Seattle was quite comfortable and me and our daughter got some decent rest unlike hubby who kept tossing and turning not being able to fall asleep.

We arrived in Denver at 1AM as supposed to 3 PM earlier that day, all bright eyed and bushy haired, completely awake in the middle of the night. It took us a few days to get adjusted to the time difference and settling into a new routine.

Surprising for me, in the past two weeks since I’ve been here, I’ve been going to bed early every evening, almost at the same time as our daughter does. Also I’ve been waking up very early in the morning, as early as 4.30 AM sometimes and most times around 5 AM. What I thought was a bit of adjusting to the time difference seems to be turning into a routine.

I’ve never been a morning person but it seems I’m very good at it nowadays and best of all I’m enjoying it. The quiet of the mornings is peaceful and gives me a bit of time before the hectic day starts. Our friends that we are staying with until we get our basics for the new house, are used to this kind of routine. Most of my mornings are in the company of my friend D that wakes up at those ungodly hours too, chatting over coffee. She loves waking up early and spending a few hours doing things in peace and quiet before the rest of the family wakes up. I’m starting to understand the wisdom of this and waking up early is my new favorite thing. I hope I’ll keep up with this routine in the new house as well.

Just after arriving in Fort Collins, our little one has been sick for a few days with a virus. We took her to the doctor here as I got worried when she threw up in the car the little food that she accepted that day. Although she is a toddler and kids this age can throw up regularly, our daughter rarely throws up, it happens only when she is sick in my experience. She is a very good eater, she is enthousiast about food and will become very unpatient when it’s time to eat if you don’t fix breakfast or lunch fast enough while she clings on my legs loudly licking her lips and saying ‘nam! nam!’. So, we went to the doctor, he told us it was just a virus, nothing special we could do other than keep her hydrated and out we went after paying 160 dollars for the visit. Paying for the doctor’s visit with a credit card right there at the doctor’s office is something that we never experienced back in the Netherlands. I believe a normal 10 minutes visit to the doctor back in the Netherlands costs around 50 euros and you actually never see the bill as it goes straight through the insurance being a standard covered health servicefor the entire population of the Netherlands. Here, as it turns out, you pay cash in the doctor’s office if you don’t have a local health insurance, it’s just like a shop. I believe I’ve never even seen a paying machine in a doctor’s office before in the Netherlands, I don’t think they have it. Do they?

The little one got better but hubby has an acute attack of joint pain in his left wrist since a few days. He’s been haunted by those dangling pains for years and has seen many doctors about it, went through plenty of tests just to get to the conclusion that those pains are as mysterious as they can be. They pop up at random times and random places in the joints. Sometimes it’s the left wrist, sometimes the right wrist, sometimes it’s the left or right knee or left or right foot. It’s a painful affair to say the least and the usual over the counter painkillers don’t help. He only gets relief when using Diclofenac – pain killer and inflammation suppresser – whick nowadays you can get over the counter in the Netherlands. It was a surprise to learn that you still need a prescription for Diclofenac in the States compared to many products you can get here that are even not allowed in the stores in the Netherlands. Another visit at the doctor’s office and another 100 dollars that was taken care of with a swipe of the credit card through the doctor’s office paying machine and we got a prescription. How wonderful that you can buy a doctor’s visit just like you would buy a pair of shoes. I wonder if they do discounts or maybe they could also start a loyalty program – for every 10 visits you could get a 10 minute visit for free! Next time we go to the doctor I will remember to suggest that. I wonder if you get points with American Express too like you usualy do when paying in a regular shop with your credit card.

In between those adventures we were out mainly shopping for the new house and setting up things like bank accounts, credit cards, insurances and such things. It’s a time consuming business but our rental house is coming around pretty nicely by now which means we’ll sleep in our new home in just a couple of days.

Some more good things happening would be that my hubby is most probably going to have a job in the States soon! He will fly out to Washington DC next week to meet with a few people there and if all goes well it’s about to be a done deal. He had 3 interviews for this job back in the Netherlands and things are looking pretty good for him. It will mean for him a lot of travel in the first year between Fort Collins and Washington DC and the West Coast but we are in good shape. There is family around the corner to help me when he is traveling and I get to spent a lot of time with the little one compared to when we were back in the Netherlands and I was working.

There are quite a few exciting things that are on our agenda in the next few weeks as you understand. Hubby’s job and travel, Halloween is coming up which I’m very much looking forward to, finishing furnishing our new house, enrolling for the Holistic Nutrition study I was telling you all about a while ago and I am also busy with a project based job application to translate software guide lines from an end user perspective from English to Dutch and maybe even from English to Romanian. I wasn’t looking for a job, I got contacted by a company here. It sounds quite interesting so I will look into this possibility for sure.

I will keep you posted on our adventures – so far just busy with setting base and I can gladly inform you that it is all going well. We feel good about this big step we took and our confidence is growing by the day.

Hope all of you back ‘ home’ are doing well, whishing you all a great day, week, month from cold but sunny Fort Collins!

One response to “Two weeks in the States!

  1. What a thrilling ride your way to the States! Prescription for Diclofenac! POS in the doctor’s office. Wow! You’re living the American dream, hun! 🙂 Lovely passage about quiet mornings. Guess I should go to the States to be a morning person, too. Kisses! 🙂


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