Following our Chicago trip, we had an anticipated move-out date of July 15th to shoot towards. Throughout the week of July 7th, our tiny one-bedroom apartment was such a mess! We came to the realization that we had accumulated a lot of “stuff” over the years. It was definitely a challenge figuring out what items we needed to get rid of, and of course, me being the sentimental person I am, I tend to place a higher value on items I had obtained during my travels. We ended up donating about 10-12 bags of clothes and shoes in addition to one futon, a wooden dining room table with four matching chairs (which I had purchased from a local Salvation Army a few years ago), a TV stand, two end tables, and a coffee table.
On Wednesday, July 9th, it was USTA Appreciation Day at the Newport International Tennis Hall of Fame Annual Tournament. So, we got tickets to attend the grass court event, where we had the chance to see a few top-ranked players who included: John Isner and Nikolas Mahut, and Lleyton Hewitt, who ended up taking the championship! It was a gorgeous day to go for a stroll in Newport.
On the afternoon of Saturday, July 12th we had additional helping hands, as Michael’s parents and our good friend Becca ended up offering to move some of the larger items, such as furniture we wanted to keep (our bed, couch, bookcase, and dresser) to his parents’ house. After that, our apartment felt very empty and it even echoed as we chatted. This was it. We really felt like we were doing this. We just needed to tidy up a bit before we left, and pack up the truck to our liking.
Michael is very particular about certain things, so he took the lead in organizing how his truck was to be packed. We decided it would be best to have our own sides with our clothing and items, such as shoes and a portable gas stove. We ended up purchasing a cargo carrier for the bed of his truck to put mostly our camping and outdoorsy items into, and used the trunk to store our toiletries and other camping supplies, such as our lantern, citronella candles, bug spray, sun screen, matches, pots, pans, ropes, grill, two different sized air mattresses, duct tape, hiking shoes, compass, bear bell, and more! Within the truck, we packed a cooler with everything we would need along the way.
We stayed overnight at Michaels’ parents’ house for one evening where they had been kind enough to let us set up our bed, couch, and store some of our luggage. Michael’s grandmother, Jacki, invited all the girls out to dinner to celebrate our birthdays at the Boat House Restaurant in Tiverton, Rhode Island. It was a Monday evening, and the restaurant was completely full with customers! I was so surprised, but it was such an enjoyable time to spend it with everyone, as we shared stories about our lives and caught up. Following the dinner, Aunt Pat had scheduled an appointment for a private gong meditation session. Unfortunately, I had to leave after the dinner as it was already approaching 8pm, and it takes about 3.5 hours for us to get to my parents’ in New York. We had to drive both our cars, and that evening it was tough because it was raining pretty hard: thunder and lightning and trucks everywhere! Truck drivers, especially FedEx ones, really like to drive really fast at night, and they kept splashing me! But, we finally made it there just after midnight, and my dad was waiting up for us. He helped us bring some of our belongings inside.
The following morning (July 15th) we left the house at 7:30am because we wanted to get to the China Consulate around 9am to submit our visa applications for the first portion of our honeymoon in early December. We decided to drop off our passports in mid-July so we could pick them up in August, when we came back for the U.S. Open (tennis) towards the end of the month. This way, we could avoid having to wait until Friday for them to be ready for pick up. My parents took us to Flushing, NY for a traditional Chinese breakfast at a dim sum restaurant…ooh la la is right! I hadn’t had Chinese breakfast in the longest time…boy, was it yummy. On our way back from the city, we received flash flood warnings, and apparently the weathermen were spot on this time around. It literally took us three hours to get from the city to our house, which typically takes one hour…
It was time to seriously start planning the first leg of our trip. Since my parents do not have internet at their house, we took a trip to the local library. We secured a “quiet study room” where we had a few hours to do some planning. Michael and I discovered this website called Roadtrippers where we were able to plan out a route. It has some neat features including being able to customize the trip and keep track of miles and gas prices in the area.
So where are we now, you might ask? Check out this link to our trip.
Now that everything was set, we felt more relieved! So because we had some time, we made it a point to meet up with one of my best friends from high school, Nicole and her daughter Ally at a local diner for a late lunch before they had to go to gymnastics. It was great for us to catch up since we rarely get to see each other nowadays.
Then, Michael and I went on a 5 mile jog/run around my parents’ house. I led the way and brought him down 9W, to two parks: Peck’s Pond and Haverstraw Bay Park, and then back around back to the house. We really needed it! It was about 7pm when we arrived back. By that time, my dad was starting to prepare dinner for us, and my parents wanted a mini MINI lesson from me as I was leaving my car at their house while we were away on our trip for their enjoyment. My dad made moo shu pork, steak, crab legs, vegetables, shrimp, and rice for our so-called “last supper” prior to our departure the next morning. And, they gave us a bunch of small things, such as soy sauce, vegetable oil and some comfort foods, such as congee in a jar, some tea eggs, blocks of ice and bottles of waters for our trip!
We wanted to thank everyone who has been supportive of our trip and who have been our mentors and role models. We cannot wait to embark on this journey of a lifetime!