Well...it seems as if we have been in the process of "moving to Dubai" forever! The kids and I spent the better part of two weeks in Edmonton having one last pre-Dubai visit with the family. The grandparents are here for one last last visit with the kids. My husband and I have visited with colleagues at work. I have packed, sorted and labelled our possessions and professional movers have done the same. We have been living in a hotel for the better part of a week and eating on a per diem (which is good, but not as awesome as I thought). We are basically waiting to fly out tomorrow, a greatly anticipated event at this point.
All in all, it seems like it's time to leave, time to get this show on the road.
Life in the hotel has been generally agreeable. We are basically living in a single room with an infant and an almost-four year old. This means an early bed time and less than one drawer each for our clothes. Our older son adores hotels, so he is on board, making the experience much better than it could be. Of course everyone is sick with a cold, so our room is filled with the sounds of coughing and wheezing and we have had one middle-of-the-night trip to the Children's Hospital. I imagine that this is just the start of the "family togetherness" experience that we were hoping for during this trip.
Eating on a per diem is interesting. We are lucky, our budget is more than adequate, and we have never come close to reaching our daily limits. We have eaten at all of our favorite places and are settling into a routine of restaurants that our older son likes - generally because of kid-friendly food choices or colouring pages while we wait for our food. Eating out is time consuming, and I have noticed that we have stopped finishing the huge portions and are frequently only eating two meals a day. We have been making fairly healthy food choices as well. Family meals in a restaurant used to be highly anticipated treats, and have become routine at this point. Once we arrive in Dubai, we will have another week in a hotel before moving to our permanent accommodation. I am looking forward to cooking again!
The movers were careful and did a professional job of packing and sorting the contents of our home. It was, however, incredibly boring to sit in our house and have them pack up around me. While they were packing, there was nothing I could do to assist because every item needed to be packed in their packing materials according to their standard method and each item was catalogued on their inventory. They would ask me questions about specific items when necessary, but otherwise kept to themselves - the house was silent except for the obnoxious noise of packing-tape dispensers. As the furniture dwindled, it was also uncomfortable to sit in the house. On the last day of packing, there was no-where to sit at all, I had a choice of nursing the baby on the steps or on the floor, leaning up against a wall.
Tomorrow we will finish packing up our suitcases for the airplane and do one last load of laundry. Then we will be completely ready to leave. We have been granted the pleasure of one last big, messy and inconvenient snow storm - something I will not miss! Alberta winter is saying goodbye in style.