Au Revoir, USA!

And we are off!
4 hour drive to Toronto (flight was much less expensive!), then an overnight flight to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon landing, we will store most of our (many, heavy) bags at the airport and then head to the Blue Lagoon http://www.bluelagoon.com/ for some R&R. I am especially looking forward to the “in water massage” after a half night’s sleep on the red eye!(Less if the boys have their way and watch movies the whole time).

We will head into Reykjavik and our AirBnB apartment whenever we feel like it, ideally with enough time in the day to explore the city a bit. On Friday, we have an all-day tour of the “Golden Circle” – some of the countryside, including waterfalls and the original geyser, from which all other geysers get their name. And on Saturday, we head to Paris for a week, if we can manage with all of our non-wheeled huge baggage. 
As PapaHatch said yesterday, we’ve really been working on the logistics for a year and really “at it” for the last six months. (Side note: he spent the bulk of yesterday – our last day in the U.S. – staining a fence outside!). The most time consuming has been getting the house ready for our renters; it’s been a huge undertaking making minor (and some major) repairs, getting it and keeping it “deep cleaned” and the most work of all, clearing our clutter and storing everything else. But… our house looks fantastic now (if I do say so myself), and we feel good about how we are leaving it for our tenants. 
In the midst of the “final push” of the last few weeks, our cat died, which was unexpected and so sad for us. The timing was bizarrely amazing though: I am so glad that she died while the two boys were at camp so that we could tell them after dealing with our own immediate grief, and I am especially glad that we could be with the cat when she died and that our sweet cat sitter didn’t have to deal with it after our departure. Now let’s just hope our other cat stays healthy while we are away! Leaving him was hard, but he is in good hands. 
We have had an incredible send off from our Midwest friends, filling our hearts and souls and ensuring our return in a year. We are so grateful to live in such a warm and generous community! We loved spending our last U.S. weekend at a friend’s lake house, surrounded by friends and laughing kids, making s’mores and hanging out (not to mention it was a much-needed respite from packing!). We were very touched by the goodbye events – so fun and a wonderful way to connect before a year away, albeit a little embarrassing since it really is only a year! And still other generous friends are “hosting” our cars in their business parking lot – so very kind and a huge help to us. 
We are all so excited for our Big Adventure! Let the games begin!

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