Well, after months of talking about it, weeks preparing for it and days constantly thinking about it, the hour has arrived. I am going the Netherlands to LIVE. Yep, take 4 seasons worth of clothes and the charger for the electric toothbrush. It was a day I was not looking forward to. Not because I don't want to go, but because the reality of having to say goodbye to the family is much more difficult than I expected. Our lives are built around each other and though it's easy to say "there will be visits," it will be different. So here I am at PDX after sharing some some tears with Cheryl and am ready to check into Delta Flight 178 non stop to Amsterdam!
The trip was uneventful and I actually got a couple hours sleep because I will be spending the day at EHQ after I arrive and I don't want to bonk! I only needed to get my bags and rental car (my permanent car is not available yet). I got a nice little SUV Ford KUGR. One problem, they only had a vehicle with a manual transmission. Seriously?? It's not that I can't drive one, but I'm an old man. I don't need to drag anyone off the line and with all the bikes, pedestrians, buses, trams, traffic lights, narrow roads, street names like "Plompetorengracht" to look for I don't need one more distraction! OK, I'll take it, but "madam, will you please double the insurance coverage? Thank you"
My first day at EHQ was good. The people are terrific and I will have no problem adjusting. They may be the one's who need to adjust to "the loud guy." The campus is significantly smaller than WHQ but a major campus renovation is just kicking off and the rest of the European region is also undergoing some major changes to align with our new company strategy so there is a lot to do.
I left work a little early (good first impression eh?) to meet the real estate agent and get my temporary apartment. It's in downtown Utrecht. A town about 10 miles south of Hilversum (where EHQ is located). I'm in a cool old area (well, every area is old) that is only two blocks from a nice downtown with restaurants and a grocery store. The town itself is about 350,000 people but like Amsterdam, doesn't feel as big as it is as everything is broken up into neighborhoods. Just a block north of my apartment is a beautiful canal. The canals in Utrecht are different than in Amsterdam in that you can get right down to the water. It's pretty nice and allows people to canoe and boat around a lot more.
It can't be all fun and games. I need to go shopping so I have something in the refrigerator as this is going to be home for the month of May. I got lots of sliced meats and cheese as I don't expect to be cooking many meals. Maybe an occasional pot of spaghetti but don't be looking for me on Chopped any time soon. I was very thankful to see Doritos made it over to the Netherlands. I was a little disappointed in the selection. Only Nacho Cheese. Was looking for Spicy Sweet Chili flavor but I guess I can't have everything.
Well that's it for my first day of my new life experience in Europe. I am excited to be here but even more excited for Cheryl to join me so we can share the experience. Only a month to wait......