Departure - In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - CycleBlaze

March 25, 2019 to March 26, 2019

Departure

Even when everything goes well, departure stresses me for some reason.  We’re really getting the routine down well by now: we’ve got a good checklist to work with, we are getting efficient about what stays and goes and at moving what stays behind into our storage unit, and we cooperate well as we divide up and execute tasks.

Until we find out otherwise, it looks like this departure has really gone as smoothly as we could hope for.  We suitcased the Fridays, completed most most of the packing, and moved most of the rest to storage a few days ago, so there really wasn’t much to do at the last minute.  Our flight leaves early Tuesday morning, so we’re staying at an airport hotel tonight.  Our AirBnB host is letting us stay here all day, so we have a very leisurely day to finalize our departure.

Since we have plenty of time, Rachael goes off on an early morning bike ride while I bike over to Daily Cafe for breakfast (we’ve pretty well run down food at the apartment).  Then I drop Rodriguez off at the bike locker, walk home, and bike back to storage again with her bike after she returns from the ride.  After that we spend a few hours in mop-up activities (shower, finish packing, clean the unit) before moving out and loading everything into the Jetta.  I drop off a few last things at our storage unit, and then we hang around a coffee shop for awhile until it’s time to head over to Bruce and Andrea’s for a last meal and visit together before they drop us off at our airport motel.

What could be easier if you’re leaving home for three months?   Not only has it gone smoothly, but it starts raining just as we’re loading the Jetta, making it especially inviting to be leaving town.  Nevertheless, I still feel stressed and anxious.  Why?  Darned if I know.  I just want to have it behind us and be on the road again.

It was probably unwise of me to bike Rachael’s Straggler over to the storage unit, especially not wearing a helmet. Not much room for the knees or maneuverability.
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On the other hand, it prompts me to take a portrait of the Straggler, something I don’t think to do often enough. I should take it out for a spin from time to time.
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Pretty dark place to spend three months, but at least they have each other. I would never put someone in solitary confinement.
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In my ongoing quest for that perfect packing job, I try something new this time. It seems like it should work well wedging a pair of shoes on the side to help keep things snug.
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“You’re not over the hill yet. Happy Birthday!” We don’t save many souveniers any more, but we like Rachael’s birthday card from Elizabeth well enough to hang on to it here.
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Oh, here’s why I get anxious.  So many risks, and you can’t anticipate or plan for all of them.  Driving away from our apartment, I experience a rare brain fart and start following the way I would go on my bicycle.  Rachael startles me a block later with a yelp when I start driving onto the riverside bike path.  And later in the evening when I’m crossing the oncoming lane in the dark to pull into an airport motel, a biker with no light and dressed in black whizzes past.  I don’t even see him until he’s passed.  My mind quickly flashes through some of the films we’ve seen recently where events like this end in life-altering catastrophes.

And then, there’s this.  The next morning we catch the 4:30 shuttle to the airport, leaving a half hour earlier than necessary to allow extra time in case something goes awry - as it does.  We start chatting with the van driver, and lose track when we’re unloading at the airport. Too late, I realize that one of our rucksacks, the one with our passports and my phone, is driving off in the van.  She’s almost still in earshot, but it’s too late.  Fortunately, Rachael has her phone so she immediately calls the motel to contact the driver.   No harm, this time.  Looks like we’ll get off the ground after all.

Ten minutes later, she’s back! The rucksack was on the floor, hiding in the shadows. Here’s why I always want to allow extra time.
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So we made it. We have all our luggage, made it through security, and have time for a bite to eat before the gate opens. No problem!
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Suzanne GibsonI always feel anxious before we leave - even it it's for a much shorter period of time and doesn't involve flights. Departure is something existential.
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