T Minus 24 Hours

We’re leaving our house in Vermont tomorrow (!) for a mini vacation in Salem, Massachusetts. Then Thursday we fly to Prague.

It’s so on.

I’ve written so many blog posts and so many new recipes for you IN MY IMAGINATION. But packing and emotional goodbyes-for-now have made it impossible for me to focus. My emotions feel far too large for my 5’4″ frame, so I thought I’d share some photos that capture some of our activities of the last few weeks. I promise the words will come later.

Last week…

We drove 33 boxes of personal stuff to Boston so it can be shipped to Prague. It’s all going on a quite a journey: a truck from Boston to New York… where it gets on a ship from Baltimore… which sails to Hamburg, Germany where our boxes are offloaded to a truck which carries them to a warehouse in Prague. I wish we’d been able to pack everything in old-timey trunks with illustrated labels like this:

Instead, our boxes looked like this:

We rented a ginormous SUV, and when we were finished packing it, we couldn’t possibly fit anything else inside. It was like a supreme game of Tetris.

Now the house is empty and echo-y and unpleasant everywhere except the kitchen—still mostly functioning with my good knives and some so-so pans—and the bedroom because our bed isn’t being moved out until after we’re gone. The weird noises and commotion have made Smudge super jumpy. Poor kitty!

And it only got worse for her.

To get her legally and safely to Prague, she had to visit the vet for a final exam. She was not happy about it.

A few indignities and seven pages of paperwork later, Smudge returned home and immediately forgot her trauma. Meanwhile, I sweated it out, waiting for her paperwork to be approved by the USDA in Albany. Thanks to FedEx, we had her notarized “passport” in our hands 24 hours later. Now the three of us are prepared when someone demands “PAPERS!” in a Slavic accent. In my imagination, I’m always in a 1980s, spy-themed music video, kind of like this:

Back in March, we decided to start counting down the days to our move. It was fun to track our moods as we crossed off each day: happy, excited, anxious, tired… so many of those Xs represent “tired.” And now we’re almost there!

Tomorrow, we have last-minute donations of furniture and odds-and-ends at our community thrift store, and I have a very important meeting*. (*It’s not a meeting. I need a haircut.)  On Wednesday, we’re being tourists in Salem and going on a 2-hour walking tour that hits all the hot spots, like the Witch House, Pickering House 1660, and the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. I always feels so sad for the witches of Salem—these tour spots seems like a very timely reminder about social hysteria and judgment of people who are “other”—but it will also be delightful to do something not related to packing and moving and evaluating every object in the house ohmygosh,willitneverend?!

There are going to be many “moving into our apartment” adventures when we arrive in Prague on Friday, but we’ve already identified our first two meals—it’s important to keep one’s priorities straight. For post-flight breakfast, it’s the Café Savoy for the French breakfast (it includes Merguez Sausage!)…

… and for pre-crash-into-bed dinner, it’s the Balkan restaurant Luka Lu for ćevapčići.

I’m probably going to be a little absent from the blog for a week or so, but I’ll be sharing photos and stories on Instagram and Twitter, so check in with me there! And if you’d like a taste of Prague in your kitchen, try these Czech Meatballs, Czech Garlic Soup, Vampire-Fighting Pork Stew, or Ćevapčići and Ajvar.

Dobrou chuť!

 

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Comments

  • Dee says:

    We’ve been thinking of you both (did Tennessee Valley trail a few weeks ago), and now you are almost flying off on your dream trip. So happy for you. Safe travels to you, Dave, and Smudge. ( Fabulous apt. BTW.)

    • Oh, the Tennessee Valley Trail! I love it so much.

      Thank you for the well wishes. We are literally carrying our last batches of stuff out the door right now! I’m not supposed to be typing 🙂

      Talk to you from Prague!

  • Raumali says:

    I don’t know why am feeling emotional that you are moving, even though I live miles away and you are moving closer to where I live 🙂
    Yesterday I told my boyfriend that the only thing I need to do a whole30 is your blog and books. And it’s true, your well fed weeknights is a dream come true. I made three recipes for the entire week from there within an hour and not many dishes to do 😀

    Love you. All the best!

    • I get it: I think we get used to thinking of people in a particular place and it’s poignant when they move on… even when we don’t interact in the same space. But I’m not going anywhere, really 🙂

      I’m SO happy the Well Fed recipes are helpful, and thank you for the sweet words about Well Fed Weeknights. It’s my favorite cookbook so far; glad you like it, too!

      *internet hug*

  • Cheri Bracken says:

    Sending you so many good wishes! I feel as though we are best friends even though we may never meet…

  • Alyssa says:

    I’ve been following along (or so I thought!) but can’t seem to find a first post about the move! Can you guide me?! I’d love to read how this came about!

  • Dana says:

    Same comment as Alyssa – I have not been checking as often as I used to, but seeing this note today about you going to Prague…OMG….what a wonderful adventure for you all ( and I’m sure Smudge will adjust as well!). Will pray for safe travels for you all 😉 pax – Dana

  • Paula says:

    We just moved back from New Delhi, India (with 3 cats). Enjoy Prague! It’s my birth city, though my family and I left ages ago. My memory is soviet tanks on the streets. It was great to return a few years ago. The architecture is amazing! And steak tartare! What’s not to love? I’m looking forward to your posts as you explore and experience the city.

    • Wow! Three cats in a move– you are made of tough stuff 🙂 As it turns out, our Smudge was a trooper. She slept most of the flight and adjusted right away when we got to the hotel… she ate right away. I’m so relieved!

      I’m not from here, and I get upset when I see the photos of the Soviet tanks in the streets. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Czechs. And yes, architecture+food pretty much summarizes the things we love, plus the people and all the bookishness.

  • EmayPA says:

    Bon Voyage! Safe travels!

  • Leora Henkin says:

    Safe travels! I can’t wait to hear about your new adventure!

    Leora

  • LJ Coleman says:

    So, I have been following you for several years but now you have really done it! You have always been inspirational, no really, but now my husband and I have hatched our own little plan to move to Prague in 3 years. You were really what it took for me to say let’s do it. I am going to be eagerly following you and and can’t wait to hear how all of it is going. Of course as soon as we pinky swore that we would do our own journey to Prague, I started looking at apartments. There seems to be some awesome places. Can’t wait for more Czech recipes. Hope all is going smoothly and I can’t wait to hear more. LJ

  • June says:

    Congrats on the move! We (English husband and American self) are living in Budapest (just a quick jaunt south from you!); I’ve been here off-and-on since 2010 and honestly, living abroad really made me learn to cook. The things I’ve missed I’ve been able to find on blogs like yours and recreate from scratch (making carnitas as I type!), so when I saw you were moving our way, I had to say hello and THANK YOU!! I hope you find lots of new inspiration in your new, beautiful city. If you ever find yourself in our neck of the woods, Budapest has become quite a food capital in the last 5 years, and I’d be happy to suggest some places to check out! Best of luck with the rest of your move–we know the stress!! xx