27 November 2012

Leaving on a jet plane...

Once again the Blades family are on the move, next stop Alaska.

Packing up started on Saturday 17th November when we managed to get rid of our trees from the balcony.  We talked with the guard and he said just bring them down so we did about 11am.  By 5pm when we went out for dinner the trees had gone.   We think that one of the other apartments in the building took them but whoever did we are thankful as there was no way they would be able to travel with us.

The next big thing was sorting out the cats.  Since we failed to realise that it  was thanksgiving (hence kennels had apparently been booked since July!) when we wanted to originally ship the cats we have had to fall back to our tertiary plan.  The cats are currently staying at Animalunos where we got Susan from.  On the 11th December Lucia will ship the cats via air freight to us in Anchorage.

Friday, Schlumberger took the furniture which we had chosen not to buy from them, this did leave us with the situation where we once again had no furniture or Fridge and Freezer, washing machine, dryer, bed well you get the idea, it also upset Fiona her biggest issue was that we wouldn't be able to have omelette in the morning as there was no refrigerator, real first world problems :)

We managed to get by the weekend without to many major problems.  Friday night was spent at a thanksgiving/leaving do with our friends here in Colombia hosted by the fantastic Audra and Gary Webber.
Saturday we went out for Breakfast and started the endless task of sorting things out in our apartment.  Sunday we took our final trip to Usaquen where we (by that I mean Amanda) negotiated a favourable discount on two paintings.

new pictures
Monday was the day of the packing, the packers turned up at 8:30 and finally left at 17:00 after packing all our belongings.   Fiona so far has been fairly quiet although she has mentioned that the men came to pack up her toys.... we may have problems in the not to distant future since we were informed that the shipping of our items could take anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months.

Some of the 60 boxes of things

Tuesday our final day in Colombia, we handed over the flat very easily.  It seemed they were impressed with the condition we had left it in so well done us. :)

Empty Flat

So this is my last post from Colombia now the next chapter of our lives begins so long weather like this and hello to this.  
Bogota Weather
Anchorage Weather

12 November 2012

Another Colombian holiday....

So once again we had another holiday here in Colombia.  This one was for the independence of Cartagena which happened on the 11th November 1811.

Since we are leaving Colombia soon we decided to head into town to see the Botero Museum which Amanda has not yet visited. Audra and Gary also joined us since they had also not visited the museum.  

The Museum is not just Botero exhibit it has other works of art and a section on the history of money in Colombia, best of all it is free. 

Since my photos of the art work are not so great here is the link to the google art project so you can see much more of the works I failed to take pictures of.  

Gearing up for Christmas
Botero work
Fat horse
More Botero
Skeleton Guitar my favourite
Colombian coins
More coins
Happy before lunch

For the bathroom
Not sure buying a Guitar was the best idea for a two year old., my ears are already hurting, see video below.  If you can't see it I think it is probably because you are using an apple product... or on a mobile device, sorry guys :(

09 November 2012

Alaska and the cats

Things are progressing well for our imminent Alaska move with the only outstanding hurdle being the cats.
Amanda and I have decided to ship the cats since wrangling baby and cats through 3 airports would be a distinct lack of fun. Stupidly we bought two hard cages during our last trip to the USA without reading the shipping regulations, these kennels are way to small, note if a cat flies as hand luggage it appears there are no issues with how small the cage you use for them is so long as it fits under the seat in front of you. 

On realising our mistake I went about trying to source a kennel which would meet the requirements.  We ended up with this one which Ron is kindly modelling.
Lack of ventilation
Even though this has a meets IATA  standards on the label I am 99% sure it fails one of the first criteria.  Kennels must have ventilation on all four sides.  On realising our second mistake, trusting labels on a product you buy from Home Sentry. I set off to get hopefully kennels which meet all the requirements I found them at a store called Agrocampo, kennels were half the price of the one I bought from Home Sentry which was an added bonus.  From the kennel side all that is left is to try and get our money back from Home Sentry rather than store credit. :(

And here are the cats trying out their transport prisons.
Ahhh cat prison, least the doors are still open.

So apart from the cages what is difficult about shipping the cats, well we had a plan which all fell through once people in Alaska finally decided what they were doing. 
The plan was to send the cats slightly ahead of us and kennel them in Alaska until we arrived.  The problem was we had forgotten that it was Thanks giving the Thursday before we fly  (so it seemed had the first kennel we talked to in Anchorage) so all the kennels are fully booked.  The second issue is that the cats can't leave the day that we do incase there is no space for them and they end up having to go on the next flight.  

The solution is having people here who are willing to help us combat this problem.  Current plan is that Ron and Susan will stay in Bogota at Animalunos until around the 12th December when our fantastic nanny Lucia will then take them to the airport for their three flight trip to meet us in Anchorage. We are currently still booking all of this so things may change as we move along, other bridges we have yet to cross is getting all of the certification sorted out but that we will leave until next week.

04 November 2012

Eating at Andrés Carne de Res in Chia

So we finally managed to make it to this restaurant to have a meal.  Thanks to Audra and Gary for taking us there, definitely some of the best food we have had while in Colombia.
Not a phone booth
Cow Zebra - Cowbra? or Zebow?

Andrés in Chia is a unique restaurant other words that could be used to describe it would be flamboyant, big, colourful, busy.  The restaurant will seat 3500 people, fortunately for us it was not that a busy while we were there.  Outside the restaurant there are a series of sculptures, a theme that continues inside. Once inside and after Fiona and I had our wrist bands so she didn't get lost we were taken to our table.  Menus are currently in a magazine style with over 30 pages of food and drinks options, this can make choosing something a challenge.  Lucky for me Amanda picked what we were going to have and it was fantastic.

Gary and Audra
Table Name

Section of the Restaurant
By the time we had finished eating it was starting to get dark which meant all the lights outside the restaurant were coming on, changing the dynamics of the restaurant again.

A cow