Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Petersburg, Virginia

You would think that for me, someone who has moved every 3 years since I was 21 years old, and someone who is pretty well organized and tackles to-do lists like a boss, that moving anywhere would be a cinch and I'd have the whole process down pat

I don't.  

I have no idea what I'm doing.  

I HATE moving!

Eric and I have been running ourselves ragged trying our darnedest to get settled in Virginia ever since our feet touched American soil 3 weeks ago, and we still aren't settled yet.  We have managed to get the most important things done like, getting Isabelle enrolled in and then started at her new school, we purchased fancy cell phones and resumed our old contracts, got the keys to our new house, a fence installed in our backyard, ecstatically got WiFi connected at our new house, we got the oil changed in the car we are borrowing from my mother-in-law for the next few months, switched our health insurance to the States again, same with our car insurance, and Eric reported for duty last week.  But our house is still almost totally empty, and we have been living out of a suitcase for 8 entire weeks.  I promise you that no amount of accomplishments on a moving checklist will ever help you to feel less unsettled when you've gone that long without your things.  

Fort Lee was generous enough to loan us some of the essentials, like air mattresses and basic kitchen things, and I was temporarily distracted from being in an empty house in an unfamiliar town when our things that we had put in storage before we moved to Germany were delivered.  But since most of those things are just dirty garage stuff that were not allowed to go to Germany with us, or larger items that were too heavy and valuable to risk shipping across the ocean, none of it particularly useful, the novelty quickly wore off and I went back to being reminded that I am in an unfamiliar town in an empty house. 

Not having our things has made adjusting a little more difficult than I had anticipated, but on the bright side, our stuff from Germany is scheduled to be delivered in just a few days!  We have gotten a lot accomplished and we even found time to explore parts of Virginia near where we live!  So not every minute of these last few weeks have sucked, and traveling to and exploring any new place is enough to keep a gal going when she is feeling uneasy without her things.

My little family now lives in Fort Lee, Virginia - pop. 26,000!  We are 21 miles south of Richmond, and less than 5 minutes outside of Petersburg, which is where we decided to explore first so that we could get a feel for our new digs.
I'll admit that my first impression of Petersburg was not a good one.  It scared me.  IIIIIIt still does.  It's sketchy and rundown and I would not feel safe getting gas alone at any time of day there.  But we did decide to explore a little further than just the main road that took us in to Fort Lee anyway, because we wanted to give our new digs a fair chance.  And you all know that I would never pass up an opportunity to see somewhere I've never been before!  So we took Journey on a walk to the Petersburg Battlefield and that's when Petersburg started to redeem itself.  

A little.

This is how Journey feels about mommy stopping the walk just to take his picture.... a big f*^k you. 

Like father, like son. 

The Siege of Petersburg was the longest military event of the Civil War, and it happened at this battlefield which is connected to Fort Lee.  The siege lasted 9 1/2 months and saw 70,000 casualties.  Because of Petersburg's proximity to Richmond, it was an important supply center for the Confederate Army.  It was a strategic and genius move for General Ulysses S. Grant to cut off all of the supply lines here, this ensured the fall of Richmond on April 3, 1865, and General Robert E. Lee's surrender only six days later.  Now, the battlefield is a National Park with 18 miles of trails!  And you know what?  Virginia is even as pretty as Germany is at this time of year!  Which is both medicine for the aching heart of a certain teenage girlie living in our house, and a painful reminder of what her little heart is missing.  

The only other part of Petersburg to see is the Historical District, which after you drive through the scary parts, is a welcome sight.  If I was a better photographer with any creativity whatsoever, this place would be a picture-taking gold mine!

A really cute cobble stoned street!


The Historical District was full of cute restaurants, cobble stoned streets, brick buildings, and different antique stores.  I felt completely safe here and can't wait to go antique shopping after the holidays!  I'm excited to see what I can find that would make nice little friends to the trinkets we bought in Germany.  It's just that those little trinkets need to hurry up and get here already!

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