We signed the lease on our new apartment this morning. Woo hoo! We are so excited and relieved to have taken care of finding a place. And even better: we love it. It’s big, it has great light and it’s in a wonderful location. The boys will each have their own room, and we will again have a tub for bath time (we only have a shower in our current place, and B has been great about it, but he can’t wait to get in the new bathtub, and Liam has largely gone unwashed since we’ve arrived in the second temporary apartment). We were very fortunate (partly due to Dan’s persistence) to have gotten our relocation money just in time to sign our lease and pay our (huge) deposit on the apartment.
Of course, we don’t have any furniture, or nearly anything else, to move in to our apartment. That is still incredibly frustrating: so we now have a place, but if we move in, it’ll be like we’re camping (with a 2 year old and an infant). We still have not received our air shipment (nor our sea shipment) — we’re hopeful that either or both might arrive next week. (So for the time being, we’re going to try and stay in our temporary apartment.) And having our new place means we have a whole new list of “to do” items to take care of: getting the electricity and heat transferred into our names, purchasing appliances, having appliances delivered, arranging for internet and cable service, getting renters insurance, baby proofing, getting curtains (because no one is going to sleep past 5:30 in the morning if we don’t get them) and then unpacking and arranging all of our stuff once it arrives.
But, ignoring the monumental list of tasks ahead, for the moment, we’re so happy to have our place. We interrogated the owner about the property and the neighborhood. The building has been there since 16-something, but the apartment itself is less than 20 years old (so no worries about lead paint or anything). He filled us in on the locations of the good restaurants, grocery stores, open-air markets, butchers, bakeries and pizza places nearby. Interestingly, his kids were the same ages as ours are now when they first moved in to this apartment, so the place has even been kid-tested. We even met some of our new neighbors in the building on our way out (including a retired American couple who used to work at the IAEA) and they were all very excited to meet us.
After signing our lease, we took the kids to the nearest playground (location also supplied by our new landlord) and had lunch in a cafe around the corner. It is so comforting to feel like we’re starting to find our place here.