Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Today we depart the USA at 3:10pm from Chicago O'Hare, tomorrow does not exist for us as we cross the international dateline on our way to ChristChurch New Zealand arriving there on Thursday the 8th. I wonder who we ask for that day of our life back, email us if you know...

The past week has been a smoreguss board (that is Minnesotan for a "mixture") of emotions, activities and experiences. Our last day of work was Thursday and it was a incredibly fast day filled with lots of laughs, hugs, tributes (good for Deb and more like roastings for Joe) and tears. The Mercy Home family has been incredibly good to us over the years and we were given a truly heartfelt and loving goodbye. And then there was the sign on my office door from a certain White Sox fan who is feeling low as he watches the TWINS head for the playoffs. The sign had a picture of a tombstone with the words "Gone and Soon to Be Forgotten" like I said, more of a roasting goodbye for Joe.

We packed up our apartment and with the help of three strong men, Deb as a forewoman we made the move out in less than 3 hours. Thanks Ron, Rob and Steve! It was bittersweet packing up number 518, but the adventure that awaits is pretty good reason to get out the storage boxes.

You can get a sense of what we are taking on the trip by looking at the picture, a brief description comes down to this. Deb has a 75 liter pack and a Vera Bradley "purse" which in my opinion is a broad interpretation of the word "purse" as it comes across as more of a duffel bag from my male perspective. Joe has a 85 liter pack and a 35 liter daypack. We each have 2 pairs of shoes, assorted multi purpose clothes and Deb's gotta have it item is her all purpose scarf/wrap that can also be turned in a turban should she need it. My gotta have it item is Gold Bond, enough said.

Joe's Deb's

We arrive in Christchurch on the south island of New Zealand and will spend 9 days cruising in an campervan (think conversion van with a mattress in the back, classy, right?) Our hope is update everyone at least once on the trip, but no promises.

Finally, Deb said I had to admit to the first "trip incident" which I dispute because we have not technically started travelling yet, feel free to weigh with you opinion after you read this. I lost my drivers license somewhere between Friday evening and yesterday. Its somewhere in Chicago, so I feel confident in my defense. Anyway, I got a new one this morning and am all set to drive on the left in New Zealand, it is the left, right?

Well, here we go, the last Dunkin Donuts coffee is going down smooth, the butterflies are reaching a crescendo and there is nothing to do but walk down the concourse and get on the big bird. Look to hear from us in New Zealand. Auf Wiedersehn!


  1. I am confused as to why Debbie has a smaller bag than you. I am sure she will be sharing by the end of the trip. :) Good luck! Update often.

  2. OK guys..I will miss you bunches...but I am happy for you! Keep us posted..and I promise not to sneeze too often! LOVE YOU BOTH!! Mom

  3. You get that day of your life back somewhere along your journey back home! And, even if you never track it down the stories and scrapbooks make up for it! ... believe me, I have lost many a day like that and NEVER regretted it! :)

    Happy birthday to Deb!

    P.S. you got some "Teaching something or other" type mail today- the both of you, think I'll open it to make sure it is not something you NEED! But, wanted to tell you, so it isn't a felony.


  4. The pictures of your packs (specifically Debbie's Vera) have made my day! So glad to hear that you have made it safely and can't wait for many more updates!!

    Have the time of your lives!!!
    Amy (& David, too)

    P.S. We're rooting on the Twinsies for you, Joe!