Friday, August 28, 2009

Pics of our Place

For any of you who are curious or interested in where we are living, this blog is for you. I tried to take pictures of all of our rooms today. Xan was in class all day so I did a bit of rearranging and some straightening.

We'll start off with the bedroom. Our one major furniture purchase was our bed. We have not had a bed since we were living in relative's basements last fall while waiting to get to Iceland. We made it through Iceland without one. Can I just say that life is so much better when there is a comfortable place to sleep! I wake up just a little bit less sore every morning. :) We decided to go for a King bed and we did a combination of two XL twin mattress that together is the same size as one King mattress. Not only was it much easier to haul up the the third floor, but it makes it harder to feel the other one moving around in their sleep since they're on a separate mattress. Highly recommend it!

Here's the living/family room. This is where we spend the majority of our time. I like to study while watching Charmed or whatever movie/tv show appeals to me at the time. Xan is enjoying the return of football season.

Here is the other half of the living/family room. Most of these bins are full of books with books on top. We will be getting bookshelves eventually. I just need a job first. :) They work really well as our couches for the moment. We just use our pillows and prop them up against them while sitting on the floor. Works quite well!

Here is my wonderful kitchen. Nice and open!

This is the middle room that we are using for the study. You can see most of the cool desk we got Xan. Of course, it is COVERED with books but he has no papers to write yet so we have some more time to clear it off. We are also using this room for reptiles. Xan has some plants he'll be using for the aquarium under a high UV light. It makes the room glow funny. :) You can also glimpse that 50 gallon tank I am still getting cleaned out for Aakash. We are hoping to get her shipped to us and arrive by next Wednesday. She started shedding right when Emily was about to ship her to us a week ago so we had to put it off. I'll get her back soon. :)

Here is our guest room. It is currently acting as my study and is loaded with all my books and crafts. It's also a place for misc items.

A glimpse at the bathroom. It looks like it got remodeled recently and is really clean. :)

This is the entrance to the attic. There were some wasps up there when we first got here but that got taken care of. It is now a safe place and, thankfully, holds a lot of stuff.

It was raining hard this evening so I went to pick Xan up after his classes and we took some of his classmates home. I've met them a couple times previously and they are all really nice girls. From left to right, we have Rae, Kristin, and Adin. I hope I spelled their names correctly! I had my camera with me so decided to take advantage of my chance to focus on my blog again.

If the weather is nice tomorrow, Xan and I plan on hiking around campus. There are some gorgeous trails and walkways. We also are going to try to go to the museum. Hope you enjoyed the tour of our place!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of School at Cornell

Xan and I have been settling into our new apartment. We found a really nice desk for him with lots of book shelves attached (although we still need LOTS more book shelves), shelves for our vast movie collection (more than my dad owns for those who know his collection), and a 50 gallon tank to upgrade my ball pythons home. She's grown so much! Xan will probably use my 20 gallon tank that was Aakash's home to build a natural terrarium and then put some kind of cool frogs in it. :) I'll keep you updated on that later.

I'm still jobless. I'm not too stressed out yet. I am still hoping for a few call backs from interviews and such. But... I have things to do! I talked with one of the Chinese professors at Cornell and she was incredibly helpful in providing information about graduate school and with a lot of my current Chinese interests. I'm auditing her Intro to Classical Chinese course. Really excited about that. I've also found a local bell choir here in Ithaca that has its first meeting for the fall season on September 7. I made a friend from the branch that is going to go with me. :) Between the class and relearning the Chinese language, I'm quite busy.

Xan has had a lot of meetings and orientation related things that has kept him busy as well. He likes the advisers he's met and told me on the phone he enjoyed his classes today. He's not completely settled on which classes he'll be taking but so far the line up is Arabic, Old English, a few different literature courses, a class where you learn how to date things by tree rings (there's a specific technical term that ends with an -ology but I have no idea what it is), and I can't remember what else. I'll have to ask him and I'll let you know when he has a concrete and final schedule.

Next time I'll post some pictures. I promise!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

'Bout time for a post. :)

We made it to Ithaca, New York! It was a 5 day drive but we only spent around $250 on gas! (Mapquest had estimated around $400 for the 33 hour drive so it was a pleasant discovery that we spent less.)

Day 1: Made it to Lincoln, Nebraska
Day 2: Made it to Chicago, Illinois where my brother lives
Day 3: Spent the day with my brother and his family then drove to South Bend.
Day 4: Spent the day with Xan's friend from graduate school in South Bend.
Day 5: Made it to Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Day 6: Checked into our apartment in Ithaca!

We've been here for about 2 weeks now and our apartment is great. The kitchen is so open and we were lucky to get one of the recently updated ones with a large dishwasher and granite counter tops! The bathroom is CLEAN! Big bonus. And we have three bedrooms: our room, the study, and the guest room. Oh yeah! And our attic. Yep! We didn't know it until we got here but we have lots of closet space AND an attic. SWEET! We don't have much furniture yet but that is what Craigslist is for as we find suitable pieces. For now, we are back to eating on the floor and are surrounded by boxes full of books with no shelves yet and various other items with no place to put them yet. LOL! Tomorrow, the living room will be much emptier since the wasps were taken care of in our attic this afternoon and we'll be able to start moving all the empty boxes and storage items out of the way.

Interesting story. As we were unloading the moving truck, we found out that the neighbors that live below us (we are on the top floor of a 3 level apartment complex) were LDS. I told Xan, "Seriously! What are the odds of that!" I mean, there are around 12 buildings with 6 apartments each and out of all of Ithaca and this complex, we got an apartment right above fellow members. Then, we got to church and met all the other new couples. Guess where they all moved to? The same complex! It turns out that we unknowingly got a place in the 'Mormon compound' of Ithaca NY for starter families. Very lucky!

For those who have never been out here to Ithaca, it is GORGEOUS! The scenery, woods, houses, rivers, and lakes are absolutely charming. Xan and I really love this area. We are right next to Sapsucker woods where we can roam freely and the Cornell campus has beautiful trails and lake areas. There are fresh produce stands and stores everywhere! After living in Iceland, the land with not so great quality produce, we are in HEAVEN! Fresh, ripe fruit and vegetables are wonderful! We are also now avid recyclers... by law! It is against Ithaca law to not recycle. Huge hippie town but highly convenient because it means they provide us with recycling bins and service. :)

And lastly:
Xan starts classes next week. I'm still looking for a job. I'm still using Xan's computer for internet and such so I'm not on very often and we'll probably wait until I get my own computer to upload pictures so I don't use up all the memory. But pictures will come eventually as long as I find a job so that we can afford some kind of computer for me. ;) It also means that I haven't really had the time to follow of your blogs and such. I apologize and hope to be able to catch up in the near future.

Again, we have a guest room so feel free to stop by if you come this way!