In the garden

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Remind me what state Puck lives in... This is a big country haha

I'd love to meet him and even more, you, of course!
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Remind me what state Puck lives in... This is a big country haha

I'd love to meet him and even more, you, of course!
Ohio. A road trip to you is very doable!
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I spoke with Puck this morning and he launched straight into talking about Iris. I think he could tell that I was a little disinterested quite quickly after that. I emailed him after I got home from a late work night to record the things I want to do when I'm there. There's nothing we haven't talked about, but I wanted to put it in one place so he can be quite aware of what my wishes are so something simple doesn't get overlooked. It's a different kind of trust this time than what I was starting to think of last time. We know each other so very well by now there's no issues around travelling halfway across the world to meet 'someone off the internet.' Rather, I'm learning I need to trust that he won't squander our time with a wishy washy itinerary. I also don't want to pester him into trying to fully plan it - we do want a lot of quiet time after all - but I don't want to leave wishing we would have done xyz. Sure, there's stuff we logistically can't do in the winter, that's not the issue. I just... hope he's a good host. I think he will be, but there's so much unknown. And yes, I'm worrying because apparently I have become my mother.

I'm sad that his financial situation has changed so much since I booked tickets and we can't stay somewhere more...furnished, or actually cosy. But we will have a few nights elsewhere, in actual comfort, so it's not the end of the world.

I still have a week of work to go before summer holidays start. I'm so ready for the break. I just need to make some kind of plan so I do something rather than simply wait. Adam will be away for probably about my first week off so I'm likely to get quite housebound and lonely suddenly. I'm familiar with that timing.

It's late, my mind hasn't been ready to sleep so I better go trick it to silence.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
More conversations with Puck today about the timing of my arrival. There have been complications but we have a plan. Sadly, he won't be able to pick me up from the airport, but there are silver linings - namely that I get to go settle in to our main accommodation and get some sleep (which I'm sure will be much needed after three flights) and even explore my surroundings a little.

He's going to arrange someone to pick me up to take me there, so I don't have to navigate Ubers or tips or anything else unfamiliar (yes, we do have Uber in NZ but not in my little town, and I have a car here.) Maybe next time I'll be able to get a rental car, but for my first time, I don't want to try and drive after that many hours of airline travel, and on the wrong side of the road. One of the things on my to do list is to learn to drive over there.

I have one week of work left, and then I get to really make sure I have all of the things done that I need to do before the journey begins. I'm probably 75% of the way there. I really should update my driver's licence to my married name to match my passport. And get an eye test - my age is becoming noticeable lol.

It's finally December, the wait is nearly over. It's more than 2 1/2 years since I was first supposed to be there. So much has changed. We aren't what we were, but that's okay too. I look forward to sharing some photos here since many of you have been reading all the trials and tribulations for well over three years now.

But for the moment, there are practicalities of the next few weeks to get through.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Three weeks.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Turns out that yesterday my cold feet kicked in.

The complications at his end are really only two things, but they are two big things and I feel so awful about it, both for him and for me. I wish had been able to afford flexible fares, but I couldn't so I'm stuck with what are now inconvenient travel dates. I'm trying to tell myself that how I'm feeling is actually because of my RSD and therefore it's all in my head. I'm forging ahead with ticking off all the things I need to do. Yesterday, I bought some food to pack (the infamous marmite and vegemite, and a couple of other things.) Last night, I got my Covid vaccine evidence for international travel. Today, I picked up my paperwork from the travel agent and paid the last fee there. I also found out how to ensure I don't get an accidentally huge mobile phone bill while I'm away. I got to talk with Puck for a handful of minutes earlier and I kept it all very light and positive. He's had enough on his plate today (hacked account issues) so I didn't even bother asking if he's addressed a couple of things to do with our logistics. They aren't urgent.

I'm still struggling with exhaustion. It's likely a conglomerate of things, probably some iron and B12 deficiencies (I finally got some B12 drops today after they had been out of stock for aaages, and I'm trying to remember to take my iron supplements). Also, the end of term and the school year, plus Covid has been going round again here and I'm sure I've been exposed and my immune system is doing its thing. Tomorrow, I will need to dig really, really deep for energy as we are taking about 120 kids to the local water park. No, I won't be swimming - which reminds me that I need to get a new swimsuit for my trip because Puck has found an open, indoor water park for us to go to one day. Google tells me that it will be a bit of a long drive to get there, but that's cool too because I would like to see different places some days. I doubt it will feel like we're rushing around.

I just have to keep being positive and reassuring myself that the things that he has to manage are not my fault.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I had a good conversation with Puck and I'm feeling much better about my travel dates.

School is over. Well, I still have some stuff to do but without students en masse. "Fun" stuff like sorting filing cabinets and talking a kid out of doing summer school.

But I'm also going to have unscheduled days. I can go to the gym after 8am, and whenever I like. Teaching is not really a grown up job, not when the days are so controlled.

17 days. I've got this.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Today is the two week mark. I'm excited, that's for sure. I can't fix this broken body in two weeks, but I'm glad I'm going during the long summer holidays because I can already see less stress in my face.

Adam is out of town for a couple more days and honestly, I find it easier to be motivated to do stuff when he's not around. It's currently too early in the morning to mow lawns, but I want to do the back yard before it gets hot today. Everything is growing so fast right now. I swear, next year when my student loan is paid off, my first investment is going to be someone to regularly mow the lawns properly.

Mike and I have been texting a little, now I'm on holiday and less stressed. I originally hoped he'd be able to pick me up from the airport on my way back, but I think I'm going to have to drive myself up there anyway, so I'll have to get myself back. That's unfortunate.

I'm about to touch base with Puck for the morning. He's been busy with work and other stuff lately so I don't really feel like I've seen much of him for days. That's alright, soon we'll be spending whole days together.

I'm trying to think of what to do for myself today that's simply "nice" - maybe something Christmassy. I'm not sure. But I'm pretty sure I can get more stuff done today.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Adam got back this evening. He was late and out of service area for a while and I started getting worried. All was fine, he'd stopped to help a broken down motorist on a road without cell service. But I spent a nervous hour half expecting a knock on the door from a cop. Yeah, I worry.

I need an early night. I totally hit the wall today and I have stuff to do tomorrow and Friday. I might get to see Mike for lunch on Friday, that would be great, it's been months since we've caught up.

Puck is currently busy af with all sorts of things, including unexpected stuff like Iris' basement flooding. Again. Less damage this time because heaps of stuff was destroyed last time and chucked out. But still. Sheesh.

But soon, it won't matter because for about 9 days we'll just be together. I know... it's a long way to go for a short time, but money is tight all around and it's better than the nothing of the last three years. I get to stay in the house I dream could be mine for a year (renting) if I can ever wangle the finances, and go see all the places he talks about. This trip, I'm a pure tourist. I haven't been a tourist somewhere for over 20 years. I'm looking forward to that too.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I didn't get the needed sleep last night. Bad insomnia, so I'm exhausted today. I took a day off the gym because that would just ruin me. I spoke with a sporadic contact from Minnesota today and she reminded me that as well as a hat and jacket, I'm really going to want gloves and scarf.

Adam took me thrifting today (mostly just to get out of the house) and I got a couple of things to make the place look more Christmassy without overly tempting the cats.

Therese got in touch and we've teed up our usual Christmas shopping day. I'd completely forgotten, oops. But I'm barely out of work mode (and shouldn't be out of work mode in truth, I'm just too tired to deal today) and have been focused more on spending time with Adam before I go visit Puck.

I have realised I really don't have a clue how to pack for sub zero temperatures as we don't have them.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I started packing today. Sure, it's early, but since I'm mostly packing winter clothes it's not like I need them right now anyway. It's warm here, but so wet (and it's not even 4pm and I need to turn on the light since the skies are so clouded over - and there's the thunder and lightning as I'm typing this, it was HUGE). We've not had a spring/early summer like this before (since we moved here); last year was extremely dry, so it looks like it's going to be unpredictable as we evolve a new climate.

I managed to find a suitcase in the garage that wasn't full or overly broken. At this rate, my carry on will be largely empty (or just filled with the stuff I'll wear for the change of season). I'm bringing about 1.5 kg of specialty food (condiments and sweets) and I've got that in my checked luggage currently. I'm bound to forget something, but I think I've got most of this sorted, but if any of you have flown INTO the US and have any tips, I'm very open to them. @starlight1 looking at you here especially, but anyone is welcome to chime in. I'm coming into Houston then onto Columbus. Puck is pretty convinced that that connection will screw up and I'll end up in Columbus later than booked.

I'm also struggling with how much my body has changed (fattened) this last 18 months due to both stress eating and perimenopause. I've been trying to buy a swimsuit and I've nearly cried at both shops. I have decided that I HATE fashion swimsuits so my next stop is a sportswear store for something without boob padding. It just doesn't sit right, and I don't care if my (tiny) nipples show through the fabric.

Puck is stretched pretty thin right now. We're still able to touch base most days, but it's been a hot minute since we've had a good couple of hours together. That's something about being in person - we're only used to talking and in short bursts. It's definitely an unknown of how we'll go spending 24/7 together (except of course we'll be taking breaks to call our other people and whatnot). I expect it will actually be quite easy to be together, and we'll be trying to cram in as many experiences as possible (without dashing all over the State.) There will be a day in Cincinnati, and a couple in Columbus. Between times, we'll be staying in his town; at his unrented rental for most of it, and there are some things to do there that I'll love joining in with, like laying a new laminate floor - yes, this is fun to me. I'm looking forward to sharing photos on here, if I can compress them on my phone and upload them. I'm not bringing my laptop at this stage. Maybe I'll just have to save them and then do a photo dump once I'm back.

Today is Sunday and I've been mostly at home besides a supermarket run. Dinner is in the oven and I'm rewatching silly Christmas romances, well, there's one on in the background anyway. Yesterday, Adam and I went into town to attempt to shop (mostly fail) and tomorrow we have a friend visiting. He was one of our groomsmen, lives about an hour away and is so travel reluctant that he hasn't visited us in 6 years, so the odds of him actually making it are slim. But there are moments when he's fucking cool and we've spent some cool times together, just him and I, totally platonically. Then Tuesday I'm chauffeuring Therese around and having our yearly "girly" catch up. I still want to buy a little something for Adam to unwrap (I have an idea), and I really need to find something for our flatmate (no idea). I also need to bury myself in my work computer for a little while and finish a wee project, and learn Canva.

I'm taking so much Kiwiana over to Puck. He's not going to be able to come back for at least a year (and I definitely can't afford another trip over) so I want to leave him with both memories and tangible objects.
 

Eponine

Active member
So exciting as your travel date gets closer! Reminds me of the time before my first in-person meeting with my Australian SO.

I've flown into the US multiple times but not familiar with Houston airport. You need to pick up your check-in luggage, go through the custom and re-check your luggage at the first stop in the US, but I assume that's the case in international travel everywhere. I would recommend doing some research about the Houston airport beforehand, e.g. the layout of terminals, how to travel between terminals, and whether you need to go through security again after the custom or if you go to a different terminal for the next flight.
 
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Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Thank you, Eponine!
I've checked out the map and the security info and I will need to go through security again. I'm confident I won't get lost coming out of international arrivals, and I only need to get across to D after that. I don't have lounge access so I will just find a classically uncomfy seat to wait out my time there. It's not long anyway, especially after going through customs and later, security.

Puck is pretty certain that my Houston to Columbus flight will have some kind of delay. Honestly, I don't even care, it's not like he'll be picking me up from the airport anyway.

With all the costs and complications, I'm honestly not sure I'll be in a hurry to return to the US. I'd like him to visit me next anyway, but after that, I just don't want to have to make the same level of compromises that I've made this time.
 

starlight1

Active member
I started packing today. Sure, it's early, but since I'm mostly packing winter clothes it's not like I need them right now anyway. It's warm here, but so wet (and it's not even 4pm and I need to turn on the light since the skies are so clouded over - and there's the thunder and lightning as I'm typing this, it was HUGE). We've not had a spring/early summer like this before (since we moved here); last year was extremely dry, so it looks like it's going to be unpredictable as we evolve a new climate.

I managed to find a suitcase in the garage that wasn't full or overly broken. At this rate, my carry on will be largely empty (or just filled with the stuff I'll wear for the change of season). I'm bringing about 1.5 kg of specialty food (condiments and sweets) and I've got that in my checked luggage currently. I'm bound to forget something, but I think I've got most of this sorted, but if any of you have flown INTO the US and have any tips, I'm very open to them. @starlight1 looking at you here especially, but anyone is welcome to chime in. I'm coming into Houston then onto Columbus. Puck is pretty convinced that that connection will screw up and I'll end up in Columbus later than booked.

I'm also struggling with how much my body has changed (fattened) this last 18 months due to both stress eating and perimenopause. I've been trying to buy a swimsuit and I've nearly cried at both shops. I have decided that I HATE fashion swimsuits so my next stop is a sportswear store for something without boob padding. It just doesn't sit right, and I don't care if my (tiny) nipples show through the fabric.

Puck is stretched pretty thin right now. We're still able to touch base most days, but it's been a hot minute since we've had a good couple of hours together. That's something about being in person - we're only used to talking and in short bursts. It's definitely an unknown of how we'll go spending 24/7 together (except of course we'll be taking breaks to call our other people and whatnot). I expect it will actually be quite easy to be together, and we'll be trying to cram in as many experiences as possible (without dashing all over the State.) There will be a day in Cincinnati, and a couple in Columbus. Between times, we'll be staying in his town; at his unrented rental for most of it, and there are some things to do there that I'll love joining in with, like laying a new laminate floor - yes, this is fun to me. I'm looking forward to sharing photos on here, if I can compress them on my phone and upload them. I'm not bringing my laptop at this stage. Maybe I'll just have to save them and then do a photo dump once I'm back.

Today is Sunday and I've been mostly at home besides a supermarket run. Dinner is in the oven and I'm rewatching silly Christmas romances, well, there's one on in the background anyway. Yesterday, Adam and I went into town to attempt to shop (mostly fail) and tomorrow we have a friend visiting. He was one of our groomsmen, lives about an hour away and is so travel reluctant that he hasn't visited us in 6 years, so the odds of him actually making it are slim. But there are moments when he's fucking cool and we've spent some cool times together, just him and I, totally platonically. Then Tuesday I'm chauffeuring Therese around and having our yearly "girly" catch up. I still want to buy a little something for Adam to unwrap (I have an idea), and I really need to find something for our flatmate (no idea). I also need to bury myself in my work computer for a little while and finish a wee project, and learn Canva.

I'm taking so much Kiwiana over to Puck. He's not going to be able to come back for at least a year (and I definitely can't afford another trip over) so I want to leave him with both memories and tangible objects.
Hey Evie,
I second the idea of looking up the airport beforehand.
So some handy info for flying INTO the USA-
Do's and Don'ts:

Do:
- make sure all your visa's are squared away.
-Wear easy to take off shoes
international flights usually want you to step out of shoes, take off belts, coats, and other things like that.
-Take some small plastic bags with you (the ziplock kind) for anything you do want to take with you on your carry on because then it wont get lost when you have to take it off, put it on, etc. And it keeps your lotions, drinks, etc within the Oz limit automatically .If you can't fit it in a quart plastic bag forget it. Ie. a bag for keys, earrings, wedding ring, wallet, etc if they make you take it all off. (Some are stricter than others).
- Do dress conservatively for Houston, its the south and still cold even if it's Texas. It made a big difference between wearing rocker boots and goth gear vs mom clothes going in and out of USA. It shouldn't but it does.
- Bring a change of clothes if you want to doll up when you see Puck.
_ take some ear plugs, gum, battery pack for electronics(make sure it doesn't look like a vape though), eye mask, and a tablet and baby aspirin / reg asprin. You'll be glad you have something that can emulate a laptop for the long trip or at the very least some books to read. The ear plugs and gum at the very least because there's always at least one child on a trip screaming because of the air pressure/ boredom / etc. The gum helps with the pressure if you suffer from migraines. The aspirin helps with blood flow, or alternatively a glass of wine/beer from the hostess when there. If you're missing anything when you touch down in Columbus, you can always pick it up in the airport on your way out, they have a wide variety of duty free relatively inexpensive items. :)
-Do put locks on your under carriage baggage. Transatlantic flights are notorious for taking items out of peoples luggage surprisingly. Although I've personally never had it happen to me, I've seen it happen to friends/family. So, just in case, I always lock mine.
- Do relax and enjoy the trip. :D

Don't:
- Don't take your food or liquid items in your handbag (medium to large size). International airports will make you open it and taste test it or throw it out (I had this happen with baby formula once).

- Don't bring anything aerosol, sharp, (nail files have been confiscated before) or anything sexual in your carry on. (The horror stories Rocky told me about dildo's, vibrators etc going missing because they were taken). Any medication that is not over the counter in the America needs a doctors note, and the pills in the original container with correct label, so bring that with you! (Don't bring weed even if you are prescribed- some parts of America are legal some aren't and its just better not to risk it- its much easier to have puck find you some at a local venue while in town).

_don't store your bag overhead if you're sitting in the middle or window seat because it's super annoying to have to keep getting in and out of it.
- You can take a carryon AND a purse, so maximize that and take a purse that is a backpack with your biggest essentials for under your seat, if you absolutely have to have your bag above your head on the ride because the flight insists it.

- Don't forget your mask! Many flights are still requiring them.

-Don't stress about your weight, you're amazing and beautiful. And Puck loves you the way you are. BESIDES, America is the home of obesity, if anything you'll still be smaller than many if not most people in Texas.

If I think of anything else, I'll add it for now that's my thoughts off the top of my head.

I REALLLY hope you have a lot of energy, and a GREAT time there!! Rooting for you and Puck <3
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Okay, now quite concerned about my medication. I have original boxes with prescriptions on them, except I also get generics for asthma inhalers and I see on the FDA website that they don't allow anything that isn't on their list. And I can't find their list. Will they take away my asthma inhalers?????? Scared now. I'm also on HRT and bringing UTI meds just in case. So it sounds like they could take it all away 😭
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
6 days to go. So many mistakes I've made in planning this, mostly around timing... honestly, I thought I was doing great giving myself a few days recovery before NYE which although I don't go partying for it, it's generally my extra special night of the year. Being a Saturday night, Renee will go to her OSO's as she always does. That means we can go spend the night at their house with fully equipped kitchen and a real spare bed. So there's that. Puck loves to cook and he really wants to cook for me so that will be his best night to do that.

We have two, maybe three (weather dependent) touristy things sort of planned (so I feel like I've actually *done* something that I wouldn't be able to do in NZ). And fingers crossed we'll get a fine night and I'll get to see the stars.

I am still curious about what it will be like to spend time in person with him. What will his energy be like (and I don't mean level, I think there will be a lot of sleeping no matter what between his Chronic Lyme Disease and my Long Covid - which is kicking my ass today). What our dynamic will actually be (and not just the D/s one). And if I can just go with the flow. I'm the visitor after all. It's been many years since I've just let someone else do the planning, and that was for a weekend. Admittedly, it was a great weekend, but I was much younger then.

I suspect this trip will make me hungry for more travel to other destinations. Like everyone else I know, a lotto win would be great.

As for my size, yes, Puck assures me that the USA is BIG and I won't be out of place. But I just bought the biggest sized swim suit I've ever had, and that's after hating at least ten try-ons and nearly crying in a shop. I don't care about strangers' gazes, mine is the cruellest one. Still, I'm okay with the bathing suit I found and I have a variety of clothes with me so I can both be warm and comfy. I'm taking a Swanndri (brand, feel free to Google) jacket to leave behind for him, but I'll wear it to keep warm while I'm there lol.

I'll be able to check in here most days. Please remind me to take and share photos!
 
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Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Well, I'm 5 days out from traveling and the weather looks like it will have the final say.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
There's some weather happening. Tomorrow here in MA we are going up to over 50F with rain, and then it's going to drop to below freezing tomorrow evening and that could mean icy roads.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Wow, in Ohio its going to be -1 F degree today! -18 C. But by Dec 27 it will be much more reasonable/seasonal and even get way above freezing, i.e., 12+ C, later in the week. It's always a crap shoot traveling in winter. I hope it all goes great for you.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Wow, in Ohio its going to be -1 F degree today! -18 C. But by Dec 27 it will be much more reasonable/seasonal and even get way above freezing, i.e., 12+ C, later in the week. It's always a crap shoot traveling in winter. I hope it all goes great for you.
Puck and Renee are driving to visit her family in Dallas. Insane.

I have been following the weather predictions and it's supposed to be quite clear again by the time I get there. I still anticipate some airport delays as they will probably still be clearing the backlog of people. I expect I'll be bumped from my Houston to Columbus flight. Oh well, it just means less time waiting in Ohio for Puck to get back from Dallas.
 
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