First impressions

During the first few weeks, we had to manage quite a few thinks.

Our home

Our rental was unfurnished and came just with a kitchen, washing machine and dryer. Consequently, we had to acquire furniture, lamps (as none is installed to the ceiling), kitchen gear, plants, toys, etc to equip our home. Moreover, we needed desks, office chairs, monitors and a printer/scanner for our remote work.
Fortunately, Menlo Park and the surrounding area in the Silicon Valley provide a plethora of items for free every day, so that it took us only two weeks to find almost anything we needed. Not a hassle that was, more like an adventure and sometimes even a surprise – you may feel like a prehistoric hunter or gatherer. And this is, when our rental truck, the securing net and a few tie-downs came into play as you can see on the pictures! You may search on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, etc (email notification helps), or, even better, you just pick it up at the street when you pass by and recognize it. What an exciting period. 😉 We only needed to larger amounts on new (Swedish) mattresses, a pre-owned dining table of our preferred size, two monitors and two bikes for the kids. Not to forget around 150 bucks on pre-owned stuff from several garage sales and some budget for the gasoline…

Kids to school

Onboarding of our kids at the middle school was quite simple and fast owing Inge’s organizational and tactical skills. Both immediately joined the public school a few days after our arrival. And as I can tell you so far, they love it! But they gonna tell you by themselves…

Our vehicle

The major challenge was to decide on a suited vehicle as we love weekend/road trips as well as camping. Last time here, we owned a Toyota Sienna family van, onto which we had installed a roof-top tent to in sum host up to 5 people! Whenever we left paved streets (and even on some), the major (and only) drawbacks of that van were the small clearance, i.e. the distance from ground to underside of car, in conjunction with an ultra-soft suspension. As our kids have grown, we finally decided on a more suited and spacious, but still compact camping vehicle, namely a fully equipped 4×4 Toyota Tundra Pickup with crew cab, camper shell (trunk cover) and the well-known roof-top tent.