DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- After 16 years, the Branstads are preparing to move to a new home. And Chris Branstad says she's ready.
She and her family are preparing to leave the Iowa governor's mansion after her husband, Gov. Terry Branstad, completes his fourth and final term in January.
``I think we're all kind of excited about leaving. It's like you're moving on to a different phase of your life and new adventures,'' she said. ``I mean, everything will be new. It's almost like we're newlyweds because we're starting over. We have to get a house. We have no furniture, we have no appliances.''
She already has begun the arduous task of sorting through 16 years' worth of ``stuff'' accumulated during the Branstads' stay at Terrace Hill.
The stately Victorian mansion that houses the third-floor apartment where the Branstads live is the only home their son Marcus, 14, has ever known. But Chris Branstad said her son isn't sad to leave, especially now that his two older siblings are away at college.
For her part, Chris Branstad said she will miss the staff at Terrace Hill. Many have worked with the first family for a decade or more. She said she'll also miss the around-the-clock protection provided by Capitol security officers.
Chris Branstad said her first choice is to stay in Des Moines, but where they land will depend on where the retiring governor finds a job.
She said she wavers between wanting the family's next residence to be an older home in the city or something in the country with a big yard and lots of trees and a garage -- luxuries the Branstads lived without at Terrace Hill.
``But then I think I'd like to live in a condo, because you don't have any upkeep, and we're not used to doing upkeep on anything,'' she said. ``It's going to be interesting to see what we end up with.''