So we’re here in California! We flew in on Wednesday afternoon and are adjusting to our new home. Which doesn’t really feel like home yet, but seeing as we’ve only been here 2 days, I suppose I’ll give it time. Although we’re already encountering new and fun things that I could write about, like the guys at Starbucks who apparently think they are in a real-life musical and sang everything they said (which was awesome…has anyone ever sang your change back to you?), I thought I’d share the moving adventure that brought us out here.
When we first decided to move out here for Derrick’s new job, we talked about the best way to get us, our cats, and all our belongings across the country. After debating, number-crunching, and talking to others who have done long-distance moves, we decided the best option was to have all our stuff, cars included, sent to California while we flew with the cats. So I started packing all our stuff, including a lot of awesome early wedding presents we had gotten in the mail. At first I was really careful about how I packed things; I kept kitchen things separate from living room items and so forth. I carefully labeled boxes so I knew what was where. As we got closer to the wedding, I got a little less careful…boxes were labeled “Kitchen” or “Misc.” as things got packed. Then, after our honeymoon, Derrick and I had two days to finish packing everything, so by Sunday, we were haphazardly throwing stuff in boxes, not caring what room it came from or what it was. All that mattered was getting everything in boxes for the movers to take on Monday morning. Thankfully we had help on Sunday from Derrick’s mom and her husband…I don’t think we would have been ready for the movers if they hadn’t come to help us pack (or if we were it probably would have been because we didn’t sleep at all!) At any rate, this is pretty much what our apartment/life looked like this past month:
As you can see, the cats wanted to make sure we didn’t forget them, and offered to go in boxes too, but we figured they might regret that, so we didn’t pack them.
Monday, the movers came. After much drama, which I won’t bother going into, they loaded up all our stuff into an 18-wheeler and drove away with it! It was a weird and scary feeling watching pretty much all your earthly possessions ride away on a truck, knowing you have to wait maybe a week or two before seeing it all again. We did find out today that it should be in California by Monday or Tuesday so hopefully by the end of the week it is actually in our apartment! At any rate, they came for our cars that afternoon and we were left with this:
And we ate delivery Chinese food on our “table”:
Tuesday night we got to go see the Braves play one last time at Turner Field. Not sure when we’ll be in Atlanta again for a game, so it was a nice way to end our Atlanta chapter. We were about 5 rows behind home plate and the Braves won in extra innings. It was a fun game and a win is always great!
Tuesday evening, Derrick’s mom came back to Atlanta so that she could give the four of us a ride to the airport on Wednesday morning. (Again, such a blessing and HUGE help to us because I don’t think a taxi driver would let us take 2 crying cats in his car!) So bright and early Wednesday morning, we loaded up our 4 suitcases, 2 cats, and 2 backpacks into the car and headed to the airport! Thank goodness for Southwest’s baggage policy that the first 2 bags per person are free…we were able to pack an air mattress and pillow and comforter and some other “survival” items to help us get started in our new apartment. My suitcase was a little bit overweight (and by a little I mean 10 lbs over, but cut me some slack because we had to pack for like 2 weeks because we have to wait on a truck to take everything across the country) so we had to rearrange some stuff at the check-in counter, but we managed to redistribute my 10 extra lbs so we didn’t pay any extra fees. I wish I had a picture of us with all our stuff before checking our bags, but alas I don’t. Use your imagination though for how ridiculous we looked with 2 cat carriers, 2 backpacks, and 4 suitcases.
The big obstacle of our trip on Wednesday, though, was the cats. We gave them a mild sedative before leaving for the airport. It was just to try to keep them calmer and keep them from crying the whole time. They were crying a lot in the car and when we first got to the airport so Derrick and I were both basket-cases about how this trip was going to go. When we got to the security line, we had to actually take them out of their carriers and hold them as we walked through the metal detector. Once we got through, they yelled “hand check!” and they rubbed this paper on both my hands and stuck it through a machine. I guess it was to check that I wasn’t hiding anything underneath the cat or on my hands or anything. So we made it through security with very little hassle and headed to our gate. Here is Derrick and one of the cats:
We waited at the gate. The cats stayed pretty quiet. We boarded the plane. The cats started freaking out. Crying, biting their carriers, clawing, scratching, etc. We heard a guy behind us say something nasty about the cats but we couldn’t tell what it was. Derrick was getting stressed but I told him it was fine. The cats settled down and 10 minutes after that, we started to pull away from the gate. At that point, after everyone was seated and they were going through their safety talk, the guy behind us then decides to tell the flight attendant that he and his wife are EXTREMELY allergic to cats and that they CAN’T sit behind us. Now, why he waited 10 minutes after he found out there were cats in the row in front of him to say anything is a puzzlement. Also, I’m not really sure that two cats in small containers several feet away from you really is going to bother your allergies, but fine. Some people offered to move and they got settled into new seats in the SAME row, but across the aisle. Like that really makes a difference. Derrick felt bad/stressed about it, but I decided this dude just wanted to complain and make a scene. This theory was confirmed about 20 minutes later when, after we got into the air, we heard him yell to the person behind him “WHAT THE FIRETRUCK ARE YOU DOING BACK THERE? JIMMY CRUSTS STOP IT!” (obviously I edited his language a little bit) I guess he was just having a bad day.
For all 5 hrs of the flight we both kept worrying that the cats would start crying and get wild, but they basically slept the whole way. So we survived a very stressful journey with the cats and had our friends Ben and Anna pick us up and drive us to our new apartment.
So we are here. Derrick is at work for his second day at his new job and is already enjoying and getting excited about it, which is such a blessing, since the struggles and frustrations of his last job were a major factor in deciding to move out here for a new job. We have no internet at our apartment yet, but should have it next week, so I am sitting in an internet cafe that is at one of the apartment complexes in our community. We live in a community of six different complexes but all the amenities are shared across all the complexes. There is free coffee in here and free internet, so I’m taking advantage of it to job hunt and get online and write blog posts 🙂
But it is lunchtime now and I’m getting pretty hungry, so I’ll wrap this up. I think we might try to check out some local farmers’ markets this weekend and do a little exploring (we have a rental car until our cars get here) to get more familiar with our new home, so I’m sure it will be an eventful weekend. I’ll update y’all again once all our stuff gets here and we get our apartment more settled and I’ll share the “before” and “after” pics.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. ~Philippians 1:3
Thinking of all our family and friends with lots of thanks and love for all the prayers, support, help, and encouragement! 🙂