It has been a long two weeks as we've gotten moved from Baltimore to Houston, and gotten settled in here.
It started June 9th at 9:30 am when the guys from Wheaton Van Lines showed up to start loading. Our home was piled high with boxes which we had centrally stored in both the dining room and sitting room upstairs so it would be easier for the guys to take them down the stairs. The dog was at doggie day care and the baby was at day care too!
After some initial trouble getting the huge truck onto our court (and a phone call to the neighbors to ask them to move their cars), they started with the Miata at the back of the truck. The guys built a platform over the top of the car for storing our boxes above it. It was very cool. As the guys carried the boxes down to the driveway, the driver slapped an inventory tag on each before they were loaded onto the truck.
There was little we could do while they loaded the trucks so we just kept a supply of ice cold beverages, ordered up some pizza at lunch time, and hung out with Jenny who had driven over to visit before we headed out. We had originally expected the movers to be done by 3 pm or so but it was clear that was not going to be the case so we called our cleaning service to suggest that they come the next day only instead of coming both days. Besides, due to a local water main break, we hadn't had water since the night before. Ick!
As it approached 5:30 I went ahead and picked Sebastian up from daycare and brought him back to the house. Then, as it approached 7:30 I went and picked the dog up from boarding. When I got back around 8 they were finally finished and had headed out. We had over 300 items loaded. We ALL spent the night at Amerisuites because they allowed pets. The next morning I took Sebastian to his last day of daycare, Leo to his last day of doggie daycare, and the cat to board for the day. After a quiet breakfast with Jay we headed back to the old place to clean and get ready to turn the keys back over. We patched holes, spot cleaned the carpets, and chatted with the cleaning service as they did the major cleaning. We also loaded the Xterra up with the necessities for our drive.
We had been worried about our final walkthrough with the leasing office. The carpets were in rough shape, both because of our neglect and because they are crappy carpets that pull when you vacuum them. We had also primed back over the walls we had painted but you could tell they had been another color. Oh, and there was on broken light as well. When no one came at the appointed time, I called the leasing office and they hurried to send someone over. It turns out he was new, and this was all that was standing between him and his weekend. He rushed around, marked every room as okay, signed off and handed us our paperwork. Jay and I looked at each other and smiled, raced to turn in our keys, and hit the road to collect our "kids" and start our journey.
The first night we only drove to Charlottesville, VA because we didn't even leave Baltimore until close to 6pm. The Holiday Inn we stayed in was another pet friendly place and Leo and the cat did very well being in a different space. All were piled on the bed with us when we got up in the morning. Best of all, the hotel has room service so we were able to get a good meal while we rested to prepare for the next day.
On Saturday we headed out early based on Sebastian's schedule. We had about 11 hours of driving ahead of us which would bring us to Tuscaloosa, AL. For some of the drive I would hang out with Sebastian in the backseat to play with him or feed him. Leo pretty much sleeps in the car, and the cat followed me between front and back seats to sleep as well. I usually don't sleep well in moving cars but I even managed to get in a half hour catnap. We finally made it to our destination which was a very scary Motel 6 just off the highway. We're pretty sure there were some drug dealers parked in the parking lot in the early evening hours, and the base from their truck was deafening but eventually things quieted down and I even managed to sleep a little bit once it started raining because I figured the bad guys new enough to get out of the rain.
The next morning we headed our early again. We had little over 600 miles left to cover to get to our new home in Houston. Watson decided he wanted to park himself right on top of Sebastian for the early part of the trip. Because of wet roads we saw many accidents but eventually things dried out and we made excellent time. We arrived in Houston in time for dinner and a quick dip in our pool before retiring to our new king size mattress!
Then the waiting began. The movers were to arrive sometime that week but we weren't sure when. I took the car to get repaired and inspected, walked on the local trails, found my favorite stores. Finally on Thursday our items arrived. It turns out we had 13000 lbs of stuff! That was actually below the original estimate because we had decluttered a little but but that also includes our Miata. My task was to check off from our inventory as items came off the moving truck. The moving guys just brought everything into our family room. I had thought they would move things to the appropriate rooms afterwards but they wanted to wait to do that the next day as part of the unpacking process. I can't say that I blame them considering they had been working outdoors for 8 hours in 95 degree temperatures and they thought they would be the same guys that came back the next day anyway.
However, it was actually two girls that came which sent me right over the edge and I called the relocation consultant to let him know that this was NOT okay as we had some heavy items that needed to be moved to the appropriate location. They corrected the situation by sending some guys over after lunch to move the heavy items. The girls did do a pretty amazing job of getting everything unwrapped, and they filled their truck with all of the empty boxes and bubble wrap. I highly recommend an unpacking service as I don't think it was that much extra and worth every penny.
Although the inside of the house was a disaster with 13000 lbs of stuff waiting to be put away, the backyard was the picture of serenity with our "new" outdoor furniture setup and ready to use. Now, over a week later, most of the stuff is put away, and we can go about our day to day activities pretty easily. It has been exhausting though and I'm hoping we can put off another move for a little while. Of course it could have been worse...I could have been 8+ months pregnant while trying to unpack everything like friend Annie...way to go girl for being so STRONG!