So, a lot has been happening, and none of that has been blogging.
I moved. I don’t live in Minnesota any longer. We moved back to Los Angeles.
It has been pure hell, but all in all, it is a very good thing. I am glad we made the decision that we did. I’m glad we moved. It’s just that moving sucks.
We knew for a while. My husband gave a month’s notice at work, but they didn’t want him to share the news right away, and while they can’t enforce that, we decided to give them some breathing room, and we kept it quiet for a reasonable amount of time. By the time it became more public, I was simply too busy to blog about it.
Leaving Minnesota was difficult. It was emotionally difficult and physically difficult. I wanted to move back to California, but in the two and a half years we spent in Minnesota, we’d made some good friends. I’d also put a lot of time and heart into working with ACT V. Friends that I made, I can keep. That is what the internet is for. It’s very difficult to continue fostering for an organization I was very happy to be volunteering for, from 2000 miles away.
Speaking of 2000 miles…
Big. FAT. UGH!
2 cars + 4 humans + 2 cats + 2 dogs + 2000 miles = STRESS
To start things off, when we took the cars in for an oil change and a quick checkup, the mechanic discovered stuff wrong with one of them. Stuff that should be fixed before the road trip, and stuff that cost a bunch of dollars, because it always costs a bunch of dollars when the mechanic says “Well, we found…”
This got us on our road trip later than originally planned.
That, and our own insanity, but that’s another issue.
Seriously, we left our rental house at 11:30 PM. I know, I know, logically it seems like it would make more sense to just sleep there one more night, but it we just needed to go, or we’d find more reasons to linger the next morning.
So, we left our former home a total mess (because we knew that a wonderful friend had our back on dealing with the MN end), and we drove by the house of one of the ACT V people to deposit a final donation of blankets and detergent on their doorstep (much to the suspicion of some neighbors that saw us).
Then we headed out of town…
In a snow storm.
I’m not kidding. It snowed on us on the way out of Minnesota. We pushed ourselves to the point of exhaustion and got our butts to Iowa, so that we had left the state. There we stayed at Microtel Inn in Clear Lake that didn’t charge us any extra fees for the pets, and had a very nice and accommodating staff. Unfortunately it was also snowing and hailing on us in Clear Lake as we tried to unload the cars and get our butts into the room. In order to have enough space in the cars (because we needed room for 4 people, 2 traumatized cats, 1 large kitty litter, 1 cranky old dog, 1 puppy, food for all the critters, and a disturbing amount of wine, not for road trip consumption), we’d purchased a giant duffel bag to keep luggage in.
It turns out it takes about an hour to get 4 people, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and all the stuff the 8 of them need for one stupid night, settled into a motel room.
Did I mention the snowing and hailing? Oh, well also there was horrible biting, bitter, nasty, COLD wind. It was late April. We were dressed (and packed) for early spring. My husband got himself a minor case of frost bite on his fingers unloading the car that first night. Good times.
The next morning I set out our plan for the day by finding a motel that would take the pets and plotting our route. I’d been planning originally on aiming for 500 miles a day, but decided that day to stretch and reserve us a room just over 600 miles away, because of our late start and our race to get to California before we got charged extra by the movers for not being able to meet them on time to get our ginormous amount of stuff back.
So, we were aiming for Sterling, CO and Best Western Sundowner, which charged us an extra $20 to let our pets stay there ($12 for one animal, $20 for two or more), but had a larger room for the price than our other options, and after the first night, I knew we’d do better with a little extra space.
We got on the road planning to be in our room by about 10:30 PM. Unfortunately, it was an extremely windy day, and we hadn’t really perfected our strapping the giant duffel bag to the top of the car technique yet. It took all day to get that technique down. In total, about 3 hours was spent in various parking lots, rest areas (BTW, Iowa has the nicest rest areas I have ever seen.), and wide shoulders, working on that technique. This meant we got to the motel about 1:30 AM.
Remember the one hour to get everybody settled in the room thing? It takes even longer when you are on the second floor of a Best Western that doesn’t have an elevator. WTF? Also, their free wireless internet sucked frozen possum testicles, or as I like to call them, possnutsicles. I needed internet in order to send a very detailed email to a friend, including floorplans of our house that I’d edited to map out the placement of all of our furniture. The movers had made amazingly good (not good for us) time getting the load to CA, and the path of least resistance for dealing with that, was to have a friend manage the unloading of the stuff. Between the battling with the internet, the super slow connection, and the occasionally drifting off between keystrokes, I finally hit send and got to sleep at 5:30 AM. Then up early to battle the internet again in order to find the right stopping place for the night. By the time we were ready to head out, I was 31 flavors of cranky.
Now we’ll pause for a message from our sponsors. Actually, we’ll pause so I can sleep. You’ll have to wait for another day to find out more about our road trip.