Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Miss Me?

We made it! The trip was looooong. This is the second time in three years I've crossed 2/3 of the country in a car, and I think I could happily go the rest of my life without doing it again. America is really, really big.

It probably didn't help that things got off to a bit of a rough start. Our plan was to have the movers out by around 4:00 on Wednesday, relax a bit, eat dinner, then I was going to go to my last mind/body fertility class. What actually ended up happening was that the movers didn't leave until 9:00, I had to speed just to pick up some semi-crappy takeout before the restaurant closed, and I completely missed my class. I'm still upset about that, especially considering that I won't be able to make any of the group's get-togethers now that the formal sessions are over. Still, the movers didn't break anything during the packing process and the only accident was a 6" scuff mark on the wall in our second bedroom where a handcart fell over. We easily painted over it, so no harm, no foul.

Thursday morning we wanted to leave by around 7:00 am to beat some of the morning traffic. However, since the movers didn't leave until after dark the night before we didn't get to pack the cars on Wednesday, and so even though we were pretty much ready to go by 8:00 we didn't hit the road until almost 10:00. Thankfully we hit zero traffic heading out of the DC area, but it wasn't a great start to our first day. Also not good was the massive allergy attack I started having while we were packing the cars that continued to bother me all day.

Around 1:00 we stopped for lunch, and realized that the cats (who were riding in their dog-sized carrier in my car) weren't eating or drinking anything. Since our girls have a history of bladder issues and UTIs, this really worried us. We'd planned to get to Nashville that night (almost 700 miles from Maryland) but given our late start and worries about the cats, we decided to throw our schedule out the window and end our day in Knoxville, putting us 175 miles short of where we'd planned to stop. This meant that we'd be making the trip in four days instead of three and going around 500 miles every day instead of over 650. It actually ended up being a really, really good idea since even going 500 miles with no real breaks (since we were driving separate cars) is exhausting.

Fortunately the cats started eating and drinking again once we settled in to the motel, and we managed to get a fairly early start (8:00) the next day. Unfortunately, though. the allergies I thought I was suffering from on Thursday morphed into a miserable cold on Friday, and I could hardly breathe or talk. Breathing and talking became even more important when I got a call on my cell from our apartment complex that afternoon, asking if we could come in Saturday to sign our lease since they were no longer open on Sunday and closed Monday for Memorial Day. I told them, as calmly as a could, that we were driving cross-country at the moment, we wouldn't be into town until at least Sunday afternoon, and we had made arrangements with the manager to move in on Sunday when we signed the damn lease in April. To the leasing agent's credit, she did try to help me, but I was so tired and sick by that point that all I could do was yell at her that they needed to make arrangements to get us into our apartment on Sunday or else. She promised to call back Saturday morning to let me know what they could do, and I assured her that if she didn't I'd be calling her boss.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm not a very nice person when I'm sick or mad. Or just in a bad mood.

The one good thing that happened Friday was that our offer on the dream house in our new city was officially accepted! It's kind of amazing (and scary) that you can do so much real estate business while driving 80 mph on the highway in the middle of rural Tennessee.

That night we made it to North Little Rock, celebrated with some decent Italian takeout and chocolate cake, and the next morning Juan woke up with my cold.

The third day of driving was probably the worst for all of us. We got stuck in the world's worst traffic jam in Dallas, J and I were both sick, and the cats started fighting with one another. It was M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. It also started getting really freaking hot that day, and both J and I got sexy farmer's tans on our left arms. Thankfully the apartment leasing agent called back and worked out an arrangement to get us our key on Sunday when we arrived even though we wouldn't be signing all our papers until Tuesday. I almost felt bad for yelling at her, but not really since they did spring this on us just 48 hours before we were supposed to move in.

Finally, Sunday we started the final 475 mile stretch. We got up at 7:00, hit the road by 8:00, and were set to roll into town before 3:00 until I needed to pee every 20 minutes for the last 100 miles. Fun stuff. I'm probably lucky J didn't just abandon me at one of the rest stops after my second or third request to pull over.

I can't even say how wonderful it was to see the "City Limits" sign, and then to pull up to our apartment and walk in to a space that wasn't a motel. It was fantastic. We collapsed for a little while, unpacked a few things, then made a quick grocery run to pick up basics (Diet Coke, beer, and cottage cheese were on the list).

We've now been here for almost three days, and things are starting to really come together. The cats seem to be settling down, we have internet access again, we have a home inspection scheduled tomorrow where I plan to get lots of pictures of the new house to post and obsess over. We're also taking a well-deserved vacation to Las Vegas this weekend. I'll be spending part of it working, but since the hotel, entertainment, and all the food is paid for by my former employer, I'm not complaining.

Tomorrow: the new house, and possibly some thoughts on where we're going with this whole infertility thing.

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