That is not happening.
And now I understand why I was so goddamn tired all through college.
We are here- we made it the 1300 miles from Kansas to Jersey relatively unscathed (although completely rain soaked.) Now we are counting the days until our apartment will be ready and we can do the whole thing in reverse, only to sleep on a mattress on the floor (I broke the bed frame when we were taking it apart. I'm not even kidding.)
|Like, broke it beyond repair.|
So, yes, we broke the bed. Somehow the stupid box spring that comes with a Tempurpedic bed is too heavy, and while trying to lift it out, the weight of it snapped the reinforced side of the frame from the headboard itself. Stripped the holes. Not even bolts and wood glue can fix this Ikea beauty. But hey, at least it was a cheap bed frame, not the worst thing to ever happen to us.
The next day the movers came to pack our whole life away into the 2 ABF pods that we had rented. We were mostly prepared. OCD comes in handy for this kind of situation. I had lists. LISTS ABOUNDED GUYS. Checklists to follow. A list of all boxes numbered and entailing their contents for easy access later. We had already decided not to keep our couch- it was huge and super comfy, but would take up LOADS of room in the pod. When the movers got there, though, they swore it would fit along with everything else. And who are we to argue with professionals? We told them, "OK, if it will fit with everything else, go ahead. But we don't want it if space is going to be an issue." They insisted it would be fine. So out the couch went. Cut to two hours later when boxes and furniture are sitting on the sidewalk and they come in to tell us "We don't have enough room for what's left."
Now, I refuse to take full credit for this issue because they were the ones insisting the couch was fine- but I will take some blame, maybe, depending on how I feel at that moment. We hadn't finished 100% of the packing. Anyone who's done this a time or two knows that its easier to sift through what you definitely want and what can go once the already finished boxes and furniture are out of the way. I've never had to say it in the past, and thought it was implied that if a box was open, especially if it barely contained anything, that movers should ignore it, that would be my problem later.
This is clearly not a universal understanding. My bad.
We were able to consolidate a few boxes that were barely holding anything at the front of one pod, but they had packed everything so tightly that we couldn't get very far in. We still had to make tough choices. (When in doubt, throw it out.) Now we have almost no lamps, no vacuum cleaner, but we do have a couch and various other pieces of furniture we didn't want. Super.
We had them leave enough room for the mattresses, without actually packing them, that way we could still sleep on them the few days until the pods were picked up. If you've never tried to move a memory foam mattress and its box spring, count yourself lucky and run away from the situation if it ever presents itself. They are heavy and unwieldy. Partway through, I suggested we just leave it in the middle of the sidewalk and buy a new one when we got here. That idea was vetoed.
Hilariously, just as we finished getting the mattress into the pod and were about to close the doors, the guy who was picking them up showed up. He asked if we needed more time, and we laughed and said no, he had the best timing on earth, we had just finished. Watching him load them onto the truck and drive away was the most relief I had felt in weeks. That was it- no more stressing about what would fit and what wouldn't (LOL, no there was more of that to come.) But at that moment, it finally felt like we were on our way to being out of the Midwest.
|I'm not as good a friend,|
I not only took this picture,
but I'm also putting it on
The next day was when we were leaving, so now it was time to pack the stuff we had left into the cars. We were severely limited since in my car I would have a rabbit, two cats, and a human best friend taking up space.
Oh yeah, did I mention that my best friend flew in to make the drive with me? She is literally better than your best friend. She drove two hours to the airport in North Carolina to take a 6 AM flight to Kansas City to then spend three days in the car with me and the aforementioned menagerie, to then fly from New Jersey back to North Carolina where she would then drive two hours back home. Beat that, interwebs.
GTFOing Kansas City
The initial plan: Hubbs and I drive both cars to the airport, pick her up, and hit the fucking road by 10 AM.
Reality number 1: I picked her up from the airport, went back to my work one last time for a last goodbye because I'm co dependant and can't let go, then went home and frantically tried to shove all of the shit that was left into the two cars. Now, when we moved from North Carolina to Kansas City, my husband was already there working, so I dealt with all of the moving stuff by myself- this was the first time my husband and I had to actually live through a cross country move together. And let me tell you, I am a bitch. I get snippy, I assume you can read my mind, and I will take zero blame for last minute disorganization because I had my shit together so well right up until that last push. But it honestly is a group effort to be as disorganized as we were, and so my husband and I had an understanding that no matter how rude or snippy either of us was, we loved each other and we weren't mad at each other, we were mad at the move.
But we had a lot more shit left than we thought, and with space limited, there was a lot of arguing about whether something should be tossed or if room could be made. it was a very stressful few hours.
Reality number 2: It was 1:30 when we hit the road, I still had to overnight our signed lease to the apartment people and he had to drop the modem off at Google. So it was more like 2:ish when we actually started the road trip part.
Initial plan: I used Roadtrippers to create an amazing trip full of fun attractions, fire breathing dragons, rabbits, reptiles, and corn mazes. I probably would have fit a haunted asylum in there too if we hadn't had Pickel's plane to make. It was a masterpiece that I timed down to the minute between each place so we knew how long we would have at each attraction, where we would be staying (I even made fucking reservations) and how long we would be in the car at a time. I. Am. Amazing.
Reality: We left four hours later than I initially planned which cut out a Rabbit Ranch in Illinois. Then, about two hours into the trip we hit a patch of rain that just happened to take up most of the Midwest (for the entire goddamn trip, by the way) which ruined the sculpture park and made the fire breathing dragon a no go. We still went to the Sculpture park. There was a giant eyeball, I couldn't NOT go. It was already dark, pouring rain, TONS of lightening, and still somehow super fun, despite the loss of a beautiful straightening job on my hair. (RIP great picture opportunities.)
From there we had SEVEN hours of driving to get to the hotel. We were not only severely behind because of our own doing, but the storm slowed our pace to a crawl for most of the trip, it was terrifying and we were pretty sure we were about to die for at least 75% of the drive. Being the optimists that we are, Pickel and I blared the soundtrack to Rocky Horror Picture Show because... we were pretty sure we were living it.
Getting to the hotel
Initial plan: get there at an ungodly hour, ask for a late check out, then pass the fuck out and ignore the world for hours.
Reality: we got there at 3:30 AM, they gave us the wrong room, we had to go back and have them fix it, so it was after 4 AM by the time we all laid down to go to sleep. By all of us I mean Pickel had one bed, Chris and I had one that we shared with the dog, the kitten slept in her crate covered with a towel, and Sydney the Strabismus Kitty wandered around the room growling and meowing her distaste for our choices until finally scaring the shit out of Pickel by sticking her face in her face causing her to jump and yell out, then going and curling up on the chair.
The next morning I was awakened at 7:30 by the kitten meowing (6:30 for my body), so I took her, her food, water, the other cat, and my phone into the bathroom and made them shut up for a few hours so the others could sleep. Because I rock. Also because I am the weak link of the driving team, and needed to make sure the others were in tip top shape for the day's driving.
I went down to the lobby to get some breakfast, and found that, somehow they put it away at like 9 AM and nothing was left. To their credit, though, the staff of the Days Inn was super nice and brought out cereal and milk for me along with hot water for tea, so that I could have something to munch on. Every person who walked passed me made sure I was comfortable, had everything I needed, and that the room was good. (You can see my review on TripAdvisor for more details of the stay, but overall if you need to spend the night in Dayton I would say this is a good budget choice.)
Initial plan: Hit the road early on Thursday morning, drive over to Friendship National Park to take pictures in front of the sign, stop in Jersey Shore Pennsylvania because, why not, head over to Punxsutawny to see Phil, then coast to our hotel in New Columbia Pennsylvania to relax. It was seven hours of driving, not bad at all, and we would have time to casually stop into any places along the way that seemed interesting. (Side note: if you don't believe in a higher being- whichever you prefer- then I guess you would call this a coincidence. Chris' parents from NC were in Ohio at the same time for a reunion, so he was able to go spend the day with them. How the fuck does that happen? We didn't even know until the day we left.)
Reality: As soon as we hit the road it started raining. We forgot about Friendship National Park in our excitement about seeing Punxsutawny Phil, and by Jersey Shore PA it was raining so hard our entire outlook on life was "Fuck the world and make good with God because we're about to die."
Then enter Google Maps having some sort of Halloween fun with us. Or having a stroke, I don't know what happened, but it was not fucking funny, Google. While trying to get to Phil's Burrow, Google changed its mind and instead took us here:
|Have you ever felt like Wes Craven was directing your life?|
|Chilling with BFF Phil|
|My new best friend, Al.|
as well as stealthily touching other animals we weren't necessarily "supposed" to touch. (If you don't want me to pet an Emu, then a couple of ropes is not the way to convey that message.)