Cross Country Road Trip? Sure, why the hell not?? (part one)

Good Lord, it’s been a long time since I last blogged. Time to fix that. But as you can see by the title of my post, well, there’s been a lot going on lately.

After I came back from the two week working interview in Utah, I was offered the job about a week later. I quickly gave my notice at my librarian job and started making plans to move myself and the herd across country. Someone commented to me that they were feeling stressed about moving apartments at the end of August, with the two places being located one block from each other. He said that he was worried about being homeless for that one night. I looked at him and said “I’m moving cross country in two days and I have five cats and a dog.” He took one look at me and said “you win.”

As part of my prep, and to try to keep myself from being overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done, I started writing things down. As I crossed stuff off the list, it just seemed to grow. I would be talking to my officemate and friend, Stephen, and then yell out something and hurriedly look for my list and write it down. I felt like I definitely suffered from ADD there for a while. But I was so worried about forgetting to do something important, you know?

I ended up giving away some of my furniture – as much as I could, and then had 1-800-Get Junk? come and remove the big pieces like my couch that no one could possibly want anyway, after having had five cats claw at it and get sick on it at various times over the years. They charge by space and volume, and they said that I pretty much almost filled up one truck and they charge $25 to get rid of your mattress. So that cost about $633. I know, I could have done craigslist and tried to sell things and I could have done freecycle and given stuff away, but honestly, when you only have three weeks to arrange a move and you’re working two jobs during it, and your best friend has a baby and your mom gets married during those three weeks, the last thing you want to do is deal with flakes. And honestly, you do deal with a lot of flakes on freecycle. (I love the idea of freecycle, believe me, and I’ve given some stuff away to some really awesome people who were super appreciative, as was I of the stuff I received, but it’s amazing how people will stand you up when they are getting something for free. I don’t have a place I could just leave stuff out for people so always had to be available and around when the person said they could pick up something.)

The one thing I wanted to ship was a large painting I had of a coastal scene. (You can move the girl to the desert but you can’t remove her love of the water from her.) I must have paid about $75 or less for it, and guess how much it cost to mail? Yep, about $243, via UPS (between packaging and shipping fees.) Yikes. The rest of it, I resolved to fit into my car or just not take. And whenever I had to make a decision, I asked myself if it would fit, or make it impossible to fit all five cat carriers in the car. Keeping the herd in mind definitely helped me to prioritize things. (And yes, I did lighten my load with a friend I stayed with along the route and threw some stuff in a dumpster so I could see out my passenger side window, but hey, there is only so much room in a Mazda 2.)

Oh yes, did I mention I bought a car in those three weeks of craziness? I did. I bought a Mazda 2, 2013, stick shift. Your basic Sport model so it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but the way I look at it, the less complicated a car is, the better. More complicated computer models just mean more money for repairs down the road. My friend Stephen took me, god bless him, and rode in the back seat during my test drive of the car, which was great, because he’s 6′ 3′ and he felt comfy in the back seat. We also folded all the seats down to really get a good look at the storage capacity of the car and would it fit five big carriers? That was one of my main concerns. (Btw, I had driven a Mazda 2, although automatic, many times through zipcar, so I felt comfortable with the size and handling of it.)

I did stay at pet friendly hotels the whole way (and with a great friend and very pet friendly household along the way) but still, it’s stressful to travel with so many cats in a car. Not for the reason you might think – incessant crying, right? Honestly, I was amazed at how good they all were when it came to that. I did give them Rescue Remedy for the first few days in the car and then after that, they didn’t really need it. They knew what the deal was when the carriers came out, even if they didn’t just march  right on into them. In all but the first hotel, the bottom of the bed was encased in a box. Thank God, because I would have had a nervous breakdown if I always had to do to them what I did the second morning of the trip. I knew it had been too quiet to mean a good thing. I looked under the bed, and about four of the five of them had somehow gotten into the lining of the boxspring. I ended up having to tear it to get them out. And then pushing the bed and box spring up against the wall to get the last cat out. I was a sweaty mess before that day’s drive even started.

Early on, I decided to not let the cats out of their carriers in the car. I was way too scared that they might get out somehow if I opened up a door. So I made sure that they got wet food the whole trip after the first day to make sure they would stay hydrated, and I didn’t usually drive for more than 10 hours in a day. More than that, I knew neither I nor they could take.  The first few hours in the motel room were usually a bit crazy with everyone finding the litter box and water bowl and roaming around, smelling everything. Most nights, I just vegged in or around the room so I could let my eyes relax, except for the night in Denver, when I was able to meet the amazing family of my friend Kelvin, who writes the Going Uncomplicated blog. We have talked online for a few years now and his wife and he are friends of mine on facebook and we consider each other family. So it was amazing to meet them in person and hang out and just feel completely comfortable with them, as I had with my friend Dan in Ohio.

I have realized that it might be impossible for me to discuss an entire cross-country trip and three weeks of madness leading up to it all in one post, so I’ll continue this with a “part deux!” Also, my computer is giving me issues tonight so I won’t be able to add in photos like I planned, to this post. So stay tuned, a lot will be coming!

If you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe! And I promise, more regular updates will occur from here on out, and I will be adding more pics soon. I’ve taken so many since my move out to the southwest – this place is just absolutely gorgeous!!!

6 thoughts on “Cross Country Road Trip? Sure, why the hell not?? (part one)

  1. Hey, thanks for checking in, I was starting to get worried about you =) You’ve got a cool car there and a stick shift, yay! My last car was a stick shift and hated having to get rid of it for a pickup truck… $633 for junk hauling? You basically got robbed =) Next time, use the folks standing outside of the homedepot parking lots for junk/debris hauling. But you must insist on following them to the dump or else you’ll find your junk dumped on the side of the road somewhere.

    • Yep, I knew I did, but to be honest, I had no choice at that point. There was no way I could get that stuff out of the apt on my own, and while some people had offered to help me move stuff, I had nowhere to go with it once it got moved out of the apt. I hope to never have to go through a move like that ever again – RVs or tiny homes for life now!!

  2. You need to change the picture on the top of the blog to one of your new state – gorgeous views to be celebrated. I followed your progress daily on FB but it’s good that you took the time to write out the saga while it’s still fresh. Reminder to me to do the same with my own blog, which I’ve let go by the wayside. You are an excellent inspiration!

    • You know, I was thinking the same thing this morning – that I need to change the pic at the top of my blog now!! And yes, I need to write more about the whole saga and all of the things and thoughts going through my mind now, as they are still fresh. You should DEFINITELY write up about your experiences too!

  3. Hi Terri:

    That was a long cross-country trip. Glad you and your furry animals made arrived safely.
    Thank you for stopping to say hi on the way. We truly appreciated the time you shared with us. It was sooo good to finally meet.

    We are wishing you all the best in this new season of your life. Not many people get the change to press restart in what they want to accomplish in life. Do what makes you happy and live your life to the fullest!!!

    Keep us posted on your progress. And no…wife number 6 or long hair is out of the question (insider lol )

    Blessings!!!!

    • Aw, thank you so much, Kelvin!!! Yes, no bouffant hairdos or waves for this girl, thanks!! 🙂

      Yes, it was a long trip but one that was well worth it. I’m settling in, as are the furballs and it was definitely worth what it took to get here. All the hours of driving, the stress, the money, all worth it. Thank you so much for the blessing you bestowed on me that night before I left. I definitely think it helped me to get through the next few days, and I knew I was not alone, if you know what I mean!

      Will definitely keep you posted.

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