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Best laid plans of mice and men…

30 Jul

And sometimes, even the shoddy plans we make go awry. No Montauk, just South to North Carolina where it was inexplicably cooler than Virginia (Where the temp hovered around 104).  That heat and humidity we were forgetting back in Colorado is here with a vengeance.

Here are some photos of time with Grandpa in the triangle area:

In a strange limbo now, a time of bureaucracies and city permits while we wait for our lease to start, prepping for the move.  Feels so close and yet so far.

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Planning your own trip? Some useful links.

23 Jun

Another rest day in Oregon for the crew — spent Yesterday canoeing on Hosmer Lake, a wonderful camping and fly-fishing spot.  Still learning Oregon mountain names (Bachelor, The Sisters, Brokentop, etc), and loving the chance to enjoy the outdoors here.  Moon is loving ‘helping’.  She helps grown dandelions in her Grandmother’s yard (she is watering them faithfully),  helps make whipped cream and blueberry pies (“I try the cream and say it needs more even though it always tastes good”), and helps with drawing/coloring/writing (her Grandmother found a Make Your Own Little Golden Book which has been very popular).

And the boys?  They are just thrilled not to be in their car seats.

Bigfoot(print)

18 Jun

Being from a good hippie/environmentalist background as I am, I’m well aware of how driving an internal-combustion vehicle effects the planet.  We’re about to drive two decent-sized vehicles with car-top carriers and full loads over 4,000 miles each.

Being the sole income for a family of five, and heading towards a couple years as a starving grad student, however, I’m not in a position to do too much about that.

Should you feel so inclined, here’s a way you can help offset some of our damage:

I believe you can buy carbon offsets as present for others, and have used TerraPass for plane travel in the past.

In the meantime, maybe we can get a stuffed pelican for each of the kids and dunk it in black RIT dye, just to make sure we’re not shirking our responsibility.

Reliance on Technology

17 Jun

This blog might end up being less dynamic than we’d hoped, once we hit the road…

We’d been planning on picking up new phones before we left, as our two year contract is up.  Mrs. Damn has decided our next phones should be the new iPhones, which granted, would let us keep in touch, upload content, and heck, even edit videos and upload them from the road (presumably not while driving.  Of course not, officer…).  She’s had a mostly positive experience with her Apple laptop, and is now a devoted fan of them- especially the AppleCare protection plan.  That and her appreciation of the closed system/moderated app store seems to be the main selling points for the new iPhone over, say, the cheaper ($150 each on Amazon) Driod Incredible– but I could be missing something.

Unfortunately, things kept getting pushed back.  We waited on the announcement of the new phones, as we knew they would both open up new options and drop the price on the existing iPhones when they came out.  Then we waited for the pre-order deadline, figuring we’d have them shipped to us en route.  Then their servers and phone numbers couldn’t handle the rush for the trendy new phones.  Then they had to push back the delivery dates and make them tentative instead of guaranteed.  Plus the online ordering system would only let you ship and set area codes according to the billing address on your credit card.

So now I’m not sure… I have a feeling this means we won’t get new phones until mid-July or probably early August, when the new iPhones become more readily available in stores.  In the meantime, we have phones that can handle email but not web browsing or other fancier features.

Not our phones.

I’ll admit in addition to the blogging and general memorabilia appeal of being able to take & upload photos & video, I was set more at ease about our trip by the thought of being able to access maps, GPS, look up hotels, search for the next restaurant via voice commands, and all those other modern marvels that come with the current batch of mobile devices and applications, and I’m starting to worry more and more about how we’re going to fare on the longer stretches between havens (La Pine, OR to Gothic, CO being the first of several of them).

At the same time, I have to mock myself somewhat for feeling dependent on expensive new technology I haven’t ever even had yet.

Filling the POD…

30 May

105 Boxes...

136 Boxes

160 Boxes

170 Boxes

Um, lots of boxes. Lots and lots.

POD Pickup Time

Final count?  200 something boxes, plus assorted furniture, in an 8x8x16 POD (the largest size available, and the only kind available for cross-country moves).   Things Learned:

  • PODs are not watertight. Suddenly, all the not-responsible-for- water-damage lingo in the contract makes sense.  Because of the water leaking in (hey, we are Pacific North-westerners moving in late Spring.  There has been a lot of rain available for testing!), Kevin disassembled some old IKEA shelving to make a bottom layer that could take the water.  Plastic bins as the bottom layer on most columns as well, and bags over our mattresses/furniture.  We’ll see how it has held up when we get the POD back at our new place in August.
  • If we thought the POD Deliveryman didn’t like our hill, he had nothing on POD pickup guy. There was much cursing and prediction of the full shipping container breaking free and rolling down the hill (it didn’t).  But we were not his favorite place.  As the delivery driver said, these things were really designed for Florida or Texas — flat land with really big driveways.
  • PODS make excellent pretend-schoolhouses. Moon loved ‘helping’ her dad load the POD.  And the twins?  Didn’t lift a finger to help load up.  Lazy babies.

Pod People.

22 May

They're heeeeeeere!

As of this morning, we have achieved POD.  The process was noisy, exciting, and remarkably smooth given the steepness of the hill we live on.  Unfortunately, in the interest of the truck being able to pick up our POD once it’s full,  we weren’t able to fit it in our driveway directly facing the garage door as we had hoped.  Also, it’s a good thing we’re leaving; generating that much street noise on a Saturday morning must have earned us the eternal love and admiration of our neighbors.  And we were our driver’s second stop of the day!

Driver was friendly, and things went relatively quickly given the logistics of the hill they were having to navigate.  We’ll see how filling it/pick-up go!  We have a week to see to that, and then it’s good bye house!

I thought the fancy truck and lifts would be exciting for the kids, and it did briefly hold everyone’s attention.  Far more pressing as far as Moon is concerned is the fact she a) discovered a Roly-Poly Bug, and b) said bug got away.

Logistics

18 May

Since I know folks finding this in searches on moving will want to know… given the months between houses, and the limited options serving both cities, we have decided to go with Pods for moving and storing the vast majority of our stuff.   They should be dropping off the unit on Saturday, so we’ll see how it all goes!

We have a plan…

16 May

In 15 days, our home in Seattle, WA will no longer be our own. We will be effectively homeless until August, when we begin a new lease and a new life in Richmond, VA. I am mildly terrified.

The carrot to our mule, that motivating force which propels us across the nation, is graduate school. Kevin starts a 2 -3 year program at the end of August, and so we find ourselves packing up our family and heading off into the Great Unknown.

So, how does one get a ferocious five-year-old, infant twins, two cats, and their grown ups across the country with all their stuff?

Never fear, we have a plan!

… I never said it was a particularly good plan.