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It’s the little things…

21 Jun

-because currently that’s about all we can do on the fly: Blogging-wise, all we can do with our current phones and plan is post to TwitPic. Much of the first 400 miles were outside of cellphone signal, but cellphone camera photos snapped along the way are posted when possible.

Here’s me.

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Where We’ve Been: The State of Washington

21 Jun

Wikipedia says: Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the forty-second state in 1889. The United States Census Bureau estimated the state’s population was 6,664,195 in 2009.

Silver Falls was a short hike from the road, and a great chance to stretch our legs

Silver Falls, a short stop off of highway 123.

Nearly 60% of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry, and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of deep rain forests in the west, mountain ranges in the center, northeast and far southeast, and eastern semi-deserts given over to intensive agriculture.

Eastern Washington. Photo by Robert Inouye.

Following the roads in Eastern Washington.

Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, and is the only U.S. state named after a president. Washington is commonly called Washington State or occasionally the State of Washington to distinguish it from the U.S. capital (and because its proper name is the State of Washington). However, Washingtonians (residents of Washington) and many residents of neighboring states normally refer to the state simply as “Washington”, while usually referring to the nation’s capital as “Washington, D.C.” or simply “D.C.”

Moon riding Pharaoh with Uncle Bobby, just outside Yakima.

Our State-in-Review of Washington is going to be the hardest to write. For Kevin and I, Washington has been home for the last 10 years.  For Moon and the boys, it has been their only home.  I love the amazing parks, mountains, forests, and oceans.  As we made our way through the passes, Kevin noted that you can travel “from Endor to Cowboy Country” in about 12 minutes.

Most of our time has been spent in the Seattle area, though I did have a year living in the now-infamous Forks,WA*.   We bought (and now sold) our first home, got married (hello, Marymoor Park), and had so many of the milestones of our lives happen here.  It seems so strange to be leaving.

And one last note, just for my sister.  Gasworks Park?

Right here, Auntie No. It's right here.

Thanks for everything, Washington.

*Forks:  Surprizingly bereft of vampires, sparkly or otherwise.  Nice trees around there though.  Beaches are good, too.

The Damn Family has left the city…

20 Jun

First travel day Yesterday got us to just outside Yakima, WA via some very wet but beautiful National Parks.  A short travel day (which was good given our late departure), and I promise to get some photos up when we have cell reception again.  If we manage to roll out of here in the morning, as relatives are keeping us amazingly well-fed.  Moon is in peanut-butter cookie heaven.

Some brief updates:

  • Our former zip code has been named the most diverse in the US.
  • Happy Father’s Day, all you Dads out there!  Kevin received empty promises of a new phone, some re-branded to Daddy-O Brand boxed coffee drinks for the road, Wired’s Geek Dad book, some coupons for bear hugs, backrubs, and the like, and the chance to fall asleep in an armchair while holding sleeping babies (alas, I have no photos).  My father apparently received a dead Prius.  Hope other dads are getting what they wanted/needed, and having better automotive luck.
  • We leave for Oregon in the morning.  Hoping for better travel weather this time around.  Google Maps says it will be 5 hours and 50 minutes, but they aren’t counting potty breaks, diaper changes, or nursing stops.

Must go now; Moon is off to ride a horse!

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.

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.