We rented the largest U-Haul they have on a Tuesday, noon-time. After some delays, we arrived at the warehouse where we housed our belongings that we could't fit in our temporary living situation. The loaders we hired were a bit surprised at the amount of things we had here, but willingly started to unload the warehouse and load the truck. After about 3 hours, they seemed tired, and a little bit bummed that we had just as much stuff at the house we were staying in. So off we went to that location, and the difficult task of arranging eveything else we wanted to bring with us to fit in the truck began. Mind you, this was about the hottest day in Western New York, with humidity right up there, and these loaders were not young, sprite fellows. As seven o'clock rolled around and we still had work to do, they looked like withered heaps of sweat. We did manage to pack that truck pretty full, but we still had to leave things behind. We loaded the trailer with the motorcycle and whatever else we could strap down with it. We packed my car to the roof with our travel luggage and necessities we would need the first night and next morning, and absolutely anything else that would fit. All seats were filled. On Wednesday morning, we stuffed whatever else would fit in the nooks and crannies, loaded up us 5 and the 3 animals, and hit the road. Stopped at U-Haul so we could get the car trolley set, said our goodbyes to the grandparents in the U-Haul parking lot, and then hit the interstate.
Come nightfall, we discovered the U-Haul (monster truck) had no running lights. And thus began the nightmare. We were in the hills of West Virginia, hazard lights flashing on the monster truck, trying to find somewhere to stop and rest for the night. First, it is dark in the hills of West Virginia, and flashing hazards are very bright. Second, there are not many hotels or motels deep in the hills of West Virginia. Third, we were in vehicles that cannot back up easily, so had to stop only in places where you can drive though. We stopped at one nice little town that had 3 hotels, all offering good rates - except that every last room was taken. Yes, all booked. I asked, "why!?! " We were all very tired at this point, it was 10pm. I am told it's normal business - mind you it is a Wednesday night in the middle of August! I am frustrated and starting to feel paniced. We paged through the Room Saver magazine obtained at the Welcome Center hoping to find another town further down the road with a decent place to stay for cheap. I did find one, about 40 miles away for a really good price. The picture looked nice, and we justified it by saying, "well we will be that much closer to our destination, and it is a great price with a really small pet fee, so let's go for it!" For future reference to all you planning a road trip with kids and animals - pay a little extra and stay at the chain motels!!
I won't get too much into the hell-hole of a motel this was. Just that the mold on the ceiling and the horrible smell of those little cakes of whatever it is that is supposed to absorb moisture was unbelievable! I truly felt like I was in this aweful dream where we were trapped in hell. Somehow, it did not stop everyone else from falling right to sleep. Add to this the air conditioner was not blowing out cold air. I have not idea how everyone else slept. I layed awake, worrying about everyone's health, in between holding my breath. Finally, morning came, and we hauled ass out of that nightmare of a place and drove to the next town to get coffee. I managed about 3 hours of sleep so coffe was a necessity, but wanted to get as far away from there as possible. My poor daughter asked if there was a continental breakfast at the motel, and all I could say was "sorry hun, this is not that kind of place."
We drove along trying to let the memory of that place fade, and get excited about arriving at our new home. We arrived in NC in the afternoon, and treated ourselves to a night of "luxury" at the Comfort Inn. We knew Friday would be another crazy day of unloading and getting a bit settled, so we thought a good night's sleep in a clean room with clean sheets, and a clean shower, was worth the extra money. I knew this was true when we got up the next morning and this was the view.
We are now nestled somewhere in those mountains there in the distance, and after a week and a half here, I can already say it was worth the trip!
We shared an adventure to get here, to begin a new life here in the beautiful mountains. The people here are wonderfully friendly, the views absolutely spectacular, and the opportunities for the kids and us are exciting. I am still unpacking boxes, still getting a bit lost driving around, and still have to set up my workspace. But each day we get a little more comfortable, and get a little more organized. In another week, we will definatley, comfortably call this our home. And maybe I will have found the box that has my pot holders in it....I am tired of burning myself each dinner.