Monday, July 11, 2011

The Last 24

Now that the background information has been sufficiently updated, I would like to direct your attention to the 24 hours prior to take off. They were perhaps the longest 24 hours of my life, and might shed some light on why we look like death run over in the previous post...

But first...

Thursday morning, the packers and movers showed up bright and early at 9:00 AM to fit a two bedroom apartment into a very large moving truck. They invaded like a swarm of locusts, crunching packing paper, ripping tape from the roll, talking above each other, and running around the place until finally it was all loaded and ready for departure. They made incredible timing... only 6.5 hours from start to finish. I guess anything is possible when you have a team of 6 men cramped in a 1,035 sq/ft apartment working through their lunch break.

Friday morning began on schedule when the vehicle moving company arrived to load the vehicles that would be delivered to us in California. After signing off on all of the paperwork, we ventured inside for a day of deep cleaning the (now empty) apartment.

About mid-day, Spencer left with a friend to run errands while I stayed behind to finish up. It was after this point that things started going terribly wrong...

At some point during the day, our air conditioner stopped blowing cool air. It was definitely on and running, but was registering 90 degrees inside. Keep in mind that at this point, our place of residence was still Austin in the middle of the summer with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees. With no car for transport or any decent form of hydration anywhere in sight, I trudged through the tedious duties of baseboard cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and all of the other mundane tasks associated with holding on to the smallest glimmer of hope that would entitle you to receiving your full deposit. By the time Spencer returned home, it was time to retreat to his sister's home (where we were staying) and get ready for one last farewell dinner with my parents.

After a fantastic dinner at Hyde Park Grill (our favorite!) we made use of my parents' car, and returned to our apartment to pick up some trash and other odds and ends to take to the dumpster (which is a pretty good ways from our building). The inside of the house was still fairly warm, despite the fans that had been running all day. On our last trip down the interior stairs, I dropped a bottle of vegetable oil which incidentally cracked and gushed out onto the tile floor and all over the walls. Perfect timing. Strike one on the full deposit return. After saying goodbye to my parents who were headed home, we retreated inside Spencer's sister's house to what we (foolishly) thought would be a quiet evening at home.

About 30 minutes later, we decided to head out for one last stop at one of Austin's famous food trailers for a late night dessert and recap. Shortly before leaving, a mishap occurred involving a fallen picture frame, a broken elbow pipe fitting, a plumber, an emergency home repair man, 8 water collection buckets, 3 high powered fans, gallons of gushing water through the ceiling, downstairs light fixtures, and drywall, four angry and inquisitive neighbors, two panicked house guests, and one very distraught homeowner. I will let your imagination piece together the flavorful events contained in those 7 hours of devastation since the wounds are still too fresh to elaborate! Needless to say, the amount of sleep had on that last evening in Texas was minimal at best.

Moving Day, at last! The day was off to a rocky start as it continued from the evening prior, but we made the best of it as we had our last meal (breakfast at Torchy's Tacos) in Austin before take off. We had one more seemingly simple task to complete before heading to the airport... administering a sedation medication to our 4 year old kitty who would be accompanying us on the flight.

(I'm lying...there is one equation that does ring true: Sedation + Cat does NOT = Simple)!

Chloe (the kitty) does not take traveling well, and under the permission of her veterinarian, we were given a very small dose of sedative to make her four hour flight from Austin to Las Vegas to San Diego as smooth as possible. In truth, she took the whole process much easier than her parents who hated every minute of sedating her, then watching her fight sleep until (defeated) she finally got some rest on the plane. The other passengers and stewardesses on the plane hardly knew there was a pet on board, and were all very complimentary of her once we landed. She was a champion at air travel!

Excited and exhausted, we arrived at the San Diego International Airport on Saturday afternoon and took a shuttle over to our booth at the rental car facility. After successfully finding our way from the airport to our hotel in Carlsbad (thank you, GPS!), we quickly hopped back in the car to find a Target where essentials could be purchased... i.e. shampoo and kitty litter.

It was a whirlwind trip of a lifetime, but all things considered, went incredibly well. Needless to say, sleep never felt so good!


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