January 4, 2010: Moving to Irving, Texas!

Today is the day, we are moving to Irving, Texas and, if all goes well, we will no longer be homeless vagabonds but normal people with an apartment to call our own.  I can’t believe that we are finally going to really be Texans now and not just squatters in Bayou Vista.

Liesl decided that it was time to get up very, very early this morning at three thirty!  THREE THIRTY.  Ugh.  So no sleep for us at all.  Maybe four hours at most.

Dominica got right up and started doing our last minute packing – the stuff that could not be done until this morning.  I did not get to go back to sleep but I did get to stay in bed and keep Liesl and Oreo from needing lots of attention until Dominica could get the packing done.  That ended up taking an entire hour so it was really important that Liesl got us up so early or else we would have have been able to beat rush hour traffic at all.  We had originally planned to get up at four thirty but ended up needing every spare minute that we had.

We got onto the road just before five in the morning.  We are fully loaded and ready for our trip north.  The wind today is really crazy.  It was quite hard to drive with the gusting.

The wind ended up being a real problem and through our car top carrier to the back of the roof rack before we were even out of Houston.  We had to pull over a couple of times to check it and readjust it.  We ended up having to drive quite a bit more slowly that we normally would because the wind kept lifting it up and moving it around on us.  After having it on the roof all of the way from New York to Texas now that we are making a short trip just around Texas we are having issues with it!

Once we were past the Houston traffic area and were heading north from the metro area we got a little faster on the roads and discovered that there was no way to keep going with the car top carrier.  We were physically unable to fasten it down enough to keep it from blowing off.  With the gusting side winds it just lifts up and repositions itself constantly and it loosens itself up and away it starts to go.

Dominica ran into a Kroger while it was still dark out and picked up some bailing twine.  That is our last possible plan for keeping the carrier on if things go badly.  We did one last normal repositioning job in the parking lot of the grocery store and then go on our way again.

We crept along but it was clear that the carrier could not stay on on its own.  Once the sun was up we looked for a safe place to pull over and then got out and discovered that it really was loosening and going to come off soon.   So we tightened it back up and tied it down tight with the bailing twine.  We really tied it down in every which direction hoping that there was really no way for it to pull the twine.  Twine does not stretch at all so it should keep it in place pretty well.

We got driving again and to our pleasant surprise the twine worked great and really held the car top carrier down well.  We were able to drive at full highway speeds without any lifting or anything.  What a relief.

It ended up taking us an hour or more longer to get up to Irving than it should have because of  the car top carrier but we eventually arrived at Tuscan Villas and got set up to move in to our new apartment there.  Getting into the apartment did not take very long.  They already had our paperwork and cheque and were all set for us to move in.  Maybe took twenty minutes at most.  This is our first time actually meeting anyone from the apartment building or company.

We parked the BMW out in front of the apartment building and we unloaded the car top carrier which was no small job considering that we have no step ladder or anything of the sort to use to get it unpacked before taking it off of the car.  So I had to pull the whole thing down myself.  Then I schlept all of the contents of the carrier, and the carrier itself, up to the apartment up a few flights of stairs while Dominica stayed down with the car and the “kids”.

We made it just in time for AT&T to call about our Internet access.  They were scheduled to have it hooked up for us today sometime between noon and six this evening so that was the schedule against which we were racing all day.  They ended up being ready at ten till noon while I was still carrying stuff up to the apartment but I managed to call them right back and we had our Internet access turned on, set up and working by around one thirty!  That went incredibly smoothly.

Now that we have an apartment and Internet access we are more or less doing okay.  All we have is an air mattress but that will get us by for now.  Liesl has her Pack n Play.

After the Internet access was hooked up we spent the afternoon getting things unloaded from the car and put away around the apartment.  We have very little so so far it is not hard.

We ran out and did some shopping this evening to stock up on things that we need around the apartment.  We went out to Target and picked up supplies there.  We also discovered Target’s own line of “wine cube” wines and box wines.  The packaging looks intriguing and the cost is right.  In Europe box wine is how it is done because wine lasts better that way so we decided to try out the Target wines for ourselves.

We spent a total of around $500 getting move in supplies tonight.  Ack.  Not the kind of money that I wanted to be spending on our first day in Irving but at least we have what we need to get through including some basic groceries.

We have discovered that we have a ton of great looking food options right in our shared parking lot and adjacent areas.  We wanted to get dinner tonight so we decided to go investigate.  The options right out in front include two sub shops, Thai, Indian, sushi, upscale Mexican and a French Provincial restaurant.  Not bad for walking distance.

Tomorrow I will be hoofing it into the office for the first time.  We can see the office from our balcony which is pretty cool.

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