February 8, 2015: Packing Day

I managed to get a full night of sleep last night, at least seven hours.   Today is going to be rough.  We were up around eight.  We were supposed to get the UHaul truck around nine but we were overwhelmed with all of the stuff that needed to be done yet this morning.  There was so much packing yet to do before the truck was here or our professional movers was here.  Dominica called Bob, our mover, and rescheduled him from ten thirty to “we will call you when we are ready.”

We did some packing but had to run out and grab the truck at ten because they UHaul place closes at eleven and if we didn’t hurry we would not be able to get the truck today.  They had to call to tell us or we probably would have missed it.  The girls and I were waiting to go but Dominica had started doing other packing and had planned on waiting to get the truck.  So we are very lucky that they called when they did.

We got the truck no problem.  It was the same place that we rented the van from last time and were so happy with.  It was a little funny, actually, because last time we were doing the rental van and I was just about to go to the Amazon and Facebook interviews that ended up leading to the job at Change but Change was not in the cards yet.  This time I got to talk to the same guy and fill him in on everything that had happened.  It turns out that his wife is from Spain, in Galicia and he has been there several times.

While I was getting the truck back to the house Dominica and the girls went to Walmart to get chocolate milk and a few other emergency supplies to be sure that we would be ready for being on the road for a while.  She had forgotten that I did not have a house key.  I ended up hanging out outside with our neighbor Louis until she and the girls got back.  That was handy as we exchanged contact information in case we need to reach him when we are away.

It was about eleven when we were back and working on the house.  We called Bob and had him head down to start packing.  Dominica and I worked on getting as much more stuff as possible packed although Bob arrived pretty quickly, by eleven thirty, so it was time to start getting things really onto the truck.

Bob helped me get the truck, which I had parked across the street in the visitor parking area, backed up to the house and then we got right to loading boxes.  The first bit went pretty well.  We had lots of boxes ready and a lot of large furniture so that part was relatively easy.  Dominica tried to direct things while packing up as much stuff as she could but there was a lot of stuff still to pack which made things really difficult.

The packing was exhausting.  There was so much to do and we only had one person helping us. Although that was really a blessing because if we had more movers packing the truck everything would have been packed in no time and there would not have been time for Dominica to work on packing up the little stuff around the house.

It was thirty-four degrees for most of the day and dropped to freezing when the sun went down.  We started off with it being pretty clear but after not too long we got snow, then later we got sleet and by late afternoon we had heavy snow and driving sleet.  Even with it being so cold I was completely drenched with sweat and wearing nothing by a polo shirt, no jacket at all.  We even turned the house temperature down to fifty.  The weather was really worrying us as it was just getting worse and worse but there was nowhere for us to sleep in the house.  My rule was that one way or another we had to make it to Fishkill tonight to get us past the mountains on our side of the river.  If we could get there tonight I would be okay with it although getting all the way to dad’s tonight is by goal.

As it was we had Bob stay for about six hours.  The first three hours were really productive.  The last three was pretty wasteful.  Lots of little things and trying to figure things out.  It was so hard trying to determine what to do for the last few hours.

At about five Dominica sent me back to Walmart to get a lock for the truck (our existing one had rusted out) and to get more garbage bags as we had run out.  We were throwing out so much stuff.  Easily a dozen thirty or thirty-three gallon garbage bags of just trash left the house and another five of donations were still in the house when we were done and at least one large back of recycling!  I cannot believe that so much stuff was in our house.

When I got back from Walmart, where I had to really resist hitting McDonald’s to get food because I was craving it like crazy, Bob had already gone and Dominica had about an hour and a half of packing left in front of us.  We went as fast as we could and were probably on the road around eight thirty.

Dominica led and I followed in the truck.  She had a hard time driving in the snow and was not very happy.  The truck did pretty well, I was impressed with the handling for such a large vehicle.  I had very little problem driving it although there were some times that I had literally zero right side visibility and was not sure exactly what to do.

We made it to Fishkill where Dominica tried to stop at the McDonald’s for me (we had not eaten all day!) but missed the driveway.  We pulled into the big gas station on the northeast corner of the Interstate 84 and fueled up there.  Dominica came over and told me that she really could not go on tonight.  The road is hard for her to handle and the snow in the dark was too much for her.

There was a Hampton Inn right there by the gas station sitting right at the entrance ramp to I84 so we called there and they had plenty of rooms.  When we got there we were one of only four or five rules that were occupied, probably, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  We got a two double bed room which was nice and comfortable.  Not super cheap but we always know that we are going to get something really nice with a Hilton hotel and we get points for it so we like that.

As soon as we got into the room I headed back out alone to go to the McDonald’s to get food for the family.  While I was out I realized why I was craving McD’s French fries so much because they are really salty and I lost so much salt during the day from all of the sweat.  So that make much more sense.

I brought the food back and we settled into the room for the night.  We pretty much just ate and went right to bed.  We were completely worn out.  We had nothing left.  I took a hot shower for a while to relax a bit.  That felt good.  My feet, especially my right foot, were in a lot of pain.  I needed to get off of them.  I was thankful that we were not driving any longer as just driving the truck was hurting my foot a lot.

Luciana won the “sleeping with daddy” lotto so we took the one bed and Liesl and Dominica took the other one.  Liesl had an iPad plugged into the wall and opted to watch The Wiggles Go Bananas which blew our minds.  It has been years, easily half of her lifetime, since we have seen her watch that!  We were like “what year is it!?!?”  Liesl was just laughing and laughing watching it.  I wonder how much of it she really remembers and how much she just feels generally nostalgic about it.  Of course, she might watch it often without us necessarily knowing but I do not feel that she does.

Luciana fell asleep almost instantly, long before the rest of us.  She had been asking to be able to go to bed at least an hour before we had left the Peekskill house!

The hotel room was so warm that I opened the window in the room all of the way for a while before we got into bed. Even with it being only twenty-one degrees outside the room was way too warm.  I had had the heater off since we got into the room too.  So we decided to just leave the window open a few inches all night.  We were very glad that we did as even by morning it was never as cold as we would have liked it to have been.

I played about thirty minutes of Trivia Crack before drifting off to sleep.  So glad to be in bed.  These last three days have really done a number on me.  I am pretty happy that we are stuck with the stop tonight and the slower week now (because of the stop tonight we cannot attempt the crazy “drive to Houston eight hours per day over the course of four days” thing that Dominica had been pushing hard for us to do which was going to make both the drive and my work just impossible plus was going to cost a fortune in hotel bills too while not giving the kids any time with the family up here before getting down to Texas while only getting us to Texas two days earlier at best.)  So now we will be at dad’s most of the week and probably going to Ohio on Thursday morning and leaving Ohio to head to Texas on Friday night.  At least that is the plan.  We will have to see what the weather ends up being like before we make final plans.