Today, I turned in the UHaul truck, ending the move in process for my family. We are now, officially, moved into San Diego. You would think it would be simple, wouldn't you? But it turned out to be long, drawn out, and anxiety-ridden.
First, there was the drive down. The drive from Salt Lake City, Utah to San Diego, California, is supposed to take 10 hours and 38 minutes (according to Bing maps). In the past, we have made the trip in anywhere from 11 to 14 hours with the kids and our one car. This time we would be traveling down with the UHaul 14-foot truck stuffed to the gills (thanks to the expert packing skills of my brother in law), our car and my father in law's truck. Traveling down would be my wife, kids, sister in law, and cat in our car. My brother in law and I traveled in the UHaul, and my in laws drove their truck.
Let me preface this trip by noting how the UHaul truck is not built for speed or fuel efficiency. That being said, we spent 13 hours on the road (much better time than I thought) with a couple of stops for lunch and breaks. For a while I drove with my eldest son in the truck with me (there was a child seat in between the two seats), but mostly it was just my brother in law and me. We had some great talks, discussing quite a lot, but mostly talking about what would be required for him and his family to move down to San Diego as well (closer to the Chargers, his favorite team).
Some events that were noteworthy in the trip:
- Hills coming out of the Desert were a beast. We could only max out at 45 mph, and our miles per gallon suffered tremendously.
- Jonathan discovered the easiest way to get his uncle nervous is to unbuckle his seat belt and turn on, then off, the map light.
- The agricultural stop along I-15 was a bear. I apparently got the lane with the only officer determined to do the job right. I had to stop and open up the back to satisfy the requirement of not hauling fruits or vegetables (or other live plants) in the back. I understand why he did it, and I understand how important it is, I only feel sorry for those stuck behind me as I opened up and then closed the back.
Once we got to the town home, we started to unload as we waited for my wife to show up with the key (she took mine in anticipation of getting to the town home first). Once we got in, I then realized just how much my wife packed. Keep in mind that we had already thrown or given away almost half of the stuff we had in the house. We took very little, or so I thought. Once we started to unload, I realized there was still a lot of stuff. Luckily our town home we rented has a lot of storage in it's little space. But what I thought would take a total of 2 hours started looking like four, and I was tiring quickly.
My mother in law called my wife's uncle, and asked him to come down and help us unload. I didn't ask anyone for help in the new city because I didn't know when I was coming in and didn't want to have them wait around for nothing while we were still on the road. But my wife's uncle, who had already moved someone that day, came with his wife and they helped us move a lot. I'm very thankful for their help, because it gave us plenty of breathing room for the rest of the weekend.
So Saturday ended with everyone in the house, about 3/4 of our stuff from the truck in the house, and all of us very, very tired. On Sunday we started to sort through what was in the house. During this time our youngest found the sliding glass door on the top floor, and followed it out onto the fire escape, went down the stairs, and started to explore the street. He was picked up by the police who couldn't get his name (of course, he has autism), and once they found a very frantic father searching we were reunited. I now have the sliding glass door blocked so little adventures like that shouldn't happen again (knock on wood).
The rest of the day Sunday was dedicated to organizing the house. We were getting help Monday to move the rest of our stuff in, so we needed to make spaces for it. We hung up the TV to keep the kids happy and my wife went crazy putting stuff away from boxes, while I took them to the recycling bin or dumpster. We picked up some critical food items for the day and next morning, a few critical items for the house, and made a significant hole in the boxes.
Monday we started by getting my son off to school. It was a good experience, at least as well as could be expected as they didn't get his Individual Education Plan (IEP) before we got there. They now have it, and he really enjoyed school. So much, in fact, that he kept putting his backpack on to go back to school after he got home. That's a great sign, and I'm excited to work with the school. It's a small school, very close (takes 15 minutes to reach while walking), and both our kids will be going to this school.
Once we got him off to school and felt comfortable that he was set, we did some critical purchases of a new mattress for the boys' bunk bed, some new tools that I have needed, and our food shopping. We then got back to work clearing out space for our additional stuff.
That evening we had some help come from our church, one couple and the Elder's quorum president. It was a great experience meeting and working with members in the ward, knowing they were willing to take time out of their schedule to come and help us move. With their help, what looked like a three hour job was done within an hour and a half. As a thank-you, they got some well aged hot carrots and some water.
This morning I needed to get to work, but fortunately for us the UHaul drop-off location was just down the street from my office. So this morning I took an early lunch and dropped it off with 6 hours to spare. That finished the move for me, ending the anxiety of someone taking off with the truck as it was parked overnight at a location that was 15 minutes away from our home (in front of our church house). But it all ended with no mishaps or damage to the truck.
It will be at least the rest of the week before we are completely done moving in. We still need to put up some cabinets for our dishes, put clothes away, and get a china cabinet to display the collectibles and nick-knacks that make a house a home. Perhaps this weekend we will be able to do the things that I have enjoyed so far with San Diego, like visit the beach with the boys, or go to Sea World (we already have passes). At any rate, it's been an eventful trip, but I'm glad it's over.