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First Thoughts as to Our Move

It's been a few days since we arrived at the new house, but there's been a lot going on. We ended up blowing through Wyoming on Saturday (we were supposed to stop in Rawlins), and just bit the bucket and headed straight for the house. Arriving at around 9pm, we noticed that no one else had any lights on, so were wondering if people just went to sleep early or were all out. After letting the dogs out, figuring out some of the light switches, and unloading the car, we headed out to get some pizza. I'd like to say thank you to my TomTom 910 because without it we wouldn't have ever found the house, nor ever found anyplace to eat. We got back to the house, and our next door neighbor, Brian, was in the garage. The second we got out of the car he said "hi new neighbors, want a beer?" Both of us knew at that point we'd get along fine. We all stood on his driveway for awhile, meeting his wife, and some of the other neighbors, before heading back into the house, downing the pizza quickly, and going to sleep.

Sunday we weren't entirely sure what to do since our stuff wasn't arriving until Monday, so we just wandered around the area looking for random stuff and seeing where things were. Towards dinnertime, we opened the garage to leave to go to the store, when Brian called over to us from Kurt's porch (2 doors down), and told us to come over and get some beer. Hung out there for awhile, and after about 4 beers Leif mentioned he was hungry. I swear this is the nicest neighborhood. They knew we didn't have any food, or a fridge, and wouldn't let us eat takeout again, so Kurt grabbed some pork chops from the freezer, and we had grilled pork chops and veggies for dinner.

I was really worried about meeting people since I'm not going to be working yet, and Leif's working from home, but already we had met a ton of people, and EVERYONE is so nice! Everyone has offered to help us out with stuff if we can't find something, or need anything. Brian has already gone out of his way several times with beer, lending us a phone so we could test ours, directions, what have you. Both of us feel very welcome to this neighborhood.

Monday we got most of our stuff, everything except for the overflow shipment. I actually got sunburned sitting outside with the movers telling them where stuff went. Towards the middle of the afternoon, the 2 kids from next door and one of their friends were outside of our fence throwing a tennis ball for Loki. We had them ask their parents if it was ok if they came inside the fence to play with the dogs. The kids had a blast, playing with the dogs for about an hour. Their favorite part was filling up the water dish for Loki and watching him splash all the water out. Monday night I went to a scrapbook party (yes, already!!).

Today we attempted to go to the DMV to get new driver's licenses. If you ever want to learn about inefficiency, go to the Lakewood DMV. No appointments, 70 people ahead of us (you get a number for a certain line depending on what you want to do when you get there), 2 tellers helping out with the licenses. In 15 minutes, 5 people were helped. We looked at each other, decided the California licenses were good for awhile, and left. We're going to try going Friday morning at 8am, and maybe hit an outlying office instead of the main one. Both of us were flabbergasted though.

Things I've noticed so far that are different:

1) You can't buy liquor on Sundays, and you have to go to a liquor store to even get beer. The grocery stores sell beer, but it contains less alcohol than normal.

2) Every single person we've met so far, including all of the wait staff at the restaurants we've been to, all of our neighbors, and the teller at Wells Fargo, have been VERY FRIENDLY. It's kind of creepy and weird if you're coming from a state like California, but definitely refreshing.

3) The altitude does affect you. Both of us are more tired than normal, and really thirsty. I've also been told when you bake you have to change the recipe for high altitude.

4) Out of all the people we've seen, there's probably only been 1 I might stereotype as an illegal immigrant, and I wasn't too sure as to that one.

5) The DMV here is like the California DMV before appointments, a lesson in inefficiency. It makes you ill.

6) There is no helmet law here, we've seen a ton of people riding their motorcycles without one.

7) After the tax writeoff, we're paying less in rent for this house than we did for our little house in Santa Clara. Housing prices here are NORMAL!

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Moving and Driving

I'm not sure what the worst part about moving is: the packing, or having the driver who's supposed to move your stuff come look at everything, and realize the estimator mis-estimated by at least 2000 lbs and he doesn't have enough room on his truck for everything.

Thursday morning, August 10, 7:15am. The driver, Kevin, shows up ready to roll. Within 5 minutes of walking through the house, he sees the big-screen TV and asks if that was there when the estimator was there. Leif and I looked at each other and said "yeah, she saw it". Apparently he has 3 other loads on his truck, and those people were estimated correctly, but packed like little birds were going to be carrying the boxes, so they went over their space limit. We get unlucky enough to not only be mis-estimated, but last to load, so he can tell immediately there definitely won't be enough space.

He calls our estimator, who's on vacation btw, and challenges the shipment. She comes clean about how she knew about the big screen TV, but "never writes down if it's big-screen or not, I just write down it's a TV." Kevin and I roll our eyes. He informs her to send an overflow truck out later that afternoon. She says she can get one by 9:30am the next day. I almost go ballistic at this point since we're leaving at 9am to start driving. She calls me and tells me this. I inform her that if that's the best she can do, she can pay for my last minute plane ticket to Denver while Leif drives the dogs out himself. She definitely doesn't like that idea, and calls Kevin back in 10 minutes saying an overflow truck will be there by 3:30.

I have to say that Kevin, and the 3 guys he brought with them were absolutely without a doubt the best move team I've EVER had. They not only put up with my stress about getting our stuff out of the house, but were extremely efficient, and I couldn't BELIEVE how tight they managed to pack the truck. Everytime I thought they couldn't fit any more on the truck, they played a giant game of Tetris and got more on. In the end, everything fit except for 1 box of RC stuff, everything in the backyard (bbq, lawnmower, dog-igloo, patio furniture), our china cabinet, and bar.

The overflow guys did show up at 3:30 as promised and were done by 5:30. A big hearty thank-you to the 2 guys who drove their truck out from the Modesto area to come get our stuff. The main bulk of our stuff (on Kevin's truck) will get to us apparently on Monday, and the overflow I'm not sure about yet. I think it's in a warehouse at the moving company and it goes on the next truck going towards or through the Denver area. The really important stuff is in the main shipment though.

This morning we started driving to our new house, and towards our first stop in Elko, Nevada. Pretty much an uneventful trip. Definitely the longest trip in the car I've ever done (driving from Half Moon Bay to San Diego was my previous longest). Around Reno we got really hungry and just wanted to hit a drive-through someplace since it was too hot outside to leave the dogs in the car for any length of time. Leif insisted on getting a Big Mac, he just wouldn't go anyplace else. Note to the GPS companies: please keep your points-of-interest updated -the first McDonalds we tried to go to didn't exist anymore. The second one did, but hey, it still was annoying.

We stopped for gas around then too, and when I went into the gas station to buy some water, the first thing that hit my eye were the 10 slot machines in the store there. I guess you know you've entered Nevada, huh? Also apparently fireworks are extremely legal here since we saw a ton of billboards advertising fireworks being sold. One place was a cigarette AND fireworks store.

Day 2 is tomorrow. We're supposed to hit Rawlins, WY, but may try to push through someplace further depending on our timing, how tired we are, and if any other pet friendly hotels along the way have space.

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