Moving to New Orleans, LA
July 30, 2017
Looking back on the week of the move there are a few things I would choose to do a little differently:
- Do not cancel the trash service the Thursday BEFORE your move. This may seem like common sense to the rest of you but for some reason we got it into our heads that the trash had to be cancelled by the time we were gone and moving day we found ourselves with a bunch of leftover boxes and bags of trash with nowhere to put it, the dump being closed on Sundays.
- The glamorous, packing tape dispensers are a lie, a cruel joke. The tape sticks to the dispenser and in the process of getting it unstuck, the tape edge disappears like magic and no amount of fingernails and blood will bring it back again. Do yourself a favor and go for the basic roll with teeth.
- Sleep for more than three hours before you embark on a 24-hour road trip. If sleep is not an option just know that coffee will not work because you are already insusceptible to it. This leaves you with no other choice, you must adhere strictly to a diet of coca cola and donuts if you wish to stay awake but be warned, this will also give you the runs for at least three days.
The trash was a particular problem because we were moving the same weekend as the entire campus of Colorado State University and the dumpsters and sidewalk corners everywhere were overflowing with trash, old lamps, and couches that smelled like weed. Rumor has it that I could be seen driving towards my old apartment, where the landlord was particularly nasty, at 11 pm with a load of trash. But I couldn’t say for sure.
One thing we did accomplish that I was very proud of was moving Tony’s extremely heavy couch to my sister Tori’s house. The couch was upholstered in red leather and Tony had gotten it used. The leather was cracking in multiple places and sort of jabbed you in the thighs when you sat in certain spots, but it had recliners on both ends. The recliners being the main attribute of this couch (it was quite ugly you see), was enough to tempt Tori. So on moving day, Tony and I woke up and set about transporting the couch. I’ve moved a lot of couches but try moving a couch with two recliners sat on both ends and you’ll understand. It was so heavy, once we got it out the front door I backed the suburban up onto the lawn while Tony lifted one end and then I very carefully maneuvered the car underneath the couch. Solutions are all around.
Despite these encumbrances, the couch was delivered, the house was packed in 18 hours and miraculously, we managed to fit all of our life’s belongings into Tony’s Suburban and my Honda and fall asleep on the mattress for a few, blessed hours.
July 31, 2017
The alarm went off at 4:30 am and we grouchily slipped the mattress inside its plastic cover, strapped it to the top of the suburban, packed up the coffee pot, each taking a Stanley thermos of the life juice, and hit the road.
The sun broke over the eastern sky line and I squinted into it, following Tony as he merged onto the highway leaving Fort Collins behind. 20 minutes later I noticed the plastic cover of the mattress had ripped on one end and was flapping energetically in the wind, the mattress exposed to the elements. I called Tony and we made a detour to the closest Walmart where we bought three rolls of duct tape and firmly, secured the errant mattress cover.
After that we made good time to Denver where we pulled off for Voodoo Donuts – A cash-only establishment with slogans reading “The magic is in the hole,” and cases of sinful-looking, gourmet donuts waiting to be consumed. Voodoo donuts are, to this day, the best donuts I’ve had in my life. My favorite is the simple, chocolate glazed and we purchased enough to feed six people before heading back to the cars.
I arrived at my car to discover I didn’t have my keys. Sleep deprived and my blood sugar low I briefly panicked and went stomping back to the donut shop. I tried to bypass the forming line to the offense of several Denverites, and bless his heart, the cashier with the nose ring had my keys. I’ve never thought a nose ring looked so good on anyone and went happily back to my car where, after several donuts, I felt as though I was a new woman.
After a few hours on the road, Southern Colorado turned into New Mexico and the gas stations stopped serving iced tea without sweetener in it. I switched back to coca cola and forced my eyelids open. A near collision caused by a deer darting across the road kept me awake for the rest of New Mexico.
New Mexico turned into Texas and I settled in.. We had booked a hotel in Terrell Texas (Just past Dallas) with grand plans to drive more than half the trip the first day. We had spent an extra $10 for a room with a jacuzzi in it and I was looking forward to soaking in the warm water.
As the day wore on, I was nearly certain I wasn’t going to make it without a nap. We stopped for gas at a station that connected to a subway and Tony, after listening to my despair, suggested I eat something besides a donut. He was right of course and after some vegetables in a cheap vinaigrette, I perked right up and managed the next few hours with no problems.
We drove through a hefty Texas storm and then the highway became one, long stretch, interrupted only by small towns that contained no more than a liquor store, a church, an occasional auto shop and few trucks selling BBQ.
At this point, the other end of the mattress cover had ripped so we stopped and used the rest of our duct tape to fix the other end. The mattress looked like it had been pulled out of a dumpster and I was sorely tempted to just cut it loose and drive off. Instead, I spent $40 on the first Game of Thrones Audio Book in a desperate attempt to stay awake. I don’t know how Tony managed, I don’t think I could have if I hadn’t been able to switch back and forth between that, Disney hits and the local radio.
We pulled into the hotel at 12:35 am, having been on the road since 5:50 am. We dragged ourselves down the hall and briefly admired the Jacuzzi before both immediately agreeing that we were too tired to use it. A shower and a trip to the vending machine were all that was managed before we fell into a heavy sleep.
August 1, 2017
The next morning we woke feeling human again. We got gas and a very ordinary breakfast sandwich from a Quick Trip and the sun shone golden rays on a Starbucks across from the hotel where we after the first sip I realized that coca cola and donuts the day before had been a mistake. Then onward we went! We crossed into Louisiana and were four hours outside New Orleans when Tony’s AC went out. He kept on like a champion as the humidity intensified.
By 5:00 pm we were pulling into our new neighborhood, sweaty and extremely over driving.
We typed in the code to release the key to the front door and stepped inside…
To Be Continued.