The Move

These are two emails that i sent out to our friends Beth and Katie (who were in Africa at the time) that are accounts of moving out here, and finding a place to live.

Email #1:

We arrived to pick up the small moving van and tow dolly for my car last sunday morning, which was quite cool. After paying for everything and getting all squared up on the paper work, we strolled outside to see that they didn’t have the 10 foot moving truck that i reserved ahead of time, infact the smallest truck they had was a whopping 24 footer. Since it was the smallest truck they had, there wasn’t much i could do, so i took it. I proceeded to load it up with everything single thing i own, and most of the stuff that rachel owns, only to fill the van with one layer tall of stuff. Realizing how ridiculous all of this was, rachel and i decided to just laugh at our predicament and get on with the job at hand. With the dolly for my car, this cruise ship has to be 50 or 60 feet long, you have to climb up into it like a semi and the steering is loose so it wanders all over the road, which sucks when the truck fills up the entire lane.

Taking all of this in stride, we woke up at 5:30 am to depart on monday. I thought i was going to die getting this thing out of town on I-10. Up until this point, the only driving we had done in the truck was when it was cool outside. So we conveniently missed the fact that the air conditioning didn’t work until it was all packed up and about 100 miles outside of san antonio. Needless to say, driving across the dessert all day in the beginning of summer with no AC sucks….alot. Rach and i were totally soaked by 10 AM. The trail mix that was in the cooler WITH ICE, melted into trail goo. Not only that but it was windy as hell driving across the dessert and we got blown onto the shoulder on multiple occasions. There were about a dozen times that i was absolutely sure i was going to die. The truck is also limited at 70 mph, and does about 45 up hill, so crazed truckers screaming by at 80 miles per hour don’t do much to help me out. I ended up doing all the driving myself because i didn’t want to subject rachel to the stress. At one point we decided that all we wanted was an cherry icee from a gas station to cool us off. We stopped at about 5 straight gas stations in new mexico and found nothing. The state is officially dead to me. Come to think of it, we haven’t seen an icee machine in a gas station since we decided we wanted one.

Anyway, 18 hours after leaving san antonio we arrived at katie’s house exhausted and covered in a film of sweaty gooey-ness. Katie, your house is very cool and your bed quite comfortable, thanks. Your mom was great and provided us with much needed love, fluids, and food. Sidenote: we came in through the garage and your dad’s bike is awesome.

We got up at 5:30 again the next morning and drove from scottsdale, through the dessert, where a gas station was charging $4.39 for a gallon of gas, by the patton museum, through suburban LA and all is retched excess. Then we headed up the coast, made a stop and rincon (one of the west coast’s most consistent, beautiful, and popular surf breaks) to find it breaking beautifully with very few people out. I would have gone out for a few waves, except that one of my brother’s bonehead fiends borrowed my wetsuit without asking, so i didn’t have it with me. I shed a tear then we got back in the truck and drove another 4 hours to the house of some family friends on an orange grove. We had a lovely dinner with them and stayed up talking and drinking wine (you know how we do!). We woke up early again and were treated to a delicious breakfast complete with fresh squeezed OJ from the trees right outside. We left and drove through vineyards arriving at mark and pam’s place in belmont around noon today relatively unscathed (except for my ego behind the wheel). We then ventured down into mountain view, where we are planning on getting a place to look at apartments. Holy crap this is expensive. We haven’t found the right one yet, but we will be down there all day tomorrow and will hopefully return with something. You guys will be getting pictures.

Sorry for the whining, but it has been quite an adventure. Much more than we bargained for. If its true that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, then rachel and i are becoming some strong mother truckers. The hard part is over now and we can laugh about it.

Email #2:

Good News! Rachel and I officially have a place! We moved in yesterday and are still getting things set up. Its in beautiful palo alto, about 4 blocks off of the main drag in a nice quiet residential neighborhood. We saw a couple walking by today with whole foods bags and freaked out because that meant that there had to be one within walking distance, turns out its like 10 blocks away. Rachel is talking about riding our bikes there (there are bike lanes EVERYWHERE!) putting our groceries in canvas bags and riding home. What a hippie, but are we surprised? Basically you guys are going to have to come visit. We still can’t believe that this is actually happening. The place is now decked out with some sweet ikea/target furniture, rachel can’t hide her excitement. We’ve decided to use our bikes, surfboards (and eventually snowboards when we get them, we’re like 4 hours from lake tahoe) as wall decorations. I left my camera at the russell house so pictures might be a little bit longer than anticipated. Tomorrow i have to drop rach at the airport so that she can leave at 5:55 for like 8 weeks. Obviously i will be a very sad boy. Oh well, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. I guess i will have plenty of time to read and explore palo alto by bicycle. Also rachel apologizes for not sending an email yet, she’ll get her shit together pretty soon here.

Responses

  1. Travis,

    Thanks for your thank you note. You are having a great adventure!

    We are all fine this summer; Nick working on a ranch in Wyoming, Colin lifeguarding in Houston, Becky and I enjoying the slightly slower pace of life of J,J and A.

    Catch some waves for us,

    Cheers, The Smiths


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