Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thirteen hours according to Google maps is really more like 16 or 17 in a Honda pulling a 4x6 U-Haul trailer.
We departed Key West at about 7pm on Saturday (a week ago) and made a few stops... one for gas, another stop on Big Pine at Rob's Island Grill for the best gardenburger in the Keys.
We made it to our approximate halfway point - a Clarion motel in Titusville, Florida at about 4am Sunday morning. It took us about a half hour to get all the critters and their stuff in the room and then we went to bed. We put the big baby gate up across the bathroom/sink/closet area and put Stinkerbell's house under the sink, with the cat litter box in the bathroom itself.
We managed to get all the animals fed and once we went to bed everyone pretty much quieted down and went to sleep.
Scott got up around 1pm and I got up around 1:30pm and we loaded up and headed north. We stopped for gas and food somewhere near Jacksonville I think...
I had everyone but Scott in the Honda with me, the cats' litter box in the trunk with the back seats down and Buster in the passenger seat. The cats and Stinkerbell got to run free.
Chou likes to ride in the floorspace up front and since there was a bunch of stuff and bedding in the passenger side floorspace, he chose mine. Fortunately he stayed out from under the pedals and didn't mind if I shoved him back with my feet when he encroached on my space.
Minx was a little bit everywhere, mostly starting to yell about five or six hours into both days. At that point I put on my ipod and was able to tune her out.
Maui split his time snuggling with Buster and sitting in the cat bed in the back seat.
Stinkerbell was either asleep in the front seat with Buster and Maui or in her bed (sometimes underneath it). She managed not to bite anyone, which is usually her modus operandi when in close proximity to the other animals. The picture on the left shows Buster, Stinker, Maui (right above Stinker's tail) and Chou (on the right - in my armpit) all in the front seat which lasted about ten minutes. Then I kicked the cats and skunk out so Buster wasn't so cramped.
Won-Ton initially was on the dash, with two of the feet of his travel tank on a "non-slip" pad that is meant for cell phones and such. After two incidences of the tank flying off the dash and dumping water everywhere (the second time requiring me to pull over, call Scott and have him bring a bottle of Evian to refill the container) I took the handle off the container and rigged it with a bungee cord to hang from my rear-view mirror. Sounds silly, but he was safe for the rest of the trip (when Buster wasn't trying to drink him).
The drive on Sunday was a lot easier. We had both had at least eight hours of sleep and were a lot less anxious about what time we were going to arrive.
Fortunately the realtor that helped us find and lease the house only lives about fifteen minutes from the new place and was willing to meet us when we arrived at about 10:15pm to let us in. He knew we weren't going to have water or power until Monday, but he was able to turn our water on at the curb and his wife sent a bunch of her candles over so we could see enough to get our mattress and the animals in the house.
Monday morning the power came on around 10am and the water heater made quick work of heating up enough water for about a five minute shower. Once presentable we drove to the bottom of our subdivision and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the strip mall there. We found a Food Lion and bought a few necessities before heading back to the house for a walk-through with the realtor.
Tuesday Scott managed to get a Georgia driver's license and we took a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond, followed by dinner at Macaroni Grill.
Wednesday Scott went to work for the first time at his new job and Comcast came to hook up our DVR and internet. After he came home we went to Lowes and then Red Robin for dinner. (We don't have wireless yet and the ethernet cable isn't working for my computer, so I have to pirate Scott's when he's not using it.)
Thursday my friend Carrie (from high school) came over from Aiken, SC and we spent the day together, having breakfast (around 1pm) at IHOP and then a quick trip to Home Depot. I looked for herbs and vegetables to grow at the house but I'm guessing it's past season for them this far north because there was NOTHING edible in the nursery there. I bought three Hostas instead.
Friday I slept in and then did some unpacking and organizing and moving furniture around. Once Scott got home we went to Publix and did the REAL grocery shopping.
Today we had Apple turnovers for breakfast (something my family did every Saturday morning for awhile when I was young) and then spent the day alternately unpacking and watching TV and feeding animals and ourselves. I made a batch of Potato Cheese Soup with a few fat-lowering modifications. It's not quite the same since I am mysteriously out of Paprika and I used 1% milk instead of half and half, but it was still good and filling.