Posts Tagged ‘cross-country move’

Home Sweet Home?

March 4th, 2012 | Rachel

My new home: Capitola, California

After a truly epic cross-country drive, we finally arrived in sunny Santa Cruz County, California.  I say “county” because we stayed in hotel in Scott’s Valley the first night and found an apartment in quiet Capitola the next day.

Capitola is a tiny town covering about two square miles between Santa Cruz and another town called Aptos.  Because all of the towns along Monterey Bay run together, you never really feel like you leaving one and entering another.  Despite this close proximity, the people in these communities still maintain a rather surprising sense of loyalty to where they live, and they are quick to tell you why their town is better than the others.  For example, Capitola is superior because it doesn’t have the morning fog like Aptos or the crime of Santa Cruz (or, as one man put it, the “psychotic panhandlers”).  From what I can tell, Capitola is the Mayberry of Monterey Bay.

Anyway, Steve and I got into town the day before Valentine’s Day (I’m one of those Everday-is-Valentine’s-Day! people, so  we usually don’t explicitly celebrate it), and I told Steve that all I wanted for Valentine’s Day was a place to live.

Fortunately for us, we met with the property manager in the morning, the paperwork went through smoothly, and we got our keys that afternoon.  That was the first of several nights that would require sleeping on the floor since we didn’t have any furniture, but it felt so good to have a “home” again.

To make the sweet occasion even sweeter, Steve also gave me a cupcake and an orchid.


While we waited for the u-Box to arrive, we camped in the living room and watched several movies from the nearby Redbox. The minivan strategically contained, among other things, my tv, Steve’s game systems, our sleeping bags and pads, and our clothes.

The first of two trips to Ikea (so far!)

While waiting for the u-Box to arrive, we had plenty of time to start exploring the area and stock up on boring stuff like cleaning supplies and groceries.  One afternoon we drove over to one of the popular surfing spots in Santa Cruz, Lighthouse Beach, to see what was going on.

Lighthouse Beach in Santa Cruz (although it appears there aren’t any surfers in the water, there were actually hundreds out that day)

When Steve and I were on our scouting trip last fall, we stayed in a bed and breakfast overlooking the bay that was just up the street from this beach.  There was a big surfing competition going on at that time.

There was only one snag in an otherwise seamless experience with the u-Box.  The automated system emailed me to alert me that my box had arrived and I should expect a call from the local u-Haul store in San Jose where it was delivered.  I waited a day to get the call, but since we were running out of time before Steve had to leave, I gave up and called them.  Despite repeated attempts, the store never answered the phone, and I got transferred to a centralized answering service.  That person was very nice and attempted to call the store six times.  The store never answered.  She finally transferred me to a regional office who again tried to contact the local store and, when that failed, called the manager on his cell phone.  The delivery of my box to the San Jose store was confirmed, and I was given the manager’s phone number to call and schedule my pick up.  I scheduled it for the next day, and the manager said they would have it ready for me.  When we arrived, it wasn’t ready because, the manager admitted, he forgot.  On the bright said, what that location lacked in organization and professionalism they made up in friendliness.

Well, old friend, we meet again

A few hours later, I was sifting through the mountain of boxes while Steve returned the empty box to San Jose.

Before the u-Box

After the u-Box

That was two weeks ago, and I can happily report that all of the boxes have been unpacked or stored out of sight.  We still need to get a tv stand, so I am going to hold off on posting apartment photos.

Now that I’ve updated you with the physical journey, I’ll dedicate the next post to the mental and emotional journey that comes accompanies uprooting an otherwise fulfilling, fabulous, and friend-filled life in New York City and starting anew in an unfamiliar and somewhat arbitrary beach town on the west coast.  Here’s a hint: its a roller coaster.

The downside of moving across the country…

January 17th, 2012 | Rachel

… is that it is a total logistical hassle.

I have been so worried about my stuff not fitting in the U-Haul trailer (and a myriad of other moving-related matters) that I haven’t been able to sleep.  Falling asleep isn’t the problem, but then I wake up five hours later with my mind racing with everything I need to do.  Add on top of that the list of things I want to do and the people I want to see, and there just isn’t enough hours in the day.  And add on top of that the incredibly loud hissing that comes out of the radiator in my bedroom every morning, and I have no hope of going back to sleep.

Fortunately, I have the unyielding support of my family, my friends and Steve, and everything is slowly but surely coming together.

Speaking of friends, these two criminals (pictured below) totally surprised me last week with a going-away party at one of my favorite happy hour bars in the city, Essex, along with about 25 of my favorite New Yorkers.

Davina and Carey, the masterminds behind my surprise going-away party

I’ll be posting a few more photos from that event (including some of me embracing the full California Girl persona in a long blonde wig) when I get them.  I also had little going-away gatherings with my co-workers from the bakery and my church friends (the latter of which was sweetly organized by Arthur).

This final week I am having a little drop-in get-together at Arctica Bar that was planned well before I knew of the surprise party.  After that, it’ll be time to pack up and head out of town.

I’m starting to get sad about leaving all of my friends.  I knew that was going to be the part I miss the most, but it didn’t really hit me until the surprise party.  I’m also starting to freak out a little about the fact that I am unemployed and will remain so for at least the next three weeks.

I’m excited to get on the road, though.  Davina is joining me for the first leg, and we have a great itinerary of people we want to visit on our drive down.  I’m also excited to spend some extended time with my family in Alabama while I wait for Steve to meet up with me.  Finally, I am especially excited about seeing Steve on my birthday (January 31st), as it will have been six weeks since I last saw him.

I figured out the space issue with the trailer, by the way.  I opted this morning for a last minute U-Box, which is a small container that will be delivered to my storage so I can load it up.  Then they will ship it over to California and store it until I can come get it.  It was quite a bit more expensive than renting the trailer (although considerably less than hiring a mover), but I think it is more than worth it due to the peace of mind it is already bringing me.

Stay tuned for those photos of me as a blonde.  They actually aren’t as bad as I would have expected.