Just short of “Launch” for our BTE (Big Trip East), we have been very very busy packing not only our household for transfer, but our temporary household for the trip. We will, of course, be living in our RV until the house in Florida is finished, and they haven’t even broken ground yet. But they will soon, and we will already be on our way.
First (and most Important!) we are officially retired. Again. We tried this once 12 years ago, and apparently didn’t consult the User Guide, because it didn’t stick. We have learned stuff however, like establishing a stout anchor for your retirement, something to keep you retired. Like buy a piece of property and build a house, for starters. So we did that, and now we’re now retired, and we have the shirts to prove it.
Having made the decision to do this many moons ago (October 2020 to be exact), we have had plenty of time to pack our apartment. At least one would think that. But the reality is that you can’t pack something until you no longer need it, and that fact isn’t influenced by a long planning and execution period. So, we did the best we could, which first meant deciding what we could do without (packing), and what we couldn’t (trying not to pack). Some stuff was easy, and we partially filled a storage unit with stuffed and taped boxes way ahead of schedule.
In the 3 weeks before our retirement, we also had to take a week of vacation and travel south to California to assist Wendy’s other 3 siblings in the cleaning out and closing down of her fathers house in Bass Lake. He passed last summer, and this was the first time all 4 sibs could gather at the same time to get this done. It was also the last week they would have access to us because of our schedule. That monkey wrench of a week set us back and put some real motivation on our final packing push when we returned. We had just enough vacation left to take our last week fully off so we could get moved into our RV, park it at a local RV park, and then go to town packing everything left in sight (and out of sight we discovered) in the apartment. We built 2 packing stations, one in the shop at the rear of the apartment,
and one in the kitchen. We had been acquiring boxes and packing materials for months, and we ripped through that big pile pretty quickly in the 3 days after we moved out of the apartment and into the RV.
We planned a multiple pronged attack on moving all our stuff. The truck and travel trailer RV was easy, we were living and traveling in that. It also became like a giant suitcase we could live out of. Wendy’s car would go on an Auto Transport and be delivered to our relatives Donna and Glen in Florida. We sold our cargo trailer, no longer needing that, and having literally no way of transporting it east. And last but not least, the MG Midget would also go on an Auto Transport to Florida but had to wait for us to arrive on that end before it could arrive, since Warren is currently the only family member that can consistently start it and drive it. Our replacement managers, Debbie and Tommy, have graciously offered to handle that end of the deal, and will see it on its way in June as we languish in Savannah Georgia.
To move our household goods, we chose UPack, a division of ABF Freight. We have used them in the past, and quite frankly we consider them to have the best customer service in the business. Their quotes are extremely competitive, they deliver on time or ahead of schedule. They are super easy to communicate with and have 2 options for transport: the ReloCube is a smallish pod that is delivered to your driveway (or storage facility), you fill it up and lock the door, and they pick it up and deliver it to your destination. Use as many as you need, and you can even order more than you need and they will only charge you for the ones you fill up and lock. No guessing! The second option is a “fractional van”, a 28’ long semi trailer that gets delivered to you, you fill it up either part way or all the way, and they charge you by the foot. If you fill it part way, you then position a two-piece bulkhead inside and lock it into place. UPack reserves the right to then rent (or not) the rest of the van to someone else who’s move origin and destination dovetail into your move. We used 21’ of our van, and probably will not have a “hitchhiker” for the trip. The trailer, after they take it away, gets put onto a flatbed rail car, and your stuff makes most of its journey on rails. This helps to hold the price down, and to make the delivery dates pretty solid. We can track the progress of our van online as it makes its way across country. It’s reassuring to us to be able to do that.
There was never any doubt in our mind that we were going to do this. But, in an odd coincidence, on our last day of work (not quite our official retirement date), the clock on the wall in our kitchen, which is battery powered, quit at 12:20PM. I was planning on taking the battery out of it for packing, but it must have known this all on its own and just went to sleep right as we stopped needing it!
And it wasn’t all packing either. Part of the motivation for our May 16 “launch date” was that our grandson has his 9th birthday on May 14, and we wanted to participate. As part of the plan, Grandma Wendy made a special trip mid-pack to his house in Seattle to have him and his sister assist in building the 3 birthday cakes needed for his multiple small birthday parties.
As always, Tippy has something to add.