Sunday, September 26, 2010

Settling In...

Ok, so about 10 days have passed, and we are still in the process of settling into our new home.  I also had to take several days in between all this to go south and take care of my mom after cataract surgery;  so that also slowed down the moving in process.  However, we have had a chance to start exploring our new environment.

A few thoughts:
 - it's amazing what you find when you start to unpack.  I have found clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. that I forgot I had.  Not to mention the box of kitchen utensils that I didn't unpack for three years while I was in Buffalo because I didn't really need them there...

 - merging two households after 4 separate moves makes for a lot of redundancy... although, we could have a very eclectic dinner party and used different combinations of dishes and silverware.

 - my cats settled down very well and are starting to find their favorite places around the house... most frequently settling down wherever we are.  Funny how they now have about twice the living space, and they still insist on being in the same room.  Cats are weird.

 - no birds have come to my bird feeders.  I was very excited about being able to set them up again, and I thought living in the country I'd see a whole host of birds.  We've been here almost 2 weeks and nary a bird has come to the feeder.  My husband did see one bird that landed for a brief second on the birdbath, but that's been about it.

 - we are in a great location.  Five miles to the west is the ocean.  We can hear the roar at night.  Two miles to the south is a pine forest.  Surrounding us on the other two sides are acres of dairy farms.  And, there's a major river with trout and salmon which I have to cross every day to get to the main highway.  We're very much enjoying being "far from the things of man" in a sense.

 Ok, that's it for now.  Will post pics from the road once I get them all organized, and I will share pics from the surroundings as well.... Cheers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughts from the Road...

One more night in a hotel room, and then FINALLY we will be at our destination.  The kitties are so used to being able to nibble all day long that traveling for 10 hours a day starts to wear on them.  So, we've found ourselves stopping sooner than anticipated as the kitty howling chorus becomes too much to handle.

I haven't written in 2 days due to a combination of sheer exhaustion and no internet access.  So today I thought I would post some of the random things that come to you when you're traveling in a big U-Haul with really nothing to look at but the road ahead of you:

1.  I love the George Carlin stand-up routine called "a place for my stuff."  There's a part where he travels to visit a friend in Hawaii and has to take some of his stuff with him.  Then you get invited for an overnight and have to take a smaller amount of stuff.  So you end up having stuff all over.  Right now all of my stuff is in a rental truck in the parking lot of the hotel.  Although, there's still a box or two at my Mom's house, but I seem to be carrying my stuff around with me.

2.  I still point out cows on the highway... don't know why, just do...

3.  In a way I've traveled full circle.  I left for medical school and took Interstate 40 until I made a left in Oklahoma.  Now I've driven back from New York until I hit I-40 and drove back along the same road I came.  There were a whole lot of side trips in between... 

4.  Highway bugs don't come off the windshield no matter how much wiper fluid you use.

5.  I'm somewhat fascinated by things you see lying on the side of the road.  Like shoes... how did just one shoe end up there... a hat I understand, but an Igloo cooler?
6.  This cat litter box has been the best travel box ever.  It's relatively self-contained, very little spill, easy to pack, and my cats had no problems adjusting to it.  I didn't pay full price when I got it, because honestly it's a glorified storage bin, but it has definitely been well worth the money on this trip.

7.  The closer you get to your destination, the faster you drive... must enjoy the experience... but, seriously, are we there yet?

Monday, September 13, 2010

10-4 Good Buddy!

Traveling by vehicle long distance is an interesting experience.  I spend a lot of my time looking out the window and watching the world go by.  You see a lot of interesting things off the highway.  You see a lot of interesting things on the highway.  But, we won't talk about our game of "Identify That Roadkill."

One thing I do enjoy is a silly game of "Who's Traveling with Us?"  You try to remember vehicles you pass and then see if you catch up with them again, or meet up with them at a rest stop or meal stop.  I especially enjoy the truckers.  You pass the big yellow truck with the hairy-bearded truck driver and then maybe see them again several hundred miles down the road after you've stopped for lunch.

Or maybe the couple who passes you in the brown oldsmobuick with the rack of clothes in the back.  You see a lot of those on the way to Vegas on I-40.  You pass, they pass, you stop, you catch up to them, they pass you.  It's a strange connection if only for those few miles.

Then, of course, there's the strange couple you meet at the truck-stop diner... but that's a whole other blog post...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weary Travelers...

As many of you know, I am currently making my way across country to our new home in California.  We left Buffalo, NY on Saturday evening, spent the night somewhere south of Cleveland, and we have stopped for the night somewhere west of St. Louis, MO.

I have three cats (Winston, Sofie, and Lacey), and they are making the journey in the big moving van as well.  Winston and Sofie, as I said before, have made several moves as I went from one residency spot to another before settling in Buffalo for the last three years.  I knew what to expect from them.  However, Lacey hadn't traveled like this before, and I was a little apprehensive given her inexperience.  I am pleased to say, she's actually been doing very well.  In fact, all the cats seem to have settled into the routine of get in box, travel in vehicle, explore new room, eat, sleep, and do all over the next day.

Another pleasant surprise has been the availability of pet-friendly hotels.  When I first started traveling with the cats it was sneak them in the back door and hope no one sees them in the window.  Now I can pretty much call ahead and reserve a room anywhere, my cats get welcomed when I check in, and no more hiding the fact that I have fur children.

We're just about halfway there... more miles to travel before we all sleep....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Turning in My Key

Many moons ago (ok about 36) I was writing about leaving an empty shell of a home and how that particular song kept playing in my head.  I have a key holder I bought when I got my first apartment in med school.  It's the kind that has the envelope slots on the top and then the key holders on the bottom.  One of the last things I do with every move is take it down and pack it away to be hung in its new home.

I think I was saddest today when I took that one last look around the empty apartment and took down my key holder.  It had been in the same spot for the last three years.  Since leaving for residency, I have not lived in one place for longer than one year.  In fact, my cats got so used to moving every June that they started anticipating my pulling out the boxes.

After my first year here in Buffalo they starting looking around and acting strange.  As June stretched to July, they continued their wariness but not quite as keenly.  The following year, they really didn't react at all.  Over the last month I've been getting ready for this move, and the older cats seemed to take it all in stride.  Not Lacey.  I got her while here in Buffalo, and she's a Special Needs Kitty... she's deaf.

Still, as we packed everyone into the kitty carriers and got them loaded into the moving van, she took it all in like a pro.  We've just arrived at our first hotel spot, and Lacey was the first one to jump on the bed, roll around and make herself at home.  We'll see how she fairs after the next day or two.  Until then I'm on the road....

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