California!

October 30, 2011 at 11:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I am typing this post from balmy San Bruno, California, where it is sunny and 70°. Not bad for October 30, eh?

For those of you who don’t know, Blake and I moved to sunny California about ten days ago. In August he interviewed with Google, and in September they made him an offer which he accepted. And then on a chilly Seattle morning of October 19, we drove away to warmer climes. And so here we are! My laptop is right next to the window where I can see the sun and the pool and the palm trees and the flowers. It’s beautiful here.

Where we're staying

The trip was rather long, but it wasn’t too bad. At 15 hours, we thought it would make for two reasonably-comfortable days, but it stretched a little bit longer. We really had to drive (and not fly) because of my houseplants and some leftover champagne from the wedding — neither of which the professional moving company would take. Like our move to Seattle from Texas, we knew we’d be staying in furnished temporary housing for 30 days, so we didn’t need most of our belongings. But once we decided to take the car, stuff kept creeping in that we just couldn’t live without for a month: our big flat panel monitors (two of them), the computer speakers, the gate we use to pen the dogs in places, the crates for the dogs, the little French press I use for coffee, clothes, shoes, more clothes, more shoes, and of course all the fragile or valuable things that we didn’t want the movers to take. It really ended up being quite a lot.

I distinctly remember standing outside our mostly-packed car when we were getting ready to leave Uwajimaya. Blake was upstairs returning the parking passes, and I had volunteered to put the last several items in the car while he was gone. So there I stood, with our car absolutely jammed full of stuff, and looked at the large pile on the ground: our laptop bags, the dogs’ crates, my purse, and three or four twelve-pack boxes of Mountain Dew and club soda. Then I looked at the car and tried to calm the quiet desperation rising in the back of my mind. Where were we going to put all this stuff? It was never going to fit. The movers were already gone and there was nowhere else to put it all.

Eventually I just took it one item at a time, and slowly I encroached on our “living” space in the car. For most of the drive we had about half of the passenger’s legroom occupied, which wasn’t the greatest.

In the end, of course, we got it all in, though we did have to take some of the sodas out of their boxes and jam them in tiny spaces here and there. As a result of the close confines, though, the dogs got an elevated view of the entire drive. We piled items high into the back seat, but it left them a nice little platform behind the driver from which they could look out the windows. They seemed to enjoy it.

But really it was the tightness and the dogs that made the trip a bit less than relaxing. Two people can comfortably drive a Honda full of stuff for eight hours a day and be pretty happy, but once you add the dogs you have to start making a lot of allowances. It would be terrible if they peed in the car — which has never happened but still seems terrible enough to be worth worrying about — so we’d walk them at every stop. And of course at each one there was an infinite number of fascinating things for the dogs to sniff instead of going to the bathroom, so we’d just stand and stand and stand and say “Stop smelling Oregon!” They didn’t listen, and at each stop the length of that day’s trip grew and grew.

For the same reason, we never felt comfortable stopping for a nice relaxing dinner. Knowing the dogs were sitting in the car and possibly chewing or peeing on something, we mostly did fast food. Which was okay — I like fast food. But after two days of that, we were ready to be done.

But there were no problems. They’re good dogs and they didn’t destroy anything or pee on anything or do anything gross.  Nano did bark at drive-thru personnel a couple times (and the full-service gas station guy in Oregon), but other than that it was uneventful.

So stay tuned — there’s more to come! California is interesting and beautiful and there’s lots to talk about.

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