Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Move: The Ongoing Saga

Our packers arrived in San Diego on June 10th. We drove into Pensacola on June 15th. We got the keys to our house on June 17th. Our movers arrived on June 24th...with the first load of our household goods. That's right! They couldn't fit all of our stuff on one truck so we have to have two freaking deliveries. I said in my previous moving post that this is probably our #1 worst move. There is no longer any probably about it.

When you have professional movers, you get two teams of people. The first team consists of packers and loaders. The second team consists of drivers and unloaders. Every move we've had, these two teams have always been different people. So, Team One is responsible for wrapping your stuff up, packing it into boxes, and inventorying everything including the large items that don't fit into boxes like bicycles and sofas. As far as we can tell, Team One was full of illiterate idiots possessing no common sense whatsoever. Our things were packed in ways that made no sense. We opened one box labled "spices" that had one pepper grinder in it and the rest was all plastic storage food containers. Another box was labeled "lines" which I had to interpret as meaning linens. We open the box and the top actually had linens in it but underneath was all miscellaneous junk out of the office. And it goes on and on. Honestly, mislabeled boxes aren't that big a deal except when your things are being delivered in two shipments.

Team Two captain told us upon arrival that he didn't have all of our stuff. That's right. Our moving coordinator who calls with updates and schedules pickup and delivery couldn't even be bothered to tell me this when she called to set up delivery. Her name is Tonya and she sucks at her job. Anyway, Team Two captain apologizes and said that he tried to bring everything that he thought we'd need right away, leaving behind items that he thought could wait a week or more. It's a nice thought and makes sense unless you have a Team One that doesn't know how to pack and label boxes in ways that make freaking sense!!! Oh. And in his infinite wisdom, he didn't think a lawnmower was necessary to a family living in Florida where it rains everyday and the lawn needs to be mown at least once a week. Mmkaythanks.

Also, thanks to the lack of foresight and terrible scheduling of our moving company, our stuff sat in storage in San Diego and then again here in Florida before they finally delivered...most of our stuff. That means that our belongings were loaded and unloaded a minimum of five times that we know of. We've never had that happen before. Usually, the company gives you a tentative date for delivery until you give them a destination address. Then the driver arranges to be there around the same time that you are. When we moved from NC to CA, the driver got to our house minutes after we pulled up with the keys. Minutes, not days.

Some of our boxes were in such bad shape that they were entirely crushed and open and things that were just wrapped in packing paper had the paper completely ripped away. This is the first time we'll be filing damage claims with any of our moves. We've had damaged stuff in the past but didn't think it was worth the hassle of filing a claim. This company, Stevens Worldwide Van Line, will not be getting off so lightly. A computer monitor is broken. We're missing glass shelf clamps that were specific to the furniture the glass goes in and can't be replaced. One of my bookcase drawers has a huge chunk broken off of it. One of the recliners on my sofa appears to be broken as well. It functions, but looking at it, you can see that it's sitting out of line with the rest of the sofa. They also broke a piece off of my Dyson. It's not essential to how it functions either except that now when I have it in the upright position, my hair gets sucked down the wand thingy. And on and on.

To top it all off, I have a fling flangging cold and I feel miserable. This move definitely takes the top, #1 spot in our list of bad moves. One time when I moved, I was pregnant and outrunning a hurricane. This move is still worse than that one. And it's not even over yet. I still haven't heard from the moving company on when they'll be delivering the rest of our stuff. Please. If you ever hire your own moving company, do not choose Stevens Worldwide Van Line. This is our fourth professional move and we've had different moving companies for each one. Stevens is unprofessional, their employees are incompetent, and they have horrible customer service. Just read their reviews on Yelp and you'll see I'm not the only one dissatisfied with this company. I wish there was a way to ensure that they lose their contract with the military.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Having Finally Arrived in Florida

This move is probably at the #1 spot for bad moves. It has been the most unorganized, ill-prepared, rocky, full-of-surprises move we've made in 16 years.

On the California side:

Our movers were idiots. They showed up to our house 1 1/2 hours late and with only one guy to pack. Every other move we've made with movers, they were able to pack us up in one day because they bring at least three people. This took two entire days.

Then, they were told that we were estimated to have close to 12,000 pounds of household goods. We ended up with just over 9400 pounds and they still didn't bring a truck big enough to hold everything. 1/4 of our stuff was hanging out the back of the truck, strapped in and open to the elements. I can only assume (and fervently hope) that they loaded our stuff onto a bigger truck before they left for Florida. But this means that our stuff went from our CA house, to a small truck, to a big truck, and eventually, to the FL house. Ideally, you want your belongings loaded and unloaded as few times as possible to avoid damage.

They were done packing and loading on Wednesday, June 12, but still haven't called to let us know our delivery date and time. They were supposed to have (and told me they would) call on Thursday. This has me worried.

We also decided to have my car shipped rather than drive two cars in tandem. This company, too, has been incommunicado. The Mister sent them an e-mail on June 10 and we still haven't gotten a reply. At this point, I'm figuring my car is in Mexico at a chop shop. Oh. And the Mister accidentally left his keys in my car. Not that big a deal since I have copies.......except for the key to the cartop carrier. We only had one of those. Luckily, I was able to find a place that could make us a duplicate key for only $35 versus the $200 it would have cost to buy another one.

Lastly, the military housing people forgot about our moveout inspection. When you live in base housing, you have to have one of their people walk through and make sure you cleaned and didn't leave anything damaged. This caused us to get on the road 1 1/2 hours later than we had planned which caused us to get to our first stop in El Paso, Texas pretty late. Asshats.

And to top it all off...The Oldest child came down with this really weird rash on her leg. People on Facebook thought it was my rash because she was embarrassed for people to think she had ringworm. It def isn't ringworm. Anyway, a couple days after the rash, she got a really inflamed throat. It's absolutely disgusting. I've had tonsillitis a few times but my throat never came close to her grossness. I managed to get her into the doctor on June 12th, the day before we left San Diego. The doctor wasn't sure what was going on but guessed it was viral and that whatever was causing the rash was also causing the sore throat. He took throat cultures just to be sure. He called me today, SUNDAY, to let me know she actually has strep throat. Can you believe he called me on a Sunday? AND, he called in a prescription to a nearby pharmacy here in Florida. I so love him and am going to miss having such a great doctor. :(

On the Drive East...

The car drive east was relatively uneventful considering the 1977 miles we covered. We ran into some weather in New Mexico which spurned dust storms. The Youngest child now hates New Mexico. Then we ran into some rain in San Antonio. Then some really bad traffic in Alabama. The traffic added about an hour to our last day of driving. And wow! Louisiana drivers are rude asshats and that's saying something from someone who is used to California drivers. It's like they sent people from Louisiana to LA to learn how to drive like an idiot.

Now that we're here, things are going pretty good. Kinda got a shock at the hotel when they told us the price for the pet fee. As a result, we snuck the cat in. So, I'd feel bad about that if the pet fee wasn't MORE than the room fee. Plus, our pets are trained and do their business where they should. We're staying in a brand new Hyatt Place. It's really nice. After three days in the car, we appreciate having a living room area in addition to the bedroom area. The bathroom door has a tricksy lock though. Tricksy, tricksy lock. The Oldest child called me this morning (the Mister and I were getting lunch) asking me, "How do I get out of the bathroom?" I laughed so hard that it was a minute or so before I could answer her.

Navarre Beach, Florida
Navarre Beach at sunset

Last night, we drove out to Navarre to see the new house. It's in a great, private neighborhood. It's so quiet and all the houses are well maintained. The yard has flowers and plants in it that I'm sure I'll kill in the next month or so but they look nice for now. From what we could see from peeking in the windows, the inside is clean and nice too. Oh. And there's a whole stack of firewood in the backyard so we'll be set for when it gets colder. Right now, it's in the high 80's with tons of humidity. I love it.

We drove along the coast back to Pensacola (which was a really long drive because much of it was in 20 mph zones for nesting birds, heheh) and ended up getting dinner in Pensacola Beach. I had forgotten how crazy Pensacola Beach is in the summer with all the tourists. C R A Z Y!!! We ate at a really neat restaurant that backs up to the beach. Our table was literally right next to the sand. I could put my foot in the sand from my seat. When we were done eating (and we had awesome food) we just stood up and walked out to the water. You know. After paying the bill. It was so cool!!

So, assuming that our household goods haven't fallen of the back of the truck and my car isn't in pieces in Mexico, things are good on this end of the trip. We're hanging in the hotel until tomorrow morning when the rental manager guy will finally let us in the house. (Apparently, they don't work weekends.) Even if everything is lost, we're insured. We only own a handful of things that are irreplaceable so it won't be total devastation. Even so, my next blog post might be from jail after I do violence to some people if this turns out bad. We've never had our shipments be so up in the air before. It's disconcerting.

Bottom line, I'm thrilled to be here. I've never lived so close to the beach before. Maybe I won't be saying this should a storm roll through, but for now, I love where our house is located. The dog and cat we most excellent travelers. Better pets don't exist. The kids were good. No flat tires this time. Life is good.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Moving Update: Edition One Trillion and One

 I started cleaning and organizing. Finally. Last week. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute, right? We still want to try and have a garage/yard/moving sale before the packers get here. This means that it has to happen this coming weekend because our crap is getting boxed up a week from today, Monday. We have tons of girls clothes to get rid of. Mostly sizes 5-8. I don't know how I'm going to organize and price all that. We also have three TVs, one camera, a home surround sound system, car stereo and speakers, a lawnmower (maybe two), computer monitor, blender, coffee pot, two sets of dishes, etc etc etc. We don't get rid of anything. It's pathetic. You never realize how much of a pack rat/hoarder you are until it's time to move.

And to add to all the fun, I fell. On my butt. Again. This time, it totally wasn't my fault. I didn't trip over my feet or wear dumb shoes. I don't really want to say what happened because out of all the times I've fallen on my ass, this is probably the most embarrassing situation. I really did a number on my tail bone this time though. It has made organizing and cleaning SOOO much more fun than it would've been otherwise. The timing just couldn't have been more perfect. And if you know me at all, you know the stress is manifesting as insomnia. I was up at four this morning. I rolled over, hurt my butt moving, then my mind switched on and I kept thinking of all the things I need to get done. Sleep was over.

Speaking of inconvenient timing, the Mister, Oldest child, and I went to the Imagine Dragons concert Saturday night. The venue was SDSU's OAT (open air theater). It was a great venue. We've never been to an outdoor concert before. It was a lot of fun for me to climb up and down the stairs to and from our seats...which were concrete, by the way. Aside from the pain, and you don't sit for a concert anyways, it was a fab show. Out of all the concerts I've been to, this one was the most entertaining in that it was more than just listening to music live. They had a really neat light show that went along with the music. And they had this gigantic drum that when they pounded it, I swear, my eyeballs vibrated. This was the Oldest child's first concert and she had a really great time. I'm glad that the Mister and I were able to take her to her first concert. Good thing we like a lot of the same music, lol.

In other moving news...

We finally found a house. It's a four bedroom with a his and hers closets and dual vanities in the master bath. It has a nice kitchen with a breakfast bar, and an absolutely fantastic back yard. Our pets have been approved which has been a major issue. AND, it's located between the Santa Rosa Sound and the East Bay. At least I think it's the East Bay. It's some body of water. And it's minutes from the ocean beaches. It's also in one of the highest rated school districts. There's only two things against it:  1 - It's a bit of a commute to the Mister's base and 2 - The property manager seems to be a bit of a dillwad. Despite those things, we're probably going to take this house because it's the only one of out many, many, many houses that I've inquired about that has approved our pets. Do we take our chances turning this house down and hope that we'll find another in a good school district that will approve our pets when we move in a little over a week? Those are long odds in my opinion. And the lease is only for a year. No. I don't relish the thought of moving again in a year, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And who knows. Maybe this guy will turn out to be an ok guy. Miracles happen, right?

I've slowly been checking things off of my to do list. I called the vet to see about getting the cat sedatives. I also called to have our water filtration system picked up. It's gotta be out of here before our move out inspection because I didn't get permission to have it installed. Sorry. I'm not drinking dirty California tap water. I'm working to get my car shipped. Just waiting to get some estimates. I can't decide if I want to cancel my cable or just turn in our equipment and cancel it from Florida. Why, you ask? Because I have the TWC app and will be able to watch the season premier of True Blood. I'll also be able to watch Nurse Jacki. I'm sad and obsessed, I know.

So far, we've cleaned and organized the master bedroom, the garage, and the craft/game closet. Still to go:

  • Master Bath
  • Upstairs Bath
  • Oldest Child's room
  • Youngest Child's room
  • Office
  • 1/2 bath
  • Storage closet
  • Outdoor storage room
  • Laundry room (a bigger job than it may sound like because it has a lot of cabinets and storage space)
  • Kitchen
  • Living room
Looking at that list, I need to get off of here and get something done for the day besides making phone calls.