after five years, i'd had enough of florida. the sweltering summers weren't much to me, but the omnipresent strip malls, total lack of culture, & the fact that all the good bands got about to orlando, said "fuck it" & turned around finally pressed me to my limit. so i figured, hey, seattle is pretty much the polar opposite of south florida when it comes to fun stuff to do (& also when it comes to location in the US, though that wasn't a positive), let's go there. so we did.
sic737 & i rented our uhaul months in advance. i was ready to go in february, but chris had to finish his BA & i also didn't want to leave my boss in the middle of our season or break my lease, so it worked out that the end of july was it.
interesting moment #1: about a week before the move day, i realized that though a 14' penske truck is just shy of fourteen feet, & a 14' budget truck is just shy of fourteen feet, a 14' uhaul is less than ELEVEN & A HALF feet. they count the mom's attic area above the cab as part of the overall length of the truck, but then refer to the attic as "extra space" in their advertisements. nice. anyhow, i spent a very long saturday night measuring cubic feet of my belongings & determined we just would NOT fit, & was actually able to convince uhaul to give us a free upgrade to a 17' truck, which has a usable length of - yep - fourteen feet. i also got them to throw in two additional days & extra mileage, all free. i am a double black diamond social engineer.
it took us fucking forever to pack the truck. we worked from noon on july 30th until ten pm, mostly because we really only had one person show of the six who had promised to help. thanks guys, you're all peaches. asshole peaches. anyhow, after finally emptying my place into the truck, we headed up to chris's place to pack HIS belongings in, which went until he passed out at about one thirty am.
the morning of the 31st, we'd intended to leave at nine am, but chris was still packing & had been for an hour when i woke up at eight. we ended up getting onto the road at eleven, which wasn't too bad.
interesting moment #2: chris's family had taken us out for a celebratory "get the fuck out" dinner on the 29th, & we had tasty leftovers still in the fridge. chris's chicken alfredo & my redskin garlic mashed potatoes (mmm) weren't exactly road food, but i figured we could find a microwave along the way & suss it out. unfortunately i was wrong, but fortunately (wait for it) chris had put our food on the floor of the cab. after driving halfway up florida on i-75, the floor had become quite hot & had actually heated our meals more thoroughly than a microwave would have. we ate with our fingers at 65mph.
we finished florida & cheered, crossed georgia, & went into tennessee, switching drivers every six hours. it was my turn again at eleven pm, & i would then start to discover that the night shifts would be the most awful parts of the trip. tennessee has mountains - i was not exactly aware of this. pitch black 5% inclines & downgrades mixed with lots of those "your truck will fall the fuck over if you go fast here" signs, & our trip was enhanced by simply terrible radio options. this didn't make poor exhausted us very happy, but pulling into the baymont inn after sixteen hours on the road & being greeted by quarex liftyhugs did.
drew, ogre, & jon all had driven down from illinois a few days earlier, & were in the hotel room half asleep as we arrived at about three am. drew took the most amazing happysleepy photo of jon hugging me (drew's comment: "I was not kidding when I said he looked truly happy for the first time"), & there are very few of you i would show it to, so don't ask if you don't already know the answer. anyhow, we promptly passed out.
august first, we slept in, ate at the pancake castle or whatever its name was - lauded as some bullshit nashville "tradition", but the pancakes WERE pretty good - & hung around waiting for robinhoodvandal to show up. jenna was driving down that morning from virginia, & we were going to pack her truck into ours, return her truck, & carry on the trip as a triumvirate. she arrived around four pm, decompressed while we went to the nashville mall (skip it if you get the chance!) & passed by a restaurant or bar or something which was ineffably called COOTER'S (pics of this to come), & then went back to the hotel so chris could begin to tackle the job of loading jenna's stuff into our truck.
i should note that the entire time, even despite the upgraded truck, i was freaking out about being able to fit all of us into the truck. not knowing exactly what jenna was bringing, & seeing my furniture take more space than expected, plus chris bringing more than i thought he would - this all put my stress level up pretty high. i generally handle stress exceptionally well, but i just didn't know what we'd do if it didn't all fit. it's fortunate for me that i had other business in nashville (making a delivery for my job in florida to a client's house ten minutes away, which netted me a helpful little sum), because when chris said "it'll be no problem, look at her truck" & i looked inside jenna's truck to see mountains of boxes & oddly-shaped crap like her enormous keyboard, i almost lost it. i left it to chris, who had been packing trucks at UPS for the previous year (which i said was done solely in preparation for this trip), & went off with the boys.