Tuesday, January 8, was moving day for the Bear Team. Actually, things got started on Monday when we learned that the previous tenant had vacated our new apartment. Not knowing for sure when we could move in, we hadn’t done much in the way of packing until that moment. After receiving the notification call from the property manager that we could indeed move in, we immediately sprang into action.
The experienced movers among you will know what comes next. You begin packing your belongings with extreme care and attention to detail. Each item is wrapped and placed into a box, and the box is carefully labeled to reflect its contents. A separate area is reserved for items which can be discarded or donated to charity. This type of preperation lasts for approximately an hour, and then, reality sets in.
You suddenly realize that you will never be ready in time. Your belongings have multiplied to the point that you now have more stuff lying around than you did before you began packing. You panic and begin hurling things into boxes with no regard for what goes where. You finally fall into bed at 2:00 AM; your current home a disaster area of loose junk. You finally fall asleep an hour or two later; certain that tomorrow will be better.
It isn’t. In fact, it may be worse. The way my day began, I was certain that it would be worse. I woke up an hour later than I’d planned, which isn’t an unusual occurrence for me, and took a quick shower. Then I prepared to load our belongings. For scarcely more than I would have paid for an all expenses paid vacation to Hawaii, I’d rented a U-Haul truck the day before. I quickly scooped up two plastic bins and headed down the stairs. Things went well until I reached the bottom of the stairs. I least I thought it was the bottom. As it turned out, there was one more step.
After I’d changed out of my ripped pants and bandaged my shredded knee, I got back to work. I’d been loading for about three hours when I stopped to survey what I had done. The apartment looked exactly the same as before! For every box I’d loaded, there was now another that had been packed in the meantime. I began to grab whatever I could get my hands on and hurl it onto the truck. Just when it seemed nothing would ever get done, the cavalry showed up.
The cavalry consisted of three friends who work with me at Walgreens http://www.walgreens.com/, and they quickly helped me make short work of the remaining big items and boxes. When moving, there is simply no substitute for helpers. I learned that important lesson the last time we moved into an apartment; when I nearly killed myself moving our stuff alone. Of course, given the hardships we would suffer in El Cajon, a quick death may well have been a kindness.
Minutes later we were headed for our new apartment in North Park http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Park,_San_Diego. We unloaded the truck, and were finally home. Well, sort of. We still had to get the rest of our things from the old apartment. Once again, the experienced movers among you will understand what I mean. The first truckload is the easy one. Then all the small items rear their ugly heads.
We went back to Hell Cajon (you read that right; this is what we call our former town) and quickly began loading the rest of our stuff. I could almost feel the Uhaul clock, ticking against us like a countdown to execution. Each minute that passed was another dollar, or two, or ten. At last, we were ready. We dumped the keys in the drop box at the office, jumped into the truck, and sped away from our old life for the last time.
Our new place definitely provided some challenges. Beginning with the lack of a reserved parking space. We only have street parking, which means that on some nights, we are forced to drive around the neighborhood for ten or fifteen minutes in search of a space. We also have a lot of unpacking to do. Given the deterioration of our labeling system near the end of our move, this will not be an easy task.
But there are so many good things! Since I don’t have the time to list all of the positives, one will suffice for all. It is quiet here. Let me say that again. It is quiet here! Nothing like the sound of silence (yep, a Simon and Garfunkel reference. You never know what you’ll find in the world of the bear team!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YSh1-XuUKE. I never knew just how important peace and quiet could be until we spent several months living above people whom I deemed “the seven most ignorant people alive.” Some of you may think this assesment harsh. I assure you that it is not. In fact, it is quite generous.
But I won’t go into our trials and tribulations at the hands of our downstairs neighbors. Those of you who follow my blog have already heard enough about them. Instead, I’ll talk about our new neighborhood. It is awesome! People mind their own business and keep to themselves. What a novel idea! There are tons of cool stores and good restaurants, and we are within a mile or two from almost everything. San Diego is truly an amazing city, and we are proud to now call it home.
Which brings me to today’s top ten list: Best cities/towns visited. For the purposes of this list, I’ve excluded any places in which we’ve actually lived, so cities like San Diego and Atlanta will not be included. Here we go, as usual in no particular order:
1. Santa Fe, New Mexico
2. Charleston , South Carolina
3. New York, New York
4. Sedona, Arizona
5. Los Angeles, California
6. Savannah, Georgia
7. St. Augustine, Florida
8. Washington D.C.
9. Nashville, Tennessee
10. Little Rock, Arkansas
I know my list is missing many great cities in the U.S. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to include another list of must-visit cities and towns for the future. Here they are:
1. San Fransisco, California
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
3. Chicago, Illinois
4. Seattle, Washington
5. Portland, Oregon
6. Boston, Massachusetts
7. Oxford, Mississippi
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
9. Miami, Florida
10. Las Vegas, Nevada
So there you have it. Feel free to post your own favorite cities in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading. And always remember, home is where you make it; as long as you don’t try to make it in El Cajon. Thank you, thank you very much.