Our One-Way Trip to Huntsville

In case you were concerned due to my lack of updates, you can rest easy. WE MADE IT!

The last couple of weeks have been a disorienting blur of sore muscles, city exploration, job interviews, sleep deprivation, filling out paperwork, driving errywhere, and consuming copious quantities of coffee. My last day of work at the nursing home in Missouri was November 3; the U-Haul exited our driveway on November 4, the very next day...while it was still black outside.

We stayed up late every night that week before the move, either packing, cleaning the house, loading the U-Haul, or all of the above, all the while working full-time. So, the morning after my last day at work, as groggy and grouchy as I was, I led our convoy of vehicles at 4:50 AM and started the 12-hour trek from Kirksville, Missouri, to Huntsville, Alabama.

I say convoy because that's how this went down. Matt's parents drove up to Missouri a couple of days before the move to help us finish packing and to load/unload everything. (Thank. Goodness. OMG. I have no idea how we would have done this alone!) So, when we set off on our one-way trip, we had a total of four vehicles to drive to Alabama. My father-in-law drove the U-Haul, my mother-in-law drove her SUV, Matt drove his Escape, and I, accompanied by Annie, drove my car.

Everybody was looking sleepy when we got stuck in traffic outside St. Louis

Let me tell you, every vehicle was full. Despite having three successful garage sales, Kon-Mari-ing the whole house, and selling several items on Facebook and Craigslist, we had more stuff than you would believe any twenty-something newlyweds could have. I mean, we had to leave all of Matt's homemade raised gardening beds behind simply because there was no room.

This enormous load was especially disturbing because we were moving into an apartment.

On the third floor.


Anyway, the drive to Alabama went smoothly, though we all got somewhat panicky toward the end. We had to be at the apartment complex by their closing time, 5:00 PM, in order to get the keys to our new place. We got to Huntsville around 4:50, so we were cutting it close, big time. But the staff knew we were on our way and politely waited for us. We got the keys at around 5:08!

Then it was time for the fun part. Moving allllllllllll our belongings...to the third floor.

Boy oh boy, have I gotten out of shape. I learned that real fast as I carried our stuff up three flights of stairs.

We moved everything we could until about 8 PM, then we collapsed for the night and got another early start the next morning. With the help of Brandon, a family friend, and my sister, Jessica, we finished unloading everything.

Unsurprisingly, we were left with a large amount of things we wouldn't be able to keep at the apartment. Brandon told us that U-Haul offers one-month-free storage for one-way moves, so we looked into it. It seemed like a great albeit temporary solution, so we crammed as many extra belongings as we could into one of their 5x10 units.

...turns out the 10 is the height.

A few days later, we rented a U-Haul trailer, filled it completely (with the stuff from the storage unit PLUS more from the apartment), and drove it to my sister's new house in my hometown. She has a TON of extra space in her 3 bedroom house with a second den, large sunroom, and two-car garage, and she nicely offered to let us keep some of our junk there until we get a house of our own.

So, at last, we can focus on unpacking and settling into our new place. And that includes exploring the city.

Huntsville is over ten times the size of Kirksville, so at first, it seemed kinda overwhelming. So much people, so many traffic! But it's pretty wonderful because we went from having nothing but Walmart to multiple Super Targets (!!!!!), two huge upscale malls, and more shopping centers than I can keep track of. They have Kroger, Publix, Fresh Market, Sprouts, and Whole Foods. And instead of two or three okay-ish restaurant choices, we have a seemingly endless list of cool places to try. Which could be dangerous. (I've already found my favorite. Hello, Local Taco.)

Funky Mexican-Southern fusion- amazing tacos and street corn!

We've been having lots of fun exploring some of the unique local shops like Piper & Leaf, a local artisan tea company.

And this enormous, super cute antique store/flea market, University Pickers:

In between all the fun stuff, I had four job interviews last week, and one follow-up meeting this week. All nursing, of course, but I'm hopeful that in a city this large, I can find a nursing job that's a good fit for me. At least for now, while we're working on paying off debt (which, btw, is temporarily on hold until I start work). I plan to keep an eye out for any open positions that could make use of my bachelor's in English.

That's about it for now. We're enjoying life on the third floor in Rocket City so far, and we've been able to see both of our parents, siblings, and our new little niece a couple of times already. That's what's best about all of this.


Anna Marie Schaefer said...

Hurray! I can't wait to hear more about your new life. So happy for you guys.

Jessica said...

I'm soooo glad to have you guys so close. LOVE IT!!! <3 <3

Lacey said...

This makes me unspeakably happy! I'm so glad you guys made it safely and can be close to family too! Yay, life!