Saturday, May 29, 2010

Moving Pains: Update

I promise you, soon you won't have to deal with my posts on moving any more, in 10 days, to be exact; that's when we'll touch German ground again, and officially start the adventure "starting a new life abroad". Until then I'll use the opportunity to update you all on our progress so far. This move was definitely much more difficult and demanding on us than our last two, since we don't just have to write a termination notice to our apartment manager and cancel the utilities, but also sort through many years' worth of belongings, strictly weeding out things we could do without, and packing boxes, hoping the china and stemware would make it to Germany in one piece. Here are the things we have accomplished so far:

As of now, 12 boxes with personal belongings are on their way to my friend in Germany (3 or 4 more are still to be packed and sent shortly before we leave, since we still need those items). Luckily, sending all of them hasn't been nearly as expensive as we've thought, partly thanks to my friend's APO address and media mail, but also the USPS's incredibly low parcel post rates. That's why we'll probably send a couple more boxes than initially planned, for which I am really thankful!

We have all travel documents in order and booked the plane tickets, hotel in Vancouver, and finally also an SUV to take us there. The day we applied for Violet's passport, Richard went online to check flight schedules and cost. Luckily, we decided not only to check our local Seattle-Tacoma airport, but also the one in Vancouver, Canada, only about 3-4 hours away from us, and found out that the flights from Vancouver cost at least $200 less than those out of Seattle; an additional perk interesting for families with small children is that the flight from Vancouver is non-stop while the one from Seattle has a lay-over either on the East coast or in Europe. Since our flight takes off shortly after 11am, we decided to drive up to Vancouver a day early in order to take a lot of stress off the trip. Since we decided to book early, we were able to secure an awesome rate at a hotel near the airport. The last obstacle was finding a rental car large enough to take all of our luggage up to Vancouver. Online, only regular-sized sedans were available, which wouldn't be enough for the 4 of us, 3 suitcases, a golf bag, a travel bed, and a whole bunch of carry-ons. Last week we finally went out to inquire at different rental agencies, and finally found a great offer from Hertz. On Monday, June 7th we'll head out to pick up our SUV for our trip to Vancouver, and I'm excited, always wanted to drive an SUV (but never own one).

Last Monday we have sold our Chevy. It was bitter-sweet: on the one hand, we were glad we don't have to worry about it any more, on the other hand it was a little painful to see this car go. We have bought it when we first came to the US in 2006, expecting to own it for at least a decade while building our family. But this is a sacrifice we needed to do; but it's just a car, nothing we couldn't replace at some point.

Today, we finally had our yard sale; last week, the weather and our health destroyed the plans, but today we faced the occasional showers and set out early in the morning to get rid of a bunch of our stuff. All the things we couldn't sell we donated to Goodwill, so again, we're a big step further towards finalizing this move. Comcast and PSE are notified as well, the credit card account closed and all funds consolidated in our checking account. The car insurance for the Chevy is canceled, and Geico notified about the insurance being canceled for the Mazda as well. Yesterday, I finally managed to break the curse of procrastination and test-packed my suit-case, being very surprised that everything fit so far.

All that is left for now is taking all of our furniture to our friends on Friday, weeding out Richard's closet and pack his suitcase, pack and send out the last 3 or 4 boxes, and deep-cleaning the apartment. Looking around right now, it looks as if we were so far from being done, but thinking about the chores left, we're much closer than it appears. Maybe it will become much more real once the furniture is gone and the apartment looks like we're moving. Probably we won't be able to have a farewell party, therefore the remaining 10 days will be busy with getting together with our friends and saying our last good-byes. That's the part I'm dreading most about the whole move, and I hope it will be over quick and painless. I know that the most difficult part will be saying good-bye to Cat and Charlie; I'll try to focus on planning our next get-together hopefully early next year, instead of actually saying good-bye.

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