I've been back from DC for almost a week now, so I'm a bit late in posting all about the move. It was more or less uneventful, but there were moments. If you think the topic too boring, and just want to look at knitted socks, scroll down.
For the one or two of you left, here's what transpired - the short and long of it.
On Saturday, August 8th, we picked up an 11-foot tall, 16-foot long rental truck, as well as a tow-along car carrier. We didn't really need a truck that big for Jim's stuff, but it was a requirement for towing his car. The whole idea of such a big truck scared me, but add in the trailer and car, and I was terrified! Now, Jim is good driver, but it's not a short trip from Atlanta to DC, and pretty much all of it is Interstate highway, which was a mixed blessing. Good, because there's no traffic lights and only limited oncoming traffic. On the other hand - FAST!! But I tried to steady my nerves and not be a big baby about it - with mixed success. We used the truck on Saturday night to drive to Ikea to purchase and load a dresser, two nightstands, a big mirror, three dining room chairs, and a dining table. Notice, there's no bed in that list. More about that later. It was late by the time we got home, so no packing was done, even though my son was ready to soldier on. I told him, "sorry kid, see you in the morning."
Sunday, Jim and Cory did a big job, finishing packing a few boxes and hauling everything out to the truck, arranging it, and strapping it all in. The stuff barely filled one third of the truck, even though everything was placed in one layer. We had hoped to leave by 11 am, but didn't pull out until after 2:00. This was only slightly a problem, as we planned to make the drive in two days anyway. However, there was the bed to deal with. Ikea here in Atlanta didn't have it in stock. Neither did the two near Alexandria, VA, where Jim's apartment is. However, the one in Charlotte, NC did, so our goal was to make it there before 7:00 closing time. What this meant was Jim driving a lot faster than I was comfortable with (admittedly, that would have been about 40mph, but still...) and me nagging him about his speed most of the way. About an hour into the trip, he asked me, "are you comfortable with this yet?" My response ---- YOU DON'T SEE ME KNITTING, DO YOU!!! He didn't, and wouldn't. Even though I eventually got the butterflies out of my tummy, I still couldn't relax enough to do more than change channels on the radio and monitor the speedometer. He was a real sport not to throw me out by the side of the road. Anyway, at 6:30 we pulled into the (thankfully) nearly empty Ikea parking lot, obtained the bed, slid it in, tied it down, and went to dinner. Here's the vehicles in the Ikea lot.
After dinner, we drove a while longer, but fatigue finally set in, and we stopped for the night. Thankfully, we were able to access big, empty parking lots next to both the restaurant and the motel to park the truck and trailer. In fact, we had the same luck with easy in and out gas stations on the way, too. Someone was taking very good care of us, I think!
The next morning, we hit the road again. After an uneventful drive, we arrived in Washington. First stop, the truck rental place to drop off the trailer. They really didn't want to take it, as we had both rented until Thursday, but we were very anxious to get rid of it. The bonus was, they allowed us to park the truck on their lot that night, and every other night. That was such a big help, despite having to drive back and forth with it every day, as there was nowhere at or near the condo to do so.
Next stop, meeting the owner's real estate agent at the condo Jim rented. First, the good - photos of the place.
Our front entrance side:
Around the corner - the Whole Foods entrance side:
Yup, Whole Foods. Let's just say, people who live in the building don't call the "The Pantry" for nothing. I was there every day. Thank goodness!
And, the view from our patio:
His condo obviously looks out onto the courtyard, where there are benches and bbq grills. It's a nice spot, and much quieter than the units that overlook the street or alleyway.
The bad about the apartment? First, the owner's agents were idiots! They had no idea what keys they had fit what. They didn't know where the storage locker was. They didn't know where our parking space was. What they did know was that they only wanted to hand us a wad of keys, collect the rent, and bug out. On top of that, despite being told that the place would be painted and cleaned, it was VERY apparent that neiher had happened. So, instead of spending the day with friends, as planned, we cleaned. That was my first visit to Whole Foods - for cleaning supplies. We had to get it done, because we were moving all the stuff in the next day (Tuesday.) Finally finishing, we joined our friends at their home for drinks and a nice visit. And to spend the night. We also got to pick out a couch and chair from some they were getting rid of. That was such a bonus - nice stuff, and just what we needed. Above all - Free!
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent moving in. Jim hauled a lot of boxes, and put together all the furniture. We made several trips to Target and the hardware store for supplies, as well as Best Buy for a tv. By the end of Wednesday, there were only a few boxes remaining in the living room, and we could finally sit at a table to eat dinner. Thursday, the cable guy came to install internet and television, and the movers we arranged for brought the couch and chair. That night, we thought we'd gone to heaven, being able to sit on the couch and watch the news! We also had a lovely dinner out in Alexandria with Jim's realtor. We took her out because she went through a lot to help him find a nice place to live. Other than that, we didn't get out to do anything that day, being so busy and so tired. However, I did see one interesting thing when coming back from the Whole Foods in the afternoon.
It's a bit hard to tell, but that's a woman soldier. With a PINK suitcase. Really, how many times do you see a soldier pulling a PINK suitcase?? I thought it was funny, anyway.
Friday, we finally got outside to do something fun. We drove into Old Town Alexandria and walked around. My first stop was Knit Happens, a lovely little yarn shop that just happened to be having the first day of its Going Out of Business sale. I'm sad that I won't get to go there again, but she really marked the merchandise WAY down. I bought yarn for 60% and 70% off, as well as an Amy Butler bag for 50% off. I'd show photos, but it's all in a box in the mail from Jim. I brought only a small carry on bag for the plane trip home, so nothing made it back with me except the bag (hmm, I could have photographed that) and a skein of sock yarn - which you will see further down. Anyway, I finished there, we had lunch, and then walked down to the Potomac. It was a rainy day, so we didn't linger, but it was nice to see the old buildings and the river.
Saturday, Jim decided that he wanted to go to the National Mall to see the monuments. I'd been there in April, but he hadn't gone in a long while, so we made the whole tour. Washington Monument, WWII and Korean Memorials, and the Lincoln Monument. The only place we didn't go was the Vietnam Memorial, because Jim was getting tired. I snapped this shot from the top of the steps at the Lincoln Memorial.
Sunday was rainy, too, but we had to get out. Just across the street from his condo is a lovely little park with a nature walk - the African American Heritage Park. There is a little creek that borders the back side, and across the creek you can see the Alexandria National Cemetery. I enjoy walking through old cemeteries, so we drove around the block to the entrance. Turns out, there were at least eight historic cemeteries on the other side of the National one, some of which had been there since the 1700's. All of them were affiliated with specific churches, and we enjoyed strolling through and looking at the old headstones. The National Cemetery was interesting, too. There, we saw the graves of four civilians who had been killed in the chase after John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. Very interesting. Here's a shot of some of the old monuments in one of the church graveyards.
Monday, the 16th, was Jim's first day at work, so of course we had the first sunny day in a while. While he was off learning his new job, I walked the short two blocks to the Metro station to pick up the free Alexandria trolley. Three stops later, I was at another yarn shop - fiber space. It's a lovely place, full of lots of yarns I hadn't seen in person before, as well as some from local dyers. I bought enough Spud & Chloe worsted weight to make a sweater, as well as several skeins of sock yarn (of course.) All of that is also in the much awaited box from Jim. After making my purchases, I walked the ten blocks or so down to the waterfront. I stopped to take a brief look through the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a wonderful artists' gallery and studio space. I'm looking forward to going again the next time I'm up to explore more of it. Then I took a boat ride from Alexandria to Georgetown and back. It was a lovely day to be on the water. The boat went past many of the national monuments and other points of interest. Here you can see the Washington Monument and top of the Jefferson Memorial.
Then it was time to go home, do the wash, pack, and get ready for my flight to Atlanta on Tuesday morning. We did end my trip with one big moment of heart stopping panic, however. After dinner on Monday, we decided to take some broken down moving boxes to the finally located storage bin. It was in a spot in the parking lot best reached by car, so we loaded up and drove the first load down. We came back for the second, but when we got to the car, Jim didn't have his keys. Ok, but that also meant he didn't have the electronic gizmo to let us back into the condo building OR the key to the apartment. OMG!! Therein ensued much gnashing of teeth, wailing, and flailing of arms. I ran into Whole Foods to see if they knew a number for the management company (Jim didn't have his wallet or cell phone, either - of course.) The kind woman at the counter looked it up for me, but of course, it was the day number. However, they left an "emergency after hours number." Great! Nope. Also "closed." Huh? What kind of emergency number is that? At the point of tears, I went back down to Jim, who was bouncing happily up and down, waving the keys!!! Turns out, he talked some nice, but skeptical, neighbors into letting him into the building, and then opening the door onto that patio I showed above. Thankfully, because he had stepped onto the porch to talk to our son on the phone, and had NOT locked the door when he came in to eat, he was able to get into the apartment. I still don't know what we would have done had we not left that door unlocked. Like I said, I think someone was watching over us on this trip!
So, that's my saga. I made it home, got the cats from boarding, and after a week am settling into the new normal. Jim will be home over Labor Day weekend, and I know he's already counting the days. I'm trying to keep busy, and hopefully get to some things around the house that I've let go for the last little while. It's definitely a new lifestyle for both of us to deal with.
Ah, but here, finally, is the knitting. I made up two projects to take along, both socks. As it turns out, one of them didn't make it into the suitcase. So, when it became apparent that I was going to need more knitting, it was absolutely necessary that I find the nearest LYS. That, of course, turned out to be the now closing Knit Happens. I did finish the first pair of socks and here they are:
- Crusoe Socks - a classic pattern from Knitty. I've made these before, and always enjoy the process.
- The yarn is from Miss Babs, in the OOK colorway (one of a kind.) I purchased this one year at SAFF. I love Miss Babs' yarn.
- Old Navy socks - you can find the pattern for free on the linked Ravelry page. This was a fun pattern, and I really like how the socks came out. I can see a lot of possibilities for variations on this pattern, too.
- The yarn is Araucania Ranco Solid in the Denim colorway. Actually, the color is a lot darker than I could get my camera to register, for some reason. Not bright at all, but really a dark denim. I can't remember if I've used this yarn before or not, but I do like it.