It only took 9½ months, but just days before our move to Miami, we finally got the rest of our stuff out of the Virginia Beach house and over to the Portsmouth house. Well, most of it. We did have to leave some stuff behind, but I don't know what, and Rob wouldn't tell me because he didn't want me to be upset about it. We have waaay too much stuff. The movers, when they showed up to the Portsmouth house where everything was stacked up in boxes all over the place, were not pleased. Ah, well. It's done now, right?
On Monday morning, the trucks came to load up our belongings. Two were needed: one to shuttle things from our driveway to the 2nd, main one that will actually be transporting our goods, because the street and driveway were too narrow for the big truck to remain. We must have had traffic blocked off in both directions about six or eight times that day. Sorry, folks!
Finally, in the evening, it was time to go!! We filled up the gas tank, and off we went! First stop: Saritah's house in north central North Carolina, to say our last goodbyes. We had planned to spend the night, but our situation required that we get to Miami as fast as possible, so we had to abort that mission. After we left, two hours after we arrived (and many tears later), we drove straight through to Miami with minimal stops. The kids, who had not slept well for days, slept all through the night. That certainly facilitated the quick drive south!
We got to our hotel around 2 PM on Tuesday afternoon. (I guess I can stop using military time, now that Rob's retiring from the Navy, right?) The total drive from Saritah's house there, including rest stops, took just 17 hours. Not bad, not bad at all. The kids have declared about 9,000 times since we arrived, in breathless tones, "Miami is beautiful." I have to agree.
Our six cats fared pretty well. I thought we were going to listen to all of them meowing constantly for the duration of the trip, but they settled down and napped for most of it. One cat had a poopy accident and another peed, but for the most part it wasn't too bad at all. They're having some trust issues after being shoved into boxes and spending two days there, but they're letting us cuddle them, so it'll be all right soon, I'm sure.
Tinkerbell, our mama kitty, stepping out of her carrier for the first time
Ginger, Sophie's sweet-but-dumb kitten, allowed her to snuggle him right away after he finally stepped out of his cage.
Rob took the kids to the pool while I started our massive house-hunting efforts. More on that later. Sophia, naturally athletic, went right in the chilled water, while Jack continuously grumped about "hating Miami because there aren't any indoor pools." The kid grouses constantly like that, but we're used to it now. Chloë dipped in briefly, but she got cold quickly.
There are a few vending machines in our hotel, outside the pool area, including one for ice cream. I treated the kids to some cherry-watermelon pops after they swam, before it was time to get back in the van and go look at a property that turned out to be a dud.
For lunch, we went to Pollo Tropical. I hadn't been there in years, and of course, the rest of the family never had. I want to immerse them in the local culture quickly, and this was a good way to start even if it's a chain. We had Flan and Tres Leches for dessert, and they LOVED it.
Next up, a post about our house-hunting so far. It's going...slowly, but going...