March 10, 2014

An Unforgettable Trip

One Wednesday afternoon in August I stepped out of a plane in Charlotte, NC to find our family a new place to call home.  Ryan was working there that week and it was great to be with him in our new hometown.  But I had four days and had never been to Charlotte before, other than a layover, which does not really assist in one's understanding of a city and its areas.

Yes, I did a lot of research online.  But all the research in the world gets a bit blurry when it comes to getting in a realtor's car and seeing 30 houses in two days spanning across an area containing four counties. I have never had such fitful sleep as those nights.   

Long story, short: in the areas we wanted to live there was (and is) a lot of growth happening.  Tons.  So, most of what was on the market was new construction.  At the end of two days looking I had to narrow it down to what Ryan and I should go see on Saturday and Sunday.  Some were easy eliminations: one that shared its lot line with a massive power line tower and any that smelled like smoke.  But it was very hard to find a good size backyard and we really didn't want to budge on that. We narrowed it down to three by Sunday morning.  

In the end, we went with the house that was the cheapest, but with the largest yard and house. It just made sense.  There was one drawback, though.  It wouldn't be ready until around Nov 1st.  Hmmm....

After we returned to WI, I got to work trying to find us reasonable accommodations in the Charlotte area for the six or so weeks we would be 'homeless'.  Hotels were out of the question.  We needed to be able to cook, do laundry, keep a dog with us, and generally function as a family.  After a few weeks, I stumbled upon a vacation rental that ended up being available.

We made our journey to the Carolinas and I have zero pictures of it.  Yup, major life change with the entire family and no pics.  Let's just say that if we had driven with barrels on our vehicle's roofs we would have collected enough water to drink for the next two years.  Our windshield wipers ran from moderate to high for all 17 hours of driving.  I will never forget Louisville.  I really thought I was going to take myself, our car, and my passengers to our end and not be able to see it through the rain.  As I went over a massive bridge at night in a torrential downpour, hydroplaning, a semi splashed in a massive puddle across the median and I couldn't see for what felt like an eternal minute.  It was terrifying.  Then we had to continue driving that night onto Lexington.  By God's grace we all fell into bed in one piece.

Really the trip was not what most people think of when they think of a family road trip.  There was the unrelenting rain, a small collision of our car and a rented UHaul trailer, dogs barking at night in our hotel rooms, and more.  But we did enjoy listening (over the rain) to the original Winnie the Pooh series and Focus on the Family's Anne of Green Gables on CD.  Honestly, the Winnie the Pooh series is hilarious and is appreciated more by adults than young children.  Look for the recording with Judy Dench and Stephen Fry.  We highly recommend it.

So, we land in Charlotte and it isn't raining!!!! We had finally outrun the storm.  What a relief.  As we settled into a hotel for one more night the rain begins to come down.  The kids were put to bed and I went to take a shower while Ryan took the dogs outside.  Next thing I know the power goes out.  Seriously, this has got to be the most ridiculous ending to a relocation trip, ever. Fortunately Ryan returned and turned on his laptop for some light to shower and get ready for bed by.

I remember waking in the morning, seeing clear blue sky, throwing open the hotel curtains and earnestly waking all the children up with joyous cries of, "its not raining!".

Good thing I didn't marry Noah four thousand years ago....

1 comment:

Diana said...

Oh Heather,

I know another reason why Ryan loves you! You are a story teller, just like his daddy! [smile]

What memories you have of finding a new home and traveling there.

Your last line is priceless! HA!