(Disclaimer: This is a very long, possibly very boring, not at all clever blog post outlining our move from Idaho to Arizona. I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to skip it altogether.)
I live in Phoenix now. This move from beginning to end was the most exhausting of my life for a thousand reasons that I'm not sure I want to revisit. Okay, fine. First it was the thing with the movers not showing up. Jon booked us with a broker called Budget Van Lines - a great idea in theory that turned into a total nightmare. The basis is that there are thousands of moving trucks across the country doing return trips and it's better for them to pick stuff up along the way for less money instead of just going back empty. We got connected with a truck heading back to Phoenix in our general timeframe, but like I mentioned last week, that truck "broke down" in Butte, Montana the day it was supposed to be picking up our stuff. I use quotation marks because, after reading reviews of the broker online, I have serious doubts about whether the truck was ever within a thousand miles of us. I suspect they were telling us, "Oh it's on its way! It's so close!" for those few days just to keep us from canceling the entire thing, and when our patience was up they invented some story about a break down as a last ditch effort to keep our business. Just a suspicion, but one that's warranted. So at the last minute we ducked out and reserved a do-it-yourself truck instead. That was exactly what Jon was trying to avoid by going through the broker - he was willing to pay more money to have someone else do it; a combination of a bad back and not wanting to drive a moving truck from Idaho to Phoenix. But too bad. When you want to spend all your money on medical school, then you can't afford to pay more money for a moving company. Especially one that would have kept us waiting for a week or more when we were already past our move-in date (and paying rent) at our new apartment complex.
We were told to pick up the truck at 8 Saturday morning, but when we showed up the shop was deserted. After about ten phone calls, I finally got a hold of the guy who was supposed to have been there to meet us. He explained that he was just on his way out the door and would be there in a couple of minutes. Ten minutes later, a man walked out of the front door of a house sharing the same lot as the shop, got in his car, drove for twelve seconds, and parked next to us. That was our guy. It literally would have been faster for him to walk through his backyard than to drive up the lane. I was aghast.
We paid some teenaged boys in my parents' ward to move our things from the crawl space onto the truck. As soon as everything was loaded, we took off on the first leg of our journey to Heber. We deposited our couches at my sister's house before we left for Statia, remember? It was time to reclaim them (sorry Annie). Since they're so heavy, we knew that we'd need more people to help move them so we had her track down the number for the missionaries. In her quest, she spoke to her visiting teacher whose husband and friend volunteered for the task instead. Of course, hours after they were supposed to have been there, one guy knocked on the front door. We managed to load the couches with just him and me and Annie and Steve (Jon was exempted because of his back), but I had an inner struggle over whether or not to be angry at the guy. On the one hand, he DID help us move our stuff. For free. But on the other hand, he was like four hours late, showed up with half as many people as we needed, and we didn't even want him in the first place. We wanted the missionaries, and he offered his services. And we never even got the missionaries' phone number because he and his friend were so certain they'd do it. There was a point near 8:30 when I realized even if we HAD their number, it was too late to call the missionaries if these other guys didn't show. We had no options. I was stressing like crazy. All because he offered to help us and then showed up hours and hours late. You can't offer to help, eliminate all other options, and then not deliver. I decided I was going to be angry at him.
The next day we drove to Page, Arizona. We'd booked a pet-friendly hotel in advance on Expedia but when we arrived after eight hours of driving, SURPRISE! They don't allow pets! Jon spent over an hour on the phone with customer service and they gave us a $50 voucher for our trouble, since it was completely their error. But the only pet-friendly hotel in Page with availability on such short notice cost more than $50 more than our original booking. Lame! (To be fair, after I tweeted this story, Expedia contacted me, apologized, and asked for trip details to see what they could do. I haven't yet heard back and maybe they'll give us tons of free stuff, but probably not. Update: THEY DIDN'T.)
And I'm not even done yet with the hangups in our trip. Penny knocked my iPhone out of my hand as I was filling up gas in Page the next morning. I texted my mom right before we started the final leg of our trip, but then ten minutes later my phone started vibrating. And wouldn't stop. And the screen was black. And no combination of pressing and holding buttons could get it to snap out of it. I signaled for Jon to pull over to let him know my phone was out of commission, then placed it in the backseat. Two days later, after we'd arrived and moved our things in, the battery finally vibrated itself to death, and it's been working fine ever since (???). The fact that it's now okay and that I was able to text my mom right after it fell makes me think the vibrating thing had less to do with it falling and more to do with it glitching out in a no-service area. So so weird.
About ten minutes outside of Flagstaff, the air conditioning in the Jeep died and as a result I had to create a revised version of the ice bed that nearly froze Penny to death two years ago on the drive up from Tucson. We were about to start the hottest part of the drive and I'd rather have her a little too cold for two hours than suffering heatstroke. My changes, and the fact that it was SO HOT, made it work much better this time. (The AC came back on when we were about an hour from our place and has been working fine ever since HALLELUJAH.)
Jon had contacted our new ward to try and round up some helpers for when we arrived. Thankfully three men showed up (another came later) and we are so so so so grateful for their help. But. My couches - my beautiful beautiful leather couches that I pined for on Statia and absolutely insisted on bringing with us to Arizona when Jon wanted to sell them, got a couple of injuries; the result of a very narrow stairwell with a sharp corner and rough adobe walls. We shrinkwrapped them but clearly not enough. The scuffs really aren't that noticeable and the worst of them is in the back, but I would be lying by omission if I didn't say that I think I literally had a panic attack as we unwrapped them and surveyed the damage. Which is ridiculous because they're just COUCHES, but they're the most beautiful (and the only valuable) things we own, and we don't own much.
More now than before, though, thanks to a trip to IKEA! And a mattress store. And two trips each to Costco and Walmart. We're still getting furniture assembled and everything settled, but pictures soon!