I mentioned our happy mutt.  She loves to run in the grass.  However, as she’s been an inside dog most of her life, it doesn’t take long to tire her out.  A couple of skips across the yard and she’s ready for a nap.  She’ll have to work on her stamina……

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Away we go!

So first, yes, I am blogging.  I’d been told a number of times over the years that I should blog, but I’ve always thought, ‘Who the heck wants to hear about my boring life?’  So I decided to shake it up so that I could blog.  Of course, that is the only reason to pick up and move across country, right?  Maybe not, but I do surmise that a blog is the best way to keep friends and family up to date with all the things that we encounter all the way across the country.

So first, a little bit about our journey.  We pulled out of Tucson with three cats and a Chihuahua in the back and towing my husband Alex’s car.  First time towing, and with a new car, was a little hair raising at first, but I handled it like a champ (what the heck am I talking about, Alex drove most of the way!).  I had procured enough Xanax to kill a horse for the cats (cause if it didn’t work on them, I was going to need a lot – yes Steve, I just called myself fat), and it appeared to work somewhat.  It didn’t knock them out, but instead of yowlers, it turned them into frogs, which for the first 1500 miles was rather amusing.  We’ll talk about the last 500 miles later.

We made it to Albuquerque the first night, after a gigantic fight about who was a more iconic rock band, REO Speedwagon or Boston.  We were tied, as the male cats sided with Alex and Boston, and the females all leaned toward REO Speedwagon.  But we called a truce the next morning and agreed that it was Def Leppard and set off across Texas.

Ah, Texas.  How I loathe thee.  And it was particularly painful that pulling a trailer, we could only cross it at max 70 miles an hour.  And the times where we could go max were few and far between as they have road problems that rival Arizona.  We learned to watch the truckers very closely.  They knew where the potholes that would swallow a small car were hiding in the flat, flat, flat landscape.  Of course, that flat landscape helped make sure you didn’t miss this little cross.


We made it across Oklahoma the second day as well.  Their roads were much better, which was good as we made it through most of it at night.  We pulled into Fort Smith, Arkansas, and the smell alone reminded me of the summer that I spent in Oklahoma when I was 13.  A kind of musky, moldy, dirt smell.  And of course, steam rising from the pavement (it was a little bit humid, even in freaking October at 11:00 p.m.).

Our last day on the road began at 6:30 a.m. with the fabulous Best Western breakfast spread of cereal and butter (okay, I’m being facetious, there was also an option of oatmeal and butter, or yogurt and butter), and then went back to the room to dose the cats.  By day three, they have learned how to fake swallow better than a mental ward full of anorexics.  So we were on the road at 8:00 a.m.  We made it almost all the way through Tennessee before things started to get a little haywire.  We needed to stop and pick up supplies for the cats, so we did that in Farragut (okay, Trekkies, I had to work that in there), and then the low tire pressure light came on.  So we stopped and put air in it, with a can of fix-a-flat for backup.  We then continued on our way, only 300 miles out, but the navigation in the Explorer said we still had a little over 4 hours.  Which made no sense, and I thought, ‘Ha!  We’ll show you navigation!’

HOLY ROT GUT RABBIT!!! So, I’m sure there’s a less direct, but about the same duration, route to get from Tennessee to Boone, NC, but the navigation route took us over a road where EVERY HORROR MOVIE EVER MADE was filmed.  Add a creepy amount of fog, with us pulling a trailer, and you know that we were the out-of-towners who were going to get it.  It was 30 miles of winding road along Lake Watauga, but took us over an hour.  And due to the gross underestimation of the time it would take us to get there, the cat’s Xanax wore off and they were also sure that the serial killer du jour would have a great time skinning animals and they were letting us know it.

Amidst the thick fog, we pulled into the house (after only one wrong turn) a little after midnight, and gratefully collapsed.  However, we shortly thereafter realized that we had no cell service anywhere near the house, and our families would be freaked out if we didn’t let them know we made it.  So we unloaded the car off the trailer (Alex asked me to help guide him off the trailer, don’t tell him, but I couldn’t see anything!!!  Yeah, looks good to me, keep it straight, keep it straight, oh hell, just gas it!), and drove with the phone out the window until a signal appeared, and let everyone know we’d barely escaped Sleepy Hollow alive and were home.  Which, by the way, this is what’s out of our front door:


Yes, that is a creek in our front yard.  There’s even water in it (which shocked the heck out of this Arizona girl. ‘What?? There is usually water in those things?!?!?!’).

The movers arrived the next morning.  BIG BIG LOVE to the folks at Swanson’s Moving and Delivery.  They were fantastic.  They didn’t even sigh at our three story house (with stairs of death, more on that in a later blog).

So now, we’re unpacking and dealing with pets with totally different personalities.  Our dog has become an unrecognizably happy little mutt.  Our old man cat is still the same, but the other two have totally switched personalities.  It is the strangest thing.  We’ll see how that plays out.

I hope that you have enjoyed my first blog entry, and you’re up to date on our trip!  I’m sure our sojourn in North Carolina will be filled with lots of learning opportunities (otherwise known as Rachel making a total fool of herself)……….. Stay tuned!

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