Greetings from North Carolina

We've now been in Raleigh just shy of two weeks. The move itself was stressful. First, the movers underestimated how long it would take to box up our belongings. They budgeted 2 workers for 2 days, but after the first day they'd only completed maybe 25% of the work. The next day they brought in an extra person, but still didn't catch up. They were still packing when the moving van arrived on the 3rd day. That final load-in day was a long, 14-hour slog. It was exhausting for me and all I was doing was supervising. The movers also underestimated the weight, which is how they determine price. But that was their problem as I'd gotten a "not to exceed" estimate. So they had to eat the extra cost.

We finally vacated the house at about 10:30PM on that third day.  I'd booked a hotel on the other side of Houston so that we wouldn't have to drive across the city in commuter traffic when we started for NC the next morning. In the hour-long drive to the hotel, one of our cats freaked out and peed in the back of my car!  This despite the fact that I'd put a litter box in the kennel with them. So that was an additional hour of very unpleasant cleanup when I'm already exhausted. And of course it's very difficult to get rid of the smell entirely. The wife and I seriously considered dropping off the cats at the nearest animal shelter, but cooler heads prevailed. The next couple days driving across the South were less eventful, but stinky. Luckily for my wife and kids, they were in the other vehicle so I'm the only one who had to deal with it. 

We got to Raleigh the day before we were to close on the new house and everything went very smoothly with the closing. In fact, since they don't use title companies in NC, the closing event can be anywhere and my realtor chose a posh country club. Gorgeous lake view with multi-million dollar homes all around. Nice, and they didn't make us enter through the servants' entrace. Despite being new mortgage home owners, we had to stay in the hotel a few more days waiting for the moving van to arrive. And because you can never really have enough bodily fluids to clean up, my oldest kid vomited on the floor of the bathroom one night during our stay. He was in the bathroom but hurled on the floor instead of into the toilet! I cleaned it up but I also lost my cool on that one and threw my own little tantrum. I had some apologizing to do the next day. Sigh. I think I'd just had my fill of cleaning up stinky messes. I thought for sure I'd catch whatever bug he had, but somehow I dodged that bullet.

The move into the new house was blissfully uneventful. The wife and kids like the house and the kids seem to be taking to their new school well so far. So far nobody has thrown up or peed on the floor; then again we've only just moved in! We spend most of our free time emptying boxes. But the neighbors we've met have been wonderfully friendly, and the weather here has been simply gorgeous.

So it's all good.

Except for the smell of my car. I may end up having to cut the carpet out of the cargo area of my CR-V. Fortunately it's a 12 year old vehicle so I'm not that worried about it. Just glad the cats weren't in the other car which is a lot newer and more expensive.

Yesterday I was coming into work and noticed how beautifully the trees were reflecting in the river that I cross over as I near the office. So I pulled over to snap a few photos. It's a great commute actually. Compared to Houston, the drive is shorter and there's a lot less traffic. And since most of it is on beautiful, wooded country roads, it's actually a pleasant drive. I open the sunroof, turn up the podcast, and just enjoy the downtime. 

I think I'm going to like it here.