Leaving the Nest
Oh my goodness, if we ever meet you in our travels and tell you getting all this started was easy, laugh in our faces, tell us to get to a neurologist for a dementia exam and make sure we aren’t driving that day. The last 4 months have been crazy, but the last week before leaving was pure hell.
We decided we needed the time and space to pack up for our road trip, camping and our eventual overseas part. Surprisingly that was all very different versions of packing but with a lot of overlap. We told our realtor we were bringing home our dog and placing a moratorium on showing the house until we left so that we could make an unholy mess to clear the place out and pack, A week wasn’t nearly enough time! We made it work, but we didn’t sleep much, didn’t eat properly and had moments of not being too nice to each other or anyone else who entered our sphere.
We are proud of ourselves for some things though. First off we left only 24 hours later than planned! Kind of amazing considering what the place looked like up until we actually left. Another point of pride is that we recycled, upcycled, sold, donated or gifted approximately 90% of what we owned instead of having it go to the landfill. This felt great, as we watched our things go to good homes we had a feeling of great satisfaction, It was on our next to last day when we did have to take one carload to the dump that it really sank in what an earth friendly thing we had accomplished, Driving for what seemed like miles at the Miramar landfill in San Diego we were astonished at the scale of waste disposal required for just a part of the city. Rows of trucks were lined up throwing household goods off in piles as far as the eye could see and behind those piles were piles of green waste. A GINORMOUS earth mover rolled over the whole mess as we were there contributing to the death of our planet and we could actually feel the ground shake under our feet as it passed by. Being such a tree hugger it felt really strange to just toss stuff on the ground and leave it. We were so happy that 20 years of accumulated stuff had only resulted in one carload to the dump. Oh, and those 2 dumpsters we used out in front of the house, but that was a lot of teardown from the patio overhangs and some irreparably broken things. So, yeah, quite a lot, but still!
When we finally, creatively got everything packed into the trailer and the car, the dog had just enough room to curl up behind us in perfect position to be with us and look out the front window as well.
We were running late to get to our friends’ house in Woodland Hills so without much ado we drove out of our driveway of 20 plus years and eased the trailer on down the road.
One last trip to the safe deposit box to put the storage unit keys in there, drop off a last minute item for a friend and we were on the road! We were doing well, almost to our friends’ house when Dan heard something funny with the trailer. Mind you, we had already had someone give the trailer a full workover, whatever that means, paying special attention to the wheels, bearings and what not (author is not in charge of automotive function!) and we were assured it was in tip top shape. There was a loud clicking sound coming from one side, pace related to speed, so Dan wisely pulled off the freeway to investigate. We didn’t have a flat, nothing was obviously wrong, but in the short time we were trying to identify where the sound was coming from the other side started making it too. We decided we had to find a garage and get it looked at. So there we , were somewhere in North Los Angeles at 5:30 on a Wednesday with a scary sounding trailer trying to find a garage before it closes or the trailer falls apart. This was not how I envisioned the first day of our road trip going, although to be honest if I had really thought about it, this is exactly what I would have expected!
We found Rene’s Automotive Shop about 10 minutes before they were going to close and the owner was so nice to us! He looked it over, he drove it around, he stood on the hitch and bounced…he could find nothing wrong! Of course he could hear the scary clicking and knew something wasn’t right. Finally he tries a lug nut and realizes he can take it off easily with just a few turns with his fingers! All of them! That fancy going over our trailer had before we left stopped just short of tightening the darn lug nuts. We could have been the lead story on the LA news if Dan hadn’t heard that on time. So, an hour of troubleshooting, a minute of lug nut tightening and $40 later we were on the road. This was excruciatingly stressful because we had a very important reservation at 8 pm and it was about 6:45 and we still had to get to our friend’s house, get the dog situated, change into something elegant and get to the event. Frazzled doesn’t even cover how I was feeling! We did safely get to our destination and more on that visit in another post. What a classic way to start the journey of a lifetime!