Posted by: Moni | June 15, 2010

The Journey from the Center of My Earth

So, its been a little more than a year since I’ve updated this blog, so I find it highly appropriate to finally do it now.

Things have changed!  For starters – I am done with solo travel.  It was a lot of fun over the last three years or so, but after that European trip (which when I took it, I told myself it was my last chance to do something like that – and I was right) I think the effort it takes vs. relaxation level is a bit off.  Granted, the excitement level is off the charts, but I’m at a point where I’ve had enough of it.

Second – I have done some domestic travel this year, notably to Denver and to the RTP area – but the circumstances were not the kind I wanted to blog about.

Third, I just started on a whole new journey of another kind I’ll say.  Its not travel, but relocation!  This blog entry started as an account of how I got to my new home in Chapel Hill, NC.  Well, I mean “how” in a very literal sense – I got into my car and drove here.  That knocks off “Take a Road Trip” from my 101 list.  I knocked it off before, but it was soft.  This was definitely a trip I took my sweet time on.

Originally, I was going to ship my car here and fly up with Chiclet (my dog), but after getting quotes on car transport, companies couldn’t give me a precise enough time frame for my schedule, so I decided to suck it up and drive the 21 hours.

We relocated here because K got a job offer he could not refuse.  Lucky for me, my organization at work is very progressive.  I was able to keep my job and just change to “remote” status very easily.  So, its definitely a win-win situation.  We traveled here twice between the time the company contacted him to get his interviews done and do a house hunting trip.  We found a house, literally at the last minute, and wow – this place is AWESOME!

So, the journey.  Fast forward about a month later after his company contacted him, and we are off and running.  Getting the south house on the market and sold in record time, moving everything out and up here.. making both of our travel arrangements.

K and the big dogs went out the week before I did, and that week flew by trying to make sure I got to say goodbye to everyone (with the promise that I’ll be back often).  The little dog and I took off on a Sunday morning, and I made my way up to Arkansas to visit K’s cousin and stay the night.

This girl is a character.  I had met her once before in Austin, when she came to visit us, and that evening and next day was a flurry of entertainment!  I got to know a lot about the family and the area that they are from, and I even got to meet her parents (K’s Aunt and Uncle) the next day.  The funniest part was easily the dogs REAAAALLY wanting to get a hold of Chiclet, and Chiclet having none of it. The Lhasa was sooooo upset, but since the Lab was a bit aggressive to Chiclet, she was a bit freaked out. Pansy.  Anyhow, we had a nice dinner and I in the end was very happy to have stopped by.  That was two experiences – my first time on an Air Force base, and getting to know a lot about the family.

The next day, I made my way to Tennessee.  I have a lot of coworkers and friends in Nashville, so I was going to stay with one of them overnight, but decided to go on to Knoxville so I could knock out two more hours while there was still a lot of daylight and time.  It worked out perfectly!  I got to Nashville, had some good snacks at a restaurant downtown called Cabana, and got to catch up with Terri for a while.  It was great!  I went on to Knoxville and slept like a rock until I made my way up to Chapel Hill the next day.

Welcome to Tennessee!

The next day – from Knoxville to Chapel Hill – was a BEAUTIFUL drive.  I drove through the Blue Ridge mountains, and holy hell was the smoky mountain range just gorgeous!  K keeps telling me we’ll take a drive through there in the fall to see the leaves change, and I can only imagine how great that will be! It was quite interesting seeing all the grade caution signs for truckers and all the motorcycles taking rides out there.  I took a picture of a three wheeler in the Blue Ridge:

3 wheeler in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Finally, I got into North Carolina and stopped in at the Visitor’s Center.  It was quite cool, about 70 degrees at 1pm, and we stopped for a walk and to get some brochures.  It was quite nice.  By that point, I was just So ready to get into my new home!  I finished that beautiful part, and then got into urban NC – which seemed to take FOR-EV-ER since I was finally getting impatient with all the anticipation.

Getting here was great – I pulled into the new driveway, saw the beautiful rose gardens, was greeted outside by K and the dogs, and carried over the threshold. We are still settling in, and that’s going to take us some time – but we will certainly have fun doing it!

Road trips can be fun, but I’m glad I did it solo.  Sprint Navigation on Google Maps was instrumental and very helpful.  Chiclet has handled the move well, and is happy to be back with her big brother and sister.

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