Good Morning! I’ve been asked by many friends to start a blog about my journey to Orlando, and since we are leaving in THREE DAYS, I thought I’d start with the preparation & packing portion of this new adventure in my life.
I have to say, when Tony suddenly sprung this on me – only 6 weeks ago – I was surprised, shocked, nervous, and a little bit scared. But what comes along with that is an incredible adventure in to the unknown. Pure excitement and joy of getting to live so close to our happy place. It’s very mixed emotions, but I’m loving every minute of it!
We’ve talked about doing this for years, but we really didn’t see ourselves doing this any time soon. We imagined getting down there once our youngest was headed for college, which is still 7 years away. But the gods had another plan for us! It seems like all the stars have aligned, the timing couldn’t be better, and if we were going to uproot Matthew, it had to be now, before high school. We didn’t want to do it once Matthew had grown a real attachment to his friends. We thought it would be an easier transition. But, sadly, he has finally made some really good friends. But being the social butterfly that he is, I know he will have no problem making new friends down there. In this day and age of technology, it’s so easy to keep in touch. He and his friends already spend a great deal of time playing and talking on xbox 360, through chat, on Facebook, and even on Facetime on their phones. So, I think he’s going to be just fine!
I’ve always imagined growing old and gray with Tony (he’s already there, haha) maybe working in a shop on Main Street, spending our days watching the magic happen when kids see the Castle for the first time. And, taking our grand kids there every summer during their school breaks.
We are so ready to make new memories, get a fresh start in a new town, get away from terrible Buffalo weather! Being 10 minutes from our Happy Place, in the sunshine and warmth is going to be such an amazing feeling!
How can you be anything but happy when you get to see this any time you want?!
We were very lucky to find a nice condo in a great suburb of Orlando, somewhat removed from tourist activity, in a great school district – which is very hard to find in Florida – and only 10 minutes from Disney World! Epcot is closest to us.
So, we leave in just three days to embark on this new chapter in our lives. I am so organized, the massive to do list is now down to 1/2 a page. We are about 95% packed. I’m constantly standing in a room, staring at things and thinking “what can I pack next?!”. Well, at this point if I pack anything else, Tony and Matthew are going to be naked, so I suppose I can slow down! We are so overloaded with moving boxes – 70ish at our last count – that Tony decided it was time to get them out of the house, simply due to lack of space! So, he shuttled all those boxes downstairs and in to the garage.
It’s too funny, because Tony has been one to hold on to everything! The dumbest things, stuff we wouldn’t use in a million years, that he would insist on keeping “just in case”. But, when I told him weeks ago that the movers charge by weight, he was all too happy to part with a lot of that junk! He keeps asking me every day “are you sure there isn’t more we can get rid of”? But no, there isn’t. All 85 boxes we’ll have need to come with us.
Packing supplies when you make a move this big are soooo expensive. I have spent around $300 so far just on boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, it boggles my mind how much that stuff costs! There are a lot of things you don’t think of either, like mattress bags, a box for golf clubs and boxes for flat screen tv’s. It’s so important to really pack everything properly. A 1200 mile move is very different from moving from one neighborhood to another. You really have to cushion things and pack them well. And, if you don’t, the movers will actually have to re-pack them for you, for which they will charge you a fee!
So, at this point, here’s what we’ve had to do in preparation for this big move:
buy packing supplies
pack and pack some more
cancel utilities here
start utilities there
change our address and emails with friends and family, banks, social media accounts, and anything else we could think of because our emails are through our cable/internet company, which will change once we are down there. It’s an easy thing to forget.
It’s because you can change your address with the post office on their website instead of going to an office. I have it set up for the 18th, but we suspect that they’ve already started forwarding our mail because we haven’t been getting very much the past few days!
We did a lot of research and checked references for moving companies before we booked one.
We made a deposit with the movers
We opened a bank account at a local branch in Florida.
we researched the best way to move our car down there, which turns out the best way to do that in our case is to have Tony fly back up here and then drive it down to Orlando. We had to really consider how much room we’d need in our vehicle to transport stuff down there that we didn’t want on the moving truck, so we had to rent an SUV for a little while. It’s an added expense, but there really was no way around it.
I’d estimate that this move is going to cost us about $6000 total, but that’s for everything you can possibly think of and then some. So, if you’re considering a big cross country move, you just have to be prepared.
A lot of our friends and family have been throwing little “send off” get togethers, which has been really nice, but it’s made our weekends very busy. So, organization and time management is key.
Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing all about the start of this Amazing Adventure. Next time I’ll be blogging when we’re on the road about staying hotel rooms on the way down, traveling with a cat and a 12 year old. Oh yay! This should be fun! I’ll be sure to post photos a long the way as well.
Until next time, remember this:
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
He was such an amazing man. Thanks Walt for the encouragement!