We are halfway through our saga of a PCS. I wanted to recored all of our adventures before I have time to forget them, as I know one day I will.
Let's see....in true Tyson fashion Matt and I spent the week before our move going out with all of our friends. We MEANT to clean and pack, but every time a better invitation came along we jumped on that bandwagon. What can I say...goodbyes are rough! The day of departure eventually did come though, and we stayed up till 5am attempting to clean our house. Fun times! Who knew how long it would take just to do baseboards? So we cut them a $370 damage check and got out of dodge. I thought that was pretty good. I knew we had some damages from our household of kids and cats, and their rates were actually very reasonable. Yay Balfour Beatty! It took the lady like two hours to inspect the house though. Why I have no idea...it was empty!
So we pulled out of Connecticut about noon. It was like 11 degrees so I was all too happy to head south. I had a terrible headache though, which got worse and worse as I drove. Katy Ann screamed for hours which made it progress to a full blown migraine. I had to admire her stamina though. Soo...we made it just into New Jersey before I insisted we pull over for the night. Matt said we would never get to Mississippi if I only drove three hours a day, but I did not care. I told him his vehicle (containing Little Matt and the cats) could go wherever he wanted to, but me and the three girls were calling it quits.
We hunted high and low for a hotel that would take pets and then headed to the Red Roof Inn. We asked for a non-smoking room which was very very smokey. I went and asked the lady at the front desk if they had any other rooms, and they moved us to a second "non-smoking" room that someone had just emptied an entire can of air freshener into, lol. We settled in none the less however - I was just so glad to be off the road. I tried to keep the children on the beds because the floor was filthy. Unfortunately we were there maybe fifteen minutes before Carrie took a head-first tumble onto the hardwood floors. That was incident #1. A few hours later I was brushing the kids' teeth when Matt slammed Beth's finger in the bathroom door. I thought for sure this finger was broken. It was gruesome really. The nail was out of the nail bed and it just bled and bled. And she screamed and screamed. We debated an ER trip, but ended up bandaging it and waiting to see how it looked in the morning. She seems okay now btw, I guess that nail will just have to grow back. That was incident #2. I did eventually get the kids in bed....for a while anyway. A little after midnight I heard a terrible sound. It was Matt with a croup attack. This is honestly the worst sound ever, and if I hadn't known what it was I would have called 911. We have dealt with this before however, so I just snatched him up and started in on the steam treatments in the bathroom and visits out into the frigid parking lock. It went on for hours. Once again we were thinking about going to the ER, but eventually he did fall asleep, my poor boy. He has asthma and I think the smokey/air freshened room was not great for him. That was incident #3.
The next morning we got up...the hot water didn't work and the tv appeared to only play porn, so we got out of there quick. I was feeling surprisingly well rested and chipper considering. Day two was fantastic! Go figure... We drove 11 hours and made it all the way to my parents' house in North Carolina. My girls were so good and rode so nicely....and Matt loved being alone with his dad. The only issue was about two hours out it started to snow. That is pretty unusual for the south, so traffic slowed to a crawl. But yay, we made it!
We then spent several days visiting both sets of grandparents, other relatives, and old friends. Good times! Soon enough, it was on to VA Beach for Christmas though. We stayed in a little cabin on Ft Story, VA. If you're military and ever in the area I really recommend it. It was sooo nice! I only wish it had been warm enough to really enjoy the beach aspect of the location. And the price just can't be beat! I think next time we move I am going to try to plan our route so we can just stay at base hotels. They are all around nicer, cleaner, and cheaper. The kids had a great Christmas. Beth and Matt got new bikes and Carrie got a car ramp for her Little People. The only downside was that the sickness continued to make it's way through the family. I was laid up with a fever on Christmas Eve, but still trying to tend the baby while Matt put bikes and toys together. Then the 26th it hit him too.
Soo...the big excitement of Christmas night was everyone saying a blizzard was on the way. We had plans to drive out the next morning, and I honestly thought we still would. People in the south get all worked up at any mention of snow, and as a kid growing up here I can always remember being disappointed in the actual amount. A projected 4-6 inches always seems to end up just being a dusting. Well, this time I was wrong! It snowed 14 inches. Seriously. They said it was the biggest snow VA Beach has had in a 100 years. If you live pretty much anywhere on the East Coast of course you know just what I am talking about. It was nuts! Of course all our snow gear is sitting in some storage unit in Mississippi - who knew we needed it?? I felt very trapped in our little beach house on stilts too. I had to walk down three times, and slipped and fell two of those times.
Needless to say we stayed another day. The 27th was really not much better though, and we had a truly impressive spin out on the interstate. I held my breath while we fishtailed across four lanes of traffic and then finally came to a stop facing the wrong direction. We proceeded VERY slowly after that. Thankfully we had just put new tires on the van the day before we left. Hopefully that helped at least a little.
We are now bringing the visitation part of our trip to a close. First thing Saturday morning (and the first day of 2011!) we will be proceeding south once more. Mississippi here we come!