The First 24 Hours in North Carolina

I am happy to report that we thankfully had a rather uneventful drive down from New York to North Carolina. We left Jason’s parents house on Sunday morning at about 3:15am, stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts for Jason, and got underway at 3:30am. I was thinking about making a post about the drive down, but it truly was so uneventful, there is not much to report. The most eventful thing was that we had no traffic in DC and got to drive by the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon, which was pretty cool. 

Anyway, we made it down to North Carolina in one straight shot, arriving at our apartment complex at 11:45am, 15 minutes before the management office was supposed to open. When we got to the office, we hit our first hiccup of the day. Even though we had confirmed in writing that the office would be opening at noon and someone would be there to give us our keys to move in, the office was closed and a sign was up saying they would return at 1:00pm. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but because we had our cat, Salem, in the car and he had been in his carrier for almost 9 hours, I was a bit anxious to get the keys and get him into an air-conditioned apartment. My mind also jumped to the worst-case scenario: What if the office was unexpectedly closed because it was Memorial Day weekend? What if we wouldn’t be able to access the apartment that day, or even the next day?


We went with the flow, though, (Jason more than me if I’m being totally honest, haha) and kept ourselves busy in the air-conditioned car for an hour. We filled up at the gas station, found a “NY pizza” place by our new digs, got a Sicilian slice, and drove around the neighborhood a bit.

Not bad actually!

When we came back at 1:00pm, thankfully someone was available to give us the keys and we got into the apartment with no problems. 

Seeing the apartment for the first time was awesome because it was pretty much everything we had expected. Everything looked in perfect shape, the carpet had clearly been vacuumed recently, the air conditioning worked, and the apartment even smelled nice like an air freshener had been sprayed recently. Here are two pictures of the living room area:

When we were apartment hunting and saw the staged unit at the complex, it had a fireplace and we were told that our apartment may or may not have that. It turned out that our apartment did not have the fireplace, but honestly, this worked out better for us. Based on the apartment’s layout and where the cable hookup is, if we had the fireplace, we would have had to mount the TV above the fireplace and then would have had no place for our TV stand. 

After checking everything out in the apartment to make sure it was in working order, we unpacked our things from the car and brought them into the house. Hardly anyone was around so we were able to pull pretty much right up to our apartment to unload, so even though the car was over-packed, it only took us about 15 minutes to get everything into the house. 

We unpacked a few items once we got everything inside, but because we really had hardly anything, there wasn’t much to do around the house at that point. The next thing on our list was to get some much-needed supplies and we knew there was only one place for that: Targét.

Oh, Targét. The place where you go needing 2 things and leave with 10, haha. At least I can say that on this Target trip, we started out having quite a few things on our list, knew we would end up seeing things while we were browsing that we needed but had forgotten to put on the list, and were expecting the high bill at the checkout. We were upgrading our bed from a queen to a king, so new sheets were in order. We were also upgrading from one bathroom to two, so we needed some nice new decor for the guest bath, which I have to say, turned out pretty well:

And, of course, we needed some home essentials – milk, snacks, a garbage can, toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, bar soap – have I mentioned we needed soap?

In walking around Target, we were greeted by a display of sports team gear which demonstrated exactly what we’ve heard about the area – they are fiercely dedicated to their college sports.

This picture was just a small part of the entire section, but here you can see some UNC and NC State gear, as well as some Durham Bulls items (they are not a college team, but the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, so I can root for them, right?). Other than this, the store was a Target just like any other Target, which was strangely comforting. 

After getting what we needed and browsing a while, we made our way back to the apartment (which was only 5 minutes away) because we were expecting our new bed to be delivered around 4:00pm. Before we left New York, Jason’s mom suggested that we buy a bed then rather than waiting until we got to North Carolina so that, if possible, we could have it delivered on Sunday and not have to sleep on the floor for any nights. We took her advice and went to the Mattress Firm by his parents’ house, and sure enough, they were able to accommodate us. In about an hour’s time we had picked out both our new bed and a cooling mattress protector/cover (especially for Jason, our family’s human furnace), and had confirmation that everything would be delivered to our place on Sunday.

The delivery of the mattress turned out to be even more simple than the ordering process. Two men dropped off the bed and set it up in less than 10 minutes. I’m not even joking. It was amazing.

But you want to know what wasn’t amazing? What I ended up discovering while the delivery guys were setting up the mattress in our bedroom. 

After we came back from Target, I wanted to wash our new sheets before we put them on the bed, so I threw them in the washer about 10 minutes before the bed delivery guys got there. The washer and dryer are actually IN our apartment off the side of our kitchen – this is one of the most exciting things about moving here from New York – no more leaving the apartment to do laundry. So, while the guys were setting up the bed, I went out to the kitchen to get some money for a tip from my bag. And guess what I found waiting for me in the kitchen:

Ohhhhh buddy. That is a flood. Coming from the washer. I awkwardly yelled, “Uhhhh, Jason!” and then immediately proceeded to stop the washing machine. We threw down a sheet we had from our old bed, as well as the towel we had wrapped around our TV to keep it safe on the drive down to start soaking up the water. I looked at my watch, saw that it was almost 5 o’clock, which is when the apartment complex’s office was closing that day, and told Jason to drive over there immediately to get a maintenance guy while I finished up with the bed delivery guys.

Now, I have to say, to our apartment complex’s credit, the maintenance guy was awesome and took care of business. He arrived in about 10 minutes, got down on his hands and knees with a wet vac to clean up all the water, fixed the washer (one of the tubes in the back had not been properly connected), and then got us a huge fan to make sure the area dried properly. He was also very professional, friendly, and apologetic. While I obviously would have preferred that the issue never happened at all, I am thankful that the whole situation was taken care of quickly, efficiently, and as painlessly as possible.  

After everything was said and done with the bed and the washing machine, Jason and I both found ourselves to be pretty hungry. With all of our kitchen stuff packed up with the movers, we knew we’d have to eat out for a while and so we began to check out Yelp to see what was close to us. We ended up deciding on a ramen shop that was SO. DELICIOUS. 

The price was good and the portion was huge, which was exactly what we needed after this very long day. And to top things off, when we left the restaurant, there was a beautiful sunset for us.

This picture does not do it justice.

When we got home, we were full, tired, and ready to get some rest. I don’t think it took us very long at all to pass out, and I can confidently say we slept in the next morning.

However, while I did sleep in, I also unfortunately I woke up in the middle of the night with  a little bit of stomach trouble. When we were driving down, there came a time at about 7:00am where it was my turn to drive and I stopped at a gas station to get a Starbucks Doubleshot Mocha can because I was feeling a little tired and could use the caffeine boost. After we got back on the road and I started to drink it, though, it tasted a bit funny. It wasn’t bad per se, just odd, and I thought it might be the fact that it was one of their drinks that had added protein and I wasn’t used to that, so I pushed through because I really could use the caffeine. 

Welp, when I woke up, I think I got confirmation that it wasn’t the protein, haha. Life carried on, though, and thankfully Jason and I did not have a whole lot planned for the next day. When we both finally did wake up, Jason went out and got us some breakfast sandwiches from a place called Sheetz, which he knows from college but that we have not seen anywhere outside of Pennsylvania. Sheetz is a Wawa competitor (there is a fierce rivalry apparently), and if you don’t know what a Wawa is, think a 7-11, but they have a fast food counter inside where you can order a wide variety of food on a touch screen. They’re pretty good and no, I am not going to pick a side in the Sheetz-Wawa battle. 

Even though I wasn’t physically feeling the best, I was still happy and relaxed overall when we hit the 24-hour mark of living in North Carolina. The first day had been a total roller coaster, but we made it through mostly unscathed and nothing had been so extreme that we couldn’t handle it. Moving to a new state? Mark that down as a win for Team Joey-Jason. 

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