A day or two after we arrived in North Carolina, Jason and I went out to get some household items from Bed, Bath, & Beyond and to pick up our cable and internet boxes. We had quiet a few items in the car, and as we started to head home, I had the gut reaction of, “Ugh, I hope parking isn’t bad and we can find a spot close to the house.” Then I remembered, “Wait that is a New York City problem that I don’t have to worry about that anymore!” What a moment. I think this is when it finally began to sink in that we really live here now.
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?
Well, we had been through it all. We had scoped out the Raleigh area, signed a lease for a new apartment, decided on movers, said our “I’ll see you later”s (AKA our goodbyes) to everyone except Jason’s family, and (mostly) packed up our whole home.
And now, the big day – moving day – had finally arrived. But let me tell you, it started out stressful.
I remember at one point during the calm before the storm that is packing your entire life into boxes, Jason said to me, “This shouldn’t be that bad. We really don’t have that much stuff.”
I straight up laughed in his face.
I think no blog about uprooting your life and moving from one area of the country to another would be complete without a post commemorating the goodbyes, even though I strongly believe that these send offs were not “goodbye”s, but just “I’ll see you later”s. (I think the fact that I myself took no photos at any of these get-togethers proves that sentiment – no pictures needed, I’ll see you soon! The one above is from the family get together, taken by a very nice employee at the restaurant at the request of Jason’s family.)
We were so blessed to have so many people from different areas of our life come together to wish us good luck. Unfortunately, we could not see everybody we wanted to before we left, which is something I feel bad about, but we will do our best see you guys on our next visit to NY! Below is a list of the great send offs that we did get to have and for which we are so thankful.
I lived in New York for approximately 8 years, and there are plenty of things that began to grind on me over that time. But now that I won’t be living there anymore, I don’t want to focus on those things – I want to highlight the aspects of New York that I loved and I will miss. This is the first of a few posts I am hoping to do in this vein.
Now, here’s a fact that everybody already knows: New York is a mecca of Jewish life. The thing is, though, while you can know this fact, I don’t think you can truly understand this fact until you have lived in New York. When I first moved to New York, a guy I knew in law school who grew up on Long Island told me that for the longest time, he thought the entire world was 50% Catholic and 50% Jewish because that’s what he was surrounded by growing up. There are very few places in the world where you can say it feels like the population is 50% Jewish.
And besides for just living in New York, to get the Jewish experience, I would even take it one step further and say you’re not getting the full experience unless you spend some time living close to an Orthodox Jewish population.
Picking a moving company. Oy. I think picking a moving company has been one of the most challenging aspects of our moving process because, contrary to how the phrase normally goes, this was our first rodeo. Sure, Jason and I, both individually and jointly, have been through plenty of moves, but we haven’t been lucky enough ourselves to have the luxury of hired movers. It has always been just us, our own muscles, and those of any of our friends or relatives who we can convince to help us (usually through beer and food bribes).
Being green in this area, we started our search for movers in the same place I think most people do when they don’t know anything about a topic.
This is a very difficult post to write, but I think it is an important one nonetheless because this is real life and this blog is about the realities of moving to a new state where you know no one, not just the happy and exciting moments. It probably goes without saying, but if you are uprooting your life and moving to somewhere completely new, you’re probably going to upset and/or piss off at least one person in your life. When you share these plans with your friends, family, coworkers, and any other category of people in your life, it’s best to be prepared for the worst. Below are four tips I think can be helpful in tackling the difficult conversations with people who aren’t exactly supportive of your move:
For our second trip down to the Raleigh area, we kind of procrastinated on booking flights, so when we finally got around to it, everything was expensive, and we ended up having flights at odd hours because they were cheapest. We flew in Thursday night late (I think we got in at 11:00pm) and flew out Sunday morning at 6:00am, not leaving ourselves much time to check out places, but determined to get things done. Raleigh welcomed us with a torrential downpour Thursday night, but our spirits were lifted when we found out what vehicle we would be driving around town in:
While I was expecting our Raleigh apartment hunt to be much less daunting than a New York City apartment hunt (and trust me, it was) the search was not without its own unique challenges. Our Raleigh hunt came in two stages – first, we did our due diligence and researched the heck out of places online, which I am going to detail in this post. Then, we took our second trip down to the area and visited the apartment complexes in person to make a final decision, which will be in another post coming soon.
But before we even took to the internet to get our search going, there were a few things that Jason and I needed to decide. Continue reading “Apartment Hunting 101 – The Research and Online Search”