I had a feeling moving out was going to be a long day. I already had that whirlwind feeling leaving PA at midnight the night before, and considering I was already so tired and that at 8 the next morning I would be at U-haul of East Orange picking up a 10 foot truck, I knew that I would be feeling this way for the next couple days.
6:30 AM in Mount Laurel is 8:00 AM in East Orange. I guess this is something that little brother didn't understand because he stayed up late the night before and wasn't really aware of the time we were leaving. I didn't even really know he was coming because the day before mom was talking about coming and never mentioned him, but I guess she missed the 6:30AM memo as well.
After the obligatory trip to WaWa, coffee and sizzlies, we started north on the turnpike. We took the classic route that I don't really think me and my dad have taken since my freshmen year. After about 2 trips we are always trying to find new ways of going somewhere. We started taking 295 instead of the turnpike the full way there about the time I moved into my place and really haven’t taken that way since.
So there we were: 6:45AM around exit 6, in our boots, knit hats, driving to some unknown northern destination, finishing our sizzlies, drinking coffee, the sky is just starting to change colors. We start talking about how this is basically the scenario of a camping trip back when me and my brother were both in scouts. This is really the calm before the storm part of the trip because it’s shortly after this that I realize that I forgot my keys. This is another lesson of camping apparently left unlearned because I don't think I’ve ever been on a trip when I didn't forget something really important. Luckily I figured out that my roommate was home and that I would be going back anyway so we didn't have to turn around, but after that it’s hard to avoid the feeling that this was going to be a long day.
We pick up the U-Haul. I’ve lived in this area for a few years now but of course I don't really know how to get everywhere. I don't have a car so my knowledge of driving in North Jersey is limited to highways. Actually it’s limited to one highway, the Garden State Parkway. I pretty much spend 80% of my time driving on the route from Mount Laurel to Newark so I can tell you which exits are the closest to my place (none of them) or which time of day is the best to avoid traffic (from 2 AM to 3 AM other than that is a parking lot). So getting from U-Haul to my apartment requires GPS even if it’s only like 2 miles away. Even with all my knowledge of the Parkway me and my dad forgot that trucks can’t go on the Parkway and it wasn't until we he just merged onto the highway that I figured this out. We were caravanning and he was leading since he had the GPS so all I could do is hope for the best. Luckily everything turned out OK.
Here is where the real fun starts. I moved in on the hottest day of the year, in a huge rainstorm. I moved out on basically the coldest, when the whole block was piled up with snow. Here in New Jersey we don't really have the luxury of going to the Ice Bar since I could make cups of ice outside from all the snow piled up. Ivy Hill isn’t really noted for its spacious parking and unloading the U-Haul was hard enough the first time so moving out surrounded by piles of snow and icy roads and sidewalks forced us to walk carefully and block about 6 parking spots. Thanks to me for forgetting my keys the basement door became a one way so we had to walk around the building. This resulted in the Ivy Hill Relays as trips moving out furniture became a big circle: U-Haul, walk around the building, elevator to the ninth, grab some stuff, elevator down, basement door, back to the U-Haul, repeat. We really made good time though and because the 6A crew is taking my sofa it was really easy to pack up. This was supposed to be my dad’s last trip to 9N but in a last minute audible he left the vacuum so that I could clean thoroughly so he’ll be back on Friday. Moving stage one was complete ahead of schedule. We moved the wall unit, Bombay table, kitchen table, chairs, lounge chairs, bed, dresser, carpets, and a few other things out in about 2 hours with a team of 4. In spite of all our mistakes we realized one thing that we did make an improvement in from the moving in process. This time I opted for the $7 rental of a furniture dolly. Gamechanger. We took a break for lunch before beginning moving out part two. In order to do that we had to lock up the truck something that the two eagle scouts present had neglected to bring on this camping trip so I had to borrow a lock and rope to tie up the furniture in the truck from the 6A crew. Dad took us out to Hot Bagels Abroad, which is The Place in South Orange. I firmly believe it is the best place to get bagels on earth, even if they are real expensive. Little brother approved so I know I can’t be far off from being correct.
Moving part II was a lot easier. We thought ahead and talked about the route in order to avoid the Parkway, we had my cousin the pro mover who loves the opportunity to fit as much stuff as possible into the smallest places he can, and I had already made reservations so we were set. Not exactly.
My cousin and uncle met us back in Mount Laurel and we unloaded all the stuff that wouldn't fit in the house. We had to estimate how much would fit into storage and move as much out as possible without really knowing how big the space was. After that we headed down to Berlin, NJ for storage. Apparently Berlin, NJ is the storage capital of the world. I choose Berlin originally because I found online that they had the cheapest prices at the shortest distance.
I unknowingly gave my dad and uncle directions to Berlin Self Storage instead of Public Storage in Berlin. This was the last hang up of the day. I made reservations at Public Storage and they called me about 3 times last week to confirm. We get to Berlin Self Storage and figure out that this is the wrong place, they are a little more expensive but dad talks them down to about the same price. Then Walt “Pete” takes us to see the space. It looks fine (we really don't know what we are looking for) so we go back to the van. We the decide to measure the furniture, then we realize we need to measure the space ( we didn't purchase yet so Walt “Pete” has to take us back for trip number 2). Turns out that 5X5 really means 4’6’’ X 5 so we have to bump up to the 5X10 so we had to take trip number 3 out to storage to see that. Then Walt “Pete” and my dad start working out the rental agreement. I knew things were gonna be bad when Walt “Pete” asked my dad for his license first so that he could have time to record the number because he was aware that he “typed slow”. Then he printed the rental agreement but the price on it was wrong. Somehow Walt “Pete”, who has worked at that place every day for years, didn't know how to change it and told my dad to call his boss on Monday. This was no good. After teaching Walt how to use a computer we started to move in. We realized we needed a lock so we had to use the one that we borrowed from the 6A crew, but I’m getting a new one for them today. Moving in was easy and went off without a hitch except for the gate of the storage almost killing me because went up into the air when it opened like a drawbridge instead of just sliding sideways. After that we parted was and dropped off the U-Haul at yet another storage place in Berlin (this one was more expensive than both the others).
I grabbed my keys and had Little Brother take me to the train to head back to Newark. I realized I had forgot the rope half way there and somewhere between Newark Penn Station and Ivy Hill my keys disappeared. Who’s gonna blame me for that. I had no idea what time it was, what day it was, or where the heck I was after going all over the place for the past couple days. Hopefully my next post will be from Italy. See everyone in a week.