Current local Las Vegas time is 3:54pm, June 25, 2017.

Archive for the 'Moving' Category

Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the second half

We were now in New Mexico, a place Dad and I had never been before. We both grew up and have mainly existed on the East Coast. Sure, we’ve been to other places, but we never drove cross-country through them. We were absolutely not prepared for the beauty that unfolded before us.

At first it was like driving through an old Warner Brothers Road Runner and Coyote cartoon, except that this scenery was real and there were no Acme instant holes or rocket roller skates to be found along the side of the road. Interstate 40 runs a relatively straight line through New Mexico. There are plenty of hills and ridges, and cresting each one offered up a new and stunning view. It was really incredible to watch the composition of each valley change. Drive 15 miles and the rocks go from craggy and pebbly to flat and striated. Each valley was different, as if God had made thousands of prototypes, each a little different than the others.

I was actually looking forward to twelve hours of this scenery and my mere words here cannot come close to conveying the unique beauty of this place. If you ever have a chance to drive I-40 anywhere in New Mexico and Arizona, take it. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the second half…

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Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the first half

Well as nice as Texas had been, it was nice to see another state. Hello New Mexico! I felt like we had now made real progress. So far the journey was going extremely well, especially since we had tow alpha-males in the truck. Not only were Dad and I still speaking, but we were still having meaningful conversations. This is a good sign.

A few miles over the New Mexico border was the welcome station. We had made it a habit to stop in all the welcome stations along the way for a variety of reasons. The primary one, usually, was a rest room break. The secondary was the free maps. Maps have always fascinated me beyond their utility. I think part of it is dreaming of being in all those exotic and obscure places, wondering what they are like, noting the differences and similarities to the places I already know. At least that’s the romantic version of it.

The Welcome Center on I-40 just west of the Texas/New Mexico border had something even better than maps and a place to pee for free. They had Internet access. I’m an Internet junkie. I make my living doing Internet things and I also have a lot of fun hanging around on the Internet. For nearly four days, I was completely and totally without Internet access, so being able to get online for free, in the middle of nowhere, was too much to resist. Peeing can wait (it had to anyway, but I’ll get to that). Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 4, the first half…

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Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the second half

On the road and hungry, Dad and I, adhering to the “local flavor if possible” rule of the road, had stopped at the only place for miles around. It was surprisingly bright and clean, but the owner serving us was a bit relaxed in her approach to service. OK, she was slow. But everyone was friendly. There was a man on a cell phone sipping tea and an older couple had just left. Dad and I were the only active customers left, so there was no denying us. We were ready to order, and there was no excuse not to come over and get those orders.

During our wait, we had studied the menu enough to note that it was actually a menu for another restaurant, but located in the same place (we think). There were also several suspicious menu items, such as a bowl of Chile and a Cheeseburger with only one “e” in cheese. Perhaps the extra “e” had migrated to the chili, hence the unusual geographical reference. There were other equally humorous “oopsies” on the menu, but I neglected to write them down. If I’m ever back in Sunset, TX, I’ll stop back in and hope they haven’t changed the menus. Something tells me I have nothing to fear. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the second half…

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Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the first half

It was day 2 on the road from Orlando to Las Vegas. We had made excellent time on day one despite some rain. Day 2 looked like it was going to turn into another fine day of driving with Dad. I figured since this was my show, I was obligated to do more driving than Dad, so I took the first shift again. This was also nice because I usually got to take a post-lunch nap if I felt like it. Well as much nap as you can get in a moving truck.

As we started, Louisiana was still intact. Katrina was days behind us, so the drive out of state was a quick one: about 90 minutes or so. That’s when we hit Texas. For those who have been to Texas, you know everything is bigger there. It just is. And Texas itself is big. Very big. Big in a way that you can’t drive through the thing in a day big.

Texas also doesn’t look like I thought it would. The stereotype is that Texas is all pickup trucks and longhorn steers. We saw enough of those, but there are also lovely mountains, sloping hills, plains, and pretty much any other geological configuration you can imagine. Despite the fact that it seems to take forever to drive through Texas, it’s a drive worth taking. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 3, the first half…

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Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the second half

Day one is nearly over, but we’ve still got miles to go before we rest. We’re in the midst of trying to find a hotel, but the truck needed fuel in the meantime, so we have stopped at a gas station to fuel up both truck and man.

It was at this gas station that I discovered one really huge annoyance of $2.60 diesel fuel and 35-gallon fill-ups beyond the simple math of paying nearly $100 for a tank of fuel and knowing I would need about 9 of them to make this trip. I discovered that my credit cards (debit cards actually) only pre-approved $75.00 on most pumps, which meant two transactions and two receipts for each fill up. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the second half…

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Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the first half

I started the day by checking my cell phone voice mail and was relieved that Mrs. Vargas and Luella had arrived safely in Las Vegas and were already settled in the new house.

Remember how Luella had received half a pill of Kitty Valium for the flight? Apparently Luella had actually spit out her relaxation pill, but didn’t need it. She behaved the entire way and only had a few audible complaints during the five-hour flight. Happy with the knowledge that the girls were safely in place and awaiting us, it was time to let the driving begin.

I have driven from Central Florida to points in the Northeast, such as Boston, MA and Buffalo, NY before. Twelve-hundred miles isn’t too bad of a drive. Well, we were looking at nearly twenty-five hundred from Dad’s house to Las Vegas. We had planned on 48 hours of driving over four days, meaning 12 hours a day, give or take.

No sense brooding; we got going. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 2, the first half…

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Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the second half

It was moving day. So far the mover had hit on my wife, left without us really having everything packed, and time was running out to get Mrs. Vargas and Luella the cat to the airport for their flight to our new home in Vegas.

And as time ran completely out, we got saved.

A $20 bill and a very nice neighbor got the leftover trash and stuff from the house taken care of. We left her behind with a key and some verbal instructions that I can only hope were relatively coherent. I know I wasn’t.

I did have to leave behind a huge amount of my hot sauce collection, and I’m a bit pissed about that, but you have to make sacrifices. At the end of the day, we had everything packed that we needed to get into the truck and a means to get the house empty for its new owner. We even managed to leave behind a few goodies for him. OK, so this generosity wasn’t necessarily planned in advance, but I’m sure he will appreciate the dishes, hot sauce collection, computer, and other artifacts of our life. Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the second half…

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Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the first half

The day started out OK, and everything was going well until the mover showed up. He seemed chipper enough until he toured the house and proclaimed that I had lied to him about what had to be moved. Now if you want to get my attention in a hurry, call me a liar. I am many things, but a liar is not one of them. However, since I needed his services desperately, I decided to let that one slide.

I told him that I was very specific about what had to be moved and that I requested that he come out ahead of time and give me a quote, but in his words, he’s a professional and could tell from our conversation. OK so be it.

Well Mr. Professional Mover was just too upset and it “would kill” him to move all our stuff (despite the fact that a two-man crew had not only packed it but unloaded it the same day when we moved in). He told me wanted to leave and not do the job since he only had himself and an assistant but absolutely needed three men to do the job.

After going back and forth for a few minutes Mrs. Vargas came to the rescue and told him that he came recommended from friends and that professionals don’t leave jobs. So he decides to load our stuff in the truck, but grumbled that it would take more than six hours. Boohoo, I say. He’s getting paid hourly! Read more on Moving to Vegas: Day 1, the first half…

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