Today I am going to talk about our last days before leaving the States. I would say the last 14 days before the actual fly-date are the most stressful.
Worrying about the Budget
Our household goods were scheduled to be picked up between Christmas and New Year’s. So, that was a new experience for sure! Like I mentioned before, the US budget issue was a problem for many people and us. But not being confident that we would be flying on January 3rd made Christmas a bizarre time.
The house was already sold, and at that point, we were renting our own home and needed to be out of the house on December 31st. Budget or no budget.
Sunday, December 27th, Trump finally signed the budget. I never forget watching the breaking news announcement that evening, twelve hours before the movers were about to pack our life into boxes. Relief for our plans was finally here after weeks and weeks of wondering what would happen if he did not sign it.
Household Goods are Being Picked-Up
On Monday, three people from the moving company showed up while I took Toby to the vet to get his health certificate paperwork started. They were excellent workers! They wrapped all our smalls in paper and put them into boxes. After they left that evening, the only thing left to do was take apart furniture, wrap it, and crate them, which meant that we had the next day off because loading did not happen until Wednesday.
That Tuesday, we finally felt excited to move, no more crazy worries, just going with the flow. We went on a last-minute shopping spree at Marshall’s and got a vast breakfast takeaway from Maison Dixon Café, where we had our first breakfast when we first got into Fredericksburg in August 2018. The day was ours, and we went for a walk in the park and just relaxed the rest of the day. It was great!
The next day, we, unfortunately, had some problems with the moving crew. They were all excellent workers, but the lady in charge was disappointing. She was rude, big time. They showed up late; when they showed up, the truck was way too big to fit in our driveway (at the pre-inspection, we emphasized that we needed two smaller trucks instead), and when they then had to go back to Woodbridge and get that smaller truck it was getting later and later in the day, and the lady was upset about that. Unfortunately, she took her bad mood out on us when we had questions or concerns.
Quality Control (they are supposed to make sure you get good service that day) on base did not work or was short-handed, so they were of no help either. I guess these are the problems you run into when you move between the years. But we had no other choice, so we had to make it work.
I think they did not leave until 8 pm that evening and had to finish up crating in the dark. In the end, there was even confusion about how many crates we had or where the parts box (the box with the screws to furniture and therefore the essential item of a shipment) went. It was a mess.
When they left, I was only hoping that everything would make it.
Our Last Night at Home
The following day, the day we officially moved out of the house, we found at least ten or more nails in the driveway left by the moving crew the day before. We got lucky we did not accidentally pop a car tire that morning.
When the movers left that evening, we drove to get food from our favorite Mexican restaurant, downtown Fredericksburg for the very last time. It was delicious but also sad. I miss that place every weekend 😊
The only piece of furniture left that night was our old couch we would be sleeping on that night. Our house photographer, whom we sold the couch to, picked it up the following day. Also, our coffee-maker and vacuum were picked up that morning—all last-minute sales.
A New Day
The next day, it was New Year’s Eve. I was vacuuming and getting rid of all the small kitchen items you typically have left the last days living in a place. Thank god, trash was being picked that morning. We tried to fit our suitcases, and all our other belongings not loaded in the crates the day before, and Toby in the rental car, which we had picked up early that morning.
Getting all that stuff done, there was no time for me to feel sad to leave our house for the very last time or to even think about it anymore. I was just glad when everything fit into the car, and we finally left all that craziness behind.
After finally leaving the house for the last time, Sean had to meet up with a coworker to return some work items in the local Target parking lot, and then we took one final ride out to the local park to take a walk with Toby.
New Years Eve Moving Style
After our walk, we headed up to Washington Dulles to stay our last three nights in a Residence Inn by Marriott close to the airport. It was a very convenient stay. Wegmans and all kinds of other stores were within walking distance. Also, a nice park to walk in was close.
We celebrated New Year’s Eve by finally telling my family that we were coming back home, eating Korean food, and drinking champagne. Sean did not make it until midnight that day. It had been a long week.
But we enjoyed the last days of living in Americana by watching American movies, taking long walks, trying to relax, and eating Wegman’s sushi every day.
The Day We Fly
January 3rd arrived quickly, and it was an exciting and, at the same time, a terrifying day for me. First of all, who wants to fly during a pandemic with hundreds of other people on a plane? And secondly and most important: Toby. Toby had to fly again, and I was worried sick THE WHOLE TIME from giving him up at the counter until receiving him back in Frankfurt. When we had to leave him at the counter, I started to cry. All that stress of the last days and his constant barking made it very hard to stay calm.
But it all worked out. Toby is a tough little one with his 14 years and a healthy, feisty little Jack Russel.
The flight was uneventful. I would say it was half full. We flew with Lufthansa, and service was reduced to a minimum.
I think I was able to sleep two or three hours that night.
The next morning, we landed in Germany.