Sunday, June 19, 2005

Looking Forward

We just got back to Atlanta after a whirlwind week in Michigan. It was fun, sad, relaxed, and scary. We made some money and spent some. We said goodbye to our home and hello to our family. We packed a lot into one week.

Saturday: The first thing we did in Michigan was a photo shoot on Saturday morning. Linda Wan, who was our wedding photographer, spent about an hour photographing the three of us in our first home. It was our way of preserving some memories and making us feel a little better about moving. We can’t wait to see how the photos look.

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We borrowed Laura's car to go to Carr's Wash for Kids, which is a charity car wash held by the U-M football team to raise money for Mott's Women's and Children's Hospitals. Not only did Matt Lentz, Alan Branch, Mike Carl, and Marques Walton, along with one of their assistant coaches (or so we assume) wash our car, but the assistant coach called over Coach Carr himself when he heard we were from Georgia and we got to talk to the boss for a while. He asked us a lot of questions and said that he was headed to GA the next day to golf. It was really exciting, and we even got a t-shirt for our donation! Stevie B also autographed a page in our notebook for Gabriel, even though we had brought a book about football to be autographed. We forgot that we had it in all the excitement. And we only expected a car wash...

Monday: It took us three days to pack, so it was good that our movers showed up a day late because it was only supposed to take two. It was also a good thing that the buyers moved the closing back a day, because otherwise our stuff wouldn’t have been out of the house. Anyway, we were so busy that we were able to forget why we were packing a few times. It was hardest at night when we were taking a breather before bed and had started thinking about leaving, but we were successful in keeping away the bad feelings and focusing on our happy future.

Tuesday: The movers finally arrived about the time they were supposed to on Tuesday morning. A few more words about them below (just wait, it’s worth it). The closing itself was actually quite fun. The folks, Lance and Felice, who bought our house seem like great people, and we all seemed to be a lot alike. It made us happy to know that our house was going to people who would love it and take really good care of it.

We had a house closing party, but it was actually the night before the closing because we thought our closing was going to be on Monday and everyone already had plans to meet up in Northville at Buca di Beppo. Everyone, that is, except Matt, for whom the dinner was supposed to be a surprise. He had to be let in on the generalities of the plan when we had the issues with the movers being late, but the location was indeed a surprise. Our moms and Patty’s dad, Karlene, Vera, Emily, Laura, Vanessa, Chris, Bob, and Nancy were there with us to support us and celebrate our closing. We had a great dinner and lots of fun.

We learned an interesting fact on Tuesday: 7 steps is a flight. When the movers say that the first flight is free and each additional flight is $50, it turns out that a two story house is not indeed $50 but $200. We apparently had five flights of stairs. Should have charged more for the house. They took about 8 hours instead of the 4 that they estimated, and we had much more than we had estimated. We used a bunch of their boxes, which turned out to be $8 each, and the whole move turned out to be $2000 more than our estimate. We don’t think that there’s any way we could have known, and there’s nothing we can do about it now except laugh.

After the move, we headed to Toledo to visit everyone. The two of us went out to dinner at El Salto, and we had a fantastic Mexican meal and maybe the best margaritas we’d ever had. The strongest, anyway. After everything we’d been through, they tasted outstanding!

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Wednesday: On Wednesday, we visited Grandma and Grandpa for a little bit and saw their new apartment. It’s really nice, and we like it a lot; so do they. After that, we went with Mom to the Toledo Zoo, and Nancy, Nathan, and Ciara went with us. We spent most of the day there and wore ourselves out. That night, we grilled some fish and had a great dinner. The two of us finally broke down and went to the movies, after a break of a few years. We saw Star Wars Episode III, and although we were pretty critical of it that night, the next morning we agreed that it was really, really good.

Thursday: The next day was Thursday, and we got our things together and visited G&G Kranz, Grandma Angle, and the Millons before heading up to Laura’s house. It was 8:00 pm by the time we finally got there, so we ordered pizza because we were all really hungry.

Her house is awesome. It has hardwood floors, beautiful cove ceilings, a nice big back deck, and a lot of trees in both front and back yards. We found ourselves looking at it like buyers, since we’ve been looking at houses and watching all of the home shows on TV.

Friday: We spent the next two nights at Mom’s and Dad’s house, and they went pretty quickly. We got to be the first in the family to meet Laura’s "friend" Daniel. We like him a lot and are pleased with her selection, ha ha. On Friday, Laura graduated from nursing school. We had dinner at the Post restaurant with all of the Wolfgangs, Mark, Natasha, and Natasha’s mom, step dad, and niece. We ate a ton of appetizers and were full before dinner even got there. The graduation went pretty quickly, but not quickly enough for Gabriel who wanted to sleep but couldn’t. We got back from walking him around in time to see Laura cross the stage. We startled the people in front of us with our screaming for her. Laura worked so hard to be an RN, and she did so well. She got all As her last year and is already a fantastic nurse. Her patients love her, and she gives them lots of attention and thorough care.

After the graduation, we went back to Laura’s house for MORE FOOD! We all ate way more than we should, but that cheesecake was so good. On the way there, though, we almost got hit by a drunk driver and called 911 to report him. The police called back to get our information because they’d pulled him over and had arrested him and were towing his car. In a way, it might be good that we had the close call because maybe by getting the police to pull him over someone’s life was saved. We hope that no one’s life would have been in danger, but we are glad that he was taken off the street and hope that he will make better decisions in the future. Anyway, Laura’s party was fun and we were so excited for her big day.

On Saturday, we had a few errands to run and had to pack all of our stuff. Our flight was at 4:04 pm and was on time. We had an extremely smooth flight back to Atlanta, even though the landing approach was a little curvy and divey (that’s a technical aerospace term) for our tastes. Also, as we were descending, something started loudly vibrating, and it felt like the engine was about to fall off. Fortunately, it did not. The brakes left something to be desired, too, but at least we were on the ground by then. Gabriel was great for the flight except that he has reached the age when he just wants to be walked back and forth in the aisles the entire time. He made lots of friends on the plane today.

On the way back to our apartment (our only home at the moment!), our train broke down in a dark tunnel. In the middle of an announcement, the driver’s voice cut off and the train stopped. The electricity went out, too, but we realized that it was just in our car. The worst part was that the air went off and body odor accumulates quickly on MARTA. Thank goodness that Gabriel had stopped fussing and gone to sleep. If he’d been crying, we might have been in a lot of trouble with our fellow passengers! It just happened that we were almost to the station with rock (which may or may not be the natural earth) walls, so we were in a tunnel of rock and getting claustrophobic fast. The man sitting next to us said what we were thinking: "I’m assessing my options" as he looked out the window and made a trial call on his cell phone to check his reception. One woman got up and pressed the call button for the conductor, but wouldn’t you know, it didn’t work. We were getting ready to hide our valuables and had already chosen a portable stool as a good weapon (although neither of us admitted it at the time), when a man came into our car and turned the lights back on. Shortly thereafter, the air came back on and we started moving again. Hallelujah!

We are now back at the apartment and will unpack when we’re good and ready, which isn’t tonight. We think Gabriel’s getting a new tooth, because he’s been in some pain, is drooling a little bit, and chomps down hard on our fingers when we feel his gums. So life returns to normal...