Saturday, February 2, 2013


After two weeks of separating from GM, and cleaning out the apartment and storage, I was getting a little tired. Leaving work was stressful, even though it was a relief to be letting go, there were some emotions, and mental preparation taking place. It was tough saying goodbye to some people, and I had many friends that wanted to say goodbye every night, so I was getting a little worn down at the end of it all. I wish I could have been better company some evenings, but I was beat, and running out of time. I will miss you all, my Rochester pals. It was all good.

I had a charity stop by on Tuesday to pick up the remaining furniture and whatever they could squeeze into their little van. Stuff I did not want was moving to the curb, where anything of value got scooped up quickly by neighbors. I really don't care who gets the stuff, but did they have to scatter what they did not want to the wind? I had to keep going out there to put things back into a neat pile. One guy even destroyed a nightstand for no damn reason. He just picked it up and slammed it down on the side walk, breaking a leg off. Jackass.

The jackass that made a mess of things.

 The charity was part of Unity Health of Rochester, and they had a small warehouse with household items for families in need. They also find living spaces for families, and provide them with furniture from donations. They were not a moving company, and only had a mini van, but we worked at it and finally got everything out that we needed to. I really enjoyed helping them out. We had some laughs as well.

 Did I mention that it was about eight degrees while I was doing all this? For a time there I thought I was getting frostbite in my fingers. One finger split open, and the rest were so frigging sore it was tough to carry stuff out to the van. I finally got the rust on wheels all packed up, picked up the kids, and drove away from Rochester New York, my hometown since 1980.

I spared you the winter scene.

Nothing says Floriduh then a Mossy Oak wheel wrap and fuzzy dice. Thx Don.
 We left in snowy frigid weather which seemed appropriate. The snow squeaked under the tires because of the low temperatures, and the lights from the traffic highlighted  the exhaust plumes in the cold night air. That's January in Rochester, and I will not miss it. By the time we made it to the Pennsylvania mountains the temperature dropped to minus one (-1 F). It was at this point I realized that the heat was not all it should be in the van. In fact, we were blowing cold air, and the side windows were icing over. Oh crap. There was just enough heat to keep the windshield clean, and just enough to keep us from freezing. When we stopped for a little break and restarted, the heat kicked back in. Stuck thermostat? The temperature outside shot back up to about 11 degrees when we came down from the mountains and we were happy to have heat again. We motored along south until Baltimore, where we flopped into a hotel bed for some much needed rest.

Even Popeye and Leilani wanted a room for the night

We had thoughts of driving all the way through without stopping. Well, Eric had those thoughts. I had thoughts of a soft bed, a good nights sleep, and starting fresh in the morning. I won out, and rest we did. Turns out it was a good thing we opted for beauty rest, as black ice hit the roadways that night, and cars hit the ditch, each other, and various poles and guard rails. It looked like a real mess, and we had some delays getting through it all. Just glad we were not trying to ice skate with the van.

The van. My usual parking spot at the plant. Guys at the plant said I should have pulled the plates and left it there  :)
 What's with the gas stations and their pumps asking for your zip code? I had a brain cramp, and could not remember my new zip down here, so I texted Debra for the correct code. Deb also cramped up, and gave me the wrong one. Unfortunately that was the third attempt, and the card was frozen. I went inside, and got a "DENIED!" from the cashier. OK, bastards, I'll go across the street. DENIED! Son of a....

Another card later and rolling into South Carolina, we stopped at South of the Border, just because it's so trashy and weird. The kids had never been there, and we thought it would be fun to pick up some cheap trinkets. We were overwhelmed by it all. It looked like China just puked up all it's cheap goods in one big pile, and these folks separated and organized it. Only one thing was purchased. A gator head on a stick, which turned into quite an amusing little toy for Kelly. The truckers we passed were pretty amused as well. After a few beers Eric could not seem to put it down either. So much fun for $2.

Kelly and Eric. Love you guys. Thanks for riding with me.

Getting tired? Try some chocolate coffee beans! Zoom Zoom
 The only disappointing thing on the road trip was the lack of a candy bowl. I am known for making these trips with a variety of sugary treats at my disposal, but Kelly would have none of that. Kell wanted to be in charge of snacks, so all I had was Eric's trail mix (very good), pretzels, some cardboard like crackers, and oranges. The only sweet substance was chocolate covered coffee beans, so I ate those. Oh baby, don't chew too many of these little heart pumpers. Kell had a handful and wouldn't shut the hell up. The only way I was going to survive is to have some myself. I thought Eric's head was going to explode from all the chatter.

We arrived to many hugs and kisses, though the welcome wagon was not out for our drive up, with Paul Simon's "You can call me Al" blasting out the windows, and Kelly's Gator puppet singing along. The people in the restaurant next door seemed to like it. Twenty hours on the road, with four hours sleep, and we were ready for some beers, and a few laughs. It did not take much time for the three of us to get a little punchy, and soon we were off to sleep in SV Kelly Nicole.

It's good to be home.



  1. Yayyy! Congrats! I'm insanely jealous. Enjoy some sun and a beer for us.

    S/V Kintala

  2. Yayyy! Congrats! I'm insanely jealous. Enjoy some sun and a beer for us.

    S/V Kintala

    1. Thanks Deb! We planned this move in our heads so many times, that it seemed to take forever for it to actually happen, then just like that, here we are. I look back on the last 8 months and it is hard for me to believe we actually pulled it off.

      I look forward to reading about your adventures getting down here. You'll always remember that first trip south. Hopefully yours will be a lot slower than ours, and you can enjoy the beauty of it all. Are you guys heading East or South when you leave?

  3. I imagine it was a little surreal with all the goodbyes, packing up and leaving in the car. Like you said, it will probably take a little time for "retirement" to kick in. Congrats on "being home"!

    1. Thank you! Now that I'm forming a list of boat chores, it's starting to feel like I'm back for good, and not leaving on a plane again.