The Big Move


         Joie and Marilyn have relocated more than two dozen times, intrastate, interstate AND intercontinental, but THIS move, from Miami Beach to Western Massachusetts involved a massive environmental change as well. From stressful condo-living and crowded expressways to living on serene acreage with winding country roads. Beige sand beaches and palm trees to rolling hills and ancient weeping willows, giant oaks and red maples. From year-round tropical heat and humidity to temperatures that change drastically from one season to the next. For those who wonder if we are prepared for winter, the answer is "sort of". Although it was many, many decades ago, Marilyn grew up in Pennsylvania, and we did make the decision to move to New England during a visit in 9 below zero weather and 4 feet of snow.
Just a fraction of what we had AFTER giving away a lot! 
Although we are happy about the new digs, the move itself started out as one of the hardest. At  the last hour, we learned that POD containers were no longer permitted in the beach-side gated community, which meant we had to come up with a different location for it to be delivered. Then we had to rent a U-Haul and pack that first to take it to the POD and move everything from the truck to the POD, which took several trips...and of course it was raining most of the time. If you look closely at the pic above, you'll see Marilyn in the middle of the stacks trying to meet a deadline! Even Milkdud & Sweetie were exhausted by the time the condo was empty!

It was a monumental effort and Joie ended up doing most of the heavy lifting on both ends of the move. Thank goodness she's into weight-lifting! Here she is giving a demonstration about how NOT to move a Tempurpedic mattress. After 15 hours of loading-unloading-reloading U-Hauls and POD, she decided she would sleep right where she was...kinda like having her very own fort.

        Then we had to drive two separate cars to take our two large dogs and everything they, and we, would immediately need in the new house (like airbeds and a coffee pot) until the POD was delivered with the bulk of our stuff.
         First we had to say goodbye to South Florida -
Last workout session with coach Mikhael Ricks

Last time we'd be seeing orchids like these in Melbourne, FL

and then we headed north... very very very slowly.
We certainly won't miss Florida traffic!

Of course there were lots of stops along the way. Here's Joie multi-tasking in Georgia - walking the kiddos while doing lunges!

  Entering SC, the decision was made to get a picture of every State Welcome sign & a little something at the rest stops. Joie thought she'd try a little yoga in South Carolina.

The North Carolina greeting center was filled with beautiful flowers.

There was no question of Virginia's slogan at their Welcome Center. Which was lucky for us because we flew by the border Welcome sign so fast the pic was just a blur.

 VA's rest stop was so pretty and dog friendly, we took a good long walk in the woods.
And as we headed out we got our first glimpse of a mountain.

 Okay, so West Virginia's border sign wasn't much but the rest stop did have some pretty flowers.

Our plan to catch every border crossing sign got shot down again as we entered Maryland...but we got a pic of the truck that blocked our view of it.

 Historian Joie wanted to be sure to catch a pic advising us that we were crossing the Mason-Dixon line but we also managed to get the Pennsylvania border sign and a couple decent pics of the welcome center.

We thought we had the overnight stops planned very well but the driving time this day was several hours longer than it was supposed to be. There was a reward at the end of the day, however. We had made reservations at the Radisson Lackawanna Station hotel in Scranton and although it wasn't the easiest place to find in the dark, the old railroad station turned hotel was magnificent and we had an excellent dinner brought to us by room service.

By the next morning, we were well rested and ready to cross the border into New York.

 and in a blink we were entering Connecticut, which apparently is "still revolutionary".

 The trip itself was smooth and generally trouble-free, though definitely a little melancholy like when we visited friends Barb, Earl and Dee in Melbourne.

But we finally got to our destination to take the last road trip pic - Seriously, 1759 !!!

And nothing could have been more welcoming upon our arrival than these gifts from our new neighbors, including a home-made Key lime pie because we had just come from South Florida!

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