Tag Archives: moving

Relocation: One Penske Truck at a Time

Oh hey guys. Sarah here. Sorry it’s been a while, but things have been pretty crazy with the move back to the Midwest. If you’re thinking to yourself, how crazy can it be just loading your life into a truck and driving it 16 hours? Well, if you want to go ahead and grab yourself a 5 hour energy and a Red Bull, I’ll tell you. And don’t skimp on the good stuff. No amount of coffee will be enough for this ride.

Let’s start back at the end of August. The sun was shining and a yet-to-be named yet storm system was gaining strength out in the Gulf just in time for us to pick up our first Penske truck from the local dealer in Sarasota.

And then, as if Sarasota was showing it’s emotion at our leaving, the rain started to fall. Hard.

As Matt waited for the truck to arrive in the rain, I headed back towards the house to meet the movers, pausing briefly as I drove through an already flooded road just outside the Penske lot.

Timestamp: 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

Per the advice of Brock at the Sarasota Penkse (let’s go ahead and name each one by location for future clarification purposes), we waited to pick up the car hauler until after the truck was loaded. That meant 3-4 more hours of rain before we had to drive a moving truck and a CR-V back through the flooded road, which was now a full-on river.

Should we have seen the signs we were set for an adventure when we were blocked by floodwaters at the only road that would lead us to Penske?

Or perhaps when they told us the trailer we rented wouldn’t fit on a 22-foot truck and we’d need to swap it out for a different one before we even left? Perhaps. But we documented our exit from the Sarasota Penkse with a hopeful smile as the weather guy reported that I-9 was now a Tropical Storm projected to make landfall as Hurricane Hermine near the panhandle of Florida by Thursday.

img_4440-1

We’ll be on our way to Tennessee by that time, we optimistically thought. 

We were just north of Ocala when this happened.
img_4445

And if you’re asking yourself, well how far did you make it before the first truck broke down?

This far.

sarasota_ocala

A mere two hours in the rain to a truck stop just north of Ocala.

And unfortunately that’s as far as we’d make it for a few hours. Lisa’s husband, or brother or ex-husband informed us that we were not going to make it far with this particular sounds like its going to die, floor boards are melting my feet, jerking, shaking, AC and radio shorting out truck that is currently packed to the very edge with all of our belongings.

Now the good news is we were just 10 miles away from the Ocala Penske where they informed us that they had another truck of the same size waiting for us. We could spend the night in Ocala or they could call another set of movers to come over that night and ‘swap the load.’ We opted for the latter to try stay ahead of the storm, still hoping to make our reservation in Atlanta that evening.

Here’s a snapchat snapshot of what followed:

So they swapped the load and we set off for Atlanta Wednesday night but only made it as far as Valdosta to sleep for the night. The truck seemed better but as we set out Thursday morning, we ran into similar problems around Macon. After a brief stop at the Macon Penske dealership we were told nothing was wrong with Truck #2 and on we went.

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-8-31-02-am

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-8-32-00-am

By this point I was googling Penske dealers out ahead of our drive and basically calling them to tell them we were coming. Just before the mountains on Thursday afternoon, we made a call into the Dalton, GA Penske and told them we were bringing our second truck in for service as there was no way we were going to make it through the mountains with it.

I’ll never forget the look on the lead mechanics face when he came into the break room and gave us the news as if we were getting a terminal diagnosis from a physician.

Unfortunately we’ve seen this issue on a lot of these trucks before guys and it’s not good. It looks like this truck was just serviced for the same issue a few months ago and they didn’t fix it. It’s not good guys. It’s at least a 4-day job. But you came to the right place. We are the place all of the other dealers bring their trucks because our technicians are diamond certified. 

And then he said the words that became oh-so-familiar to us so quickly.

Guys, we’re going to have to swap the load. 

Why don’t you go enjoy a nice dinner on us while we see about getting the movers here. 

And then he said the words that would save us for the rest of the trip.

We’re not going to give you another 22-foot truck. We’re going to tow a new 26-foot truck down from Chatanooga. It has air brakes and less than 17,000 miles on it and should be a more comfortable ride for the remainder of your trip. 

So we went and enjoyed a nice dinner at Chilis and tried to find humor in the last two day’s events.

Timestamp: 9:00 p.m., Thursday, September 1, 2016

Timestamp: 8:00 a.m., Friday, September 2, 2016

img_4465

Our new truck was amazing and we finally made it to St. Louis Friday evening, just a few days later (and a few more swapped loads) than we originally planned.

I’ll be back for part two where we unpacked boxes and found out how much of our stuff broke in the aforementioned load swapping.

And if you are wondering whether we would ever use Penske again after three trucks and as many days of moving, the answer is maybe. I don’t plan on ever moving ourselves again so that shouldn’t be a problem, but I will say their roadside and customer service made up for the crappy line of 22-foot trucks they acquired.

Until next time!

 

Seasonal Changes

Pop quiz.

Where’s home to the one of the most successful franchises in baseball and soon two Zalewskis and a Finnegan Murphy?

Hint for Cubs fans: they have 11 World Championships so Chicago is out.

Site of the 1904 World’s Fair.

The first American city to host the Olympics.

Hometown to Jackie Joyner Kersey, Maya Angelou and perhaps most importantly, hip-hop artist and new country breakout, Nelly.

Batter up. The Zalewskis are taking our talents to St. Louis this fall.

IMG_9700

But why on earth would you leave Sarasota, home to the best beaches in the country, year-long sunshine, arts, culture and the most laid-back dress code you’ll ever encounter?

View this post on Instagram

Decent Wednesday evening.

A post shared by Sarah Zalewski (@slmurphy) on

A. Because we really miss gray winters and snow

B. Because alligators, fire ants and Trump supporters

C. Because we just love everything that goes into packing boxes and moving across the country

D. Because we were offered an earlier-than-expected opportunity to finally put down roots in a community we love, closer to friends and family and just in time to enjoy the best season the midwest puts on each year (insert all the I love fall hashtags here).

fall colors, springfield illinois, simply social blog

If you answered “D” (with a sprinkle of “B”) you’re correct.

And while we are sad to leave Sarasota and everything never having to wear coats and closed-toes shoes has to offer, we know this is the right move for our family in the long run.

bears football, chicago, greater swiss mountain dog, halloween, Chicago Bears, Florida

Besides, since the Rams left town we won’t have to worry about standing in our driveway doing the SuperBowl Shuffle every Sunday.

You may be asking what our only sits under the AC vent, lover of the beach but not the water, greater swiss MOUNTAIN dog may be thinking about heading back to the midwest?

image

Well, he loves car rides and cooler temps so we can only imagine he’ll love it as much as we think he will.  
image

There’s at least one family member who will be pumped for a snow again after 3 years of 80-degree Decembers.

So that’s that. A little life update for you. My apologies for only using the blog for the occasional recipe and huge life change announcement.

You can rest assured that as soon as I come to grips with the fact that we just moved into a new house 4 months ago and have to do it again in less than 5 weeks, I’ll be back with more of the good stuff.

Until then we’ll be soaking up all of the sunsets and August humidity we can before heading back “home” this fall.

Sarasota, lido beach, florida, beach, sunset, lido key

Moving Day

Hey there. Me again. Back after a brief hiatus with more photos and fewer words. I promise I’ll be back on a regular schedule once we are all moved in but until then I hope you’ll settle for a photo update of the last few days.

Friday was spent down in Champaign celebrating with family and friends before the 5th running of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. Technically this year marks the 6th annual race but this was the 5th year of our family running let’s just go with that.

christie clinic illinois marathon, racing, half marathon, champaign, family,

It was so nice to see my Champaign family and to squeeze the little ones before we leave. We were blessed (and cursed) with nice weather throughout the weekend as well, making for a very hot race the next day.

christie clinic illinois marathon, racing, half marathon, champaign, family,

Jake and Owen came over for the youth run on Saturday well-prepared with their under armor superhero shirts. I missed the run but highlights included Jake getting a side stitch approximately 30 seconds into a 1K distance, Owen blazing to the finish and Jake asking the volunteer why he was getting a medal if he didn’t win.

Saturday evening we celebrated our move with some of our closest Chicago friends. I feel very blessed to have had these girls (and guys) in my life over the last 6 years and will miss them so much. It’s so nice to have a bunch of people to look forward to visiting each time we come back though.

chicago going away party, haymarket pub, friends, Chicago

Approximately 4 hours of sleep later we were onto Sunday where we celebrated the upcoming arrival of the first grandchild on Matt’s side. If you can’t tell by the shower colors, it’s a girl.

girls baby shower, tassel garland, candy bar, sweets table, diaper cake, pink baby shower,

5 or so hours of sleep later it was moving day. Chicago sent us off just about the same way it treated us all winter long with gray skies and wet conditions but we made the most of it. We had a bit of a fiasco with our movers last-minute so we called in some family to help us make the trip. Once the truck was packed, Matt and his brother started the trip down and I headed to Springfield to pick up my dad and Finn.

spring weather, chicago moving day, moving truck

I’m not typically one to consider signs but I am now convinced that Bloomington hates me. You may recall I ran into a big winter storm coming through Bloomington a few months back so I guess it’s only fitting to get hit with a tornado warning on my last trip home.

So dad and I hit the road early this morning with the hope of making it to our new home in a day or so. Matt and his brother are of course already nearly there thanks to a few naps and a lot of caffeine.

Next stop, Florida.

florida_home

So long, farewell

It’s been a weekend of celebrations and goodbyes. Several days of toasts and surprises. I am full. Both in my heart and in my belly. And while I don’t have a lot of words today, I do have a lot of photos. Special thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate our move, my Aunt and Uncle for traveling down from Minnesota, my best friend Keli for hosting and my sister who snapped most of these in her best ‘I’m totally a photographer only without any understanding of manual mode’ mode.

IMG_3777 IMG_3781 IMG_3779 IMG_3778 IMG_3782 IMG_3783 IMG_3784 IMG_3785 IMG_3788 IMG_3789 IMG_3791 IMG_3793 IMG_3794

IMG_3797 IMG_3798 IMG_3800 IMG_3801 IMG_3810 IMG_3806 IMG_3812 IMG_3815 IMG_3816 IMG_3820 IMG_3822 IMG_3824 IMG_3826 IMG_3827

I’ll be back later this week with an Easter recap. For now, the boys and I have some more sticks to turn into weapons and toilet humor jokes to crack.

IMG_5930

p.s. No Jake’s were decapitated in the making of this photo.

Workout Wednesday

Please excuse my absence this week. I guess being at a company for 5-plus years makes for a pretty busy final week.

Speaking of finals, I decided that this last week of work feels a lot like college finals. The springlike weather (let’s not even talk about the snow we had yesterday), finishing up those big projects before a much-needed break, the anxiety that comes with realizing that your break actually consists of finding a job and the celebratory drinking. Ok, so I think we can all agree the drinking will never be on the same level as college finals but you get the idea.

And the packing. Don’t even get me started on the packing. Let’s just say my next few Workout Wednesdays are going to look a lot like this.

20140416-192525.jpg

I’m going to try my best to continue to post regularly but please forgive me if I’m off schedule for a few weeks. I am a self-proclaimed packing procrastinator. Heck, this post alone is proof of that.

20140416-193158.jpg

But I’m wearing my marathon shirt as a reminder that I can do hard things. That and it was the one on the top of my oh-so-messy workout clothes to pack pile.

Sincerely,
Sarah ‘almost to graduation’ Murphy

Big Announcement

Ladies and Gentleman, can I please have your attention? I need you to stop what you are doing and listen…

OK so this news isn’t horrifying and it doesn’t have anything to do with cannonballs, but it is kind of a big deal.

If you know me in real life or just by reading this blog, you know that I tend to err on the side of over-sharing. I suppose committing to a blog makes you a bit of an over-sharer to begin with but in my opinion sharing is caring. I come from a family of communicators (read we talk a lot) so keeping things quiet is not my cup of tea. Now don’t get me wrong when it comes to important things (pregnancies and proposals) I can lock it up and throw away the key, but when the news directly relates to me and my life, well I’m like another Anchorman character you might remember:

source

So with that in mind, imagine how tough these past few weeks have been not being able to share our big news with you.

I know what you’re thinking,

No one cares Sarah. Just get to the news already.

Fine.

I’m so happy (and a little bit sad) to finally be able to tell everyone that in just a few short weeks we will be moving to the Sunshine State!

greater swiss mountain dog, moving announcement, florida, simply social blog

That’s Florida for those of you Googling it right now.

florida sunset, lido beach, moving announcement

My apologies to those of you who thought I was pregnant or planning a wedding. I know that’s typically what people my age announce these days but all things in due time. To clarify,

No, this isn’t because we just survived the worst winter ever here in Chicago. We will have plenty of room for visitors next winter should it return though.

No, we did not determine our next home based on our March Madness picks. If that was the case we’d probably never make it back to Illinois. Guess there’s always next season though right boys?

And no, I did not consider living in Florida when I decided to get a greater swiss mountain dog. Poor guy is going to have to learn to love the heat just like his momma.

greater swiss mountain dog, moving announcement, florida, simply social blog

Truth is our move is career-driven and we couldn’t be more excited for the new adventure. I guess we should have known this was coming since Finn’s favorite toy is a Florida Gators basketball of which neither of us know the origin, but believe it or not the decision happened rather quickly.

I realized last week that it was just about this time 6 years ago that I moved to Chicago. Not far out of college, incredibly nervous and excited, nothing could have prepared me for the countless ways this city would steal my heart over the next 6 years. I’ve been feeling awfully nostalgic as we prepare for our move so expect a series of posts in the coming weeks that bid farewell to the city I’ve grown to love so much.

And don’t even get me started on the people. I’m pretty sure a month’s worth of posts wouldn’t do them justice. We leave some of our very best friends and family in this city and we can’t wait to come back and visit them, often.

friends_chicago

I’m going to wrap this up before start to cry thinking about being across the country from my family and friends but know that there will be plenty more farewell posts before we depart.

For now I’ll leave you with a behind the scenes video of Finn familiarizing himself with what is sure to be all of our new favorite fruit. It’s a good thing we’re in the soccer business because this kid has some foot skills.

Finn vs. Orange from Sarah Murphy on Vimeo.