So yeah, moving is a bitch.

I started this week with intentions of posting pictures from our trip to Rio, maybe getting a couple of extra runs in, catching up with friends…


Yeah, no.  On Monday, right after landing from Brazil, I picked up Lily, unpacked and then started working on our luggage to Manila.  Karl checked us in to the hotel, and the pets were officially moved.

Then, didn’t matter how creative I got with packing, there was no way to fit all the stuff I set aside and still only have 50lbs a bag.  How can a person move out of the country with only 100lbs each?  The suitcases themselves weigh 13lbs.  To add insult to injury, after paying $200 PER pet PER airline (we’re taking United to San Francisco and then Delta to Manila), we’re only allowed a personal item, our pet counts as our carry on (WTF, is not like the pets travel on the overhead bin, which is where our carry on would be!).

Our largest suitcases hit 50lbs before even being halfway full, JUST with clothes, no toiletry included.  Sure, I’m a kick ass packer, but come on!

We were able to use our mileage to upgrade our Delta flight to first class (17 hours total on a plane with pets, totally worth it).  So Delta will let us carry 3 suitcases, 70lbs each because of it.  United?  No go.  Even though it’s in the SAME itinerary, even if we also upgraded our flights as they offer no courtesy for baggage for first or business class passengers on United.  Even though the government bought our tickets, and we’re flying on government orders (they would only allow us to bring more if we were active duty military).  Karl’s premier membership also gets us nowhere with United.  If we go over the weight, it’s a ridiculous charge.  If we bring an extra suitcase, that would also be half empty because of the weight limit, it’s another $100 charge.

Karl has over 130,000 miles built up with United.  I think United officially lost our business after this.  Even if we have to pay extra, we rather go with an airline that will work with us, not against us.

Flying to Brazil, you’re still allowed to bring 70lbs in each bag, so I never had issues (when the airlines started changing the rules, the country passed a law — solved that greediness!).

Now try moving out of the country, when the rest of your stuff will take 3 months to a year to show up.  What would you pack?  Don’t forget to include pet food for the first couple of weeks!  Guess what?  100lbs per person, considering 20 of those are the luggage itself?  NOT NEARLY ENOUGH.  When you’re taking a dog bed with you just to cushion your luggage because you have plenty of leftover space, just not enough room for more weight, you know something is wrong with this picture.

So two of our suitcases are going with our move, in favor of 10lb lighter duffel bags.  Not once in my life I traveled by air with duffel bags.  Karl’s knees are already bothering him, just by having to drag those from our place to the hotel.

Then after all of that?  We still had to finish sorting things at home (what goes to storage?  What comes to Manila?).  We went to bed at 4am.  The alarm rang at 6am, and off we went to the apartment, the movers arriving a couple of hours later.

It’s now 5:30pm, and the movers just left, I just got back to our hotel room.  At 6pm, I have to leave to meet the group for our run and my goodbye happy hour.  What I really need is good sleep.

Then tomorrow at 9am, it starts over, the movers are coming for a second day.  I won’t be there — I will instead be driving to the vet to get their international health certificate (done last minute because it needs to be done within 10 days of arriving in Manila), then driving to Annapolis, MD, about an hour away with no traffic, to get it stamped by the USDA.  Tomorrow night, I’m FINALLY having some downtime meeting up with some of the girls to see Margaret’s new place, but Karl will be busy, driving to Springfield to pick my car with my sister (it’s been parked in her garage since my registration expired on March 31st, and there’s no point paying for a year’s worth, when we’re only here a few days of the new year).  At some point on Friday, the movers will come for my car.  Then we need to clean our apartment.  And likely paint as well.

The only thing that keeps me going?  Free champagne on first class a week from today.  Hopefully, the cat and dog will do ok on the flight…

Can you believe Monday I leave DC on my way to San Francisco, and a week from today I leave the US?



Filed under Foreign Service

8 responses to “So yeah, moving is a bitch.

  1. UGH!!! What a nightmare!! I hope the rest of the trip goes smoothly for you guys!

    • It is! And now looks like my friend is planning on giving me a goodbye frame, having everyone from my running group sign it. Sooooo… Back to taking things out of the suitcase, and back to the apartment so the movers will take it.

  2. I am sorry this is so frustrating for you! Maybe you don’t have to pack all the heavy toiletries and can get stuff when you get in? Walmart sells tiny travel things that can hold you over until you can get stuff? Maybe. I don’t know how it all works.

    I am bummed you are moving from DC but looking forward to hearing about all your new adventures!!

    • Actually the only full size toiletries I have are shampoo/conditioner/body wash/sunscreen/moisturizer. A bottle of each. So nothing excessive! We have what they call an “UAB” which is a limit of 400 lbs, and it takes about 3 weeks to get there. Looks like we’re under weight for that, so I have to do a quick sweep through the place and see if I can add anything to it to help out.

      I’m bummed I’m moving too, but totally excited about the new adventure (as soon as the stress of moving subsides…)

  3. Rosalyn

    Im so excited for you. Moving does suck. I was in the military for six years and went to what felt like a million places!!! Korea back to the states was the worse. I got here, moved into my apartment and had nothing except what I brought in my bags. My stuff would arrive for a month. For a month I slept on an air mattress and found a million reason not to go back to my apartment. Soon this too shall end, but during it, well you know!!! Good luck and I cant wait to hear all about your adventures!!!!

    • Funny, Karl lived in Korea too back in his Army days.

      Our stuff is supposed to take 3 months, but I have been warned that depending on the country, ship times, etc, sometimes it takes a year. Imagine a year? By the time you finish unpacking, it’s time to move again. *sigh*

  4. Have you thought of sending some stuff? Might be worth it to send a few boxes on your own.

  5. I can’t even imagine how stressful moving out of the country would be! It sounds like packing is an absolute nightmare! I hope things with your travel go smoothly. I can’t believe you’re leaving so soon! Crazy!!!

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