Thursday, April 28, 2011

Driving Across America in Pictures

the BIG move


That's the one word I can think of to sum up the last couple of days in Texas and the first few in L.A.

Let's go back, though, and talk about how lucky we are to have our friends.

The week before we left, we not only had a going away party at Jayson's work (extremely nice people); but Elise threw us a big going away party at her house with a smorgasbord of food. It was fantastic to get to see friends we hadn't seen in months! (For those we didn't get to see, we'll be back to visit soon AND of course there will always be at least a couch for you to stay on in L.A.) We thank all of you for your gifts, your love and your prayers!

Now to the move... I can't even begin to write without remembering the overwhelming experience that took over our souls. Oy! On the 18th, we walked into our house thinking we would just have to pack a few more things and then spend the rest of the night cleaning. We worked... and we worked... and it felt like nothing was happening.

At about 3ish, we had a van load of wonderful friends come over; and without Kristin, Anna, Grayson, Aaron, & Ricky we never would have made it to California at all. Kristin and Anna helped pack up the kitchen (BIG JOB), and Grayson, Aaron & Ricky helped Jayson do the impossible--- fit all that they could into our tiny storage unit. Believe me, this would not have happened without their help. It was, of course, wonderful to get to see our friends; but their help was truly amazing! And in the middle of all of that, sweet Jule brought by our money we made when SHE took our old books and movies to half-price books. That was just another errand we needed to run, but didn't have time for. (I think the Hamilton's, specifically Lynda, took care of all of our other errands!) So we said goodbye to our helpers at about 6 pm (i think this is right.. the day was a blur), and continued on with our packing.

Okay... so friends are amazing... big help. Fantastic. Let me just refresh you on what our original plan was. Be in bed by 9 pm, wake up at 4 am-ish, get on the road at 5 AM!
Well, at about 8 pm we said goodbye to the final friends that stopped by for a visit.

Then, on the 2nd anniversary of our engagement, Jayson and I packed, loaded the car, dropped everything off in Jefrey's garage, and repeated the process until 4 in the morning. We made about 5 trips together with just the two of us and a mini-van, and then I couldn't do it anymore. Jayson dropped me off at his parents, and he made the final run to our house. He is a champ.

So we wanted to be on the road at 5 am, and instead, i fell asleep about 5. Jayson finally made it, and went to sleep around 6:30 am.

We were just a little behind schedule.... and completely exhausted. (and did i mention, we never got to actually clean the house because we were so busy moving.... goodbye, security deposit.)

At 9:30 am, we woke. We hurried to gather our things, said goodbye to Terri and Lynda, and walked out the door. Only to have to make a couple more stops. BUT at 11:30 it was officially just the two of us, Adler, two cars, and two walkie-talkies on the open road!

That first day (April 19th) was to be the long day. We had reservations in Tuscon (where pets stay free!), and we were going to make it. Luckily, we had the beautiful scenery of West Texas to get us through. It really is gorgeous there, and hopefully I will get to post photos soon! (okay, so we did try to take some photos while driving... we were safe other than that tho!)

When we got out of Texas it was dark, and Adler refused to go to the bathroom again. Apparently, there is no grass in New Mexico or Arizona... which really upsets Adler. (She's better now... there's lots of grass in California).

Okay, my letters to the states:
Texas, you're beautiful; but you're too darn big! Feel free to lose a few, if you know what i mean.

New Mexico, sure, it was dark when we met; but your over abundance of billboards helped light my way! (what's with that, by the way?)

Arizona, in a few years your roads are going to be awesome!... at least that's what I gather by all of the road construction we encountered.

But really, the over 15 hours and 950 miles weren't that bad. It was even charming. I liked the quiet of it all. I thought I would listen to a lot of music and audio books, but really i just enjoyed the silence of it, the hum of the road. Plus, it was just neat to know that I could drive that far all by myself.

So we arrive in Tucson! We rest! Did I mention, on the whole drive we never stopped for food. We had snacks from Grampsters and Lynda in the car, and that was enough to make it through. When we made it to Tucson, we were too tired to even think about eating. So our first meal, since the toast the day before, was the continental breakfast at the hotel... which was fantastic!

---Advertisement: The Windmill Inn & Suites is my friend. Dogs stay for free and they have giant waffles for free in the morning! If you need to go to Tucson, stay there. ---

So needless to say the waffles were what we needed to get back on the road. It was a nice trip to L.A., and it was so much shorter than the day before... but we wanted to be there.

On our way to L.A. we passed fields of giant windmills (which was also the windiest place i've ever been in my life), beautiful green hills with windy roads that terrify and delight you, and of course, we hit L.A. in the middle of rush hour. My first time driving in L.A. (i've always opted out of driving in the past) was not only during rush hour, i also was in charge of leading Jayson through the mess! You see, I had the GPS; and he was following me. But you know what, we made it; and we made it safe! ... And it wasn't that bad! Really! I mean, Dallas traffic is much worse in my opinion... because the cars don't move. Here, it may be busy; but everyone is driving about 85.

So we arrived, it was beautiful. Over 1400 miles! Can you believe that! It used to take people MONTHS to make it that far! And we arrived in 2 days!

We opened our windows, and enjoyed In-N-Out Burger!

And that's the story of how we made it to Los Angeles! My next post will be all pictures, to give you a visual; then, i will let you know a bit of what's happened in our first week (or two) here! (my camera has been rather dead lately; so i'll need to charge it and take more pics of Cali for all of you).

One more:
---Advertisement: 5 Hour Energy Drink... I wouldn't be here without you. Thanks!---

One for the road,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Less Than 24 Hours...

Everything has moved at super speed.
At this moment, you can find me on a blanket in the middle of our living room where our couch should be. This is the last day to wake up here, the last to enjoy the TODAY Show here, AND the last day to move everything out. A little overwhelmed, but yesterday's huge progress has encouraged me.

How's the Packing Going?
The current challenge lies in the zillion or so nick-nacks we need to put into boxes and then into storage, but it's so much less than what we had Saturday morning! We had a successful garage sale on Saturday, and donated everything we couldn't sell. Now, we are down to what we currently consider the basics (still way to much stuff... we're sentimental), and have lowered that down to the basic-basics to take with us on our first car trip.

How Do You Feel?
I'm excited to get on the road tomorrow! I have several audio books, music, walkie-talkies, GPS, and most importantly a phone! Feel free to give me a call to say 'hi' or have a quick catch up. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, and both Jayson and I would love conversation (if you don't remember we will be taking two cars and might get a little lonely).

What About Adler?
Adler seems a little confused by what's going on! I didn't post this the other day, but she has officially been in our family for 1 year and 2 days! She has been a great dog, and has grown out of her fears a lot. She's a little nervous right now though. For the last month, we have left her at the Hamilton's for a few days TWICE, we have had several people over (including 9 men who stayed with us!), and now we are packing everything up and moving it out! She'll be okay though, and hopefully we can get a steady environment for her soon. Plus, she's going to LOVE California weather!

Thanks for following along with us on this adventure! I'm making it my priority (well... i'm putting it somewhere on the priority list) to update this blog more in the next few months. --I've also tried to make it a little prettier.

I hope you all have a fantastic week! Ours should be interesting. :)


Monday, April 4, 2011

California Q&A Time

For those who don’t know, moving day is fast approaching!

Jayson and I will be packing our cars and driving to Los Angeles, California on April 19th! While preparing for this BIG adventure, we have had a few of the same questions repeated time and again; so I am going to have a little Q & A time here.

Q: Do you have jobs?

A: Not yet. Yes, yes we said we weren’t going out there until we had at least one set up; but you know what we found out… You can talk to lots of people, and have everything perfect for that prospective job; but unless you are out there, no one takes you seriously.

Now in Texas, you can apply for a job and not hear back from the employer for two months about an interview (it’s happened to me several times… always have to have them remind me what position I applied for. Seriously dumb). In L.A., things work much quicker. You apply for a job, they want you to come in right away to interview, and then you know right away if you have it or not. If you have the job, boom!, you start right away.

So since we have had to include in our cover letters, until now, that we aren’t in L.A. yet; no one has been willing to consider us for a job.

We have talked to every friend that lives out there or has lived out there, and no one had a job before they moved. (This does not apply to independent contract or short-term work/internships.) ALSO, we have several friends who have been out there and have worked hard for years in L.A. helping us by using their contacts to help us find jobs and to talk to more people in power. We’re in good hands. (Plus, Jayson and I believe in working hard.)

So everybody, I will say this in the nicest way possible: cool your jets. Trust us. Believe in us. It’s going to be okay, and we will find jobs.

*Extra personal note from Sass: I don’t believe in looking at the negative in a situation or “the worst case scenario” because if you don’t go into something with confidence, you’re most likely going to fail. So feel free to think about the negatives all you want, but please don’t bring them up to us. It’s like a total bummer, man.

Q: What kind of jobs are you looking for?

A: Jayson is looking for something in the mental health field. He loves his work with children, and especially Autistic children. His main goal is to find a first-rate, patient orientated company/organization. He has lots of help from really smart, well-connected people in finding this.

I, Sarah, am looking for starting working in Event Planning or Personal Assistant work. Because of my strong desire to work in event planning, I am looking for anything to give me more legitimate experience in that field. Personal Assistants often take on event planning as a part of their job description. My goal is to one day work with one company that I believe in, and help build their brand through events. For example I LOVE GOOD, Inc. ( and have been applying to everything I can there.

Q: Do you have a place to live?

A: Yes! That is what really confirmed our moving date. For a month to a month and a half, we will be renting a fully furnished house in Studio City. Then, once we have our jobs in place and we know where we want to live, we will find our permanent place.

It’s a very cute house, owned by a rental company (rather than just some person who is leaving town for a couple of months), has all utilities paid, our own yard, off street parking, and everything we need to live included inside the house (even sheets and towels and kitchen supplies!). It’s in an area we love; plus, we have a pool that we share with two other houses! It is the perfect place to help us transition into LA life.

Oh, and I didn’t mention, Adler stays for FREE! NO PET DEPOSIT! Helpful, very helpful. The house where we live in Fort Worth not only had a pet deposit, but we don’t get that money back. So having her get to stay somewhere for free is awesome.

Q: Why did you decide to rent a short-term place, only to have to move again?

A: For anyone who has ever rented a house, you know about the downs I am about to explain. First, there is the lease. We didn’t want to get stuck in a year-long lease in one part of town while having our jobs FAR on the other side of town. So we wanted something we could easily move out of if needed.

In all of our searches we found only one month-to-month rent house. Even with a house like that we would still have to move all of our stuff in, unpack, and spend hundreds setting up utilities. Moving into a place that has all of that set up (AND has ALL UTITILITES included in the price) makes things much easier, and most likely, cheaper.

Q: What are you going to do with all of your stuff?

A: We are taking both of our cars (YES BOTH of our cars. You know how in DFW you need two cars for two people to get to work, that definitely applies to Los Angeles.) We are filling the cars with our necessities (clothing, etc), and driving out.

All of our other stuff will be in storage here in DFW. When we find our permanent location, we will arrange to come back here, load a moving van, and drive it back to LA.

On our first trip out there we will also take a few other basics; so we wont feel the rush to get back here to get the rest of our things (ex. Air mattress). We will be buying a new couch there any way; so we should be fine :)

Q: Why are you putting things into storage in DFW instead of LA?

A: Money. Not only are the storage units cheaper here (by about 50 dollars a month), but actually moving everything in one trip would be more expensive than moving it in two.

Our original plan was to have me drive my car, and Jayson drive a rental, moving truck while towing his car on a trailer. The only 10’ moving truck that can tow a car is U-Haul (which is often more expensive than other brands). By not needing a trailer, it opens up our money saving options.

Jayson’s car would use the same price of gas driving to LA that the towing trailer would cost to rent; and if we used the trailer to tow the car, it’s weight would cause us to use more gas for the moving truck itself. More gas used, more money spent. Therefore, driving two cars = cheaper. Plus, Jayson doesn’t really like the idea of driving a big moving truck, towing a trailer carrying his car over 1400 miles. I think less stress makes for a better trip; what about you?

Also, we have enough frequent flyer miles to fly back here to get the rest of our stuff for FREE! Win. Win.

I think those are the basic questions we are asked most often. If you have anymore, feel free to comment and ask. I will do a follow up blog post if necessary.

Mainly, remember this: I do A LOT of research. So if I’ve picked out something for us to do, I have made sure it’s the cheapest option. THEN, Jayson goes back and double checks to see if there is an even cheaper way.

Thanks for your prayers and support during all of this. I know most all of the questions people have for us come out of love and concern. Plus, it’s just fun to keep track of adventures friends are going on. I know I follow lots of friends’ blogs for the same reason.

Really and truly, always feel free to ask your questions. I would rather have the option to answer than have you ponder over it on your own (or with others).

I love and am thankful for you all!

California Dreamin’