Moving to Virginia

The House Hunting Trip

We headed up to Northern Virginia the next morning, Friday September 30, on our house-hunting trip. For this trip I was towing my boat “Sea Dreams,” with the Rodeo packed with boxes of clothes and small stuff all making a one-way trip.

Ready to leave Mississippi with my boat
Leaving Mississippi With Sea Dreams

We planned on going up to locate an apartment, leave my boat “Sea Dreams” and the boxes of stuff there, then head on back to Mississippi to finish packing. We were planning on a day-an-a-half trip each way and had a tight schedule, as we already planned a yard sale for the following Saturday, October 7. I’d added factory-original roof racks the previous week and we had two suitcases strapped down to the roof. The poor truck was loaded down!

I had never towed my boat such a long distance before and was rather nervous as we left. The morning we left I did preemptively disaster-proof the trip by cleverly backing into the boat trailer hitch while hooking it up, and punched a small hole in my rear bumper. So felt more confident nothing “bad” would happen along the way… We left about 8:00 in the morning and headed north about 60 mile per hour, pretty slow for the way I drive. It was a strange feeling traveling in the slow lane being passed by everyone. With the boat and all the luggage, I needed to keep it slow and safe.

The trip was uneventful. We had a nice, slow, drive and stopped just outside of Charlottesville, North Carolina, for the night. Winnie and I had already settled on a way of locating motels during our previous trip to New York; we’d stop at a rest stop, pick up the free traveler’s booklets and pick out a motel located about where we wanted to stop for the night.

Next morning, Saturday, we headed out early for the final leg of our trip. We needed to be in the town of North Stafford, about 35 miles south of Washington, D.C., in time to drop off my boat at a prearranged storage lot which closed at 5:00 PM. We actually arrived about 2:00 PM, comfortably early to sign the papers and park the boat.

From there we headed up to the Dale City area, another 10 miles north, to find a motel. We did check out a couple of house-shares I had scheduled prior to leaving Mississippi, then found a motel for the night. By now, I was more exhausted than I’d been for a very long time. The two days of towing the boat, plus all the work cleaning out the house the past month finally caught up with me. Winnie, of course, had all her usual bounce and energy still…

Sunday was a day of rest for us. We also had a chance to visit with Uncle Joe and Aunt Linda living in Dale City. I hadn’t seen them for over 20 years, and they had never met Winnie. We had a nice afternoon talking and then a nice dinner.

Monday morning started early with an 8:00 AM appointment with a Realtor, scheduled through our Mississippi Realtor, to help us find and apartment. We spent the morning with the Realtor, then the afternoon looking at two apartment complexes we had seen on our own.

Tuesday was the last day we had to look for apartments. Monday evening Winnie and I had discussed our choices with the usual calm, rational approach we always used (NOT!) for making decisions and settled on our two possibilities. Tuesday morning we headed over to our first choice, only to discover that they actually did not have an apartment available. So, we headed over to apartment choice number two. Winnie wanted to look at two more available models, then we signed our apartment application. From there, we went clothes shopping for me – looking for the suits I’d need to wear to my new job.

Wednesday morning we headed up to my future company to meet with the folks there and introduce Winnie – another prearranged event. We arrived early, chatted with some of my soon-to-be coworkers, and ultimately went to lunch with my future supervisor. By 2:00 PM we were back on the road heading south to Mississippi.

We did another day and a half trip back home, arriving late Thursday evening, October 5.

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