Road Trip 2: The Return


After about a dozen calls to Amtrak, we finally received word that our full shipment had arrived on Saturday, July 6 — only four days later than we’d expected. After about a dozen calls to U-Haul, we thought we had a truck lined up to pick it all up on Monday, July 8. The short story is, the truck was rented from under us and it took four hours to obtain another. The longer story involves another dozen calls to U-Haul and a journey far into nether reaches of southern Chicago to a scary toxic waste handling facility called, fancifully enough, “Ideas, Inc.” That day will live in infamy; Joe promptly dubbed the whole experience “U-Hell.”

The bright side is that once we actually picked up the truck and drove to the Amtrak station downtown, all 900 pounds of our stuff was waiting for us in good condition. Unlike many of U-Haul's employees, Amtrak's people were very nice and very helpful.

On Tuesday, July 9, we went back into the city and, in a whirlwind of free (!) housing agencies, looked at nine apartments. We applied for our favorite on Wednesday, and by Friday, July 12, had been informed that we could sign the lease on the following Sunday. Everything was happening so fast that it was hard to believe that only two weeks before we’d been in California, dealing with the opposite process.

As of this writing, we have been in Chicago for two months, and we are learning our way around and findng the best restaurants and actually socializing with other people — some old friends, some new acquaintances. So far, we’ve found only two real downsides to living here. The first is that for all Lake Michigan is beautiful and our neighborhood is attractive, it’s not the hills and ocean of the Bay Area that we came to love. And second, we’d promised our families that after we moved we’d make a decision about when exactly we’re getting married.

Sorry, everyone. We’ve been too busy writing this travel log to figure it out. We’ll tell you soon. Really. Promise. Maybe with that next blue moon?

Ideas, Inc. Our New Digs
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Epilogue