I Love It When a Plan Comes Together … Eventually


For months I have let it slip that I was possibly moving to California.  For weeks, I told people I have a new job and a place to go.   But only yesterday could I really say ‘I am moving on XXX for XXX.”

No seriously.

For those of you who need a little catching up, because while masses of you sent well wishes and congratulations, I recently left my position with my old employer Bodycote (see Defying Gravity) and will start a new position in a couple weeks at the NASA Facility Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA (see 3 … 2 … 1 … AWESOME).  I accepted the new position back in September, but had to work through clearing background checks and final hurdles before I put my notice in at my old employer.  So, it will be nearly three months from the time they said they wanted to hire me before I actually come on.  So, I tell you what, it made this whole autumn feel like one continuous transition in limbo.  Even when it seemed like the plans were coming together, they weren’t exactly coming together.

Probably a good example of that is my relocation.  As part of the package deal, I will have my condo in Boston packed up for me and shipped to California.  Because I panic about the pup in a cargo hold, he and I will drive out before the start date.  Then we will be put up in a long term hotel for the following two months until I can find a more permanent (or as my current intent – semi-permanent rental until the pooch can find a place to buy he can feel comfortable pooping at that daddy can afford … in of course one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country).  That’s all what was laid out to me, but of course … that requires all the details to come together.

When my start date of Dec 12th was finalized, I reached out to my relocation rep and said I would like my stuff picked up on December 3rd (or this Friday).  So come this Monday when I hadn’t even heard anything yet … panic was building.  Like literally, I called and emailed a number of times checking to make sure I just didn’t have the wrong contact information.  I talked to this person before, but still … panic.  Finally on Tuesday, the office there connected up with me, and in a few kick-ass hours things started falling into place.  Yesterday the plans came together, though of course the schedule changed by then.  Which is … The Most Common description I can give for the last three months.

But I can officially say … a plan is in place, and there is no reason any of it needs to be changed … kinda.

My condo is getting packed on Monday (12/5); which will give me a day to clean-up and putter around to get the place ready to go on the market.  Hopefully we can move it quickly and I can have an offer by early January.

When we get to California, the pup and I will be living in Burbank initially; specifically at a Residence Inn (ironically, the hotel chain we have stayed in these last two years just as much as we stayed in our condo).  My goal is to find that ‘semi-permanent’ rental by the end of January, which will give us a week or two to move in before losing the hotel.

Getting out there – now that is where things are a little squishy.  By choosing to drive out, I am bound by a couple of rules set up by JPL.  First, I need to make 350 miles minimum in a day to get reimbursed for a hotel (that way we don’t play the system by nickel and dimeing our way to a vacation).  I am only reimbursed by the most direct route (and they specifically stated, it was based on Google Maps, so that makes it easy to know what they are talking about).  I can go a different route, but it will be on my dime.  The route that takes me is a good one, though:  I-90 across NY and Northern OH & IN; pick-up I-80 in Chicago, across IL, IA & NE.  Take I-76 into CO.  At Denver, take I-70 across CO into UT.  I-15 through UT, NV, through Las Vegas, and then into CA.  Then take CA-210 to Burbank.  Of course that means — across the Rockies in Colorado, through Sin City without getting into trouble, across the Great Lakes Snow Belt (in December), and of course … sigh … Chicago.  So, I doubt that will be my route — at the end of the day, I am going to take the route that will get me there in five days and not put me into any dangerous weather conditions.  Safe travel is my top priority (good scenery second … avoiding Chicago third, cause who wants to go there).

The great drive will begin next Wednesday, and you can expect that that will be blogged pretty heavy.  Stealing (shamelessly stealing, I should say) from Greg Walker, I expect to give SITREPs (if as a life-long civilian I am allowed to use that term) throughout the journey either here or from Facebook.   I really do expect that the plan on where and how far I drive will change ramdomly and frequently; but if you ever followed me on one of these trips, it would be par for the course.

Because who needs plans anyway.


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