Yesterday marked a big turning point in my transition to becoming a California resident – specifically, I finally got my lazy ass to clean out my hotel room and officially spend the first night in my new rented house. You think I am being funny, but for serious … I waited out of sheer laziness. I took the keys to the rental house on Jan 31st; which meant after that I could get out of the hotel at any time. But because I didn’t really have to get out until Feb 9th … I didn’t get out until Feb 9th. Besides, its easier to bar hop from the hotel.
Finally packing everything up, the pup and I made the move to the house and did what we had to to make it a place someone can live in. Shifting things around to make it easier to walk through was a big priority. Getting all my laptops hooked up to the internet helped too. Groceries, I guess. Putting sheets on the bed. All of this to be ready for what was going to be the first real test. The First Night.
Anytime you have ever spent the first night somewhere new, it’s always an adjustment. Think of when you are traveling for fun or work – and the first night in the hotel just doesn’t seem right. Bed is different, sheets are different. Granted, I am sleeping in the same bed I have slept in for years in the same sheets, but it has been two months since I’ve done just that. Plus you have all the environmental changes — different temperatures than your old thermostat, new sounds, new smells, new world.
Now picture that from the eyes of a dog … and you get what is not a comfortable night. I don’t always let Auggie sleep with me in the bed, but knowing this is a new place I wanted to make sure he could stay close to me if he wanted to yet give him the freedom to figure out what may lurk in the dark if he wanted to as well. Sometimes he did … like at least two or three times he got out of bed and went on a search. He was able to nose the back door open and go out to the back yard (fenced in by the way, so not bound to escape). Once or twice, he saw something that made him growl. At one point I woke up to find him doing the ‘snoopy vulture’ thing at the end of the bed as he stared at the refrigerator. It wasn’t until about 3 or 4 that I noticed he finally curled up next to me and slept soundly.
It may have helped that by that time in the morning the house had grown cold. It was a warm day in Montrose with little wind. The house has no air conditioner, so wind blowing through open windows was the only consistent source of fresh air. Having them open all night meant that the chilly morning etched into the whole house. Honestly, it was perfect sleeping weather, but hard to get warmed up in a house where you haven’t exactly found all your coffee cups. Plus that first shower let me know that my hot water heater isn’t turned up high enough for these kind of mornings.
What was nice was the commute – and it’s going to make work hours nice. Since moving to California, I turned myself into an early riser – with the alarm going off at 5am daily. While hours are pretty flexible at JPL, but with anyplace the earlier you start the earlier you can leave. At the hotel in Burbank, the free breakfast didn’t start until 6:30. By the time I was finished there, and the 20 minute commute, it could be sneaking towards 7:30a by the time I arrived. Driving distance now to JPL is 9 minutes. I let the dog out, showered, had breakfast, drove to work, and was at my desk by 6AM. Not only does this give me more ‘end of the day’ flexibility, will make it easier to justify a nice lunchtime walk.
Regardless, we are through the first night. Tonight we begin our first weekend. By next week we should be well into a routine that will make things more comfortable.
… at least for a couple weeks, when the house hunting begins.