You Wanna Say What?? AMOR VINCIT OMNIA!

In just 2 weeks, we’ve managed to pack up in Charlotte and plant roots here back in NY. Ahh, but the adventure is one of beauty and one only found in a typical travel endeavor of TEAMMC.
However, a mission like this is one that does not escape the realm of possibility in our experience. Gina and I – we’ve been there, done that.

We packed everything up and shipped a few items ahead of time thanks to the crew at ShipItHere. We had not yet secured our apartment pending a physical interview and were planning on staying at G’s parents house until the 21st.
We found a great deal with PODS, and if you never seen how they operate, it’s an engineering wonder. They deliver this 16 foot x 10 foot pod and what’s great is they way they are able to load/remove it from the flatbed truck it rides on. They drivers are fun but they didn’t let me near the controls.
It’s like a remote controlled toy that they lift and place the POD unit. From there, G and I physically packed all our stuff – furniture, equipment, and all in over 3 hours. (they give you a full day before they pick it up). We both were exhausted and full of BioFreeze that night. No messing around with us.
So the next day, the POD gets picked up and shipped out. It was going to be sent to their warehouse in Melville but not until the 21st of December. We had one full day to clean, throw away everything we weren’t taking with us. We planned on departing at 5am on the 16th for the drive back to NY. It was a night we didn’t sleep much. But then we never do before a big event.
So we packed everything we needed for a week into the X and that included Holmes, our adopted cat. Yes, G was taking him with us. Off we went and it was a rough go those first 2 hours for us all in the dark and the sound of Holmes meowing was all the rage. Eventually the tranquilizer she gave him set in and he was quiet and slept the rest of the way.
We made great time and were greated the entire way with cold windy conditions – like the upper 20′s. We stopped only for bathroom and more java. G completed her own Ironman by getting us ther in under 11 hours. We only hit traffic on the BQE which officially welcomed us back to NY. And the potholes. But G enjoyed being able to use her horn and welcomed the drivers here.

We found a spot on her folks block and unpacked what would be our room in the basement. I went for a run while G was just glad to be out of the car. She was concerned about Holmes and made sure he was ok the entire time. We were exhausted by 9pm and this was only the beginning. We knew it too. We had the interview the next day and had to make sure we were on the ball with everything they needed. Yes, we studied.
The basement was cold and the aerobed less than aero but we sucked it up. G even sealed her folks’ windows since the drafts were too much. Holmes made his way around the basement and got comfortable in certain hiding spots – but he was ok. After a run I even got back into the habit of alternate side parking by having to move the car by 8:30.
Soon off we went to the interview and some traffic in between. All went fine and well as one thing we liked about the area was it was self-governed in a way so it came with lots of rules. It is located in Bellerose which stradles the Queens/Nassau border. We were renting from a woman who has lived here for 30 years and was retiring back to Puerto Rico. She was eager to find a renter and we got a lead that matched us up. We haven’t even SEEN the place mind you!!
We relied entirely on the trusted eyes of her sister Patti and niece Megan. They checked the place out for us after Thanksgiving and met the family. We trusted their judgement and were rolling with it. The board member who interviewed us turns out had more in common with us to the point it felt like we were just having a good conversation getting to know each other. A formality more than anything but we made sure we knew the rules.

Sure enough the next day we were in. We had to get all the needed funds to close the deal that morning, headed to the realtor office where we then went to the apartment and met everyone. She was still cleaning out as she was set to leave that afternoon. This was our first look at the place. No joke. It was nice – certainly smaller than what we were use to – but plenty of closets, tucked away in a quiet area (no alternate side parking!) and access to all the major roads. transportation, and a backyard with a BBQ all our own!!
It was even better that Polar was only 1.5 miles away! The woman and her family were friendly and welcoming. Anything we needed, just let them know. We got the keys and back to her folks we went. We were relieved and constantly moving that any chance we got to either take a walk, take a breather, whatever we took. And we needed it cause another test was still to come – a major winter snow storm was ready to hit Friday night.      

Holy s#—. We actually made breakfast for her family that Saturday morning to celebrate and brace ourselves for what weather they expected. And boy did it come. I started work on Monday too.
When we got up early it was bad. I made a run out of eack weekend to have some fun and checked the areas. Not too good – even in the streets. We shoveled and shoveled out the car, then helped some neighbors all along not knowing how bad it was in Bellerose, which had gotten hit harder. And the POD! It was in route this weekend how was that going? We started a small panic. We got ansy. We were wanting to get into the place, tired of the aero bed, just plain tired.
The sun peaked out a bit and we sacraficed the parking spot we had to try and see if we could get everything in the X and chance getting into the place. The expressway was clear but the Glen Oaks neighborhood area snowed off. We had to park a few blocks away and then walk in knee deep snow just to open our front door! Ain’t happening. We were demoralized all the way back as we unpacked the bit we tried to bring – and then walk it another half mile since we couldn’t find a spot near her folks. Demoralized. Deflated.

Ahhh, only to reinflate. Just like we did with the bed each day/night. We regrouped, refocused, reaffirmed our faith. Got to church early Sunday morning and met the pastor who was a teacher at my high school. Shoveled some more. Power up. We talked and planned. We can do this.
That Monday morning in frigid temps we got there in 15 minutes. We had coffee at a Starbucks to kill time and the next 2 days I went to work and Gina handled the rest. Since her job started on Jan 4th, she worked 8 hours a day, driving back and forth and with the help of her nephew Billy, clearned the snow from our area. By Wednesday, we spent our first night – in the aerobed still, no tv – but in our new home.
The woman is a rock I tell you. Yes Jesus we were home for Christmas!! Even got to go to Mass the evening before in our new parish. The crew at Polar was great at welcoming me and prepping me in the tasks I’d have to learn. I got crammed info, but was able to digest it over the holidays. A nice transition. We slowly utilized every aspect of our day to get settled. We still made a few stops back to her folks – on Christmas day – but now we had to make our home a home. We still had one major challenge ahead of us – the delivery of the POD.
One thing we did manage to handle and get promptly done was a new mattress from Sleepy’s, coupled with a bed frame her sister had and at least we had a bed. We also ordered carpeting for the room. Get it done, get it done. 

It was expected to arrive Monday morning. They needed to use the parking lot. This was Holiday week – no one moves the cars. Gina was nervous we wouldn’t have 2 spots for the POD. That whole night she didn’t sleep (and it was a quiet night since I didn’t say a word), but I tried to squeeze every little faith I had to be firm that we’d be fine. The POD came, we had 2 spots, and it was 5 minutes before I needed to leave for work. Gina again took control as she had her Long Island sisters coming in to help and her nephew Billy again (major props Billy THANK YOU!!).
When I came home that evening it was all in. Everything we owned. She did it. I knew she could. The woman is diesal!! I made sure to give her a massage that night as we processed what was now before us. Each day, we tackled the project. She doing the most of it while I was in work. We met each other in the evening since I can walk home from work and by the 31st we had 90% of everything unpacked, in it’s place and I was even able to start using my equipment again. Everything worked fine. Nothing was broken.
Now we could officially ring in the new year on the couch, cooking dinner, making coffee (we relied on instant for a while), and sleeping on a real bed. Holmes is back to his usual self and doesn’t have any interest in the outside world. We surely didn’t make it to 10:30 on New Year’s Eve, but Gina made a damn good cake, some wine, and ice cream while we sat on the couch completing several Jumbles – yeah we were back.
Ice cream and cake and cake, ice cream and cake and cake, do he ice cream and cake ice cream and cake and a cake….

This morning we went for a jog together – in the snow – then went about our business. We will enjoy this weekend cause in 2 weeks we went through all that BS and we still came out on top, intact, and stronger once again. We appreciate all the help we got – and we let them know each day – but together we proved once again why we got this thing. AMOR VINCIT OMNIA!!!
We’re gonna recharge this weekend and prepare to make 2010 a great year. Our time. 

I begin structured training on Sunday. All is in place. Play is over. My journey through Advent was a good one this year. By next journal I should have an idea of what races I plan to do. Thanks to the crew at Polar, I am going to use the CS600 Power on the Black Widow to progress my bike training this base period. Most importantly, we made it secure, we made it safely, and we will as usual – make the most of it together.

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