We are back in Charlotte, in our new apartment, all set up – in only 3 days. It has been a crazy, but seamless transition, only because we both planned and worked hard at making sure it went that way. We have been exhausted each evening as we were at it from sun up to sun down. But now, it feels like home – again. Here is how it all went:
July 31 – 3am: awake to do some routine stretching drills, Gina walks Holmes and gives him the travel tranquilizer pill, one he hasn’t taken since we moved to NY. Medicine kicks in quicker than exspected, we load the car to the brim with our stuff as Holmes walks around like a drunk. We say goodbye to an empty apartment and for NY. Holmes in the cage with minor struggle but secured. On the road at 4:45am
5:15am – minor traffic on GWB, expected, but smooth sailing after that. Holmes gives brief fight on cage, but then its lights out and no more “meowing”. Sun comes up, just me and Gina with a view of the road.
8am – stop in Delaware rest area for java. Immaculate rest area and perfect for stretching out. Most unique urinals I’ve ever seen in a men’s room.
12pm: sipping java and snacking on Odwalla bar cranks us both. We are already in Virginia. A gas fill up and off we go. Holmes still passed out. Awesome. We hit our first ttraffic on I95, but its because of a crossing rain storm ahead.
2pm – we keep getting hit we heavy rain every half hour, cautious we go and luckily everyone is doing the same. Gina gets ticked off as she hates it, I offer to take over, she powers on sipping a Monster Mean Bean Java. I drink some as well.
3pm – we finally are already on I85 – our last road. Rain subsides a bit and now Gina still annoyed as AC not working well. She is concerned about Holmes getting hot, but he’s still napping with an occasional “are we there yet?” meow. I start encouraging us as a coach.
4:30pm – we pull into Eimear’s house. Relief, happiness, celebration, kisses and hugs. Eimear was home and welcomes us warmly. She stopped in before going back to work (she walks to work and finishes at 8pm) so she gets us situated but since we know the layout, she lets us be. She made dinner and has wine for us to eat when she comes back.
6pm – Gina and I have Holmes loving his temporary “hotel room”. He is lovingly attached to us and doesn’t wimper a bit. He finally eats, chills out. Gina and I walk a bit, snack, stretch, shower. Feels ssoooosoooo good. Johari from Kaster calls – he’s in Charlotte, we’ll have our stuff by tomorrow!!!
8:30pm – Gina, Eimear, and I enjoy dinner, wine, and some ice cream. We chat a bit but for all, lights out by 10pm.

August 1 – 5am: I awake to go for a run with Eimear. Gina up and tries to get Holmes to walk. Eimear and I go for a good hour, around the UNCC campus, feels good. Humid, but nice to rock the legs. We have a brief breakfast and Eimear’s famous jacked up pressed down java. Ready for a big day.
8am – we leave Eimear’s and onward into town to pick up the keys. Kelli at Marsh Properties hands me keys and I put down rent check. We have already filled out the forms. She welcomes us and has been a big help for us. Ten minutes later, we open the door to our new home.
9:30am – amazing. We both hug and kiss as we marvel at how much space we now have. We plan the layout, decide what bedroom to use, which one gets to be the guest/gym room. Gina does a walk through. I can’t wait to jump in the pool. She loves it and is happy with what she sees. Holmes gets out of cage and starts sniffing his new digs. We both lay on carpet and let Holmes knock heads with us. We did it.
11am – we try to head out to go to Lowes since we have gift cards. We pull out of driveway and see Johari and the big 18 wheeler at the bottom (its a slight 200 yard hill out from the apartment complex). Great guy and very, very well mannered. He tells us he is the only one as his assistant got ill and called out. We had paid for a shuttle truck, so he lays out his plan – he has to go to a UHaul, load the shuttle, then come back. Gina and I drive him to the office and she goes to talk to Kelli.
11:30am – you know where this is heading no? I talk with Johari as Gina is in office. Really experienced and we exchange our stories. Guy loves his job, is related to Richard Blue, our main man at Kaster. Go figure!! Gina says Kelli gives the ok if he wants to attempt the big truck. We all look at each other. I coach out “Let’s do this!”
11:45am – believe it but our parking lot was empty. With some planning, Johari got the big wheeler trucck up and across our lot. Perfect. Our stuff was in the back. We didn’t block anyone. But we knew we wanted to unload it quickly to avoid hassle.
12:45pm – no joke, we had all the boxes and equipment, furniture the whole damn thing in. Johari impressed so much he wanted to pays us AND hire us. Couldn’t believe it and thanked us for helping him. I told him why don’t we just knock off the charge for the shuttle? I call Jamie, she agrees, credits us $300 for it. All good. I fill out paperwork for Johari, give him a bunch of Odwalla bars and some Monster drink. He still can’t believe it. He is now off to Atlanta.
A big thank you to Kaster. It was pleasure dealing with everyone. Even though we were now exhausted from lifting again, we got our stuff in. Only a busted bookshelf and we were able to salvage the computer desk. That’s it. By now it was blazing hot, we were hungry and had a load of stuff to now UNPACK.
1:30pm – we hang at Owens Bagel’s for some lunch and free wi-fi. We check emails. Then its off to Lowes to finally get that done. We plan out attack on the boxes.
4pm – dude, we went ballistic on the boxes. Holmes found a hiding spot in my closet underneath my bags. We just started moving things and first we had to setup the bed. Done. Then the couch. Done. Bathrooms, check. We each took a room and I set the boxes and equipment in the guest/gym room, Gina handled the kitchen and dining room. We were knocking down boxes left and right.
5pm – STOP!!!! We take a mandated dip in the pool. Awesome. Bath water warm. Just waddle for a half hour. Then its off to market for a healthy take-out dinner and blueberry wine.
7:30pm – we relax and enjoy our first dinner at home. Holmes snoops around some more. He loves it already he was on the bed before us. Central AC sure helps. We can’t believe what we just accomplished in 48 hours. Unreal. We toast our work.
9pm – icing my legs out on patio. Meet our neighbor Gail. Get scoop on neighbors, etc. Really welcoming and sounds like we got some decent responsible neighbors. Awesome.
10pm – lights out.

August 2 – 6:30am: up and out for a good hour long run. Tour the hood again. Nice loop. Find out it takes less than 10 minutes to run to the CRC. UBE drills and stretch. Lower back a bit ache but all ok. Gina handled more of the kitchen and then we both sat down to a small java (keurig style) and breakfast. Plan Round 2.
12pm – we’re in Target and decide to get food shopping done too. Spent an hour in there. Got home, unloaded everything, more unnd test packing. Bedroom and bathrooms all complete. Gym room all complete. Holmes getting more comfortable. Everything looking really, really good. We stop in CRC and check emails, shoot breeze with Dana and Zach. Pick up the Black Widow. Call TWC and make appointments for internet/cable setup.
5pm – back at home. Gina puts together lamps for the dining room, I opt for 30 minutes in the pool. Feels good. Meet another neighbor Carter. Back in room, I start putting together bikes and feel confident all systems go there. Nothing looks damaged. Try not to mess the carpets. After a few Odwalla bars during the day, I am now running on fumes. Gina too as she whips up our first home cooked dinner.
8pm – cherishing dinner, finishing the wine. Holmes comes around and now acts totally normal. Everything feels sooo roomy now with our place. We love it. We are exhausted again and after some ice cream and reading on the couch we both slowly conk out.
10:30pm – done.

August 3 – 7am: can’t believe it but we slept till 6:30am and are getting use to the later sunrise. We don’t mind. I ride and test Black Widow on computrainer. Make adjustments. All seem good. UBE a bit and plan what needs to be done around room. Feel good. Brief java with Gina – who got Holmes to walk outside finally but at 4am. She did some yoga too.
10am – I made appointments with Molly at Yoga Oasis which is down the road. She welcomed us back. Sweet setup for her. As I write this I am chillin listening to relaxation tunes. Gina getting full body work done. Then I’ll get an assessment which she is great at. I am happy she made time for us. I am happy to have Gina get a full relaxation massage finally – one she definitely needed after the past few days. Heck, the past month – word is her Mom is getting much better and finally doing her PT/OT rehab.
1pm – in Bruggers checking emails with iced java and pbutter bagels. Yum. Now it is off to home for final box unpacking, picking clothes off floor and another nice hot leisure swim. We finally will have internet installed and we purchased a new TV for cable hookup. We’ve been using Gina’s 13-inch TV for 10 years! We didn’t bring it with us, so we got a new one. We set up the living room and everything there is all set. As usual, we had a good dinner and were ready for bed by 10pm. Holmes may have a slight cold since he’s not use to the central AC.

August 4 – hosted the Thursday night run group and had plenty of NUUN and Odwalla on hand for the gang. Got to see Scott briefly as Dana and I set everything up as usual and Gina had the 2 jugs from our wedding that we would now use for this purpose. We had the bullhorn and the next door neighbor’s kid is all grown up so he was outside welcoming us back. It was a fun evening.

August 5 – I worked the south store with Donny and it was busy but a perfect breakin in time to get adjusted and see his setup there. Real fun to work with him and we actually had a few minutes once it slowed down to talk and speak about some details, plans, and goals. It was really nasty rain all day and caused flooding in various areas of Charlotte. Gina spent time in the area so all was good and as we left at 5pm, it finally stopped and cleared up. We headed back up to Eimear who was having a party as her summer program ended and was toasting all here summer hard work. That was fun, good crowd, food, and entertaining. We got home late and exhausted again.

And that has been our week so far.  I work every day Sunday through Wednesday of next week. Looking forward to it. Training has progressed nicely and though I still need to gain some LBS, all systems are a go for the Hood to Coast relay at the end of August. The Kahunas are ready. I will begin incorporating EPEC Fitness facility again and of course, the usual fix every now and then at Rita’s Galleria! I plan to do a duathlon on August 20th as a prep race before then. Gina has started her swimming lessons and is going to take classes at Yoga Oasis.
Then I will be full-time at CRC and we don’t plan to take a break from that until our honeymoon/race for TEAMUSA at ITU Worlds come November, but may race some local events to help promote the store in Sept/October. I have also finished my third revision on the book, so now its just a matter of getting Gina’s opinion, then working on publishing it. I am happy that project is almost complete as well.
That’s the scoop of where things are situated now. It was a very hectic few days, but we got it done. It’s been tough and rough, but together we got it done. That’s how we roll. Now we make it happen.

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