And I live in South Carolina now, too. So that's something.
Friday afternoon, a little later in the day, Jason and I were finishing up and staring at the giant pile of very few things we had somehow managed to spread entirely across the living room (I swear, there was something like two small boxes worth of stuff, but it looked like so much more) and debating what to do abut the mattresses and whether or not we would stay in the house tonight when I heard a knock on the door.
My sister was knocking! My family was here, minus Bryan, although we'll get to him later. We gathered all of ourselves together and went to Quatro's, for our final pizza dinner at that venerable Carbondale institution. Jason's friends got into town from SC in time to eat with us, so we had a giant table full of people. At which point we headed off to my family's hotel to bond over pool time.
And my niece did this:
She was pretty hug-y too, which was kind of wonderful because it's going to be a while before I get to hug her again.
I'll just have to buy her lots and lots of presents. I'm sure she won't mind.
After hotel time, we were originally planning to head back to the house, but ended up deciding to have everyone stay in a hotel (not the same hotel at my parents; that was booked up). So the girls (Jenn, Jessi, and I) crashed a hotel while Jason and his best friend Justin went to load the mattresses and some last-minute things up in the truck. We then slept.
It was nice.
The next morning, the guys got on the road while the girls stopped by my parents' hotel first to have breakfast with them. I shared a lot of hugs with my niece and some pretty teary goodbyes with my family in general, and finally had to say, "I'll see you at Thanksgiving/Christmas" and climb into the car with my poor caged kitty and get going.
Once we were on the road for a while, I could let her out of the cage. At first she curled up right next to my leg, breathing fast, and I just kept petting her. After our first stop for gas and a restroom break, she found her way onto the floor of Jessi's car and there she stayed for the next seven hours of the nine hour trip, without moving once as far as I could tell except to shift position.
She still wasn't happy.
With Jessi and Jenn in the front, I sat back, drank my caffeine, and sat in the car as we made our way into a new climate and a new terrain. Now, I've visited Greenville before so driving into the mountains wasn't exactly a surprise, but it's a new reality at least.
We hit rain on our way past Nashville, and again on the far end of Tennessee, near the border of North Carolina. I was being 'creatively busy' at this time.
And there are the mountains.
We drove in winding spirals through, down, and around them. Traffic was fairly light, all things considered, and the three of us were able to have a pretty lively conversation while my cat made unhappy faces at me from the floor, and I made silly faces back at her.
I don't think she was nearly as amused as I was.
Onward and onward until Greenville! When we got there (about an hour ahead of the boys, who actually made really good time in that gigantic moving truck), my mother-in-law Robin had the keys for us and we stumbled in with the cat miserably back in her carrier and stared around at the incredibly soft carpet and pretty tan walls of our new apartment, let the cat our so she could find a place to hide and be comfortable, and was incredibly grateful for a fridge full of fruit and sweet tea my in-laws were so very nice to provide for us.
Then we went and got delicious foods from Joy of Tokyo and waited for the boys.
And then we slept at Justin and Jenn's apartment.
Because our mattress was still on the truck.
Sunday, we emptied the whole truck over the course of the day and got some very basic tidying done, which left us with this:
So we're making progress, you see.
Yesterday, I had a job interview which appeared to go fairly well, and I've put in a few more applications. We'll see what comes of it. Jason and I have gotten some groceries and already visited a bookstore (this is how I get my bearings, you see).
Hopefully later I'll have some photos of the pretty stuff around this city, but for the moment we're organizing the massive collection of books and about to go hit up the bank and maybe pick up some bookshelves.
Before I go, however, and leave this incredibly long entry to (finally) end, I'm going to show you a couple of photos of what Jason refers to as "The plant that ate the South"; kudzu.
Kudzu is a fast-growing, creeping, incredibly strong vine that was introduced to help keep erosion down. It works, that's for sure. The problem is that kudzu doesn't really have any natural predators in the U.S. and it just... eats things. Trees, plants, probably cars if you let them sit next to a kudzu field long enough. It's kind of unsettling but it's so green...
Everything here is so green. And hilly.
Close-up of one of the vines, which I didn't realize were fuzzy before today. Apparently this is so they can nourish themselves on moisture from the air.
Which is so humid...
So very, very humid...
Whew! Finally, this is what I wanted to get out on this site here so I could move on to something else! I think it's bank time for my husband and I.
Now that I have internet again, we can get back to our regular programming...
ETA: I just realized I never actually got to Bryan. He called while I was in the car near Nashville and we talked for about half an hour. So Bryan was with us too!