Day 3: Welcome to Texas. Everything’s huge here.

Armed with another load of old UYD episodes, it was time to get home. There’s literally nothing to report from this drive except how we were rolling around the backseat of my car like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal with all of our winnings from the night before. (That is a joke.)

The next, and last, exciting thing we did before rolling into the 512 was to make a VERY important stop at our friends the Gaines’ house. Or silos. Whatever.

Hello, Jo. Hello, Chip. Hello, silos.

I stumbled into HGTV addiction very late in the game – the second half of 2016, to be exact. I still credit the Property Brothers (and boxed Pinot Noir) for getting me through those dark days after November 8, and have found these house renovation programs to be a soothing, formulaic balm for so many emotional ailments. So it was important to go pay our respects to Chip and Joanna at the actual Shrine of Magnolia.

Waco was a perfect last stop. We fumbled around in awe at all of the shiplap and chalk signs and straw baskets. It was pretty overwhelming, to be honest. But the outside was amazing! The whole thing just felt so huge, and I began to get my first inklings that this new sense of scale was something I was going to have to get used to.

After a few more hours on the road, we were in familiar territory once again. I’ve been coming down to Austin regularly over the last several years, so it was nice to recognize some landmarks and streets and queso restaurants. Mostly queso restaurants.

The rest of it is your average moving story. We threw down our bags, went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner and passed out. And that’s how I hope it’s gonna be down here for a lot of years to come.

So here I am, here we are – and now, here’s where the real story starts.

Road trip, day 2: Austin or bust

(We chose bust.)

Like five seconds after their fountain processional, two of these ducks started getting pretty... frisky.
Just ducky, Memphis.

After a tough drive from Chicago to Memphis, we decided to not push ourselves and head the whole way to Austin the next day, per our original plan. After watching the Peabody ducks and housing some delicious Memphis BBQ for lunch, we hopped in the car and went, “nah.”

We figured out that Shreveport, Louisiana was a pretty good approximate midpoint, and then figured out that we could get a cheap room at JIMMY BUFFETT’S MARGARITAVILLE RESORT AND CASINO in Shreveport.

We did, and it was awesome. Full stop, zero irony. We had such a fun night. And, we ended the evening up at the blackjack tables, so… thanks, Sir Buffett. We’ll be back.

(Seriously, we had such a good time there that we’ve decided to make this an annual pilgrimage. You should all go.)

April 2017: In which the transition process begins

Because I didn’t start this blog at the very beginning of my move, I’m going to hop in a time machine to give some context. Maybe this is boring, but I’m chronicling it for future space generations who will get in a pod and be teleported to their new cities. (Who am I joking, the world’s gonna go up in flames in like five years.)

April 7, 2017 was my last day at my job. I spent the following week packing boxes and day drinking, canceling my cable and crying that I’d never see the ladies who worked at “my” Walgreens ever again.

On April 15, I flew to Ireland for one last craic of a trip before my big move. I married two very dear friends. I went to Amsterdam. I flew home.

A day and a half after I returned to Chicago, movers came and loaded all of my stuff onto a truck, to be delivered to Texas sometime the following week. I closed the door on the condo where I’d lived for 12 years for the last time, and walked to a bar where my silly and wonderful and loving friends threw me a goodbye bash. I drowned in my favorite beer and only cried twice.

And the next day, Jeff and I got in the car and started driving to Austin. I shed zero tears driving under that Chicago Skyway sign, with my favorite skyline in the rearview mirror. I was excited, exhausted, hung over and happy.

Okay, then it rained all day when we drove to Memphis and we wanted to kill each other, so that blush wore off pretty fast. Moving’s a process, you know?