Um. We're moving to the Washington, DC metropolitan area this week. I haven't had time to write about it before now, but I'm determined to keep a record of our Epp-ic Adventure. I guess I'll throw up a bunch of background information and details here for posterity's sake. Plus, I should probably fill in everyone who isn't on Facebook with the news. I'll try to post as regularly as possible after today. I might manage to do it if I say I'm going to do it and use the TypePad phone app while we are traveling to get a good start on a new habit.
Around Christmas, David came home with the idea of relocating to Washington, DC for his work, but only for one or two years. We thought about it for a while, but never really hesitated. I moved a couple of times while growing up, and he spent many years in the Philippines while he was growing up, and we felt those experiences were important in making us who we are. It's perfect timing for the boys to experience living in a new place for a while. Getting to come home after a couple of years is a huge bonus as well. We said yes, and then we proceeded to wait for the slow progress on the official paperwork.
The general plan was for David to continue working for Sandia National Labs, but to spend a couple of years at their extension office with the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration.) His work would arrange for the relocation there and back again, and he could choose to stay for 1, 2 or 3 years. We had to crunch some numbers to make sure it would work for us, but in the end we decided the experience will be worth any extra expenses. The boys will be in 4th and 7th grades next year, so one or two years will be perfect. I've put my foot down and declared that we will NOT be staying for the possible third year, because I don't want to interrupt the boys' entry into middle school and high school Fall of 2018.
We did a lot of theoretical pre-planning, but couldn't really jump until the final official paperwork came through. That ended up happening the first few days of May, with an official start date for the new job on June 1. The last month has been a whirlwind of activity and decisions. David hopped on a plane and found us a place to live, and I pulled the trigger with the rental management company we had lined up to manage our house. By May 9th we had a new place to live and also had a renter lined up for our Albuquerque house.
We are keeping our house and renting it out to a nice man with kids. His kids take piano lessons and he doesn't have a lot of yard work stuff, so we are going to be able to leave my piano and a bunch of David's house maintenance equipment here at the house. We figure the house will be a bit more worn and ready for some upgrades and repairs by the time we get home, and we're ok with that.
David found us a nice townhouse in Arlington, VA. It's two blocks away from the Ballston-MU stop on the orange metro line, so he can easily hop on the metro for a short-ish commute to his new office. He will be working near the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, which is about 6 miles away from our new house. There are all sorts of interesting restaurants, a huge library and a nice park within close walking distance of our house as well. The boys will go to well-rated schools in the Arlington Public School district. (The schools are Ashlawn Elementary and Swanson Middle School if you like to Google things.)
The townhouse doesn't have a courtyard, so we won't have to worry about yard work while we are there. It has one assigned parking space, and we'll use that for my car. I suspect I will hop in my car and drive to the suburbs for groceries and Target runs for the first few months. It will take me a while to get used to a new, urban lifestyle. David is going to keep his truck for now, and park it with a visitor's permit on the street, but we might have to find an off-site garage for him or maybe even sell his truck. We're going to wait and see.
The townhouse is about 500 square feet smaller than our house, and Sandia is only paying minimal moving expenses, so we rented TWO storage spaces here in Albuquerque, and have been putting lots of our stuff in storage. It's amazing what you discover that you can live without for two years when you really try. The last few weeks have been a lot of work, but I think we have things pretty well sorted, cleaned out, organized and packed. We are going to have my car transported with our household goods, and drive ourselves and everything we can fit into a U-Haul.
The last day of school is tomorrow, and the movers are coming to pack our house on Thursday. They are mostly just going to be packing up the minimal things I've kept for the kitchen and all of the furniture. I've packed or stored 80% of everything else. David taped off a space in the garage that is the same size as the UHaul that we will be pulling, and I've been filling that space with things we want to keep with us or don't want to pay the movers to handle. We will sleep in a hotel Thursday night. David has been in DC getting administrative stuff done for his new job this week, so he will fly back to join us late Thursday night. The movers will load up the van on Friday, and David will load up the UHaul, and then we will be on our way.
It's all very exciting!