We went out for dinner at Ruby Tuesday's, and hit Target for a resupply on some packing materials. We needed more masking tape, for it holds well enough and is much easier to deal with than normal packing tape. Once we were there, we also picked up a new top for lisana, some disposable kitty litter/tray combos (quantity 5), some small-sized wet food rations (that we'll start giving the kids next week so they're adjusted to it for the trip... each pack is the right amount for a single feeding, eliminating "left over" food), bubble wrap (remember, don't pop it before using it to pack items), and Lis grabbed a DVD and I grabbed the current copy of Streets & Trips mapping software (the old copy was 3 years old).
Then we came home, and I loaded up the new software & working on trip plans. I also called several hotels to confirm that they will allow two cats in the room. The variation in policies (even in the same hotel chain) was amazing... from $5 per pet per night, to a $25 refundable deposit, to no charge at all! The no-charge Motel 6 had a very nice person at the desk with a very good explanation for their no-charge policy: "All kids stay free at Motel 6." Hee hee! ^_^
And so, as of today, the move schedule appears to be:
March 17: Roanoke, VA to Morristown, TN (Super 8)
March 18: Morristown, TN to Brownsville, TN (Holiday Inn Express)
March 19: Brownsville, TN to Van Buren, AR (Super 8)
March 20: Van Buren, AR to Shamrock, TX (Econo Lodge)
March 21: Shamrock, TX to Albuquerque, NM (Super 8)
March 22: Albuquerque, NM to Williams, AZ (Motel 6 -- No Pet Charge!)
March 23: Williams, AZ to Barstow, CA (Econo Lodge)
March 24: Barstow, CA to Costa Mesa, CA
Each day is based on 7 hours of driving, at 55mph on interstate roads. So if I feel comfortable with a bit more speed, the days could be a bit shorter. But I hope 55mph on interstate is a reasonable estimation.
We should be in Costa Mesa before Noon on Monday, which will hopefully let us sign the apartment lease that day, or maybe Tuesday. So now we need to see who we can get to help us unload on Tuesday or Wednesday. We could almost get there on Sunday, but it would require about 9 hours of driving that day. And we wouldn't hit L.A. until about 6pm, so we'd still need a hotel room (or a crash pad) that evening that could deal with two extra kitties.
Lisana also suggested trying to get a new cell phone before we leave, one with more on-network coverage during our trip. Our current cell provider is definitely a Virginia-regional thing, and they have basically no coverage after we leave the state. So it'd be $0.35 per minute roaming everywhere. So we might get a SprintPCS or other more-national cell phone before we leave, and then transfer it to California as we settle in.
Another thing that crossed my mind was to not actually officially move out of the apartment when we leave on the 17th. I'd call the Post Office and put a hold on our mail, close out the TV and telephone services, but leave electric going. Then, after we're settled in California, come back in about two or three weeks and do the official move-out over a long weekend... fly out on a Thursday, move out on Friday, and return to the new home on Saturday or Sunday. Heck, depending on time requirements, I could almost go back home on Friday.
Anyway... I went to be earlier, but woke back up and was tossing and turning. Hopefully getting some of this stuff down will let me relax and fall asleep again.