The last few weeks have been very exhausting for us, but things are starting to feel more settled now that our things have been delivered to our new home. We just got our stuff this morning, only 3 days after what our contract with United Van Lines said it would be delivered. (More on that later.) The boys and I have been in MI for nearly 3 weeks and we're all doing well. Dave will start work next Monday and hopefully we can get things settled in the house enough by that time.
The flight from California went very well with my mom along to help out. Matthew slept most of the way and Jonathan did great in his own seat. We flew from Sacramento to Burbank to Phoenix to St. Louis (no plane changes) and then changed planes to fly to Detroit. Jonathan walked around the plane between Phoenix and St Louis and entertained many of the passengers. Jonathan didn't sleep much on the way but he did great anyway. We spent almost a week at my parents house and then came here to Grand Rapids to wait for Dave to arrive from CA.
Dave arrived last Thursday evening with his dad. They each drove a car since we weren't able to sell the Lumina before we left. Needless to say it was a long trip for them. They went mountain-biking on the Flume Trail on the east side of Lake Tahoe (11 miles of climbing, 4 miles of flat trail and then they went back down to the starting point) on Sunday. On Tuesday they rode at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. From there they stayed at Cheyenne WY, Des Moines IA and then to Grand Rapids.
On Friday morning we found out from the United Van Lines website that our delivery date was changed from between 9/24 - 9/27 to 9/30. We spent Friday trying to find out why but we didn't get an answer. Monday Dave continued to talk with United trying to get them to give us more than $100 for our inconvenience. (If we had been staying at a hotel they would have paid for our lodging and half of our food.) It was a long battle, but they finally agreed to $200. It was very frustrating that they had no qualms about breaking our contracted delivery date. We could have been mostly settled in by now but instead it will be a long weekend of work. Our advice to anyone who will be moving at any time is don't use United Van Lines!!! (Dave compared this move to our return trip to CA at Christmas time last year when Northwest couldn't get us out of Grand Rapids until 4 days after we were scheduled. He thinks that Northwest and United Van Lines are owned by the same people. Maybe they just went to the same school for customer service.) The icing on the cake of this move is that yesterday the driver of the van clipped his trailer under an overpass and tore up the end of the trailer. He had to deliver our things in a Ryder truck. Fortunately there is no major damage to our things as a result.
Dave's parents found a town house for us to rent. It's got 2 bedrooms and full bath upstairs, the kitchen, living room, dining room and half bath on the main floor, and in the basement is a bedroom, small bathroom and laundry room. I don't need to join a gym--I have my own stair master every time I wash clothes. It's a really nice place and in a good area, about 4 miles from his parents.
You can e-mail me at Chris's address (firstname.lastname@example.org) temporarily until we get our own. (I have no idea when that will be though.) Just put my name or Dave's in the subject line.
Hope all is going well for everyone. We miss all of our friends in CA very much!
Love, Sarah, Dave, Jonathan and Matthew
Letter posted 7/1/99