3. The little Budget Truck that Couldn't and
Last Friday ended with a couple of more carloads to the new apt and last minute packing projects at the old place. We went to bed late and extremely exhausted. My exhaustion was mainly due to the cold I had been suffering since Thursday. E*'s exhaustion was probably due to picking up the slack when I had to rest. This made Friday and Saturday feel much harder than it was.
Speaking of Saturday, we got up around 7, had coffee, packed some more stuff and then at 9, headed down to the address on our Budget rental confirmation sheet: 2205 14th St NW.
Turns out, that address is a boarded up building under construction. After about 30 seconds of disbelief, we both started calling Budget - once we were finally able to talk to a real person, she told us our reservation had been moved to a different location about 15 min. away. Awesome.
So we speed over to the other (equally sketchy) location in NE while I try calling that office's number about 6 times so I could confirm that they indeed had our truck. But of course no one answered the entire time. We pulled up just after 9:30 and there were 10 people ahead of us. The line moved very slowly so I left E* there to finish the job so I could be at the house in case any of our friends showed up in the mean time. He texted me an hour later saying they didn't have our reservation. Shocking, huh? Apparently the national office claimed what we had was a 'quote.' Even though our print-out had a confirmation number for a reservation. Luckily, the guy in the local office stood up for us and forced a reservation through right there. So about 2 hrs. after we started the trunk rental activity, we had a truck. And we later learned that only 2 more people after us in line got a truck before the lot was cleaned out.
Of course this snafu threw our whole morning off. While I was at home waiting to hear about the status of the truck, 2 friends arrived to help. But without a truck, helping is kind of tough. So we resorted to bringing all the boxes from the study and bedroom out onto the deck. This made it easier to get the furniture out once the truck arrived. I guess we made pretty good use of that awkward time.
Another friend arrived just as E* pulled in with the truck and things started to get back on track. Until a 4th friend called saying she was trying to get to our house, but had been turned away by cops at every intersection she had tried. My first thought was that we were under one of those security checkpoint projects that the DCPD has been trying out lately. I freaked out at this thought and immediately tried to confirm the suspicion by going online while trying to talk my friend through an alternate route to our house. However, we had already moved our modem and router to the new apartment so I was resigned to using a 1-bar signal from someone else in the neighborhood. It was just enough to let me browse some of the backlogged emails from the neighborhood list-serv.
5. Caribbean Festival, aka Georgia Avenue Blockade
And that's when I discovered that we weren't behind a security checkpoint. We were on one side of the annual Caribbean carnival. And our friends were mostly on the other side of that festival. And so was the new apartment. Essentially a 3 mile stretch of a major north-south route in the city was shut down for the parade which started at 11am. How could we have missed the news of the event in the week leading up to the move?! Not only was the major artery closed down, but traffic on many nearby roads was at a stand-still because everyone was forced to detour...creatively. I really don't know how our friend made it to our place given that the alternate directions I tried to give her were pretty useless.
Let's skip a description of how the rest of the truck-loading went. I should add though that the process of getting the truck and our friends to the new apartment was much more complicated than we had anticipated. Because of that lovely Caribbean festival (which is actually quite fun if you're not trying to drive near it) we couldn't take the obvious direct route to the new apt. That probably would have taken about 7 min. on any other day. But last Saturday, we had to drive about 4 1/2 miles out of the way to skirt the parade route. Here you can see the circuitous alternate route we took to the new apt. Points A and B are the parade route. Point C is the old apartment and D is the new apartment. Doesn't that look fun? Oh, and for much of that ride, we were in bumper to bumper traffic.
Now that you've read this far, would you like to see what the new place looked like after we released our friends from servitude?