Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 2

As I sit in the family room watching football while wrapped in my blanket and wearing flannel pj's and listening to the sound of rain, I realize we aren't on vacation and Joe and I actually made this happen. We talked about moving for a few years and I am still in awe how fast it happened when the time came. Feels like we have been here longer than two weeks. But, it's been two weeks to the day that we started making our home here on Kinzie St.

The apartment is coming along, since work started I have less time to decorate and try anything new. We aren't in a rush though. Got some of the bedroom finished and recently decided to have all the blinds open to enjoy a 360 view.

Joe and I got invited to the Cubs game on Monday evening in the BrightTag suite. It was my first game at Wrigley Field- quite the first experience. We enjoyed a good view and awesome beer cans!

My walk to work is most enjoyable. An easy 10 minutes of fresh air and fairly decent sights. My ear phones, and streaming Pandora is a must. Usually I blast my 80' hairband music to get me pumped up for work. My building is located at Wacker Dr. and Randolph right on the River.

Commute Traffic

Joe and I met for lunch on Tuesday and enjoyed a 70 degrees view in the courtyard across from work.

Soaking up all the sports we can get, Joe and I watched the Bears game last Sunday at our favorite (so far) neighborhood bar Jefferson Tap. It was raining that day as well. Jefferson Tap has THE BEST wings.

Tater and Hobbs are settling in as well. Tater loves sitting on the couch and looking out the window's. Hobbs loves that as well. The window's go all the way down to the floor, so if he isn't sprawled on couch, he is looking out the window's and down 13 floors.

So besides leaving my first shopping purchase of cute winter knit hats in the cab last Friday night, no funny stories or dumb Sara moments, but I guess that is a good thing and means we aren't sticking out like sore thumbs in the city after all! Hope you enjoy the sights.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our New Digs!

Although not 100% complete, Joe and I have made significant progress on the apartment set-up. Most boxes have been collapsed, now it's just a matter of finding room for everything. A tad crowded, but I am thrilled with the apartment and it's amenities.  The only complaint I have is that we were given the wrong address. Twice. Yes, not once, but twice. Our mail is floating somewhere in an abyss and I hope it catches up with us soon.

I have to give a shout-out to my Dad for accompanying us on this journey across the country. Poor guy put up with my yapping, Hobbs puking and crawling all over him for 3 days straight in the car. We found it worked well if he drove in the morning and I drove in afternoon/evening because without my morning Starbucks ritual I kept nodding off. When we finally arrived, Dad quickly attacked the truck, defused a potential situation with the doorman and next scheduled tenants. Couldn't have done it without him. Too bad by the time we had to take him to the airport the apartment started looking like an apartment.

I started my job today. As I have mentioned a few times, there is a Starbucks in the lobby- naturally I stopped there first. Joe drove me to work this morning so he could see where it was and so I would be on-time. Everyone was really nice- went to lunch with my team (there are 4 of us) and attended 3 client conference calls. I already have an afternoon of Kayaking on the 21st and am going to a Cubs/Brewers game in a suite on Monday evening. Although much smaller office space and QUIET surroundings, I think I will settle in well. We are located on the 19th floor and the CEO insists on having a fridge full of soda and salty snacks at all times. As I was enrolled in ADP they had a field day with my AZ license not expiring until 2046. All-in-all it was a typical first-day.

Joe met me at work around 5:45 and we walked to Moe's Cantina on Kinzie and had nachos and margaritas. We then walked home and now I am being lazy on the couch while he watched the Reds/Cubs, does laundry and hangs pictures frames. I have a glass of my favorite Kendall Jackson to accompany me as I update the blog. Pictures of several outside and inside views of our apartment are below. Warning: not 100% settled, as you will see.

Dad relaxing in the only corner without furniture on the first day

 Family Room
Other view from family room

 View of our two buildings. We are on the 13th floor of the right building, facing northwest
 The pool
 Another view from our family room window- dog run on the right
 View of the Blommers Chocolate Factory (yes, we can smell chocolate 24/7) OMG
 family room and Hobbs surrounded by boxes
 the view from our kitchen
 the view from the pool at night
 we arrived!
 view from family room into bar/kitchen

Our first view into the City when we arrived
My work! (see the Starbucks?!)                      
Moe's Cantina

And seconds before I posted this Joe and I heard a big BANG coming from the washer and dryer. it decided to shake so much the bottle of laundry detergent feel off the top and splattered all over the floor! I swear it's not our first time living in an apartment. Just feels like it. LOL

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Well, in typical Maskivish form, things didn't go as planned on Wednesday evening. A certain husband who shall remain nameless inadvertently picked up the Penske truck a few hours after the scheduled pick-up only to find they had closed for the evening. So starts the adventure in finding another available truck. Finally secured one around 8:30pm. Back to plan A of Jordan, Joe, myself and my Dad loading the truck. Also in typical Maskivish form, we didn't have everything 100% packed. Gave up around 11pm, released poor Jordan and succumbed to finishing the next morning knowing this would put us behind schedule to arrive on Saturday afternoon for our scheduled freight elevators. Boy did we sleep that night.

Enter Thursday morning, long story short got on the road by 12noon. Nothing noteworthy to speak of from Phoenix to Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The real excitement came the next day on our way through Amarillio, Texas my car battery decided to die at a rest stop 26 miles out of Shamrock, Texas in 90 degree weather. Didn't bring jumper cables- that would have required planning ahead! Shockingly, no one else had any either (or so they said). The rest stop is the largest and nicest rest stop I have ever seen. I guess everything is bigger and better in Texas.

AAA to the rescue an hour later. During the hour we researched places that had a battery in-stock. Finally found a place in Shamrock. Now 2 hours delayed, but back on the road we decided to muddle through Oklahoma City, Tulsa and stop in Joplin, MO. All jokes aside we really wanted to give that poor town some business. Much to our surprise, didn't see much damage from the hurricane, but boy did we experience a lovely truck stop! Featured on CMT's "Trick My Truck" (that was the only cool part to this story) we ate at a restaurant called the Iron Skillet. A fine 24-hour establishment with an all-you-can eat buffet for $9.99. I think it came with a side of germs. Proud of myself for sticking it through LOL.

 Exhausted we cautiously went to bed but stayed awake enough to make sure the car and moving truck stayed in one piece. The next morning all was well and we headed through a monsoon in St. Louis, survived Hobbs getting sick and throwing up in the car in Towanda, IL and arrived with 30 minutes to spare before the Notre Dame/Michigan game started. Currently presided in Romeoville, we called it a night. Ordered Chicago-style pizza, grabbed beer and plan to relax until we can move in tomorrow at 11am when the freight elevator is available.

Stay tuned for unloading adventures and pictures of our new digs!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The gang!

More pictures promised from our goodbye dinner at Culinary Drop out on Friday night. Danny, Claire, their new son Gavin and April and Joseph. Great group of friends that Dina and Jordan introduced Joe and I too. The first time we met them was at a Halloween party in 2008 and Joe and I were dressed as white trash! We made quite the impression.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Moving Eve

On Sunday Joe and I sold the truck. If you every have to go through that we highly recommend CarMax. They offered more than we owed on the loan and were in and out of there in 1.5 hours. 

Before we finish our last days of work with two both great companies, load the U-haul and start the trek Thursday morning, Joe and have had a very hectic few days. First I met Britta for dinner to say goodbye and give her her baby Kelly present.

The next night we met Claire, Danny, Gavin, April, Joseph, Dina and Jordan for dinner at Culinary Dropout. (more pictures to come)

Sunday Kette joined us for lunch at the ever delicious Titled Kilt for a few beers and wings!

Today at lunch I got Pei Wei close to work. Inside my fortune cookie read: You will make change fir the better within the year. Timely, don't you think?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

5 days and counting!

Just over 8 years in Phoenix and Joe and I are making the move to Chicago. We have been discussing a move for quite sometime. The thing is, Joe and I loathe the heat!! How did we end up in Arizona you ask? Well, my parents happen to live in Scottsdale and PetSmart (headquartered in Phoenix) recruited me back in 2004. Although we have family and gained wonderful friends over the years, Joe and I are still relatively young (sort of) and decided to find a place that compliments our lifestyle more. In this particular decision we are also putting our personal life ahead of our careers.

To give you an idea of current life in Scottsdale, we run from the car to work or home so we don't get too dehydrated, sunburned or lethargic in 100+ weather. We hurry Tater when we give him potty breaks because we don't want him to burn his paws on the cement and sacrifice taking him on much needed walks because of the inevitable sweat bath.

Obviously the extreme heat is only a few months out of the year- so it's not the only reason for this exciting change. We love rain, snow and the idea of being in walking distance to our destinations. We have no children yet, so we can live in the heart of downtown in a high-rise without too many challenges. Our new apartment is on the 13th floor facing northwest. It's on the corner of Kinzie St. and Clinton St. Coincidentally located a few blocks away from Harry Caray's. 

I have never blogged before, but seeing as I have never lived in a city before, never not relied on my car for sole transportation and it has been YEARS since I lived in cold weather or any other state East of Arizona, I just might have some entertaining stories that develop as we make this trek to the midwest. What I should also warn you about it my ability to fall even when I am standing still. Infamous for being a klutz, I fall walking especially on ice, snow or in heels. My last visit to Chicago I managed to enter a revolving door going the wrong (counter-clock) direction! Anyone who knows me well, knows I am seriously directionally challenged. I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag if my life depended on it.

With that I leave you with this: Thursday morning Joe and I start the drive with U-Haul, Dog, Cat, Degu, my car and Dad for moral support. We hope to arrive on Saturday (in-time to watch some college football we unload) and I start my new job on the 14th.

Stay tuned as we embark on Phx --> Chi.