Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Finally here!

It's been a long journey-nine states and 20 hours to be exact- but we have finally made it to our temporary "home". We left Houma bright and early on Saturday morning and traveled through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and into Tennessee. Around 12:00, Jason started talking about lunch. This actually shocked me some, because usually he doesn't eat lunch. I guess being up since 4:30 had taken a toll on him. I didn't pay much mind to him, and kept reading my book. A little while later, I felt the car shift over to the right slightly quicker than usual, so I looked up. All Jason could say was "Oooo a Hooters!", and all I could do was laugh. He turned off of the exit, and I noticed we were near Tuscaloosa, AL, but didn't give it any more thought. When we got inside the restaurant, though, I immediately realized that we were in "Roll Tide Nation" and we weren't dressed for the occasion. Everyone else was wearing their maroon, and looking at us like we were aliens with three heads, for not. Luckily, I left my LSU sweatshirt in the car, because otherwise I believe Jason would have had some issues. We did learn here that Parker loves soda! He now fusses for you to give him some from your straw anytime you have a cup!  We got back on the road after lunch, and it was my turn to drive. I'm pretty sure the chicken wings did a number on him, and it was now "nap time" in his world.  It was around 4:00 when we decided that we all needed a break. We pulled off at a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Chattanooga, TN, and shockingly it was the cheapest, yet nicest hotel we stayed at. The bed was super comfy, like sleeping on feathers, and there were soap, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers in the shower. We were both impressed with the accommodations- and it takes a lot to impress Mr. Porche! Neither one of us had the energy to get out of bed and get dressed to go to dinner, so room service won the vote. We spent the night eating hamburgers and French fries in front of the LSU vs. GA game. The lady who delivered the food had her Bulldogs jersey on, so it wasn't the slightest bit awkward when we were cheering on LSU in front of her. Unfortunately, the game did not end well for us, but it kept us on our toes, that's for sure.

Poor guy, this pillow kept falling on top of him. He wouldn't even fuss, he just said "Ma!". 
This is his "I want coke" face..
I'm sad to report, I missed the Tennessee sign because I was driving. No worries, I will get it on the way back! 

The following day we got a late start to our travels, not leaving the hotel until around 11:00. We all needed the extra sleep, especially Parker, who has been extremely pleasant given the no-nap circumstances lately. Given our late departure, we only traveled 6 hours into Roanoke, VA. There weren't many hotel decisions right off the interstate, so we took what we could get. Needless to say, the hotel cost us about $50 more a night than the previous room and wasn't what I would call luxurious. By this point, however, Jason and I have become pro's at packing and unpacking all of the nightly necessities. Many people do not realize what it takes to run this household-especially Parker's care- for even one day. Every day was a battle of loading and unloading, setting-up and dismantling machines and bags. Once we got everything unloaded out of the car and set-up in the room, we decided we needed to get out for some fresh air. For nearly 36 hours we were locked up in the car or in a hotel room, so we needed a change of scenery. We had to travel further into the city to find food, but once we did, we were faced with lots of options. Jason finally made the ultimate decision of Longhorn Steakhouse, and I couldn't have been happier. In his words, "The food always looks pretty good on the commercial, so why not?". He was right, the food was delicious. The steaks were cooked perfect, and the Brussels Sprout Au Gratin shocked both of us. After our bellies were full-which was like 6:00, super early for us- we headed back to the hotel for an early night. Parker passed out as soon as he hit the pack-n-play at 8:00, and we weren't far behind. 

Jason was pretty jealous of this ATV park. 

The last day of our travels, Monday, was smooth sailing. We were ahead of schedule, and there were only 6 hours left to travel until we reached Philly. The problem, however, was that our apartment was not going to be ready until the next day, so we still had one night left in a hotel. We called around to different hotel chains near the apartment looking for a room, and man you would be shocked at what they cost. I initially had my own reservations about how much the apartment was costing us, but now that I know what the going rate for a hotel in the city is, I feel blessed. It is substantially cheaper for our apartment than a hotel, which is ridiculous! We got to the city around 4:30 and once we were settled, we stretched our legs a bit, and walked the streets. It wasn't until we were half way to our destination-which by the way, we couldn't find- that I realized I was running on fumes. We left the hotel in Roanoke that morning in such a rush that I didn't get breakfast, and my husband was determined to get to the city before 5, so we got no lunch. I stopped dead on the street, looked at my husband and all I could say was "Food". He laughed at me for a second, and said "Chinese?" Hell, at this point, I could care less what he fed me, I just wanted food before I passed out. I usually turn into the snickers commercial without food. I have friends, family, and students who can attest to this first hand. We got the bare necessities from the store and headed back to the hotel where we ordered our favorite, the Jin House, and watched the Saints slaughter the Dolphins. The Jin House seriously has the best General Tso's Chicken ever!  Jason and Parker knocked out for the night pretty early, so there I was- in a small hotel room- trying not to scream at the TV, or jump up and down every time the Saints intercepted or made a touchdown. It was no easy task, but I managed not to wake anyone up. I do need to mention that Monday Night Football games start way too late on the east coast. The game didn't end until after midnight!

This is my favorite picture of the whole trip below. 

They LOVE tolls around here. Their roads are also much nicer than ours, though.

I ALMOST missed it, because I was too focused on my book. 

On Tuesday, it was finally time to move into the apartment! I was beyond excited to unload this stuff out of the car one last time. The wonderful people at UrHomeInPhilly ensured that the apartment was ready for us at 11:00 instead of the usual check-in time of 3:00. Steve and Ann have really gone above and beyond to make sure that this move went smooth, and they succeeded beyond belief. The apartment was set up, with Parker's crib and bedding ready, when we walked in. Needless to say, I highly recommend them! This staff of the apartment complex has blown us out of the water as well. When we arrived we had a car packed to the brim with stuff. The concierge and doorman immediately helped Jason and I unload everything onto carts (2 plus the wagon) and also helped us bring it all the way up to our apartment on the 39th floor. Good thing they were so helpful, too, since there is only a 20 minute window that you can be parked in the "loading zone" until you're issued a ticket. I watched the lady issue two tickets right in front of me. She was ruthless! After loading and unloading all of the boxes and bags onto and off of the carts, we were both hungry. We headed to Reading Terminal Market and ate at Molly Maloney's. My "ham sammie" was pretty delish! After lunch, we came back to the apartment and let big guy take a nap for the first time in days. While he was napping, I unpacked everything. Luckily this apartment is full of closets, so there is a place for everything. By the time we finished unpacking, and Parker woke up, it was nearly 7:00, and we still hadn't gone grocery shopping. We spent a little time upstairs on the rooftop deck, enjoyed the sunset, ordered pizza and called it a night. 

Today, Wednesday, we finally got groceries and supplies for the apartment. Grocery shopping in the city is a huge task, since we are on the 39th floor! Of course we had to start from nowhere and get all of the basics that you take for granted at home, like sugar, pepper, ketchup, etc. We tried to get as much as we could in bulk so that we didn't have to make too many trips after transplant. Parker can't really go in indoor public places after surgery, so only one of us will be making these shopping trips then, and we struggled with both of us. Jason and I each grabbed a buggy and commenced to filling them. Mine basically had cases of water and cleaning supplies, where his was full of food.

I am happy to say that we are finally settled, unpacked, and have the necessities we need. It still doesn't feel like home, yet, but Jason is trying to rectify that for us at the moment. He's in the kitchen cooking up a chicken and sausage gumbo, and I am pretty sure that everyone on this hall is jealous. If not, they should be!

A few people have asked for our address to send "care packages" or "get well packages". After getting here and seeing how tight security is, I feel much more comfortable with giving out the address. So, if you have anything you'd like to send to us or Patty, send it to

1500 Locust St. Apt. 3918
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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