We’re just about set to make the move from our home of 6 years in Atlantic Beach, FL to our first stop in Key West. Because Michael is a professional photographer with lots of great equipment and we like to live comfortably (good knives, nice wine glasses, etc.) plus we have our large Irish Setter, Mick, to transport, we decided to rent a small U-Haul trailer that we would drop once we got to Key West. We again asked our young friend Asher to help us pack the trailer. We did great job packing almost everything in nice and tight the day before we planned to leave. We only had the last bits and pieces to box up and pack before we were ready to go. There was only one problem – even though the last items could fit into the trailer, Michael was concerned we were overweight. Minimally, this meant we would worry the whole time we were traveling and we could potentially face serious issues so Michael negotiated a larger truck.
We had the largest trailer that U-Haul rented already packed in our driveway so we had to get a full truck. This meant we now had to pull our car or drive separately which we decided we didn’t want to do. Ok, now we needed to unpack the trailer and pack the truck without Asher’s help (he was in school). UGH! We grabbed some breakfast and a couple of sweaty hours later we were repacked, ready to drive to U-Haul to return the trailer and get a car carrier attached to the new truck. As we were getting ready to leave, it started raining hard. We were lucky it waited until we almost finished with the packing but we were still pretty wet. There was an issue with the lights on the car carrier which we needed to get fixed but finally we were ready to go at 2:00 (we had planned to leave at 9:00).
Mick, our Irish Setter, settled right in for the trip and our cat, imprisoned in a cat carrier, cried all the way. It rained hard most of the trip. I drove first and got us two-thirds of the way to Miami. I pulled off the highway to get gas and got a surprise lesson on how to maneuver a car carrier through a gas station. This was the first time I had pulled a trailer and I didn’t understand how to compensate for how it moved. As I was pulling into the gas pump I was WAY to close (like less than an inch away) from hitting the post protecting the pump from people like me.
Michael took over and through a ridiculous amount of maneuvering, got us around the post and at the pump. I was a little rattled but Michael just smiled and said it didn’t cost us any money. Got to love a man like that! Michael took over driving while I thought through how I would maneuver the trailer more successfully the next time and started plotting where we would stay overnight. I had originally researched the Homestead/Florida City area but since we started out so much later, we decided to stop before Miami. The best city for hotels that would take pets was Boca Raton and I selected a Fairfield Inn. We arrived around 9:30 PM. I took our cat and luggage up to the room with a bunch of restaurant delivery menus while Michael walked Mick. I was concerned that we delivery options would stop at 10 PM, the Fairfield Inn didn’t serve dinner or room service and although there were restaurants close by, they were in large shopping malls with complicated parking options. I found an Italian place that would deliver great double shrimp salads with garlic bread and the food showed up shortly after Michael and Mick got to the room. We opened a bottle of wine and toasted day 1. Bon Appetit!