Our apartment

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In Wellsboro we had a three bedroom, two bathroom house. Just for sake of affordability, we knew that we would have to downsize to a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment, at least for the first year that we are here.

So, officially, we downsized from 1,836 square feet to 602 square feet. It’s really not that bad when you think about it, because our house had a large dining room that was empty, and the kitchen and the living room were over sized. Plus there was that extra bedroom that was never used except for when someone spent the night.

Our apartment makes efficient use of what little space it has. The rooms that don’t really matter, like the dining nook, the kitchen, and the bathroom, are tiny, so the livable spaces like the living room and bedroom are larger.

I can handle only having one bathroom, but in the future I definitely want to have two bedrooms, just for the sake of having an extra closet and a place to shove all your extra stuff!

It is tough having so much stuff and not very many places to put it. Sure, our walk-in closet is huge, but when you put your clothes in, that fills up most of the space. So we’ve gotten clever, and we’ve hidden things behind doors and behind and underneath the bed. So that second bedroom would be helpful.

If there is one thing I could change right now about the apartment, it would be the cabinet space in the kitchen. There wasn’t a drawer wide enough to put our silverware in, so we had to buy a holder to put on the counter top. All of the dishes are stacked up on top of one another, so just one more cabinet or drawer would help.

But we’ll survive. We got everything we wanted to reasonably fit inside, and nothing important was left behind in Pennsylvania.

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The road trip

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Well, we made it! 1600 miles spread out over three days. Here are some photos of the highlights:

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My favorite parts of the trip were:

Crossing into Tennessee: The whole first day through Virginia were all roads that I was familiar with. Tennessee was new and exciting to me.

Lookout Mountain, Tennessee: We passed a gorgeous mountain range in lower Tennessee. One of these mountains, Lookout Mountain, was the site of a Civil War battle. It was called the battle in the clouds.

Fort Payne, Alabama: My favorite oldies Christmas song is “Christmas in Dixie,” by the band Alabama. They were formed in Fort Payne. The last line of the song is, “And from Fort Payne, Alabama, God bless you all, We love ya, Happy New Year, Good night, Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas tonight”

Crossing over the Mississippi: Doing this just made me FEEL different. Like we were truly on our way. It also made me feel like a modern pioneer, and I remembered the multiple times that Laura Ingalls Wilder (my favorite author) had crossed the river in her lifetime.

And: crossing into the Texas state line of course!

 

Texas bucket list

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I’ve been making a list of all the things I want to do while we are in Texas. Here it is below:

Find good Tex-Mex to eat
Take pictures of Bluebonnets
See the Alamo in San Antonio
Go to the River Walk in San Antonio
See the Christmas lights at the River Walk
Weekend trip to Enchanted Rock
Go to a NY Giants game in Dallas
See where JFK was shot in Dallas
Go to a Houston Texans game
Go to a Houston Cougars game
Attend some sort of Super Bowl event/party
Weekend trip to Austin
See Waugh Drive Bat Colony fly at sunset
Visit Galveston on the weekends
Attend Dickens on the Strand Christmas event in Galveston
Go to Kemah Boardwalk
Visit the Space Center
Go to the Zoo
Visit the Museum of Natural Science
Visit the Holocaust Museum
Attend multiple days of the Livestock Show and Rodeo
Buy more cowboy boots
Attend some sort of event at NRG park (our apt. is nearby)

Some of these are simple – good Tex Mex and cowboy boots will be plentiful! Some of the further away things can be combined into one trip. The only thing that may be hard is to attend a NY Giants Game (born and raised third generation fan!) in Dallas, due to possible schedule conflicts. But I will do my best to cross everything off the list, and challenge myself to find many more new things to add.

Does anyone from the Houston area have any suggestions?

1600 miles

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The trip from Wellsboro to Houston will take 1600 miles, give or take a few.

This is the route we are taking:

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The route shows our planned stopovers each night in Harrisonburg, Virginia and Picayune, Mississippi.

We are leaving Wellsboro on Friday, but at what time remains to be unseen. My dad will arrive early on Friday morning with the UHaul trailer, and we will leave whenever everything is loaded.

We will try to get a decent night’s sleep on Friday night in Harrisonburg, because Saturday is going to be one heck of a long drive – about 900 miles total. Once we’re in Picayune, it’s only five and a half hours left for Sunday morning.

Stay tuned for pictures along the drive!

Moving to Texas

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Derek and I are moving to Houston, Texas. This blog will be a way for friends and family to see what we are up to.

Derek will pursue a MFA in Studio Art – with a concentration of graphic design at theĀ  University of Houston. It is a three year program. While he is in school, I will work. I do not have a job yet, but time will tell. (Update: I am a paginator (page design) and reporter for Houston Community Newspapers.)

It will be an adventure, and culture shock for sure. We are moving from Wellsboro, which has a population of about 3,300, to Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., population 2.1 million.