After packing up what seemed to be an ever-expanding mass of boxes, we set out to begin our 40-plus hour drive to Massachusetts with my wife, our 5-year-old son, Jackson, our 8-month-old black lab puppy, Stella, and everything that was left when the movers drove off with our trailer which included things like 50 hangers, a bag of flour, a water gun, two laundry baskets, and a cowboy hat. All of that sounded like a recipe for disaster to me, but it wasn’t at all. We had to do some serious editing the next morning, so that whoever wasn’t driving still had circulation in their legs, but it was surprisingly enjoyable.
Jackson is going through a phase where he likes to make all kinds of noises with his mouth. There really are all kinds, but the most prevalent are the super squeaky, high-pitched, nails on a chalkboard, drive you insane ones. That is what I dreaded most. I expected the only way we would be able to keep him from squeaking all the way across the country would be to let him watch as many movies as possible over the 2000-plus miles, so I was a little worried when he kept turning me down to set up a movie for him. What he did want to do was listen to Percy Jackson audiobooks. While they were playing he sat transfixed watching the scenery go by, and he was silent. It was amazing. I kept thinking he had fallen asleep, but every so often he would check in to make sure that we were still paying attention to the book. We ended up listening to books two and three of the Percy Jackson series and The Mysterious Benedict Society. I think he may have watched two movies the entire time.
Each new state was exciting for Jackson, which made it exciting for us, too. We tried to stop at each state border, or at least at the welcome center. All in all, we drove through 13 states. We got to see the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Manhattan, and finally the Atlantic Ocean! When we told Jackson we had just entered Massachusetts he whooped and hollered and made up a little song for it. Not too long after that, we made it to Plymouth, our new home.
Before I’d ever seen Plymouth, I was in love with the idea of it. There is so much history here. Our house was built in 1797. It’s on the same street as one of the oldest houses in America, right in the middle of where the colonists first settled. That’s crazy to me – completely amazing, but crazy. I’m sure that people who grow up in the older cities on the East Coast are used to it, but being able to live in a place that helped form what this country is today is such a romantic notion to me. The city is so charming and beautiful, and I love being able to walk to downtown, and the harbor.
The one thing I am having a hard time with is the temperature difference. This time of year in Austin, it’s usually between 95 to 100 degrees. That may be a little extreme to most people, but that’s what I’m used to. Right now, it is 54 degrees. I had to unpack my “winter clothes” box yesterday. We went outside to go to the movies and ran into our neighbor. She was in shorts and a light jacket for the rain. I had on two shirts, a scarf, and boots. I have no idea how to prepare for my first actual winter; I am definitely going to have to toughen up a bit. And when Austin is nearing its thirtieth or so day of over 100 degree temperatures, we will be in the 80s here, and I am definitely looking forward to that.
All in all, it was a very exciting trip and we are very excited to be in Plymouth!