I leaned over and kissed her on the forehead like a do every morning. The sound of plastic against skin of our deflating air mattress echoed through the barren apartment. I got up to lift the shades and let the warmth of the sun in. She stirred and sat up. I turned to look back to see the nothingness and sterile white walls of our new place as she said "Well, what do we do now?" The excitement of driving across country faded quickly and the realization had set in as I looked back through the window at a palm tree swaying in the cloudless blue sky.
One year ago today we moved from Delaware County, PA to California.
We arrived late in the night. I took a deep breath as we made the final turn on our adventure across North America. I have been listening to the GPS for 5 days and now it was time to turn it off. Wild. A journey of a thousand miles (or 3,000 miles) begins with a single step. And we were on our last step.
Our landlords were waiting on the curb with their 3 boys who, luckily for us, were eager to meet us and help move a few boxes. I can't help but admit there was a moment of complete terror pulling up to the address that was discussed on the phone a world behind us now. After all the searching we did on multiple real estate sites for living arrangements we found this place on Craigslist. I was praying it wasn't a scam. I had promised Jamie’s family I would take care of her, make sure she was safe and took her away with me. (And they also promised to kill me if I messed up in anyway…and they made sure to tell me multiple times, so I believe them). We had no back up plan. And now here we were. All the prep work of getting out truck ready for a cross-country trip, packing, parties, good bye's, teary nights over beers with friends, and all the help we had led to this moment. "Please, don't let this be a scam." I begged over and over again silently in my head as I shot Jamie a suave-confident smile as we pulled into our new driveway. "Thank you." Releasing with a sigh praising the spirits watching over us. It wasn't a scam. We are home. And there are 3 kids here to help us move in. "Thank you."
We have learned a lot about ourselves over the course of the last year. To pseudo-celebrate our year mark in Santa Monica Jamie and I took a walk to the first place we went the day we woke up in our new home this time last year, our local coffee shop. We reminisced about how we bought a bed from the first place we saw selling them. We discussed finding a Target and battling LA traffic to get there…and purchase things we never thought off…like a shower curtain…or ya know, towels…or light bulbs.
Over the last year we have gone through a lot and accomplished a lot. Like this for example, our truck died a month into us getting settle. We were carless and broke in a new city. Luckily, we have awesome friends, Greg and Rick, who were willing to drive my car I left in Pennsylvania all the way out here so we didn’t have to buy another. Thanks guys! Jamie worked as a visual designer, floral designer and now works for a real estate broker. Go Jamie! I got promoted. We adopted a dog. We stayed in Joshua Tree, went to Disneyland for Christmas and then went again in the summer (why not!), we have hosted her family twice and had more people stay over than I can count…and we loved every single one of you who came out to stay with us! We made it to San Diego, we have hiked all over the Santa Monica mountains in Malibu, I started this blog, we flew home twice for weddings and to play on the radio 104.5 with my friends, we have watched my nephew grow up and learn to walk over FaceTime, I made it to vegas to make a short film, I saw the Phillies beat the piss out of the Dodgers in their own stadium, we made it to Catalina (not for a wine mixer), and made some incredible, lifelong new friends.
It’s been a hell of a year and I look forward on what’s to come. I am truly blessed and lucky. Thank you everyone who has been apart of our lives, especially over this last year. And thank you to anyone who has supported us in any way during these crazy times. We love and thank you for everything.
See you soon!