We moved! And lessons learned.

As you can probably imagine, we have been BUSY. We moved out of our Oregon home, and made the three day/two night trip to LA, arriving last Friday. Since then we have been unpacking, organizing and buying necessary furniture. We left several pieces of furniture (including all of our beds) in our Sunriver home for vacation renters.


Burbank’s IKEA is the largest in the nation!

On our trip down, cool occurrences included…


  • We lucked out with perfect weather for the move.
  • We passed a bald eagle perched on a tree on the right of the highway.
  • We passed through California’s animal and agriculture inspection once we entered the state without a hitch. (We were unaware and completely unprepared for this inspection. There’s a story behind this that I won’t share publicly, so let’s just say I’m convinced there was some divine intervention.)


ty jack ketz ariel
Posing in front of Mt. Shasta. With Ketz.


Our trip held no catastrophes, but several lessons were learned.

We BARELY got all of our stuff into the 15-foot Uhaul we rented that Jack drove with Ty. Jack did a great job playing Tetris with our belongings when packing the Uhaul.

Then we stuffed the trunk and interior of our Volvo that we were towing on the back of the Uhaul.

Lesson learned | Make sure to check the clearance of the vehicle you’re towing before renting the auto transport so it’s not too low and scrapes. Use two 2 x 10s to lift your front tires even if the Uhaul employee says you probably won’t need them. It doesn’t hurt. Just do it.


I drove our Escape with Ariel in her car seat behind me. In that vehicle we stuffed our suitcases, along with our zoo.

Two cats, 10 fish and our gecko, Ketz, and their necessities for the trip.


ariel ketz ty
Ariel’s ready to go with her DVD player in place. Ketz seems to be enjoying the DVDs, too.


Lesson learned | Don’t ever let the cats out to roam the hotel room. Keep them in the bathroom. Or else they could end up hiding out in the big empty box under the queen bed. In which you will then have to have someone lift the mattress so another person can grab each cat as they are trying to escape their fate of being in their cage in the car. (That fiasco took about 20 minutes out of our tight schedule.)


When we arrived at our apartment complex, our leasing consultant greeted us. Parking our caravan was difficult. Both sides of the street are lined with various apartment buildings with cars parked all along both sides of the street.


The Whelchel Caravan


Lesson learned | Trying to turn around a 15-foot Uhaul – towing an auto transport – in a crowded side street – with a dead end – in LA – is not the best way to make friends.


Fortunately, our apartment is located next to an outside exit so we didn’t have to travel too far moving in our furniture and boxes. During the three hours we moved in, Ty had the job of holding the heavy door open for us. The kids were troopers. They did great. At one point the kids took a break sitting on the lawn between the sidewalk and our apartment building.

Lesson learned | Don’t let your kids play (or even walk!) on the grass of “pet-friendly” apartment complexes. We discovered the reason the grass is so green is because it’s turf grass. And the reason Ariel said her hand smelled like pee after grabbing some accent gravel is because the turf grass is the animals’ toilet.

Speaking of toilet…

Lesson learned | When moving into a new home, always bring toilet paper with you. Chances are there won’t be any toilet paper in the bathroom. And you won’t have any idea what box you packed your toilet paper in.

2 thoughts on “We moved! And lessons learned.

  1. What a crazy wild adventure‼️ You can certainly entertain us. Please keep sharing. 😊 We miss all of you ‼️ We hope the next few days goes smooth. 🤗


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