The Big Move (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)
Now playing: hopeless fountain kingdom album - Halsey
Alright here we go!!!! This post is dedicated to our move 2,329 miles across the United States...and the events that followed shortly after we got here. We left a little over a month ago, which just seems so crazy to me. The post is broken up into days and also sections: The Bad, The Good, and The Ugly...in that order. If you make it all the way to The Ugly, I think it's probably the most meaningful part, and also the most personal. If you don't care about us traveling across the country and just want to skip to The Ugly section....that's totally cool. I just want this post to help others so that no one else suffers like we have. Enjoy, and please comment your experiences!!!
Before I go any further, here is another photo of the route that we took.
Day 1: June 1, 2017
We left West Lafayette, IN around 7:30am I believe. We had lived in our apartment for 3 years and packing up everything took forever!!! We had so much shit. I really underestimated how long it would take to pack everything. I got rid of a lot of clothes and shoes. It was necessary, but also sad.
The following falls under: The Bad
I'm going to digress real quick into our moving strategy as far as how to get our shit across the country. We looked at Uhaul prices, and then got a couple quotes from moving companies, and it turned out that it was actually (initially) cheaper to get a moving company to transport our stuff, so that's what we went with. We really didn't want to drive a Uhaul across the country. So this is what I learned from working with a moving company. There are moving companies, and there are moving brokers. Moving companies work directly with you and supposedly handle all the logistics of your move and they work directly on your job...like everything stays in house. Moving brokers get the details of your move and then put it up for bid and other moving companies bid on that job and then ideally you would go with the company that offered you the lowest bid. At least this is how I understand the process...if anyone knows more about it, feel free to comment below! So we went this moving company called Move Quick Inc. Out agent was very nice and prompt and we told them our destination and how much stuff we thought we would have and they quoted us an amount of space. That process was all great. They told me it would be 7-10 days from when they picked it up in IN to when they dropped it off in Seattle. Then the pick up date is scheduled (about a week before we left) and they tell me now it will be 10-14 days instead....which meant we needed to pack 2 weeks of stuff in our car as opposed to 1 week. Makes a big difference to me. That was annoyance #1. They told us a pick up date....we hustled to have our stuff ready...we wait around all day for them to come. We get a call at like 4pm telling us they can't make it today and it will be pushed back a day....to the day before we left. Annoyance #2. They told us a time slot they would arrive.....that was completely inaccurate. So finally a third party company, that Move Quick hired, comes and picks up our stuff. They tell us with our bed we are over our quoted amount of space, so we had to pay an additional $700.....oh and also since our flight of stairs up to our apartment is more than 7 individual steps, we owe $75 for them going up a flight of stairs. I was so mad. I had detailed to our agent how much stuff we had, and the fact that we lived on the second floor. We could buy a whole new bed for $700!!!!! Ugh, how freaking frustrating. Anyway, so we paid them. We didn't want to mess with getting a new bed out here. 11 days go by (with sleeping on an air mattress) and we get a call that they will drop our stuff the next day...oh, and they can't bring a truck into that part of the city, so we need to pay another $200 for them to transfer our stuff to a smaller truck. So this is now strike number 4 or 5. I've lost count. I argued with the guy (another, different 3rd party company) and there was no way around it so I had to pay another $200 to get them to drop off our stuff. SO NOW.....you tell me.....Move Quick knew exactly where we moving to when they made the quote.....so shouldn't the logistics of the move, as in, getting us our shit in the middle of Seattle, be part of that quote??? They should've figured that truck shit out for us...........that is their entire purpose!!! Okay, anyway. This was our first time using a moving service and we learned the hard way that they will do whatever they can to squeeze more money out of you. My opinion of that industry??? Not high. Maybe they aren't all like that? Who knows? I would love to hear other people's stories.
Anyway, sorry about that long preamble, but hopefully that doesn't happen to anyone else!
Back on track now...we left Indiana and our goal was to make it to Mitchell, South Dakota. Day 1 was by far the most boring day of them all. Sorry all my Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota homies....it was quite boring. But that was expected. We saw a lot of cows and fields and that's about it. So we did make it to Mitchell, SD after around 6pm or so. We really only stopped to eat lunch at Subway, and for gas every 300 miles. We drove for 11 hours the first day.
Day 2: June 2, 2017
We departed Mitchell, SD and our plan was to see Mount Rushmore and then stop in Rapid City, SD for lunch and then make it to Cody, Wyoming by the end of the day. We did just that. Mount Rushmore was about 4 hours from Mitchell. It was cool, but those big faces weren't quite as big as I was expecting. Greg had been before so he already knew. We were only there for maybe 30 minutes. It was a nice stopping point, but I would never like, make a trip there just to see them. And then it was 6 hours from Mt. Rushmore to Cody, WY. This is the part of the trip where it started getting mountainous and beautiful! We drove through Big Horn National Forest and we had to pull over and stare at the mountains....and not a person for miles. It was wonderful. So as you can see we definitely were front loading the trip. We wanted to get the worst of it over on the first two days and that we did. You might be wondering why we chose to stop at Cody, WY? Well, it's about an hour outside Yellowstone National Park and cheaper than staying in Yellowstone. (Props to my friend Maggie for giving us the lowdown.) And Cody, WY was quite a lovely little town. The people were extremely friendly! Yellowstone is next up for Day 3! There are some pictures below from Mt. Rushmore and Big Horn National Forest.
Day 3: June 3, 2017
On Day 3 we left Cody, WY around 6:30am. We wanted an early jump and Yellowstone and I'm so glad that did! We got to Yellowstone around 7:30am and completely beat the crowds it was amazing.
The following falls under: The Good
Yellowstone was utterly AMAZING. I was completely speechless about how gorgeous it was. I don't know what I was expecting, but it completely surpassed my expectations. We went to the Upper Falls, and different points along the main trail. We saw the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and every stop that we went to, we were able to beat the crowds because we got there so early, so we got unobstructed views and photos. I can't believe how big the park is, it's so huge. Granted, we didn't do nearly everything we could have. There were a lot more cool things we had heard about (like the Grand Prismatic Spring) that we just didn't do because it started getting crowded. We were there for about 3 hours and when we were leaving around 11:30am, there was standstill traffic entering the park. Cars backed up for several miles. GET THERE EARLY guys!!!!! Seriously. It would be no fun to arrive and then have to take 3 hours to get anywhere. Below are some pictures from the park. I seriously wish I had a nice camera or Erika with me to capture these moments. I'm working on it though. These were all taken on an iPhone 7.
After Yellowstone, our goal was to make it to Spokane, Washington...which was about 7.5 hours away. We drove up through Montana and Idaho and made it Spokane pretty early in the evening. We were finally in Washington!!! I have to say that Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho were so beautiful. At one point when I was driving....were literally going 75 mph up and down mountains on I-90. It was insane and amazing at the same time. I think Greg about had a heart attack and kept telling me to slow down...it was scary but also really fun. When we got to Spokane we went to a nice little restaurant close to our hotel. And that was Day 3!
Day 4: June 4, 2017
On Day 4 we woke up early, as we typically do, and walked around Gonzaga's campus. It was right by our hotel. Overall, Spokane was very pleasant and nice!!! We only had a short 4.5 hour drive to Seattle and we were SO excited!!! We got to Seattle around 1pm and unloaded all of our shit into our apartment.
I'm now going to fast forward to a couple days later and the events that happened on an after June 7, 2017.
The following falls under: The Ugly
I've been very hesitant to talk about this on the blog and I haven't mentioned it on social media because quite frankly, it's been a mix of devastating, stressful, embarrassing, frustrating, and disheartening. And it's pretty personal, and slightly uncomfortable to talk about. But based on all of the events that have followed, it feels right for me to now talk about it. So here goes.
On June 7, Greg and I left our apartment to go and buy a grill. We live on the ground floor of our apartment building, which is a nice neighborhood. Our windows have bars on them, just an fyi...as most ground floor apartments do around the city. when we left, we dead-bolted our main door, but did not lock our screen door. This was a naive Indiana mistake. Greg also had opened a window earlier in the day and had forgotten to close it before we left. It happened to be the window closest to the door. You may be able to see where this is going by now.....
When we came home, we discovered that our apartment had been broken into. I cannot even describe the feeling that I had as soon as I realized what had happened. I felt fucking sick. I was so upset and I felt almost as if I was in a movie and it wasn't real. Both of our Apple laptops were stolen, several of my watches, earrings, and necklaces, (including the watch Greg gave me for our wedding),....our backpacks, which had numerous valuables in them. You get the idea...it still makes me sick to even think about it. We determined that they broke the screen through the open window and used something to reach in and turn the deadbolt on our door and let themselves in....pretty elaborate right? We called the police and waited for them to come so we could fill out a report. We also notified our apartment management. I was pretty much distraught during this whole process and kept crying on and off as it hit me in waves. We had just moved to a new city, were just starting to settle in a little bit, and this happens. As I have mentioned before, I struggle with anxiety on and off, and so this just set it off. I was extremely anxious and couldn't eat for about 24 hours. Neither Greg nor I had ever been through anything like this before.
Sometimes humanity truly disappoints me. This was one of those times when I felt sad to be living in a world like this one where people could do this to one another. I felt unsafe and questioned wether moving here was a good idea. I questioned a lot in those first 24 hours following the break-in.
In the days that followed, we kept reminding ourselves that the items that were taken were just material possessions and they could be replaced. (Even though all of the photos on my computer that I lost of our wedding, trips, and such, could not be replaced.) We were both fine and that's what mattered. But I struggled, and still do, with the feeling of not being secure in my own home. No one should have to feel that way. It is an awful thing. The only real saving grace was that we had renters insurance. We thought, you know what, that should cover at least the big stuff. As you guys know, we initially moved to Seattle without jobs. And yes we saved up a lot in order to be able to move in a financially safe scenario...but this was still a definite financial setback.
The insurance brings up an entirely uglier side of humanity. I don't even know where to begin with how awful our experience has been with our renters insurance. We got it through Progressive, but the company is called Homesite Insurance.....I would STRONGLY advise you, DO NOT get renters insurance through them!!!!!!!! The process began as expected. Our apartment building requires renters insurance, so we got the policy to begin on June 1st, when our lease started...we had never had renters insurance in Indiana. Anyway, we filed our claim on June 8th and spoke with our claim adjuster who seemed nice enough. She had us fill out an inventory of everything we could think of that had been stolen, with the amount we paid for it, and the dates we got the items. We were advised that that inventory sheet would then be sent to a pricing team and they would get back to us with the worth of everything as priced today. They go off the depreciated value of items like electronics and such. Luckily, jewelry does not depreciate in value. So we sent her back that inventory list...of course there's no way we could remember everything, but we tried. Then we had to send her proof of purchase/ownership for all of the things that we could. This is where it gets messy. We sent her email order confirmations for our macbooks, some of my jewelry, and everything we could find. We couldn't provide receipts for everything...some stuff was several years old, and if it wasn't purchased online, who would still have the receipts right?? We thought we were good and had fulfilled all of our obligations to the insurance.........
We received a letter about a week later saying that Homesite was dropping us as customer. I was baffled by this and inquired further and learned that they were allowed to drop us because we had filed a claim within the first 60 days of our policy??? So we were getting punished because our apartment had been broken into in the first 60 days of our policy start date....like we could control that?!?! I was fuming. Honestly, I was disgusted. So now we had to find, and pay for, another rental insurance policy. I was told that them dropping us would not affect our current claim so I was like, okay....at least that's something.
We got a slight bit of good news that someone had tried to pawn Greg's computer and so the police were able to get it back, so we received it back, but it was wiped clean....there was nothing on it, but it was in working condition. Too bad that we had already gone to Apple and purchased new computers...so like...great, but??? We did the honest thing and contacted the insurance letting them know that we had received the computer back from the police so they could remove it from our inventory.
That was a slight bit of light....and then it got worse.
I had not heard back from our claim rep for a couple weeks so I kept emailing her asking what the status of the claim was........then we get ANOTHER letter in the mail saying that despite us providing email confirmation of the purchase of my macbook, they had contacted apple and were unable to confirm the purchase and so therefore they were denying our ENTIRE claim and also labeled us as FRAUDS!!!!! I literally cannot even describe my fury upon reading this letter. WE ARE THE VICTIMS and Homesite has now declared us frauds on a false technicality (which I will elaborate on) and is therefore not going to provide us with any compensation.
There are very few times in my life when I can say that I have felt truly powerless and helpless.......this is one of those times. We pay a company for a service, that they are incentivized to try and get out of providing us at all costs. I kept saying to Greg, how can they do this? We provided them with everything that we have. They said that apple couldn't verify the order number, or name and email on the order. Which sounds like they did everything they could, right? Definitely not!! Apple doesn't keep records based on order number longer than 18 months without a serial number of the item.... Also, when I ordered the computer, my name was Stephanie Owens, it was shipped to West Lafayette where we were living, AND I ordered it using my old email address? I mean my god, it was bought 2.5 years ago so like...it doesn't make sense to narrow a search by those variables without consulting us. Instead of contacting us when they couldn't verify with Apple and asking us if we had any more info that might help them verify the purchase, they just said...op, we tried, they lied to us, fuck them. Basically is how I interpret it. So.....we took it upon ourselves contact apple. Greg called Apple the following day, gave them the serial number for the computer, and they found the invoice verifying my original order number, and everything else that was on the initial order confirmation that I sent the insurance.....boom. Simple as that!!! Greg said it took literally 5 minutes of talking to Apple to verify the purchase. All we needed was the serial number. We promptly sent this Apple invoice to the insurance as FURTHER confirmation that we did in fact purchase the computer........and our claim rep told us they are looking into it. I don't know what that means, but I have NEVER been so disgusted by a business in my entire life. How can this not be enough proof? They should change their decision and issue us a huge apology, but at this point I have very little hope of that happening. I am sure that people do lie to home insurance companies and try to fraud them, but come on......we had a police report, we had proof of purchase, we jumped through every hoop they gave and then they basically took a shit on us. How is this legal???? As it stands now we are waiting to hear if they are going to repeal their decision to deny our coverage. WHO knows what will happen. The whole thing makes me sick. I told Greg that I wish I was a lawyer or had the money and knowledge to sue their asses for treating us this way. It's despicable. I mean, there has to be something we can do right? Unfortunately, the sad truth is that I think we've done everything we can do. They clearly didn't actually try to verify the purchase with apple or extend any common curtesy to us, their customer. It's fucking sad and makes me sick and I sincerely hope that any of you who are still reading this ridiculous saga never have to go through an experience like this. I don't want this to somehow impact our financial record because of the piece of shit insurance. I'm sorry for all of the cursing in this post.
So as in every difficult situation, I ask myself, what can I learn from this??? Well....from now on we lock all the windows and both doors before we leave. And we just better pray that we never have to go through this again because forget counting on the insurance to help us out.
I wish that I was like a huge blogger with thousands of subscribers and that this post somehow reached someone who had the power to do something about our situation. I guess I wish my voice mattered more. But also, I shouldn't have to be someone important to be treated in a decent and respectful way by the insurance company that I'm paying.
UGH. Okay I am tired of typing and if you made it to the end of this.........truly THANK YOU for reading!!!!!!!! I'm sorry it's been so long but I do feel better getting this out there and maybe it will help someone else, I don't know??? I just went into the insurance claim process too naive I guess actually thinking we would be treated fairly?
Overall, this has been the worst part of our move and happier things have happened since and I will do a happier post next week detailing other positives, like my new job!
Also, I recognize that there are millions of people in the world that are in much worse life conditions and situations than this. And that worse things happen to people. I get that. I realize that this event is not the end of the world. It is just a series of events that have caused me to be disappointed in humanity.....but you know what.....no matter what shit life throws at you and no matter how many times it knocks you down..........you can't let them win!!!!!! GET BACK UP EVERY TIME!!!!!!!!!
I will not be broken.
Thank you for reading. :)