Our decision to move to Charlotte, NC must come as a surprise to most of you reading
my posts. We moved to California two years ago and took advantage of every opportunity possible. A jetpack flight in Newport Beach was our most recent venture, but we also tried a bi-plane flight, a glider flight, bungee jumping, kiteboarding, swimming with beluga whales, piloting a fighter jet, piloting a helicopter, piloting an airplane, flying over the Grand Canyon, touring LA in a helicopter, sky-diving, paragliding, snorkeling, touring the coast, kayaking, enjoying the theatre, viewing dolphins and whales from a catamaran, touring the zoo, testing our hands as artists… and the list goes on. The birth of our daughter has been the best adventure of our lives though and she’s changed the way we view life. We want to offer her the chance to grow up in a community where she knows her neighbors and enjoys playing in the backyard. We want to fill a house with children and know that I can stay at home with them until they are school age without worrying about finances. Although California offers more than we ever imagined possible, we know that Charlotte provides the family environment that fits our lifestyle.
Alas, we decided to make the move. Darren is blessed with an extreme talent in his field and finding a position in Charlotte wasn’t difficult. Our biggest concern or decision was based around getting to Charlotte. We wanted to transport our belongings but we realized that hiring a moving company wasn’t an option. The transition time would leave us without our possessions and newborn babies really do use a lot of gear. We needed to haul it ourselves; and more importantly, we needed a safe, reliable means to do it. At that point, we knew that U-Haul was our best option. With a U-Haul, we could guarantee that our stuff would arrive the same time as us, they are easy to load with low decks and wide ramps, they offer 24-hour emergency road service, and they have towing capabilities so we could transport the car without paying extensive fees. The number one reason to rent a U-Haul, though, was the safety features, including the ability to turn off the passenger air-bag so Athena could ride with us. We embarked on a 2,648 mile journey from Laguna Hills, CA to Charlotte, NC and U-Haul made it easier.
We picked up the truck and the tow from the Laguna Beach, CA location. As always, their service was friendly and efficient. I called several times beforehand to make sure the air bags could be turned off and asked other questions about the best towing options as well as truck size. None of the employees were annoyed with my questions and they gave me their undivided attention. I ordered the truck and tow online with their simple, few-short-steps process and there was even an option to purchase additional moving supplies. When Darren picked up the truck, it was in mint condition and the service was speedy. The employee reviewed every component of the truck and transport so we could load and drive the U-Haul safely. The truck was ready to go and Darren was out the door in time to make it back to work before his one hour lunch break ended. We had used the Laguna Beach U-Haul office in the past and each time was as good as the last.
We hired a moving company to load the truck, but we had about 5 large items and 10 smaller items left over before we could get on the road. The low deck and EZ-load ramp must have been designed with families in mind. Moving is never simple, but at least I didn’t need to strain my back trying to get heavy boxes high up into the truck and I could step into the back of the truck without pulling out the ramp every time.
No one plans on using the 24-hour emergency road service, but mishaps do happen and we were not immune to them on this trip. In Albuquerque, NM we stopped at Denny’s for breakfast. I was sure to make a bathroom stop before hitting the road again. When I walked out to the truck, Darren was still standing outside. He had locked the keys in the truck. I saw the number to U-Haul on the side of the truck and luckily had the phone with me. Darren called U-Haul and within minutes they found someone to come and unlock the door for us. It wasn’t free, but it was quick and the U-Haul representative was friendly. Her reassuring demeanor was exactly what we needed at that moment and we didn’t endure the added stress of finding a locksmith on our own. With a newborn, situations like this can be beyond stressful and it’s reassuring to know that you have that support 24-hours a day. Luckily, we had the phone on us but we could have managed regardless. U-Haul had us covered.
All U-Haul trucks have towing capability in case you need extra space or want to tow a vehicle behind you, but what I was most happy about was that U-Haul offered an auto-transport to tow the car rather than just a tow dolly. We easily drove the car onto the transport, avoiding the long distance wear on the car. Our only mistake was that we were unaware that the fender tilted out allowing vehicle door access and Darren climbed out of the window Dukes of Hazzard style. He may see this as a downside, but I saw it as a photo opportunity.
Safety is a primary concern for any new parent. My baby girl still sleeps in the bassinet next to me and I check on her roughly 20 times a night. Gone are the days of stress-free living where I hap-haphazardly skip through extreme adventures without a second thought, and driving on the highway can be an extreme adventure. I don’t know how many of you have driven on the I-5 in California, but if you have you understand where I’m coming from. The 17-foot truck that we used included three-across belted seating to ensure we were all safe and secure. It was also equipped with a driver-side and passenger-side air-bag. The passenger air bag could be turned off making it possible to use a car seat in the vehicle. U-Haul also has an equipment inspection and verification program to ensure clean, well-maintained equipment. The auto transport had notable safety features as well. If for some reason the transport became detached from the U-Haul truck, it is equipped with an automatic hydraulic surge brake. U-Haul trucks have more safety features than any other rental trucks in the industry.
We arrived in Charlotte, NC after 41 hours of driving spanning across 8 states. Tomorrow we move into our new apartment community and we’ll unload the U-Haul immediately after we receive the keys. So far, U-Haul has provided us with a perfect experience. We’ll see if it “stacks up” to the final test tomorrow morning – unpacking.