McKinney Gypsy Caravan

One part travel blog. One part nerdy history lesson.

House Sales, Packing and a short stopover in Indiana

We were really lucky to own a home in a really quick moving real estate market…so our house was sold within 10 days! (Still about 9 longer than I thought it would take).  So now came the tedious task of packing it up and figuring out how to get everything to Ireland…and how to get rid of the things we knew wouldn’t make sense to take…or wouldn’t fit in our new small little cottage house.

Our poor house went from clean and put together for sale:

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To this: haha

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A lot of people have asked how we moved our stuff to Ireland..for us, it was actually easier than when we moved stuff anywhere in the US. and because of our close proximity to the ports on both ends, shipping our stuff via shipping container on an ocean cargo freighter was cheaper than moving it between states with a mover in the US. sad… We struggled with finding a company that would just ship a container… almost everyone I contacted wanted to pack the container for us… which of course was going to be crazy expensive… and probably would not have packed it as well as we did ourselves. Also, most companies wanted to deliver the container and you had to have it loaded in under 2 hours. We knew this couldn’t possibly happen, especially given that the container was 5 feet off of the ground on a truck trailer… We finally found a company that would drop the container off, pick it up 5 days later and would let us pack it ourselves…plus they were up front in their pricing model and fees…so as long as everything arrives- they were amazing. haha

We had the choice between a 40 ft full size container or a half-container that was only 20 feet long. Since a 40 ft would’t fit in our driveway and would have meant loading up loads of UHaul trips to go fill it, coupled with the fact that we don’t have that much room in Ireland, we decided that we were going to fit everything we owned into the 20 foot container…. and if it didn’t fit, it had to go! So, needless to say…a lot had to go. haha

Luckily my mother had just bought a new house, so it was sort of serendipitous that almost every piece of furniture we were going to sell or give away, she could use!

We needed so many packing blankets to pad all of the furniture, because we had learned our lesson previously from using PODS and moving stuff ourselves that the little road bumps and repeated rubbing pretty much make it useless to move anything if not completely wrapped up and padded.

Luckily, Kegan found a couple listings online for used packing blankets… so we saved a bunch of money because they were $9/piece at Harbor Freight and we needed 70+ of them haha

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The truck arrived on time, even if the driver did back it up into the roof of the garage. we screamed at him to stop when we realized he wasn’t planning on it… and he only dented in the guttering thankfully. moron.

IMG_4526Some of us were more thrilled than others about the whole packing experience

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Halfway Through

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Almost done!fullcontainer

We finished up loading the last item AS the semi pulled into our neighborhood at 7am…so we didn’t have time to do a final walk through to make sure we didn’t miss anything. we did really well! we only forgot one box. it just so happened to be the box that contained every pair of shoes I owned. lol  (I did later manage to fit all but about 6 pair into our luggage that we took with us on the plane…so just an excuse to buy new shoes.)

The last day of packing, our housekeeper Nilda stopped by with her kids to wish Norah a happy birthday. (because it WAS Norah’s birthday! ha) She’s the best. IMG_4605 IMG_4611 IMG_4614 IMG_4616

Norah wished for “Mavis makeup” for her birthday….so I had to find a way to do Hotel Transylvania dress up makeup with the 5 or so makeup items I still had unpacked haha I think I did ok!IMG_4622
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After it was all packed up in the container, we had the final clean up, dropped by Coral Springs to pre-sign all of closing paperwork and headed on up towards Indiana. Kegan headed up towards Ohio to drop the Penske rental truck of furniture off with him. It must be hard to be a part of this traveling family.

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After we got to Indiana, Norah got to go see Uncle Kaleb at the fire station! IMG_4679 IMG_4690 IMG_4689

We had to drive to Frankfurt, Kentucky to get a vet certificate for moving Izzy overseas. Hands down, the hardest part of an overseas move: bringing pets! geesh. Now, we could have used a shipping service, but I quoted it out at it was going to be $2700 to use an “all inclusive” pet shipping service… OR… you could get some stuff yourself and ship the pet United Cargo for under $600. So, obviously, we chose to do it ourselves. That could be a blog post in itself… but in short, it required going to a local vet, getting a tapeworm vaccine within 5 days of travel, then taking that paperwork to a USDA Aphis vet, which there is only 1 per state… and the Indiana crazy cat lady was on vacation…so her backup is Kentucky. So, driving to Kentucky, then taking all of that paperwork, with your dog in an approved carrier (also…soooo many rules on this) to the cargo area of the departure airport. To jump ahead a bit, when we got to the airport, the lady told us we were missing a domestic form (that i assumed we didn’t need since we already had the more in depth international form) and we had to haul tail over to a local Chicago vet to get a form filled out and get her dropped off on time. Then when we got to Ireland, United gave us totally wrong info on where to pick up the dog, so we “lost” her for a couple hours haha When we did locate her, it was at a vet’s office 10 minutes away and they had no idea they were supposed to be receiving her because United never told them she was coming and I had to pay another $300 for the Ireland import and vet services…so in hindsight- I can see why people use the services!!! But all is well that ends well. 🙂

Back to Indiana- after the Kentucky trip, we did some fishing at Rob and Sherri’s house. My dad bought her an R2D2 fishing pole for her 4th birthday, so we invited some people over for some kid fishing and some campfire food. IMG_4693IMG_4708 IMG_4700

We had Norah’s 4th birthday party on Saturday. She said she wanted to be “just like Rey at a Star Wars birthday party” back when the new Star Wars movie came out… and of course the nerd in me was OK with that! haha She does think its “Bo-Bo Fett”, “Dark Vader”, and she thinks “Storm Trooper” is one single guy’s name…but hey- I still call it a win. hahaIMG_4730IMG_4739

We spent Sunday with as many people as we could fit in and then headed to Chicago to drop Izzy and then board our plane. Pretty uneventful other than the last minute vet cert we had to go get. We got to our gate with 30 minutes to spare and got Norah a Happy Meal just in case it was a while until she got another… and like any typical 4 year old… chicken nuggets make the world go round. 🙂

You always know you’re flying over Ireland. That green patchwork is pretty distinct.irelandflyover

We arrived, found dog eventually and headed towards Ciara’s apartment- our stop for the next 4 days until we head to Sweden for the vacation I booked on Black Friday last year. I may have worn everyone out 🙂

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4 Comments

  1. Wow, what an adventure, I wish you well in Ireland, I hope you are going to keep the adventure posts coming, I know I really enjoy your adventures. You might want to think about writing a book.

    • Ha! No book I’m afraid. I do plan on continuing the blog posts as long as people want to read them. Probably longer 🙂 thanks for reading. Great to hear from you!!

  2. Holy moly girl! You guys are in whirlwind mode. I am worn out just reading about it and a bit stressed! 😉 Enjoy Ireland and Sweden. Keep us updated; I love hearing the adventurous tales. Do let me know your mailing address when you get that figured out so Barbara and I can send Norah a package. 🙂

  3. I’m fairly exhausted from just reading this….

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