Our original plan for the move from Denver to Seattle was to ship up a few boxes via UPS/FedEx and take the rest up in the car. We weren’t planning on taking much and our thought was that we’d have about 1.5 months before coming back to Denver at Christmas. If we decided we wanted bigger/more stuff we could always rent a Penske and drive it up at that time.
After some discussion it became apparent that there were more items we wanted to take on the initial load than we could cost-effectively ship. So we went route #2 and priced out a Penske. Ouch. Getting a bit creative I priced out the cost of renting an SUV and driving it up to Seattle. Including the cost of both the gas and the rental, the SUV approach was half the cost of a Penske/U-Haul. The SUV I reserved was a mid-level SUV along the lines of an Xterra. I opted to rent it from a Hertz Local Edition instead of the Hertz at the airport to avoid airport concession fees.
Fast forward to Thursday Nov 4th when I went to pick up the vehicle. The gentleman at the Hertz desk apologized that they didn’t have an SUV that matched what I selected, but they had upgraded me to what they did have available for no additional charge. Move over Xterra, hello Tahoe. And not just a standard-grade Tahoe. No, this puppy had leather seats, satellite radio, navigation system, and even iPod support. As a bonus, it automatically shut down 4 of the 8 cylinders if the vehicle detected they weren’t needed. Despite having the vehicle completely loaded (more on that later) we still achieved 20.5 MPG on the way up to Seattle. A far stretch from the 6-10 MPG estimated for the Penske. It felt like a boat to drive — particularly for someone use to a small car.
After picking up the luxury SUV I drove it back to the house for loading. Our very good friends Todd, Steven, Josh, John, and Meghann showed up a few minutes later and we had everything loaded in less than 30 minutes. It helped that Benjamin had expertly packed everything we were taking in small, puzzle-perfect sized boxes. That combined with Todd’s PhD-level packing skills made loading a breeze. [Aside: several people, completely independently, commented that we needed the Tetris music playing during the loading!] To top it off, Steve and Todd brought over chinese food for us (Taste of Asia – B’s absolute favorite).
After the gang left, B and I ate dinner and proceeded to pack those last few pesky bags and boxes you always have at the very end. During the course of the next couple of hours, Steve, Jason, Jonathan, Danny, Mark, Ken, Peter, Meghann (again!), and Laura came by to hug our necks and chipped in when we needed additional hands. It was a wonderful send-off and we really appreciate everyone for coming out, lending a hand, and wishing us well.
We were well prepared the next morning for our 6:15 planned departure … so well prepared that we were only 15 minutes past schedule.