Moving logistics and Send-off

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.

Autumn has fallen

Despite the last day of summer being tomorrow, Mother Nature must be just as tired of it as I am because autumn arrived in full force today. Yesterday the weather here in Denver was warm with a high of mid-70s. Today it’s raining with a high of 52 and a low of 37. Currently it’s 39 degrees with a wind chill of 29! The showers and cool weather are only here for the week according to NOAA – Friday will be mostly sunny and a high of 72 again.

Yesterday B and I took his mom to Blackhawk for a few hours and on the drive up you could see some of the aspens already changing colors. I’m assuming that after this week of cooler weather fall colors will be in full-force.

We had a really wet spring and summer — at least according to folks who have lived in the area for a while (it’s hard to compare having only lived here for a couple of years). It’s obviously too early to know if we’ll have an equally wet fall but it’s certainly starting out that way. If the wetness continues into winter, well, lets just say I’ll be extra happy that I work from home!

Waxing poetic about an old bookstore

I stumbled upon a reference to the Park Hill Community Bookstore in a neighborhood rag we get once a month. The Bookstore is a non-profit organization that has been around for over 30 years. They have only one paid employee (the manager), the rest of their staff are volunteers.

Benjamin and I dropped by over the weekend to check it out. It’s only 3 miles from our house in the cozy neighborhood of Park Hill. They have a wide selection of used books, enough to keep me busy for a while. The best part: used paperbacks are only $2 and hardbacks are $4! Moreover, this month they are having a 2-for-1 sale on their Science Fiction/Fantasy and Mysteries. You can’t buy a new paperback these days for less than $6-8, much less 6 or 8 books for the same price!

Unfortunately while checking out with my 4 new gently-used jewels I discovered that I had only $2 in cash and that their minimum credit card purchase was $10 (a fact I totally understand given the credit card merchant fees). Rather than going and finding another 6 books to take home I opted to purchase a family membership for $20. With a membership you get an additional 7.72% off your purchases plus some other goodies. Also with a membership you get “book credits” — which after being explained to me make the membership essentially free.

For each dollar you purchase for a membership, you get half a book credit good for a $2 book (ie: a single trade paperback). So for our $20 family membership we received 10 book credits, two of which went to pay for the 4 books (2-for-1 remember). I can walk back in at any time and spend the remaining 8 book credits without pulling out my wallet — a very good thing considering how little cash I carry. You can also drop off your used books and instead of cash they give you book credits.

After learning how good the bookstore is for the purchaser – I can’t believe they’re still in business, much less for 30 years! Rest assured I’m going to be telling everyone I know about this little gem!

Park Hill Community Bookstore
4620 E. 23rd Ave
Denver CO 80207

Destination: Downtown Denver

This weekend Benjamin and I were in Denver to view the Johnson & Wales campus. We also put a deposit down on a 2 bedroom, 1 bath loft in the heart of Downtown. We’re on the second floor of the historic Boston Building at the corner of 17th Ave and Champa St. For a birds-eye view, check out this page – our building is number 19. We’re only a block away from the 16th Street Mall which is a pedestrian thoroughfare that runs the entire length of 16th Street, includes a free MallRide, and wifi. The light rail line that runs down the heart of downtown Denver runs down Champa St. and the bus line has a stop right in front of our building (good for transportation, bad for noise). Oh, and have I mentioned the fabulous bookstore within walking distance? Urban living, here we come!

Edit: Ooops, I meant building #19 in the link.