Category Archives: Arizona

Five more years of the Arizona Coyotes.

By | Arizona, Blog, NHL | No Comments

After four long years of uncertainty, the desert dogs have landed an owner. Last night, the Glendale City Council voted 4-3 on the lease agreement that guarantees at least five more years of the Arizona Coyotes.

Yes, you read that right. The Arizona Coyotes.

The team is changing the name to the Arizona Coyotes because the team was moved out of Phoenix and the America West Arena into Glendale and the arena in 2003. The move was essential because the America West Arena was not made for hockey. The floor barely fit an ice rink and the sight lines limited the 18,000 seat arena to just over 16,000 seats. Those factors paired with poor ownership and an unfortunate lease agreement in Phoenix ushered the team into a state of financial peril that they could not recover from.

Not even after moving to an arena built for hockey.

The team didn’t find success in Glendale for multiple reasons. It was still hemorrhaging financially because of prior ownership issues and the new location wasn’t exactly ideal. Although it was great for the Coyotes to be able to play in an arena built for hockey, it wasn’t so great for the people of Phoenix. A majority of the hockey fans in Arizona live in the East Valley or in Scottsdale, which equates to an approximate 60 to 90 minute drive during the week.

The Coyotes also struggled because of their coaching situation. While Wayne Gretzky is arguably one of the greatest hockey players of all time, it’s safe to say that he was not meant to be a coach in the NHL. In fact, he is the only coach in the Coyotes history to have a sub .500 win percentage (aside from Rick Bowness who coached the team for 20 games after Bob Francis left the team). Gretzky coached the Coyotes for 310 games, boasting only 310 points with a .473 win percentage.

The Coyotes didn’t start to find success on the ice again until Dave Tippett took over as the head coach in 2009. Since he took over, the team has boasted a .609 win percentage and worked their way to the Western Conference Finals in 2011-2012 despite the organization’s lack of ownership.

So, why is five more years in Arizona a good thing? Why isn’t it better to just move the team to Seattle, or Quebec, or to Kansas City?

It’s a good thing because the city is still a viable option for hockey. Before I moved to Phoenix, I don’t think that I would believe it. I would say the same thing that gets said by most hockey fans around the world.

The Coyotes have lost money for years. They can’t sell out their arena. They’re this, or they’re that. They’re just not capable of sustaining hockey in the desert.

…but it’s not true. Hockey does have a place in the desert. Since the move to Phoenix in 1996, Arizona went from 2 sheets of ice to 11. There are six rinks in the Phoenix metropolitan area. With that youth hockey is on the rise, along with attendance at and the overall awareness of the sport. Arizona is proving that it is a viable option for hockey, but it can’t happen without the right people wanting it to happen.

I believe that the Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE) group and their partnership with Global Spectrum (the owners of the Philadelphia Flyers) can be that group of people that want it to happen. If they stand behind the product, behind the Arizona Coyotes, there is a very good chance that this team can succeed both on and off the ice. Dave Tippett has taken this ragtag group of second and third line players and found success. I can’t even imagine what he could do with a financial backer that could draw free agents to the organization.

I’m not saying that anything is going to happen overnight, but I am saying that the potential is there and that I have faith in the Arizona Coyotes.


Day Five: Flagstaff, AZ to Surprise, AZ

By | Arizona, Blog | One Comment

I know that it has been some time since I have written a blog. Honestly, I just have not had a chance to sit down and write, but since I have some time now, I will update everyone!

The last day of the trip was simple. It was a two and a half hour drive. We were leaving the snowy mountains of Flagstaff for the warm weather of the Valley in Phoenix. By this point, I’m pretty sure it was something that we all needed.

For the end of the venture, I stayed with the group. It didn’t make much sense to go ahead. I wasn’t getting a hotel room. I wasn’t scouting the area out for food or to rest up. We were almost at our destination. It was kind of a good feeling. You know, to know that it was almost over. To know we were almost in Phoenix.

The final two and a half hours went without a hitch. We arrived in Surprise in the middle of the afternoon and got established in the Lemma residence. It felt nice to just get somewhere. It felt nice to relax and hang out. For Kyle, it was nice to get back to his wife, his children and his dog. The entire experience was just pleasant.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time to rest. Not for me at least. I had to find us a house. I had been searching on Craigslist and on for months trying to find a place, but every time that I found one that I liked, I emailed the realtor about it only to find out that it was taken. This was a process that was repeated over ten times. It was frustrating, so I stopped. There was no reason to try to find a house beforehand, by the time we got to Phoenix it would probably be gone. It was important that we got to see it in person because I wasn’t going to just sign a lease over the phone or the internet.

But what that meant was, we were very limited on time. We arrived in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, and we had to return our moving truck by Sunday morning at 9:00 am. I called Penske and found out that it cost $100 for each additional day that we kept the truck. Needless to say, we were short on cash before we arrived, so we didn’t exactly have an additional $100 to spend each day we didn’t find a house.

Kyle offered us storage through his work, but no one wanted to unpack all of our belongings from the truck and then try to fit them in a storage container, and then have to unload it again back into the house (once we found one). So, I locked myself in the bedroom upstairs and started calling houses and realtors and pretty much anything else that I could find.

We needed to find a house.

It wasn’t until the following day (Friday, Day Six) that we started to get around and got to see some houses. We were looking primarily in the Surprise area, but unfortunately weren’t finding much. There was a house across the street from Kyle that was available, however, it was not even close to big enough.

The most important thing for us in this house hunt was space, because if we didn’t have enough room to not be on top of each other 24/7, I can guarantee you that we would have killed each other by now, but it seemed like the rental market in Surprise just wasn’t there for us. We couldn’t find anything that suited our needs. We found a house that was a little bit East of Kyle’s that was nice, but it was a bit out of our price range. So, we started branching out more.

I found an ad on Craigslist for a house in Phoenix. The ad was a little bit shady. It didn’t have any pictures of the place, and the details were pretty spare, but we were desperate, so we carried on. The ad specifically requested that you text the owner because it was the way to get the fastest response. Being someone that needed a quick response, I texted him. I waited an hour, no response. Texted again, no response, so, I called him.

Of course, he answered.

The guy told me to go check the property out. He said to look at the outside and if I liked it to give him a call and he said that he would come show it to us. As soon as we got there, we decided unanimously that it was definitely worth checking out the interior, so I called him.

No answer. Called again, no answer, so we waited.

And waited.

After fifteen or twenty minutes, we decided that we were going to leave because he wasn’t going to answer, but on our way out of the development, we saw a similar house with a realtor sign. We got the number and gave them a call, but of course there was no answer. It seemed like we were out of options and we didn’t have much else to look at, so we headed back to Kyle’s a tad bit frustrated.

On our way back, the realtor called us and said that if we wanted to look at the house that she would give me the lock box combination if I sent her a picture of my driver’s license (which was incredibly, incredibly convenient. Also, getting to look at a house without someone drooling down your neck is pretty wonderful).

She sent the lockbox combo rather quickly and we raced back down to Phoenix to check the house out.

First of all, the house was huge. It was everything that we could ask for in a house (besides the lack of a pool), but it was beautiful. It was roughly 4100 square foot with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a three car garage and a corner lot with plenty of yard space.

The only problem was that the property wasn’t cleaned and wasn’t going to be done until later that week. I explained to the realtor that we didn’t have that kind of time, and asked if there was anyway that we could get in the following day (Saturday). She expressed some uncertainty, but suggested that if we could get our credit applications in, that she would do her best.

We scrambled to get everything we needed in line for that morning. We got our bank statements, our drivers licenses, our applications and the fees together and met with her at 8:30 AM. After we handed it over to her, she said that she would get in contact with me as soon as possible.

We were left with nothing but the hope that the owner of the house would be okay with us renting despite the fact that we had two large dogs and more importantly, were currently unemployed.

We were optimistic. There was some doubt, as a collective group, our credit score wasn’t exactly something to brag about, but we were assured it was good enough to rent. Still, I think that in these types of situations, you’re always a little bit nervous because you never know what’s going to happen. It’s kind of silly really, because realistically you know your credit history. You know if there’s something bad on there or not, yet for some reason, you still have this inkling of doubt. You still feel like there’s a chance that something unfavorable might just pop up. You still feel a little bit unsure.

After a few hours of waiting, I received a phone call from the realtor telling us we were approved and that we would be able to meet up with her in two hours to sign the lease, then we could move in.

Up to this point, everything seemed too easy. It seemed like everything had gone too well. At every turn, I was waiting for a monkey wrench to get thrown in our plans, or to find some kink that we had to work out, but it never came. The road trip from New Jersey to Arizona couldn’t have gone better (well, aside from getting a ticket). Finding a house (that we weren’t settling for) in less than two days, couldn’t have gone better.

Everything went perfect.

We got the moving truck to the house, we got all of our stuff inside and we slowly began to unpack. From there, we have just been in a constant state of exploration (mostly of Wal Marts, Pizza places, and Targets).

Sure, there have been upsides and there have been downsides. Sure, it still doesn’t feel like home. It doesn’t feel like I live here, but I think it will get there.


For now, I’ll just have to get used to it being 70 and sunny every day.

Day Four: Amarillo, TX to Flagstaff, AZ

By | Arizona, Blog | 2 Comments

I got to the hotel last night about three hours before everyone else. I didn’t stop for dinner, I figured that I would just order pizza when I got there.

I searched “Pizza” in my iPhone and found the normal Dominos, PIzza Hut, and Papa Johns stuff, but below that, I found Pizza Planet. Without hesitation, I dialed. Of course it was closed. But maybe it was for the best, because it would just ruin childhood dreams. I mean, I have had “a” Pizza Planet before, the one in Disney. However, that Pizza Planet is disgusting. They give you this tiny five inch microwavable pizza in a styrofoam container. It is the complete opposite of delicious.

So, instead, I ordered Papa Johns. The last time I ordered Papa Johns, I was a sophomore at Rowan University. After it got to the room, I remembered why the last time I ordered Papa Johns was when I was a sophomore at Rowan University. It is not good. Not even a little bit. Like, it’s edible, but that’s where I draw the line.

Everyone finished it when they got to the hotel in Amarillo, so it worked. It wasn’t a complete waste of money, although we did wake up this morning with stomach aches (well, Kyle and I did anyway).

Today began much like every other day on the road, with a late start.

In our room, it was Kyle, Chris and me. We didn’t even wake up until 10:30 (Side note: Damn. We missed the continental breakfast again. I was promised biscuits and gravy from the woman at the front desk). We rushed to get up and get showered because check out was at 11.

As you can probably predict, that did not happen.

We were up and out by about 11:30. We went down to WalMart (because where else would we go?), where Chris and Kyle bought clean socks, and I got the dogs some bones for the car ride. After that, we went and got breakfast at Whataburger. Well, they did, because I don’t eat anything. I will say this, the cheeseburgers at Whataburger are bigger than any burger I have ever seen in my life, and their french fries are delicious (their cinnamon buns, however, are not). They also had spicy ketchup. But apparently it tasted exactly like regular ketchup. So, whatevs.

We got back on the road around 12:30-1:00 pm.

I find when you’re driving, there is always a car that stays with you. It’s like your friend, but not really, because you have no idea who the hell they are, or where they are going, but you kind of stay at the same pace, and you kind of both test the water with how fast you can go. Because realistically, only one of you is going to get pulled over. My buddy in Texas today was a burnt orange Kia Soul. I drove alongside them for a good two hours. I probably would have driven with them all day (because I’m sure that they were definitely going to Flagstaff), but tragedy struck.

In my rear view mirror, I saw a cop from the other side of the road swerve into the grass in the median and turn around. They were heading in our direction. Needless to say, my foot slid gingerly away from the gas pedal and I slowed down as fast as I could without using the brake.

I hate when you see cops in the rear view mirror. It’s like everything slows down, and you think that they’re watching you, like they have x-ray vision and they can see into your car. They can see where your eyes are. They can feel your heart racing. You know they can’t, but at the same time, you feel like you’re the only one in their vision and they’re watching your every move.

I watched intently as the car came flying down the left hand lane. The suspense was killing me. Were they going to slide over behind me and throw on their lights? Were they going to blow by me and go get my friend, the Kia Soul? Or was there an actual emergency to respond to? I know. The suspense is killing you too. Did I get another ticket? Was there some burning brush somewhere in the distance? Was Timmy stuck in a well?

The answer?

My poor friend, the Kia Soul got pulled over. The good news? I didn’t get a ticket!


While it was unfortunate that I no longer had a driving buddy, I decided that I should probably continue.

Texas wasn’t all that fun. I didn’t really enjoy much. New Mexico on the other hand was pretty awesome. First, the speed limit was immediately increased to 75 mph. Second, I saw my first tumble weed not even two miles into the state and third, it added an hour to my day. I’d say that’s something to celebrate. On top of that, there was actually something to see.

The view through New Mexico was pretty amazing. The mountainous landscape was certainly a sight to see. I’m not going to lie and say that I ever understood all of those goddamn nature hippes. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I watch the discover channel just as much as the next guy. But actually being there, and being able to see the vastness of… well, everything, it just makes you get it. You become immersed in it.

I expect that it’s a lot like the feeling the ocean gives you. Like, you can look at the ocean, and all you see is water. No matter how hard you try, you won’t see anything but water on the horizon (unless you turn around and look behind you, asshole). It kind of reminds you of how small you are. It kind of reminds you of how big everything else is (I know, the universe is humongous big). But it’s true. Seeing it in person, it’s kind of surreal.

I kind of love being on the other side of it, being able to look into the distance and see mountains and rocks jutting into the sky, occupying the horizon. Looking around you and seeing the mounds of earth carved with distinction.

It’s unlike anything you could ever possibly see in New Jersey.

On the final stretch of New Mexico, I took an exit to head towards a rest stop. There, I took the picture that is the featured image for this post. It’s unbelievable how incredible the sunset is here. It’s so vibrant, and the way that it peers over the mountains, and takes over the sky  is indescribable (which for me, is a bad thing, being that I went to college for seven years to learn how to describe things, but whatever). Sure, it’s not the ocean, but I’ve been there, I’ve seen that (not that I’m like a sunset junky, but it’s not exactly the worst way to watch the light fade into darkness).

We didn’t make Surprise today (as you can tell, the title of this post is not Day Four: Amarillo, TX to Surprise, AZ), but we did make it to Arizona. We are in the state and we’ll chalk it up as progress because it’s not worth stressing over. We’ll make it there tomorrow.

We are a mere three hours from arriving at our destination.

We are so close to the end of our journey, and at the same time, so close to the beginning of our lives in Arizona.

Day Three: St. Robert, MO to Amarillo, TX

By | Arizona, Blog | 2 Comments

I lied about Missouri. It is not cool, not even a little bit. Missouri is kind of terrible, but it’s the kind of terrible that knows it’s terrible. To make up for its terribleness, it tries to trick those coming into Missouri into thinking that it’s kind of awesome.

How? Well, last night it was 62 degrees. How wonderful is that? Especially after Ohio. Missouri knew I needed nice weather, so it gave it to me. The roads were open and kind of wonderful, there was hockey on the radio, I received an extra hour and to top it off, there was a Wal Mart next to the hotel. It seemed like a pretty good deal.

But looking back on it, the hockey game was probably the most boring game ever, there was the tornado siren blaring through the town, and then when I woke up it was cold as hell again. Did Missouri forget that it was trying to court me? Or did it assume that after our short soirée that we were already in a relationship, so that it could stop doing all of the extra stuff and could just begin taking me for granted?

Needless to say, we are not together, Missouri. My once formed opinion of you has been reshaped, and I no longer care for you Missouri.

We are through.


Everyone slept in late again. We didn’t get out of the hotel and back on the road until around 12:30-1:00pm. Kyle Lemma had to hit up Wal Mart and put a new tire on the boat trailer. We had to walk the dogs and what not. Chris drove with Mike, and Kyle drove with my mom again.

I went ahead by myself. I thought about becoming a part of the convoy today, but I just like driving fast too much. Most of the times on these highways 75-80mph feels too slow, so there is no way that I could stay sane going 55-60. It just doesn’t feel right. These roads are too open. They demand some sense of speed.

It is kind of hard to will myself to read signs in these states, but I have to do something while I am driving to keep me going. Every sign reads, “Jesus this” or “Jesus that”. It gets kind of old, but I’m glad that I did pay attention because while driving through Missouri I saw a sign that said, “George Washington Carver Memorial”.

In case you don’t know who that is (somehow), he’s the man that invented peanut butter, and in case you don’t know, peanut butter is the only reason that I have made it this far. I eat it for breakfast every single day. No exaggeration. Sometimes I wonder which George Washington had a bigger impact on my life, the man who “founded” the United States or the man who invented peanut butter. If pressed for an answer, I think I’d have to go with Carvs.

I was already about an hour ahead of everyone else, so I figured, why not visit? I went to the memorial and it was probably the scariest set of roads that I have ever experienced, ever. It was terrible. It wasn’t two cars wide, but it was a two way “highway”. I’m using quotation marks because it was only high half the time. You see, it was like a goddamn roller coaster. It went up at a 75 degree angle, and then straight back down. I couldn’t see anything but the bulls and cows in the pasture. I felt like I was in for a surprise every time I neared the top of the hill.

The memorial itself was incredibly nice. It was probably the most shocking thing ever (mostly because I wasn’t going there to see anything for real). I just wanted a picture with Carvs so I could get back on the road. But if you’re into history, or into Carvs, I definitely suggest checking it out. Everything inside of the building is pristine.

I have no idea how it got there though because everything else around there kind of sucks.

After Missouri came Oklahoma. Oklahoma was okay. There really wasn’t anything special. There was a cool McDonald’s at a rest stop that overlooked the highway (and it had popcorn chicken. How wonderful is that?)

Oh, Oklahoma was nice because it had cheap gas too, but yeah, that’s all I remember about it really.

Next came Texas.

I’ll say this as nicely as possible.

Texas sucks.

I know it sounds like I think everything and everywhere sucks, but seriously, it does. So far, Texas is by far the worst state to drive through. There is nothing here. From the moment I saw the “Welcome to Texas” sign until I arrived in Amarillo, there was nothing but darkness, and its when there is so much darkness that lights start to play tricks on your eyes.

Maybe it’s just me, but while driving at night, lights help me make sense of the road and what’s around me. I can gain a sense of where I am by seeing the lights below in the streets, the lights in front of me from the cars and the lights above me from the light posts. However, when there are no lights below you (or around you, or anywhere for that matter), it makes things much more difficult.

Staring ahead, you can see the lights ahead of you (and the reflections on the pavement), but that’s it. In the distance you can see red glow from brake lights on roads that don’t exist (or that you can’t see) and it kind of skews your perception of where you are driving.

I saw brake lights to the far left and noticed that the road was turning right. I don’t know if I am describing this right, or if maybe I’m the only one that uses lights to make sense of what’s in front of me, but it sucks, especially when there is nothing around for what seems like forever.

I was driving for about a hundred miles when I noticed I was running low on gas, so I pulled over to the first place I saw in the entire state that had gas. It was a tiny, run down gas station with a store that was closed before 10pm. I don’t even understand how that makes sense, but whatever.

The pump was quite probably the oldest artifact in the state of Texas. I pumped gas for three and a half minutes and it had not even pumped an entire gallon. Needless to say, eff that. I just left and hoped for a close gas station.

Fortunately, I found one and everything was okay. I made it to Amarillo and to the hotel (even though it was entirely too confusing trying to navigate these tiny little Texan roads).

To further the terribleness of Texas, the internet in my hotel is out. Yes, I am blaming Texas for this, even though I should be blaming the Red Roof Inn, but hell, why not just blame Texas?

Oh, also, I thought Texas was supposed to be warm? Call it ignorance, but I honestly did not expect to be freezing my ass off still. Sure, I know it gets colder at night everywhere, but I was not expecting to deal with sub 20 degree weather here.

I want to be warm goddamnit.

But the night did end on a good note, one of the best South Park episodes ever is on TV, the Underwear Gnomes.

Here’s to hoping we reach Arizona today!

Day Two: Reynoldsburg, OH to St. Robert, MO

By | Arizona, Blog | 3 Comments

I am about to say something that I am positive that no one has ever said before:

I kind of like MIssouri.

I know you’re saying, “whaaaaat?”. But yeah, that just happened.


Now, I know that this is not something that has ever been muttered before in the existence of mankind, but I also think that perhaps my perspective is skewed. After all, I did spend the night before in Ohio. It’s like beer goggles.

I mean, Ohio is pretty terrible. After driving through it, I can understand why the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to suck year in and year out. How could you be motivated to do anything in that bland, boring, nothing state. There is nothing, anywhere. It seems like it is the most dreary place on earth. And not only is it boring and dreary and whatever other terrible adjective you can come up with, it’s cold as hell. I was so goddamn cold there. It was terrible.

Missouri on the other hand, is a beautiful 62 degrees. Not to mention, it ever so generously gave me an hour! The people here are nice (ish. The frat/army guys three doors down are pretty big douche bags, but that’s to be expected from frat/military guys, so let’s count that as part of the exception). Otherwise, the area seems nice (ish..). The weather is pretty wonderful, and the roads are incredible for driving. A 70 mph speed limit is a remarkable thing on long, open roads. In fact, sometimes I even found myself looking down at the speedometer and realizing that I could go faster.


That’s kind of an amazing feeling.

Of course, it does have it’s downsides. Like what, you ask? Tornadoes. Seriously. What the hell? I was laying in bed watching TV and writing this blog when South Park was interrupted by the National Emergency Broadcast System thing. It was just the testing thing, or whatever. You know know what I’m talking about. That goddamn awful sound that they only play at 2 am. Yeah, that. Anyway, after like 20 minutes, it went off again. I looked up and it told me there was a tornado warning for the following counties (and preceded to list them). Unfortunately, I have no idea where the hell I am. So, that means nothing to me.

Then, outside sirens start wailing and the phone began to ring. It was the front desk woman asking me to come to the lobby because it wasn’t safe on the second floor.


In the mean time, my Mom, Kyle and MK are still on the road. They stop and pull over while I try to get more information, but it’s kind of impossible without knowing where the hell I am. So, I tell them the only thing that’s logical.

“Keep driving. If you see a tornado, avoid it.”


But yeah, it was a false alarm. No tornado. So, yeah, Missouri is where we ended up, but let’s rewind to Ohio and the start of the day.

We didn’t get in and asleep until late last night, probably around 5:30 AM. When I got to the hotel, I checked in and turned the heaters on full blast, so that people would be warm when they got in. As soon as people got there, I took Sawyer in our room, chugged NyQuil and passed out. I woke up this morning to find MK gone. My first assumption was that he got locked out. I figured Chris was sleeping with his headphones in, and I was so drugged out that an sonic blast wouldn’t wake me up. Needless to say, I definitely expected to find a bitter (and very, very cold) Mike Kelly. Chris’s theory was that he was abducted and had his organs harvested. I added that he was probably also forced into bum fights, but neither of those things actually happened.

Instead, he never really fell asleep. The room was unbearably hot (which we could all agree with), and he went and slept in the truck. While I appreciate his generosity (thank you MK), if I were him, I’d be like yeah, this is not a Sauna. If you’re cold, get under the goddamn blanket like a normal human being. I would not have attempted to sleep in the truck. I know that the heat was not the only thing that pushed him to the truck (sleeping with two other dudes and a dog in a king sized bed isn’t exactly ideal), but yeah. Again, eff that.

We woke up late. Walked the dogs and got back on the road, but not before we got breakfast. And what else do you eat for breakfast before a ten hour day of driving? KFC.

(** Please note, we did not intentionally eat KFC to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. That was fate).

I don’t know how I would have stayed awake, or sane during this trip if it wasn’t for my iPhone. It seriously is the most magical (and wonderful) piece of technology. Ever. When I get tired of music, I throw on stand up comedy. When I get tired of that, I get on Netflix and stream anything and everything. it’s pretty wonderful. I listened to like five episodes of South Park, twenty minutes of Billy Madison, and a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

Obviously, this will happen again tomorrow.

It is truly wonderful.

Unfortunately, we were cut short of our goal. Originally, our plan for the night was Albuquerque, but that was another 4 hours from where we ended up, and that meant that we wouldn’t get in the hotel until around 6-7 AM. Considering that you have to check out at 11, that hardly seems worth it. So, we called it a night at St. Robert, Missouri.

The day will begin much earlier tomorrow than it did today, but fortunately, this Red Roof Inn has a continental breakfast. So, we’ll actually have something to wake up to (though, we probably won’t… but we’ll try). I know, you’re thinking what does a continental breakfast mean to someone with such exquisite taste buds such as myself? Orange juice. Frosted Flakes (Zucaritas for my espanol friends), and toasted bagels with skippy.

Sadly, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

I miss my PB!

Day One: Turnersville, NJ to Reynoldsburg, OH

By | Arizona, Blog, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I have to say that moving is definitely one of the more interesting things that I have done with my life.

It is one of those bittersweet things. On one hand, I am obviously excited to see where this is going to take me. I can’t wait to see what Arizona has to offer, but on the other hand, there is still a pang of self doubt that constantly aches somewhere in the back of my mind. It’s the part of me that is terrified of the prospect of not finding my own footing. It’s the part of me that is afraid of change. It is the part of me that needs reassurance and certainty, but I think that is something that, deep down, we all share.

I wish that I could remember more about my move from Philadelphia to New Jersey, just for some insight on the experience. Sure, I would argue that it is not the same. I didn’t have a life set up in Philadelphia. I didn’t go to high school, and college. I didn’t have too many real friends that I left. I didn’t ever fall in love there. In many ways, it wasn’t the same, so perhaps in hindsight it doesn’t matter all that much, but who knows?

I for one, do not.

Moving is weird. Really weird. Right now, it doesn’t even feel like I left, not for good anyway, and honestly, I don’t think that it will set in until I am set up in my new house for an extended period of time. Until I am actually established and moving forward in Arizona. For now, it’s just going to feel like the next big adventure. It’s going to just feel like my next vacation.

I don’t know. I’ll save that talk for a future post. For now, I can only really relate to how I got where I am now, Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

Our weekend was interesting to say the least. We were definitely not prepared for this. At all. The packing that should have been done months in advance, got jammed into the three or four days prior to our departure. It got rushed into the last minute moments before we left. It was hectic to say the least. For all intents and purposes, we were pretty much winging it.

Late last night Kyle and I sat up and went over an estimated route. We looked at the map and decided that leaving late wasn’t such a bad idea. We decided we would tell everyone that we wanted to leave at noon, that way we would get out the door and on the road by one. Unfortunately, we didn’t get out the door at one. I’m pretty sure Mike wasn’t even up by one. The truck was being packed with boxes that kept magically appearing in the living room, with tables and computers and a little bit of everything, and somehow, it all fit.

Well, the things that mattered anyway, a feat that still amazes me.

By the time that Kyle arrived at the house with the Envoy (with boat), and we got the door on the Penske truck shut and locked, it was 6:00 pm. It wasn’t quite 1:00, but regardless, we were finally setting off into the sunset (or the pure darkness, the sun may have set hours before).

It was sad leaving the house, but it still felt right. It wasn’t easy driving away. It wasn’t easy leaving Brit behind (even just for now), or anything. It wasn’t easy leaving the house behind, knowing that the next time that I see it, someone else will be sleeping in my bedroom. Knowing that someone else will be cooking toast in our kitchen, or that someone else will be mowing our lawn (I lied. I’m okay with this part). I don’t know. It’s just a weird feeling. It’s something that I don’t think I was (or am) fully prepared for.

After we set out from our house, I drove to Chris’s house to pick him up. Somehow, I think that was just as hard (if not harder than leaving my house). I mean, after all, the Whelan’s are the reason that I moved to New Jersey in the first place, and in many ways their family means just as much to me as my own. Saying goodbye was terrible. It felt awful. It killed me to say goodbye to Will, which is dumb.

I know I will see him again. It’s not like we’re going through a one way portal, but at the same time, it killed me.

After we left his house, we took to the road and we drove, and drove, and drove. It was an eight and a half hour adventure that brought us to Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

On the way, we ate Sbarro (as seen in the main image), I got pulled over for speeding (got a ticket, of course), listened to a ton of stand up comedy, tried to stream audio from South Park episodes, went to Wal Mart in Pickerington, checked in at the hotel, went back to the Wal Mart in Pickerington to find Chris’s lost Zune, then went back to the hotel, got the dogs when my Mom arrived and started writing this.

What now? Bed time. We have a long day ahead of us, 14 hours to be precise. By this time tomorrow, I plan on being in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Wish me luck.