Friday, August 27, 2010

Allied Moving Company Delays

Well, I have to say that this was my first time moving with Allied Van Lines, and I'm not very impressed. We were told that it would take about 5-6 days for our stuff to arrive in TN and were also given a guaranteed latest delivery date (8/20) in our contract with the moving company but they ended up not delivering our furniture until 8/24. Granted, that is better than what they originally told us when they notified us of the delay -- at they time, they had said our furniture wouldn't arrive until 8/27 -- a week late! We do get to file an "inconvenience claim" to make up for some of what we had to buy to stay in the house without our things (or we could have stayed in a cheap hotel but we decided we might as well get some things we need anyway) so that is at least nice.

Allied also damaged lots of our furniture in some way. This is the first time I've ever had anything damaged in a move. Most of it is not too bad...just scratches on the wood furniture but it just shows how roughly they handled things. The problems are our couch, which has a bit of broken wood trying to poke through the upholstery (it seems the couch was dropped in order to break the interior wood) and some big divots in a bookshelf and credenza. My grandma's trunk also has a huge dent in the top of it now where something (maybe the couch) was dropped onto it. They also scuffed up our walls and doorways getting the furniture into the house and bedrooms.

My recommendation if you need a moving company is to use United Van Lines. I used them the last time I moved and absolutely nothing was damaged in any way. They were also very communicative with me the entire time, with the driver calling about 4 days before he planned to drop off the furniture just to let me know where he was and his plan for the delivery. The driver who loaded up my furniture in AZ was the same driver who unloaded it in DC and I think the consistency really helped. With Allied, our stuff was loaded by one driver, unloaded somewhere in MD, the reloaded on a truck to come to TN, loaded onto another truck by another driver and then delivered to us.

We thought that since these were two of the biggest moving companies in the US, there couldn't be that big of a difference between them and we went with the one that was a little bit cheaper. While the experience wasn't *awful* with Allied Van Lines, the next time I move and plan to do a full-service move, I'll be calling United Van Lines!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Moving to TN begins

Moving got off to a bang with an 8-hour power outage in Montgomery County that started just before the packers were set to arrive. I just kept hoping that they wouldn't reschedule because they couldn't see (or because it got too hot and the A/C was, of course, off as well) and that we wouldn't have to spend out last night in MD without power! Luckily, the packers did a great job (even though they had to pack my bathroom by candlelight) and it only took them about 3.5 hours.

That night we had our last meal in DC at Palena where they have a delicious price fixe tasting menu. We had a great time and a great meal, even though we had to drive through crazy traffic to get there (since all the traffic lights were also affected by the power outage).

On Friday, I went to work while the folks loading the moving van came to kick off the actual moving of furniture out of our house. They were a little late and ended up taking all day to load the van. I got home from my bittersweet last day in OITE around 4:00 and the van left around 4:15. Cayne had been busy cleaning all day so we headed out of DC just in time to hit rush hour, about 4:30. We didn't drive very far -- just to Roanoke, VA before stopping for the night for a much needed rest.
We made it to TN on Saturday to our pretty empty house. Mom and dad had helped to clean the kitchen, vacuum the carpets, and cut the grass for us, so it was a relief to not have to deal with that right away! We did get a steam cleaner from the store to do a deep cleaning of the carpets, which really made everything look great. So now, it's just waiting for our furniture to arrive while we keep cleaning out the rest of the house.

Monday, August 9, 2010

30 Weeks

We are 30 weeks pregnant this week and a lot is going to change soon. Little Bit is doing great -- he is still moving and kicking lots and really gets active after I eat ice cream. This week is also my last week at work before moving to TN. I'll be sad to leave but am looking forward to having a couple months to move into the new house and settle into TN before Little Bit's arrival. The movers come to pack our stuff on Thursday and the truck will get loaded on Friday. We should be in our new house in TN either Saturday or Sunday.

Little Bit has been getting some really nice presents from friends at work the past few months. He should be a well-dressed baby. Today he received a layette set with stars and a guitar -- to prepare him to be a country music star in Music City.

Today was a first for me too. It was the first time someone on the bus gave me their seat, which was very nice and very appreciated, especially since it was a pretty warm day and I had been waiting for a while for the bus to come. I had been wondering if I'd get through my whole pregnancy clumsily swaying back and forth on the bus while standing! :P Lucky for me, bus riding will be over soon anyway!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Brunch with Sangita in Reston, VA

My friend, Sangita, came into town last night to do CDMRP grant reviews this week. Lucky her, she gets to stay holed up in a hotel in VA reviewing and scoring prostate cancer grants for the next 3 days. (Actually, this is really cool and exciting and is a great experience). Since she was so nearby and actually had a few hours today before the grant reviews began at 3:00, Cayne and I drove over to Reston to go to brunch with her.

We decided to head to the Reston Town Center for a delicious french bistro-style Jazz Brunch at Mon Ami Gabi. Everything on the menu sounded delicious so it was hard to decide what to get! I had vanilla french toast with apples, Sangita has Bananas Foster waffles, and Cayne had seafood crepes. Everything was great! They also brought us "first timer" profiteroles for dessert, which were a great end to the meal.

After finishing, we stayed and chatted a bit to catch up before taking Sangita back to her hotel. Once there, we found out she still had a couple hours before grant reviews started so we stayed there to relax and chat some more. It was great to get to see Sangita while she was in town!