We set our alarms for 5:30 a.m., which thankfully felt more like 7:30 since our bodies were still operating on Central Time Zone. We knew jbabe’s 4Runner wasn’t big enough to haul a couple of our big ticket items from our storage pod to our apartment so we had previously gotten permission from Shawn, Jarred’s brother, to borrow his (HUGE) truck. You may be wondering why we had to get our things out of the pod rather than it being delivered to us. When we dreamed up this plan of relocating to Seattle we knew we wanted to send our belongings in a pod so that we, most importantly I, didn’t have to maneuver a vehicle cross-country with a trailer lagging behind. I’m assuming you could envision why that wouldn’t be the safest plan for any parties involved.
The one hitch in our brilliant plan came when Jarred was talking to the leasing office finalizing plans for reserving the freight elevator and confirming our move in date. He mentioned we had a pod and questioned where the storage company should drop it off. The response Jarred received was, “Um, we’re in downtown Seattle. You cannot just put a storage pod in the middle of the street.” Another lesson learned. This is how we got the privilege of driving to and from Kent, Washington, to retrieve our possessions.
We did have to make one pit stop at Home Depot to rent a dolly, also know as a hand truck, before beginning our journey to Kent. I mention the dolly now because it will become a key player later in the day. We made it to Kent, loaded up Shawn’s truck and were on our way to downtown Seattle for the first time as residents! When we made it to our destination (it only took us approximately 45 minutes to travel 2 miles) we attempted to enter the parking garage since we have an assigned spot, however the mattress in the truck bed made it too tall for the vehicle to fit. We opted for Plan B, which was leaving the car in the future resident parking and doing our initial walkthrough while the concierge stood outside the front of the building watching for a timed parking spot to open up.
In June we signed a lease on our apartment sight unseen. I have to give Jarred all the credit in this venture because he singlehandedly found and secured us an apartment all while residing in Oklahoma. We had an idea of what our apartment was going to look like, but we obviously had no firsthand accounts to base our expectations. When we opened the door to our new place I’m pretty confident our faces resembled children on Christmas morning. Needless to say, we fell instantly in love with our new home!
Fortunately for us (and Chet, the concierge, acting as our lookout) a front parking spot became available as we finished our walkthrough. This spot was much more advantageous than our previous one because it had a straight shot to the freight elevator via a wide hallway. The one dilemma was in order to carry our things inside the hallway we would have to leave the rest of our belongings unaccompanied on the street in the middle of downtown. As any good small town girl would, I immediately surveyed our surroundings. I noticed a suspicious character lingering on the corner who seemed to take particular interest in our truckload of goodies. (To be fair, he probably was an upstanding citizen and I was being overly paranoid.) But I devised a plan nonetheless of one of us always guarding the truck while the other hauled items inside. During my shifts as watchman I made a point of making eye contact with said person so he knew that I knew he was eyeing our vehicle. I’m sure all five foot flat of me frightened this man into leaving our stuff alone.
Somehow during all the heaving lifting we managed to befriend the maintenance man, John, from our complex. From the first hello I pictured this being a beneficial friendship (similar to becoming friends the custodian as a teacher) but little did I know he was going to show back up in a couple minutes with a cart and start helping us move things upstairs. He also gave us some helpful insider information that became instantly vital. We successfully got everything transferred and accounted for from the street. The apartment we had fallen in love with roughly 45 minutes prior now resembled a storage unit with windows more than it did a livable space.
With our first load safely piled into the living room we decided to venture back to Kent. We knew that time was of the essence and traffic would only worsen later in the day, so we were determined to squeeze the remainder of our belongings into our second and final trip. Thankfully due to the enormity of Shawn’s truck we were successful. After stuffing the cab of the truck and piling boxes in the bed we remembered we still had to find room for the rented dolly. We decided strapping it to the very top of all the boxes was the only way it would be able to make the trip. I should specify that we had everything secured and nothing flew out of Shawn’s truck on either excursion just in case you were curious.
Jarred and I were fairly positive that we could fit the truck into our designated parking spot this trip because we didn’t have the mattress extending higher than the truck. As we pulled into the entrance of the parking garage Jarred asked me to step outside and make sure the cab cleared the hanging bar indicating the height restrictions. I will also take this moment to mention that the parking garages in Seattle appear to be made for the dimensions of a Smart Car. The cab cleared the bar with about an inch (if I’m being generous) to spare; however the wheels of the dolly were a smidge higher and I knew they would not clear it with such ease. I climbed up onto the truck bed in hopes of quickly freeing the dolly. However, as I had previously stated everything in the back of the truck was tightly secure. This meant I had to unfasten about seven different cable straps. As I was trying unsuccessfully to complete this task another vehicle rounded the corner in anticipation of exiting the parking garage. The complication at this point, due to the size of Shawn’s truck and it’s turning radius, was that we were basically blocking both the entrance and exit of the parking garage as we were stopped halfway under the bar. (Shawn and Kelsey, if you’re reading this you may want to stop here.)
In a split second decision, without consulting me as I was still standing on the back of the truck bed, Jarred pulled full steam ahead into the garage in order to no longer hinder the oncoming vehicle. I managed to jump off the truck bed to avoid being decapitated, but the dolly wheels were not so fortunate. The wheels scrapped the clearance bar, which sent it swinging back and forth with an impressive amount of momentum. I was praying that the leasing office wasn’t viewing the video cameras in the garage during this particular stunt.
Once semi inside the parking lot I climbed back onto the bed and managed to wrangle the dolly free. We assumed the most challenging aspect of navigating the parking garage would be the entrance, turns out the entire thing was one hidden danger after another. The inside is lined with water pipes that hang significantly lower than the ceiling itself. I remained on foot and walked alongside to help “guide” Jarred. I might add that I am terrible in situations like this when Jarred asks me to gauge how much room he has before destroying something with his (or in this case his brother’s) vehicle. I become so terrified that I’m going to inaccurately declare there is enough clearance that I basically just panic and say, “I’m not sure!” the whole time. Clearly I’m not the most helpful in circumstances involving a motorized vehicle. God bless Jarred.
Jarred triumphantly maneuvered to our packing spot without busting the waterlines for the entire complex or giving Shawn’s truck a convertible effect, but not without me suffering a minor panic attack every time he inched beneath a pipe. After lugging our belongings upstairs (I’ve never been so appreciative of freight elevators in my life) downsizing Shawn’s vehicle for our 4Runner was of highest priority. This, as most tasks we encountered throughout the day, was significantly easier said than done. I speculate that when they built this miniature parking garage devised for Smart Cars they only accounted for entering, not exiting. Praise the Lord our complex is new and several of the parking spots are unoccupied. Had the garage been at maximum capacity Shawn’s truck would be the lucky recipient of a new permanent parking spot and Shawn the proud owner of a 4Runner. Thankfully we had a successful departure from the garage and we able to return Shawn’s truck home safe and sound. Jarred’s car has remained untouched since we returned from delivering the truck, but I am pleased to report that our 4Runner (while still not the most ideal candidate to squeeze into our spot) fits with much more ease than a monstrous truck.