03 June, 2007

At the Drop Zone, Heading for Home

Finally, the big day has arrived! We get rid of the boxes. The night before, Owen and I had been watching a slide show on the computer of all the photos I've taken for this move. Every time a picture of the boxes showed up, I realized I was really, really, sick and tired of seeing them. It'll be good to have them out of sight for a few weeks.

Bright and early, at 8:30 AM, Owen and I parked across the street from the entrance to the staging yard, in a plastics company parking lot, so we could watch for Nena and her crew to show up in a white Isuzu van with a twelve-foot box. We had had a leisurely breakfast at Spires, a Denny's-like restaurant. Afterwards we had cruised down to the yard area, still with plenty of time to spare. So, we parked in the plastics lot, shot the bull and listened to the radio for an hour. It was amazing how much traffic went in and out of that yard. Just driving by, you'd hardly notice it was even there.

Just as 9:45 AM rolled around, up pulls a white Isuzu with three people inside... We guessed it was Nena. We saw them looking at us and waved. They waved back and we knew we had connected. I backed out of the lot, crossed the road and entered the lot behind Nena. We drove through the yard, which became apparent that it was quite large, as in huge, and arrived at this 53-foot van. Nena's driver unlocked it, opened the doors, and backed the Isuzu up to the van so that Nena could climb aboard easily. Then it was our turn. I spun the U-Haul around and smartly backed up to the van.
Transferring Our Stuff to Roy and Son's Trailer
It was interesting to see the scale they had brought to use to weigh all our stuff - a plain, white, spring-driven bathroom scale! Turns out there's was more accurate than ours had been. Every box that weighed more than 60 pounds on our scale, turned out to be at least 30 pounds under-weight. What we thought was 60 was 90, etc. I told Owen, "Hmm, I guess I really don't weigh 40 pounds after all".

The shot below shows most of our stuff in Nena's van. They'll load other stuff in and pack it all nice and tight. It'll take about two weeks to fill up the van to the 40-foot mark. Then, another week to drive it from LA to Houston, where it's all transferred to a 40-foot container and put aboard ship. From there, it's about another week to Belize City, where it probably is off-loaded into the Customs warehouse for examination. Then put on a local van for delivery to us. Nena said we shouldn't expect to see it much before the first week in July - which is fine. That will give us time to get resettled in at Tony's, look in the meat house to see if there's enough space to store everything, and if not, to be able to find a suitable storage area somewhere in Corozal.
Inside Their Trailer - All Our Stuff
As we finished, Nena recalculated the bill. As I was writing out the check, she coyly said "Now, I suppose you'd like to know my real name".

What?!!! What kind of business is this with assumed names? What have we gotten into? Just some of the things that instantly flashed through my mind.

"Well, yes, that would be nice, I suppose," I calmly told her.

"It's Noelita. Nena is just my nickname. I really don't like my real name," Nena said.

Whew! What a relief. No skulduggery after all.

Here's a picture of Nena after the transaction is completed. Nice lady.
Nena Pescascio - Weighing Everything
Once we concluded our business with Nena, we jumped back in the U-Haul and ran up I-110 to the U-Haul Center to return the rig. Here's a shot of Thurman Woods inspecting our ride when we returned it to them. We had talked to him the day before when we were scouting the location of things and he had told us how the check-in process would work and how to get a cab for the airport. Nice guy.
Doing the Paperwork
While completing the final paperwork for the U-Haul, I wanted to take a picture of the girl doing the work, but she refused. So, I took a picture of Own looking cool. The counter girl told him that he should charge me for the photo op!
Owen Just Cool and Waiting
It took the cab about 15-20 minutes to show up. There was some doubt that that was going to happen. English problems with the telephone dispatcher really left me wondering. But, it all worked out fine.

We got to LAX in plenty of time to have a nice sandwich and a couple of big local beers. Big enough that when we got on the plane, I promptly fell asleep and woke up shortly before landing. I love it when a flight only seems to take 15 minutes!

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