Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snow Emergency? WTF?

It's finally snowed a bunch in Minneapolis. We might get 15" in a day! The Governor has declared a Snow Emergency. In Colorado, a Snow Emergency is as simple as don't call emergency vehicles for minor crashes. You have 30 days to report the accident.

Snow Emergency in Minnesota? A little different...

What I've learned:
1) Know where to park. 
From the MN Transportation Dept. Your car will be ticketed and towed if it's in the wrong spot.
Day 1, 9pm-8pm: Don't park on street with red Snow Emergency signs until it is fully plowed.
Day 2, 8am-8pm: Don't park on EVEN sides of non-Snow Emergency streets. Don't park on the sides of parkways.
Day 3, 8am-8pm: Don't park on ODD sides of non-Snow Emergency streets.
Day 4: If it's still snowing, you're f*#%ed.

2) People own snow blowers--and use them!
I'm never seen so many snow blowers in use. I can definitely understand why they're used after a foot of snow falls and you have a corner lot.

3) You have to shovel your sidewalks.
Property owners are required to clear sidewalks of ice and snow within 24 hours for homes and duplexes and within 4 hours for apartment and commercial buildings.

4) You have to use your headlights in rain and snow.
It is illegal to drive without your headlights on in the rain or snow. And it's also smart. So turn your lights on idiot!

5) Pedestrians walk in the streets more. 
It's just easier walking in the street instead of waiting for the sidewalks to be shoveled. Luckily, I lived in Pueblo for 10 years where no one uses sidewalks.

Did I miss anything?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thank God for Robin

I could not have moved to Minneapolis without my good friend, Robin. I'm so grateful for her support and love throughout this exciting yet scary transition. She helped me follow my instincts. She put up with my temper tantrum when I got the trailer stuck. She helped me drug my cats. She drove a 16' trailer with car in tow across the country for no good reason but because she cares.  I couldn't have asked for a better companion!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Finding My New Home

My new place!
How to find an apartment 1,000 miles away? Not possible. Well, I guess it is possible but I couldn't get the feel of a place from a few pictures on the internet. My plan: find a bunch of places I like online and make appointments for the few days I have between arriving in Minneapolis and starting work.

What I want:

  • Historic preferably brownstone
  • Close to downtown Minneapolis
  • Near Cedar Ave. 
  • 1-bedroom 
  • Hopefully in Whittier, Nakomis, Powderhorn, Phillips, Longfellow
After scouring,, and Craigslist, I narrowed my list down and called the managing companies to set up appointments. Not all my picks were available for Sept. 1 but I got a firm list of 4 to look at. I also got pre-approved at a few property management companies so I wouldn't have to wait if I liked the apartment. Whew! 

Robin and I woke bright and early on Saturday to start the hunt. Starting with Whittier, we saw a few 1920s apartments. They were a little pricier, parking was scarce, and the neighborhood was a bit whiter than I'm used to. We looked at complex in Bloomington that was the exact opposite of what I wanted: isolated "community" with a pool and social nights. Slightly discouraged, we started driving towards Stevan's Square for the last appointment of the day. I had heard that Steven's Square might not be the best neighbhorhood for a single while lady, but I am coming from Pueblo. 

We decided to drive through Powderhorn and Phillips before. I really like this neighborhood. It just feels right. Suddenly, I got a call from the woman meeting us checking to confirm. She said I might be interested in an apartment that just opened up in....Powderhorn! 

As soon as we pulled up to the three story brownstone across situated across from a large, quiet park, I was hooked. I didn't even need to see the apartment. I wanted to be here. The woman from The Apartment Shop showed us the 1-bed/1-bath with hardwood floors, and plenty of storage. Other good news: it was $100 cheaper than the other places and it has off street parking. I signed that day and I was ready to move! 

Bad news: I had to wait till Wednesday to move--my first day of work!

Friday, November 9, 2012

To MN We Go!

Somehow Robin and I made it 1,000 miles driving a car, hauling a car, and comforting 2 cats. I've learned that Ivy is a master (mistress?) of hiding. At the Ogallala Super 8, she somehow found a hole in the fabric under the boxspring and decided that was the perfect place to hide. This was after I already drugged her before we were set to leave. Robin and I furiously tried to coax her out before she passed out inside the bed. It worked although it was more than I wanted to deal with at 8am pre-coffee.

The cats were relatively calm on the drive (the tranquilizers helped). Poor babies had to hauled in and out of hotel rooms and drugged four times over two days. If only my journey was that easy.

Ivy and Tank. Not amused.
We had one adventure in Nebraska. I got it into my head that I wanted a coffee and I wanted to get it at a local shop downtown. Seriously, Jenny? Downtown with a truck and trailer? Yep. I don't know how Robin didn't smack me. It worked out though and I'll never try to maneuver one way streets downtown while hauling again.

Besides the obnoxious Nebraska drivers, the drive was hassle free. We saw wind turbines in Iowa and picture perfect farmland. After 20 hours of driving, we finally made it: my new home, Minneapolis.

l'Hôtel à Bloomington (The Hotel in Bloomington)

Robin picked out a wonderfully modern hotel for us to stay in Minneapolis. It was actually in Bloomington, south of Minneapolis.  We didn't want to have to drive a Penske truck into the city. The Sofitel is a French-themed hotel with brutalist architecture. It reminded me of Hannah (French) and Wade (architecture). We stayed here for 5 days! The cats got to relax a bit at least.

My car on MN soil

I remember when we loaded my wee Toyota Tercel onto the trailer Johnmark said, "The next time you drive this car it will be in Minneapolis."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Move

Thankfully I have friends that are willing to help me pack, clean, and sell all my stuff. My yard sale went smoothly and I somehow packed everything I own into cardboard boxes. Moriah and Johnmark helped me squeeze all my life into a 16' truck. Hannah, Wade and the kids stopped by for one last good-bye and a few more tears.

My close friend, Robin, agreed to make the exciting trip with me across the Plains to the Midwest. And we're off! We left Thursday evening and stayed in Ogallala, NE.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Last Game Night (for Now)

This isn't actually from Game Night,
but too cute not to post.
It's Wade and my last Scrabble match. 

If you know me, you know I love to play board games and drink beer especially with my posse. Saturday nights are reserved for Game Night at Hannah and Wade's and that's that. The Saturdays in August weren't very conducive for game nights for several reasons so I felt a little put off that I might not get one last gaming in with my friends.

Luckily, I went to H&W's the Wednesday before leaving to say my goodbyes and get some hanging out in. We decided to have an impromptu game night and quickly called Kirsten and Johnmark. The four of us had a wonderful time playing Speicherstadt, Time's Up, and my autistic favorite, Ubongo.
Kirsten and Hannah trying to win in Time's Up!

Adios Jenny!

The fondest memory I have of August was my Adios Jenny! Going Away Party. My great friends, Mike and Jessie, hosted in their oasis of a backyard. Over 40 of my closest friends, former co-workers, fellow volunteers, and new pals showed up to drink, chat, and just be there. I felt so blessed by having these amazing people in my life. Mike made a toast saying he was privileged to host my going away party and forced me to make an impromptu speech. Through watery eyes, I shared that I have no family in Pueblo or Colorado for that matter. My friends are my family and I'm so grateful for being adopted into their lives.

I don't know how I can find as cool of people in MN as these people are!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Adventure Begins

After two months of unemployment and floating in perceptual purgatory, I was offered a job with Dakota County in Minnesota. I had actually interviewed on my last day of work at the Pueblo City-County Health Department, June 29, yet didn't hear anything for a month. What a long month that was....

Of course I was offered the Environmental Specialist position the day after I accepted a job at C&C Disposal at their Recycling Coordinator. Although that would have been a great experience, I was ready to move from Pueblo. After 10 years, I needed a new adventure.

In a mere 4 weeks, I had to:

  • Find a place to live in Minneapolis
  • Figure out if I was renting or selling my house in Pueblo (I decided to rent)
  • Schedule a remodel of my kitchen, hardwood floors, and office
  • Install irrigation in my front yard
  • Step down from all of my volunteer positions and pass on the materials I had accumulated
  • Pack all my belongings
  • Sell the items I didn't want to bring
  • Schedule and pack a moving truck 
  • And say the saddest goodbyes I've ever had to say