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Trip Report An Orlando Move and some Disney Fun!

Hi all!
I'm just back from another crazy great family adventure!!
This time the trip wasn't just for fun but to help my son Seth move to Orlando!
Yep, he and his partner decided they had enough of New York and chose to move almost as far south as possible.
Jake was a Special Effects Artist but decided to answer the call from Disney and got a job in the College Program that he hopes will swing to a permanent position. Seth works as a Game Development Artist and as he works remotely, was ready and able to get out of Dodge, I mean NY!

The travelers include me and Seth. (Gary wasn't up for the trip).
Oh, and I almost forgot, Satan the Cat, otherwise actually known as Athens.
Tell me he doesn't look like a Satan.

This cat and his antics during the move increased our stress from probably a 5 to an 8.5. :cautious:

I left Pittsburgh May 17th to drive a Budget Cargo Van to Brooklyn.

To me the most obvious question would be, "why are you driving a big honkin van an extra 400 miles?" Well that's because no one in NY would promise me this size of a van. I was told it could be bigger, and that's a big ole hell no. So off I went.

The first part of this trip report is the crazy of the move and you are welcome to scroll past to "skip to the good part". But, if you want to get a few laughs hang around during the first part. It was so much fun I would like to do it again next week!

And before I end this post I would like to thank @cgersic and @Zipadeelady for all of their Orlando move advice, and @Darstarr for her multiple offers of help on the NY end. (I couldn't take her up on them because she would have seen in person not just via txt what a hot mess my life is)! @Tuvalu and @riverside offered moral support and some helpful travel hints during the trip!
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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Goggles Communications GIF by Tempo TV

Wow! Driving a large, new to you vehicle, from one highly populated area to another with a mischievious pet sounds like it could be its own ride at DW or Universal! Looking forward to more of your adventures!
Absolutely! And it felt like a holiday weekend as we drove through all of the big cities headed south!


Well-Known Member
Count me in! I’ve done multiple long distance moves, including with pets, and they are not for the faint of heart!

My worst wasn’t the dog, it was the fish in the front seat of the UHAUL to make sure she didn’t lose all her water!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Gold Medal Good Job GIF by StickerGiant

And safe travels tomorrow!

Count me in! I’ve done multiple long distance moves, including with pets, and they are not for the faint of heart!

My worst wasn’t the dog, it was the fish in the front seat of the UHAUL to make sure she didn’t lose all her water!

Fish Goldfish GIF by Hey Duggee

Glad you're here!

I've been wondering how the big move went!

It was wonderful!
Schitts Creek Reaction GIF by CBC

And I forgot to mention that the advice of @LSV and @93boomer and @Swissmiss regarding travel time was very helpful, The Brooklyn to NC leg took way longer than I liked. NC to Orlando not quite as bad,
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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
full house running GIF

I'm here!
Yeah! Glad you're in!

A stressful move with a devil cat?

celebrate hell yeah GIF by Deschutes Brewery

Count me in

Devil cat, yeah good descriptor!

You know, I have never thought about traveling with fish!
fish GIF
And I thought the cat was bad!
I assume it would be harder to lose than the cat that we did, twice.

I’m in! That cat really does look devilish 😂

bad cat GIF
You and Max have similar thoughts!

I’m in and obviously being a big cat fan, Athens looks adorable 😺
Ok, eye check time, did you see the cat?! 🤣


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
MAY 17th-Got very boring (to quote a favorite seagull.)

Before the boring, I forgot to mention that this trip, at least to me, was fairly complicated and so I broke it down into phases. Helped me to check stuff off as we went along.
Phase 1 and super important was getting the van size we needed and I hoped I could drive. DONE! Love Jim at the little run down gas station where I rented it, he was a God! Explained everything to me about the van, what to do and not do. So nice.

Phase 2 was the leg from Pittsburgh to NJ.
I headed out of the driveway around 1 pm with my super duper new phone holder that was supposed to stick to the console so I could see my gps on the phone, because heaven forbid this giant chunk of rattling metal would have any advanced navigation system.
Got to the end of the driveway and it flipped upside down. Seriously.
Gary who was getting a chuckle out of this suggested I stop on the turnpike somewhere and see if one of the plaza stores had a holder of some type.
And they actually did! Literally saved my life (not really, just my nerves), as it attached with some kind of magic rubber to the vent and you put a magnet in your phone case and viola, it stayed all 1600 miles! Bloody miracle at $15.

I drove and drove and drove. And I forgot to mention that my van of dubious quality rattled the entire time like a rock rolling around in a can. Before I pulled out of the driveway I drove around in our little town to make sure I could drive this and we noticed the door between the front and the cargo area wouldn't stay latched. Gary tied it with a rope but that didn't help at all. And there was apparently a mouse in the van because there was this lovely high pitched squeak about 60% of the drive to NY.
Oh and yeah, I'm usually someone who doesn't like the radio but as I was bored I decided to see if I could find some oldies, but nope, the radio didn't work.:cautious:

Maybe 6 hours into the trip I realized where I was and did an illegal thing and took this picture for Gary. This is where he was the YMCA director all of the years I was in med school in Philadelphia. Blast from the past! Aleisha, my daughter, was born in Philly before we moved back to western PA. Hard to believe that was 35 years ago!

I was so proud of myself, I made it to my hotel before night fall and even backed this sucker into a parking spot! Oh yeah, did I mention it makes one of those beeping back up noises? EVERYONE staring at me just waiting for me to back into one of their nice cars.
Proof of parking the beast and pic of my very nice hotel in Berkeley Hts, NJ.

When we moved Seth to Brooklyn last year we slept in a hotel that seriously had a rat in the parking lot the size of a medium dog. So my plan was to stay about an hour and a half outside of Brooklyn at what would hopefully be a nicer place. And bonus was I didn't realize I had enough Hilton points and that it was enough to pay for the whole nights stay!


Nice place if anyone needs lodging in that area.




I hit the hay pretty early as I had SIRI set an alarm for a 5 am wakeup. The plan was to be on the road to Brooklyn by 5:15am for a 7 am meet up at Seth's apartment with the guys I hired to carry his stuff down 3 flights of stairs.
This was because, you know, no elevator and I also forgot to mention that a few months ago my hip finally gave up the ghost and 3 stories of carrying crap stuff, wasn't going to happen.
Supposedly it was an hour and a half to Brooklyn.

Phase 2-make it to NJ, and check into a non gross hotel, complete!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
MAY 18TH- LESS BORING (but realllllly long)!

Commence phase 3-make it into Brooklyn with no side swiping of any Mercedes.
When I rented the van I picked the medium type insurance for the van and I told my buddy Jim at the rental place that I wanted coverage in case I hit someone. And he told me that if I sideswiped a Mercedes in Brooklyn I wasn't covered. Alrighty, let's have the sideswiping Mercedes coverage please!

The alarm went off at 5 am and I probably exited 5:20, close to my planned time. Hitting the road with no coffee just sucks. And I'm a little phobic of the room coffee makers and also didn't want to be looking for a potty stop on the way. So no caffeine for you MickeyCB.

I had filled up with gas before the hotel so was good there and the traffic was fairly light on the highway. By the time I hit the Holland Tunnel at 6 am it was picking up and this was the traffic at 6:05 am exiting the tunnel. Crazy! They truly don't sleep here!

I called Seth when I was about 2 miles from his apartment and he was actually waiting for me down on the street. I got there before 7 am. In front of his apartment was where I needed to park and he had already moved his car to any empty spot and there was one left behind him. Cars are streaming around me and he tells me, no problem you can just fit into this spot. :cautious: Not really dude. But guess what? I paralleled that giant hunk of junk on a NY street! Score!

And something that was really hard to get used to is there are no windows in the van and no rearview mirror. You have to rely solely on the side mirrors. It was weird how ingrained it is to use a rearview mirror. Even after 3 days of driving that van I still found myself glancing up as if I would be able to see out the rear windows, that didn't exist.

We went upstairs and I was shocked, he was not already completely packed but it was much less gross than I thought it would be!

So phase 3 completed without incident and I'm not crying or screaming. It's all good.

Phase 4- Hopefully movers show up, and bonus if on time.
The movers arrived within about 15 minutes or so and there were 3 of them.
I have to take a minute and plug these guys, if anyone needs not necessarily cheap labor, but good, fast and careful movers I think these guys are great. Jorge is the head guy and we used him a year ago when Seth moved in and again now. And while his quote wasn't cheap he knocked $50 off because they were done quicker than he thought they would be. And I stayed in the apartment while Seth was down with the truck and he said they wouldn't even let him help, they packed everything in, bingo bango, done and tips given.

We originally were scheduled to meet at 9 am, but Jorge had called me 2 days before and asked if we could move it to 7 am and I am so glad we did. With a planned, 9-10 hours of driving ahead of us I was grateful for the earlier start.
They finished up and took off. Seth came up to get Satan Athens and his gear, we did a final walk through and Seth did a rude gesture as a goodbye to NY. (Can't put that photo in here.)

Proof of empty, broom clean apartment and let's blow this popsicle stand!


And notice, of course by the time we were ready to take off there were no more cars parked here as I guess they all headed off to work.
At least it made it easier to pull straight ahead instead of backing up to leave.
Phase 4 compete.

Before we headed out we each put the address we were headed to, Fayetteville NC in our gps's so if we got separated no panicking needed as occurred the year prior when Gary was to follow me out of Brooklyn but didn't do such a good job of sticking with me, and he refused to use his gps.

Phase 5-make it to Fayetteville in one piece and hopefully by 9 pm-ish.
We pulled out at 9:05 am.
Brooklyn was a hot mess and we did get separated. There is a huge bridge as you finally get out of NY and I hadn't seen Seth for awhile behind me so I called and asked where he was. His answer, under you mom. Huh?!
I didn't realize it was a double decker bridge and he had taken the faster lower level.
I think this was a screen shot of the fun that was getting on that bridge? Don't remember. @Darstarr?

Notice the predicted 8hr and 50 min (hah).

We decided we would meet up at the first rest stop for gas and some food since neither of us had had any breakfast or caffeine.
It wasn't too far up the road, maybe a few miles and we got gas, I got Chik-fil-A and Seth got Starbucks. We decided to keep moving and eat in our vehicles.

Another comment about this van. It apparently has a DOT registration which means it functions like a truck (but yet you don't need a CDL license.)🤷‍♀️
I had to sign a paper when I rented it that I would pull off on all of those weigh stations you see on the highways.
I missed the first one as either I can't read or the signs that a weigh station is approaching are very close to the pull off. I was literally 3 lanes away from the exit when I saw the sign so kept going with no idea what the consequences would be.
I caught the second one and Seth simply stayed on the highway going a little slower so as I exited I could catch up to him.
It was ridiculous. I pull in with a semitruck in front of me and behind me. I looked like a little Toy Story toy on the scale.
The glass in the buildings was protected so you couldn't see in, but I pictured who ever was working in there busting a gut laughing.
As the day progressed I became a little better at it.

Stay tuned for more of Phase 5. Will we get to NC at a reasonable hour or not?


Well-Known Member
And there was apparently a mouse in the van because there was this lovely high pitched squeak about 60% of the drive to NY.
Oh heck no!! The squeaking would have creeped me out but I probably never would have heard it bc I would have had a panic attack knowing there was a mouse running around in there!!
Hopefully you took the cat with you in the van??
I paralleled that giant hunk of junk on a NY street! Score!
I am quite impressed!!

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