Moving Day

It’s been months of long stressful planning, but the day has arrived for us to leave our Boulder home and head to Tel Aviv.

A new adventure living abroad.

We managed to squeeze everything into 12 checked bags and one Large box which included some of my favorite art and Josh’s baseball bat that wouldn’t fit into checked luggage. I was happy to learn Israel has baseball programs and he will be able to play on a local team. We also had a stroller, car seat, strider bike for Mika AND each of us also had carry on bags. We looked like a traveling circus with our 20 bags leaving the house!

Our 13 pieces of checked luggage
Packed bags

The first challenge was getting to the airport with all of this stuff.

Luckily, a friend said she would help drive our luggage and we planned to call an Uber for the humans. We were able to get as much loaded into her car as possible. Then the Uber came and he was able to get the big box into the car by folding down seats…BUT only ONE passenger! Poor planning on our part. The only thing we could do was call ANOTHER Uber end off we went in our 3 car caravan to the airport. Check in was fairly smooth but LONG as you can imagine with so many bags.

We had a 3 1/2 hour flight to Washington, DC a quick layover, followed by a 9 hour flight to Tel Aviv. We barely had enough time to make it to the gate in DC given the gate distance and extra security for Israeli flights.

If you take a flight to Israel, every airport WORLDWIDE has you go through extra screening at the gate that includes metal check, pat downs and Jim has had some instances where they emptied Jim’s entire carryon bag!

Their security is no joke!

We finally arrived a little after 4 local time to our new home and new life in Israel!

The customs line was brutal! We didn’t make it easy being one of the last on our plane to arrive to the customs area. This happened because we did not know where to pick up our gate checked stroller. Summer and I waited for a good half hour until we learned the gate checked items were not dropped off on gateway. When we tried to go back to ask, we learned that was a bad idea given how tight israeli security can be.

Immediately after getting the stroller and entering the customs line, we were pulled aside to go to a much shorter line we think was reserved for larger families. That process was smooth and off to pick up our huge load of bags! We paid for a few of those airport carts before seeing someone with a flatbed in wheels. That’s what WE needed! So we found the person who could provide it for 100 NIS or roughly $30 to get our luggage out of the airport! He later asked for 200 NIS when he saw ALL the bags, saying it was 100 nis per 10 bags, but we said we could handle the extra pieces ourselves.

 

It was up to Jim to order the car or van to get us from the airport to our new apartment. He had an Israeli friend assisting with this, but I had thoughts of him not communicating clearly HOW MANY bags we had and having an SUV show up. Luckily they got it right! A passenger van was parked outside the airport to load all of our things.

Even with that, the van was still jam packed, but everything fit. After my family of 5 boarded, the driver asked, “Is that all who is coming?” We were embarrassed to say YES and that all of those bags belonged to just the 5 of us. BUT, we were moving half way around the world and this wasn’t that much considering. So, off went head to our new home with an almost empty passenger section and jam packed trunk of luggage.

Our apartment is located on a small one way street in a busy section of town. So the driver could only drop us off a half a block down the street. Normally, not a big deal, but when you have 20 + large bags, it IS a big deal! Luckily one of my husband’s friends arrived and helped us walk everything to the apartment. The one thing everyone recognized right away was the oppressive heat! It wouldn’t have been that bad bringing all the luggage into an air conditioned apartment IF the air conditioning was ON. So we immediately tried to find the thermostat which was unsuccessful for a few hours. The basement, where the kids rooms are located was hotter than hell! The upstairs ac was on, but set high since no one was living there. But the basement ac was off completely and it was stifling! I was hoping this wouldn’t sour the kids impression of their new home or their new rooms. Luckily, it didn’t! They thought the place was “nice mom”. The apartment is located in north tel Aviv just steps from the beach. Great location and we were lucky to find an apartment that had never been lived in.

As soon as we stepped off the van we were greeted by a smiling Jonah with hand full of flowers! Jonah is Summer’s friend from Boulder who lived here a year ago with his family. What a great way to welcome us to our new home. We were also greeted by Ben who helped us with the bags. Ben is a good friend of Jim’s who has helped us out tremendously with this move.

We had our first visitors to apartment with Jonah’s family, The Weissmans later that evening. They also have a 14 year old daughter. The kids left the apartment and had dinner at their house a block away. They later headed to the beach and spend most of the evening there. Jim and I walked to a quick dinner with Mika before heading back to the apartment.

I was so jet lagged, I spent the rest of the night unpacking all the kids bags, Jim’s bags and finally mine before I retired at 4:30 am!

One comment on “Moving Day

  1. Same thing happened to us when we were dropped off. We live on a narrow alley that only goes one way. The driver missed the turn and then drove around to the bottom of the alley (down a hill) and started taking out all of our bags. We weren’t sure if it was the right place (no sign at the bottom), but the driver was in a hurry to leave. We walked halfway up the alley only to realize that it was the wrong alley! Not a big deal unless you are schlepping 10 bags with you. Danny ran around to find our house and then we had to go back down the hill, up the street to our alley, and back down a hill to our house. My neck was killing me for a week afterwards!

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