Moving Series Part 1: Driving from Dallas to Los Angeles
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WOOH. I’m finally sitting down to write this post! This time last month we were a little more than a week away from moving and still had so much to do. This week will be our 3 week mark of living here, though we did have to head back to Dallas for a couple days within the first week, so give our take ;) We are mostly unpacked, though we still have boxes scattered about because we are trying to decide on things like lamps, dining tables, and so on. It could be worse, buuut I’m so excited to finally get all our stuff put away and really start to settle in, just in time for the holidays! I’m breaking this series up into three parts. One is today and I’ll be covering our route. Two will come out Sunday is about making long road trips with pets and three will be on Monday and have general moving tips, along with cross-country tips! Just as a note, I wore leggings each day and no make-up, so this series is full of candids and iPhone shots!
The morning our movers came to pack up our truck (day 0)
To be honest, we didn’t really know how long the drive from Dallas, TX to Los Angeles, CA would take us. We had a guestimate, but weren’t really sure. A lot of people told us they loved cross-country moving, because they stopped wherever they wanted along the way and made it fun. Not to say our trip wasn’t fun, but we had a deadline and three pets with us. We left on Wednesday September 25th with the hopes of arriving by Saturday September 28th at the latest, as Nick needed to be in-office at his new job on Monday September 30th. Our original plan was to drive from Dallas to El Paso on day 1, El Paso to Scottsdale on day 2, Scottsdale to somewhere between Phoenix and LA on day 3, then LA on day 4. We also had it mapped out to do Dallas to El Paso day 1, El Paso to Phoenix day 2, and Phoenix to LA on day 3 - so 3 days instead of 4. Everyone who made long distance trips with a specific time frame in mind told us to drive as much as we could the first day and then the rest of the driving days would be easier. They were so right and that’s what we did! We ended up driving it in basically 2.5 days and could have made it in 2 days if we wanted to.
Selfie at our Dallas apartment, the morning we left
This was probably the LEAST planned I have ever been for a trip. To give you a timeline, Nick was offered the job Thursday August 8th. He accepted it and gave a 5 week notice at his current job around August 23rd. His new company was flexible with his start date and his old company let him work remotely the week we moved, so it all kind of worked out. Originally we talked about getting to LA sooner, but we wanted to do right by his old company AND we actually had a lot to do in order to move in time, including an out of town wedding we had already booked. After he gave the notice, we told our closest friends and family and then I made the announcement here. In the first week, we didn’t really do any packing, but did move a lot of our furniture to the garage, so we could get rid of it or have people come buy it. That helped, but we probably should have done more in that time. Of the three weeks (week “five” in the 5 week notice was not a whole week in Dallas, but was our moving week) after that, we had left before the move at that point, we were both gone a week in LA, as we didn’t know if we had an apartment yet, and then Nick was gone several days for his old job. I don’t recommend being out of pocket for that much right before a move, but we did it! That being said, there were several pit stops that would have been easy for us to include, so I’m going to mention them here, in case you get to take your time on the trip!
Lunch stop in Big Spring, TX
HERE’S WHAT WE DID:
DAY 0: Dallas, TX
The movers came around 10 am and were done before 12 pm. We didn’t have everything 100% ready, so we spent the remainder of the day dealing with those things.
We ate at Eddie V’s the night before, which is actually where we had our first date. Either way, we didn’t want to cook, so eating out made since. We used Snap Kitchen meals too, during moving week. My parents came over that night to pick up some things and they helped for a couple hours. Thank goodness, because it would have taken us at least double the time to put last minute touches on things.
We slept in a hotel this night because #nobed and the pets, along with snacks and last minute loads stayed in our apartment. It was actually stressful, because there are so many hotels in the design district, we didn’t think we’d have an issue. Turns out there was a conference, so even though it was a random Tuesday night, we actually had to drive 15 minutes away instead of 5 minutes. We had the moving truck and trailer with Nick’s car on it all packed up and ready to go. We were lucky and found a parking lot we could park it in overnight, no issue. My car was really packed up the day of.
Gas / Dino stop in Quartzsite, AZ
DAY I: Drove from Dallas, TX to Deming, NM (roughly 736 miles)
We got back from the hotel around 5:30 am and left around 6:30 am. That last minute packing of “little” things really does take up so much time!
STOP 1: Weatherford, TX because Nick wanted coffee and there was a Starbucks nearby
STOP 2: Abilene, TX for gas because moving trucks get CRAP gas mileage - also it was good to stop every couple of hours to not only stretch our legs, but to let Dino out
STOP 3: Big Spring, TX for gas and lunch at Sonic
STOP 4: Monahans, TX for gas - I wish I would have realized we were driving through here, as I would have loved to stop at the Monahans Sandhills State Park, in addition to taking a detour and going to Marfa
Stop 5: El Paso, TX for gas, dinner at Taco Bell, and home depot for another lock for the car trailer, so no one could take Nick’s car - we initially were planning to stop here for the night, but felt good about driving a little further to make the rest of our trip easier (Border Patrol was OUT. I mean I guess that is normal, I just have never seen it before. It kind of scared me.)
Stop 6: Deming, NM for the night at Hampton Inn
Flat tire on the trailer, in Blythe, CA
DAY 2: Drove from Deming, NM to Palm Springs, CA (roughly 597 miles)
They had free breakfast at the Hampton, so we ate some and headed out around 6:15 am to get gas and get on the road. I don’t know if it was just because the day before was exhausting, but it was literally the best sleep of my life and I woke up feeling so refreshed.
We were driving through New Mexico while the sun rose and it was seriously the prettiest drive ever. STUNNING. It makes me want to go back to New Mexico and spend some time there. It wouldn’t have been that big of a detour to go to White Sands, which would have been nice to see as well.
STOP 1: San Simon, AZ for gas
STOP 2: Tuscon, AZ for gas, a smoothie at Robek’s, and coffee at Presta
STOP 3: Phoenix, AZ for gas and lunch at Wendy’s - Nick has never seen The Grand Canyon, so it would have been nice to take half day detour for him to experience it….again, just not with a big moving truck and trailer, along with 3 pets #haha
STOP 4: Quartzsite, AZ for gas - sidenote, passing the AZ to CA state line was interesting, as I had never been through that type of security
STOP 5: Blythe, CA for flat tire - At this point, we had already called it and decided to stop and have a fun night in Palm Springs, instead of driving straight through to LA; thank goodness, it only took about an hour to get our flat fixed, but that would have made it hard to drive all the way through that evening
STOP 6: Palm Springs, CA for gas, a grocery store for dinner ingredients, and an airbnb for the night
Airbnb in Palm Springs, CA and my body was craving mac and cheese + veggies / anything not fast food
P.S. wearing my favorite night gown here!
DAY 3: Drove from Palm Springs, CA to Los Angeles, CA (roughly 107 miles)
We got up around 6:00 am and watched the sunrise, as our airbnb was perched on a hill. We thought we were going to get to see sunset the night prior, but the flat detour took that out of the cards. The airbnb was secluded and we were fighting daylight to even get there! I think we ended up leaving the airbnb around 7:30 am, with plans to sit down for breakfast along the way. I had read about date shakes and really wanted to try them. We stopped at the Windmill Cafe hoping to get one and the guy who was opening the shop that day was super rude and basically said they didn’t have anything. SO we went on our merry way and stopped elsewhere.
STOP 1: Banning, CA for gas and breakfast at Patsy’s Country Kitchen
Stop 2: LOS ANGELES we arrived just in time for lunch at In-n-Out, plus our friends greeted us and were super sweet about our arrival
Our welcome sign at our new apartment
It didn’t just end there, hah! I’ll cover more on part 3 with my cross-country moving tips, but I just wanted to say that we had to find a place to park the truck, then move Nick’s car from the trailer, then go to Marina Del Rey to Drop the Trailer off, then drive the truck back to Brentwood. The next day, the movers came, unloaded and then we drove back to Marina Del Rey to drop the truck off, and drive back to our new apartment. Oh and then empty our boxes, etc. Best part was we had to pack up less than a week later, to head BACK to Dallas for a wedding. Talk about a whirlwind. Anyway, excited to share more of our new world with you!
Have any of you made this drive? What route did you take? Any places you recommend stopping at?!
P.S. Something I didn’t talk about here, was that I packed coolers of drinks and snacks. I’ll go over that more in Part 3! Just wanted to mention that I definetly ate and drank more than is mentioned here ;)