Life: Two Weeks in Charlotte, NC

Two weeks today (11-5), we arrived in Charlotte. It was a Beverly Hillbillies looking caravan. After we accidentally rented a moving truck that was too small because “two bedrooms” didn’t account for the 28 or so boxes of motorcycles tools, gear, supplies, parts nor did it account for the 1000 bottles of beer, we had to add a tow-behind trailer from UHAUL for $200 more than just renting a larger truck to begin with and the impact it would have on the fuel economy. Oh and don’t forget about the Husky 701 in the truck. If you step back and think about it, we should have just gotten the largest truck for $3000 instead of $2500 and had space left over versus leaving so much behind in a locked room in our house that is now being rented. But that’s only one motorcycle, the rest were in the back of my RAM truck (R1200GS + F750GS) and behind the RAM on a Kendon Standup Trailer was the R18 which is just barely under the maximum weight of the trailer and the whole thing was a bit over the maximum payload for the truck but, 15 hours later, we arrived in Charlotte North Carolina only spending about $350 in diesel / gas and our bellies full of greasy fast food and truck stop coffee. The entire event went well. No issues at all.

With the trucks unloaded and returned to UHAUL, priority went to getting beds setup in our new 4 bedroom ranch house that’s about 2000 square feet versus my old 2 bedroom 750 square foot lake house. We had 2 solid days of unpacking things that were the highest priority before I went to get my 4th booster shot (a requirement at my new job or so I thought until they said only one booster was required despite their language saying “all available vaccines and boosters”). That same day, Heather started getting sick and while it wasn’t COVID, it was the flu and she was in bed for 3 days recovering. The house setup basically went on hold while we both lay in bed with fevers and chills. Porter is super anxious even in his old home so it’s been quite an adjustment for him. Two weeks in and he’s still following me around the house, won’t lay down on the couch and won’t sit still. He paces around the house at all hours and his ears are constantly forward with every creak or crack or car going by. It’s been really tough for him. He’s basically on edge 24/7 and unable to sit still.

5 days in our new home and I leave on my bike to head to the MOA Strategic planning Session and board meeting in Greenville, SC which is a 90 minute ride. I had a flight booked from BOS to GSP for this meeting which I was able to cancel. This should save the members of our organization a bit of money to have another board member who is close to HQ and can just ride to events. I prefer flying but this is much cheaper for members. I spent 4 days while Heather continued to setup our house and get things livable.

Back home, we finally had our first day out since moving a week prior. A day of clothes shopping and getting me a haircut before I started my job on the 15th. We finally left Matthews, NC and went into Charlotte for the first time and bought new clothes for the first time in 4 years. I haven’t lived this close to an Apple Store since I left SF in 2010, nor have I had access to many of these stores without a 2 hour drive. It’s odd to think that writing this here in a fancy cafe, I’m like 10 miles away from anything I could possibly need. This has been an expensive move but much less expansive than had we ended up in Northern California (Palo Alto area). The move, the shopping, setup and all of the extra costs we’ve had have been about 30-50% cheaper by making Charlotte our home versus the Bay Area.

Finally, after a lot of time driving south, unpacking, getting clothes, going to a BMW event and finally having dinner out with Heather at a fancy restaurant, my first day at Credit Karma has arrived. Well, it arrived a few days ago and I have already finished my first week and about to start my second. If I can share what I feel comfortable sharing it’s that the job is going to be a lot of fun but more importantly the culture and teams at this new company really embrace creativity and change. You can propose something and prove the business case and get something off the ground without being told no. Everyone is free to manage their own projects and try new things. This is great. The team is also brand new so I have a lot of work ahead defining how we do things and trying to keep it all running smoothly while not adding any inefficiencies in the name of “process”. The office is great, the company was voted #2 place to work in Charlotte this year. Everyone is welcoming and friendly and it’s a super easy commute even with traffic just 15 minutes each way which is 3X as long as my old commute before I went fully remote during the pandemic but it’s totally doable especially when I get to arrive at the office and am greeted to a barista ready to make me a hot coffee and some oatmeal and other snacks to start my day.

First work week in the bag, yesterday I went to a Meetup group for dog parks and met some new people. Porter did as well. Then I did my 5th cardboard recycling run (still about 10 boxes left to break down) and finally went out to hit some local breweries on the BMW R18 just grabbing bottles and cans to bring home so I can see what Charlotte has to offer. I dropped off the Husky 701 at 10 Cycles for some warranty work and new tires (part of Husqvarna’s TKC80 recall) and then I took my rear R1200GS wheel over to Charlotte Motorcycles (my local BMW dealer) to have them replace the TPMS sensor on that bike.

Today’s Sunday, Heather is in New Hampshire for 2 weeks spending time with family so I’m at a hipster coffee shop drinking a tiny pour over coffee and eating a tiny breakfast sandwich that, in total, cost $16. More expensive than New Hampshire but a much higher quality. After a long walk with Porter, it’s off to get the rest of my camping gear unpacked on new shelves that arrived then get ready for my 2nd week at work to begin.

While this blog post may not be a clean and easy read, it’s for me to look back on in a few years like a time capsule of what my first 2 weeks in North Carolina was like. I hope to keep this writing style going for a bit. 

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