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Old 05-19-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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Down the Rabbit Hole--Moving to Orlando Complete 7/28

Hi everyone!

If you haven't been following my most recent trip report, then you don't know the big news. I'm moving to Orlando in a week and a half.

I decided, after my roommates moved out, that it was the kick I needed to get my five year plan in motion.

When I turned 30 I made a promise to myself that when I turned 35, or Brandon (who was my roommate) got promoted to a salaried position, I was going to move to Orlando, which ever came first. I was sort of surprised at the speed I managed to put this together.

Things happened on Fast Forward. Brandon went home for a vacation with his family and ended up with a job offer. He decided not to come back to New Orleans at all. He is now the Executive Sous Chef at Tybee Island Georgia Beach Hotels | Ocean Plaza Beach Resort | Savannah Beach Vacations & Resorts on Tybee Island in Georgia. He's doing well. Blake, Brandon's brother moved in with some of his coworkers at the beginning of the month. I found out both of them were leaving while I was at WDW in the middle of April. Brandon made sure I wasn't up a creek by paying the rent on our apartment for the month of May.

Things didn't exactly end well for us, but we're sort of speaking again and I'm moving forward. Moving forward it turns out is a lot of work. I've given my notice at work and my last day is the 29th. I don't have a job in Orlando yet, but I'm working on it. I've been saving for quite some time--for something else, but this is more important than any vacation could ever be.

I'm cleaning out my current apartment and have quite a lot of work to do in the next few days. I've decided not to move much, so if it doesn't fit in my Honda Civic it isn't going. Good news--the TV and the computer were bought with evacuation situations in mind and they both fit in the Civic.

I have a lot of cleaning to do and a bit of packing. I'm also going to pay for someone to clean my apartment, once I'm done deciding what comes and what is trash. I discovered during our last move that it is relatively easy to find someone to do what is called a "foreclosure move." The banks hire folks to empty and clean homes that have been foreclosed on to get them back in shape to be shown. They haul out trash, furniture, and clean. Guess what--you don't have to be a bank to use them for a move out clean. You can leave everything you don't want in the house and when you come back it's all gone and the apartment has been cleaned to a spit shine--and it doesn't cost nearly as much as you think it might!

I have a new apartment to move in to that is really close to WDW, Universal and right next door to SeaWorld. It is mixed income housing, so it might not be the best complex, but it has pools, hot tubs, and a tennis court. I have a good relationship with the leasing agent and at worst I only have to live there for a year. The best part is that the rent is only $729 a month which includes the utilities, cable, and wifi for a one bedroom apartment. I can even take my cat with me. I do have several cats at the moment and am working on finding good homes for the ones I am not bringing with me.

Yesterday I got some wonderful news. I was sitting in my Papasan chair after a day of cleaning and using my vision plan up for this year. I had a lovely glass of Cab blend in my hand (Parlay: The Bookmaker by winemaker Brian Graham 2009--highly recommended!) and was watching Eat, Pray, Love for inspiration when I got an alert on my cell phone. One of the things I did in preparation for this journey was cash in the money I had sitting in the Teacher's Retirement Fund of Louisiana. Teacher's in LA don't pay into Social Security, they pay into the TRFL. The difference is that if you stop teaching you can pull the money out, with lots of penalties. I got laid off right after Katrina (along with every other Orleans Parish teacher) and didn't go back to teaching. The money has just been sitting there. I checked the balance of my second teaching retirement account and it was only about $1700. I figured there wasn't much in the TRFL account either. I was wrong. Yesterday I got a direct deposit from TRFL for 5,500, which cushions my move by about 3 more months.

I can now be unemployed for six months or so, but I certainly don't plan on it. I'm looking for work even as I'm typing now. I've got applications in with my current employer--Marriott as well as Hilton, Starwood, and Loews. If I don't have a job offer from one of them in the first two weeks I'm in Orlando I might go down to Disney Central Casting as well.

You'll be able to follow my journey here. I also have a blog post I'm looking for insight on The First Meal of the Rest of Your Life | PassPorter Blogs

The plan right now is to finish cleaning the apartment on Monday and Tuesday, moving out anything I can't give away on Friday. My last day of work is the following Tuesday. I'm going to sleep all day Wednesday and drive over night to Orlando Wednesday night.I'll pick up my new keys on Thursday and drop off the cat. I'm going to have the apartment cleaned on Thursday and spend the night at VWL while I wait for furniture to be delivered on Friday.

More information coming soon!
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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So many changes happening in your life, but all seem to be exciting changes! Good luck with the job hunt and the move!
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:19 PM   #3
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Congrats on the move Heather. Good news on the deposit into your account. I think it is great that you are doing the move that you wanted to do.

Hope you get a job that you want very soon
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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So sorry things happened the way they did, but it all looks like it was a good thing in the end. Good luck with the job hunt and I would love to meet with you sometime at WDW. Have loved your food blogs and TRs. Let's have a drink sometime We will be down for ten days. Oct 15th thru the 25th. for the move and job search!
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:07 AM   #5
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Wow Heather, things are falling into place. I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:07 AM   #6
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Plans are sounding good Heather!
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:13 AM   #7
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Everything is happening so fast but sometimes it is the best way....leaves you less time to worry about all the what ifs. I know some people say well you need to worry...but I have always figured worrying just takes away time from being productive. I know you will find the perfect job and the apartment location sounds perfect and the rent...definitely a good rate especially since utilities are included in that price. Can't wait to enjoy all the updates...best of luck with the last minute packing.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:14 AM   #8
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Can I come be your neighbor? Rent sounds great. Do not forget to pack all your necessary papers in one spot. I am still looking for my birth certificate for the driver's license. If you have a car make sure you have the pink slip. WOW, you are going to be my neighbor sort of. You will have a blast out here. Bring lots of change for toll roads. One false move and BOOM there is a toll road. Cannot wait to hear more about your move.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:08 AM   #9
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Heather with everything. I have no doubt that we'll soon be congratulating you on your new move and in the meantime, I'm sure you'll have a ball once you get to Orlando and get settled in. I'm also so happy that it means that every time we go to Disney, we'll (hopefully!) get to see you.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:23 AM   #10
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I am feeling relieved to hear about the savings cushion. Girl, you rock!


I am kind of sad though......obviously you won't be able to fit your Papsan Chair in your Civic, will you?
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:16 AM   #11
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Sounds like you have a very busy and exciting time coming up! with your move and your job hunt. Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:36 AM   #12
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Wishing you all the best with the move. Sounds like you are organized and have a great plan. Will be following your blog also!
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:00 AM   #13
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GO, Heather!! Great news about the bank account. You've done an incredible job getting things closed out in LA and starting out in FLA. The apartment sounds good, for a while, at least. For an all-inclusive rent that's a great deal. Hope a job offer comes through soon. Great decision to have both your apartment in LA and the new one cleaned professionally. Lots of people dream, but very few make them come true!
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:17 AM   #14
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Things sound like they are moving along nicely! What a great deal on the rent. I'm hoping that a job offer comes in for you soon!
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:04 AM   #15
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What an exciting time for you Heather! With all of your planning, it sounds like the move should go very smoothly!
I look forward to reading all about the move and this new chapter in your life!
I hope to see you in a couple of weeks!!!
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