Dillon Lareau

Electrical and computer engineer, maker, and general nerd.

Getting furniture: The best 'worst' road trip

18 Mar 2018

In which we do more driving than any person in this journey cared for.

It’s been over 8 months since this happened, if you read this blog previously, you might know that during the end of June I took a trip to my parents house in Connecticut to relax before I started my job. Getting back from that trip marked the start of one of the most hectic two weeks in recent memory. A rough schedule of those two weeks:

Week 1:

June 26th: Take train from CT to PGH
June 27th/28th/29th: Pack up all of my old apartment
June 30th: Move friend #1
July 1st: Move friends #2 and 3
July 2nd: Move myself and new roommates

Week 2:

July 3rd: Unpack from moving and setup furniture
July 4th: Celebrate July 4th!
July 5th: Continue furniture setup and pack/plan for roadtrip
July 6th: Travel to NY by bus and see Caravan Palace in concert.
July 7th: Pick up truck, drive to friend’s house, load half of the truck, drive to my house
July 8th: Load the other half of the truck, drive the truck from CT to PGH
July 9th: Unload truck, return truck

Week 3:

July 10th: Start my new job!

That first week was something that while crazy in itself, wasn’t something that really phased me. Traveling from CT to PA was a routine I had down by that point. It was a bit odd knowing that I’d be doing the reverse trip in just over a week, but I had other things to worry about, like packing. So I packed, and I fulfilled the first half of the bargain in which I moved my friends, and then the next day, they fulfilled the other half of the bargain where they helped me move. Of course, many other friends showed up besides those who we had helped move and between all of us we got the time down to under one hour per roommate for both move in and move out.

This is what over-preparing for a truck pack looks like.
This is what over-preparing for a truck pack looks like.

The motivation for that crazy looking second week is that when moving apartments, my roommates and I realized that we didn’t own enough furniture to properly furnish an apartment. In addition, I realized that for a person now officially living in Pittsburgh, I still had a lot of stuff at my parent’s house in Connecticut. After a bit of chatting, it was revealed that my parents wanted to get rid of some furniture and my friend Alex’s parents (who also live in CT) wanted to give her some furniture. Combining that with the fact that I needed to get a bunch of my belongings out to Pittsburgh as well, it became clear that arranging to somehow get a truck from CT to Pittsburgh and splitting the cost with Alex was going to be cheaper than shipping my stuff and buying furniture.

When I first talked to my roommate Ethan about this, he jokingly referred to the act of driving a truck full of furniture 10 hours as “the worst roadtrip” while simultaneously being ecstatic about helping with it. Coming along on this journey fit perfectly for him as he is firmly in the camp of “Something is more worth doing if it’s difficult”, and I was glad to have him not only for his company but because driving a 20’ truck mildly terrifies me and he had experience. So after shopping around, making spreadsheets and spending way too much time planning, we settled on taking a bus out, picking up the truck in CT and driving back as the cheapest option.

We packed our bags the night of the 5th, and at 4:30AM the morning of the 6th, we woke up ready to start one hell of a week. From here on out, I’m going to let this amazing chain of tweets tell most of the story.

The local pastime of our friend group, travel tweeting.

After a long bus ride from Pittsburgh to New York, we got to experience Caravan Palace, a band we all like, live at The Warsaw in Brooklyn. We were pretty lucky that their tour schedule lined up like it did.

After the show, we spent the night at Alex’s parents’ place, and then were driven the next morning to the Budget truck pickup location by Alex’s dad. From there we would have an 8 hour day ahead of us picking up Alex’s stuff, then heading to my parents’ house.

The number of Dunkin Donuts in CT was driving us to insanity.

After arriving we at my parent’s house, we loaded half the truck, a good night’s sleep, then packed up the other half of the truck in the morning and set off on our 10 hour drive back to Pittsburgh. Between the two pickups, we had managed to fill a 16’ truck to the brim with furniture, personal belongings and even a bandsaw.

Remember to drive safe!

Just over 2 hours in, and truck madness had already gotten to us. We spent some of the next few hours making some good jokes, but mostly just mispronouncing nearly everything we could on purpose.

Hey, we didn’t die! The day after we got back, we got the pleasure of unloading our 5th truck in under 2 weeks. It was all worth it though for the what was basically a free house of furniture.

Look at that great table.
Look at that great table.