#3 White Glove Service

A few images from our home in San Carlos. Lola has obviously adjusted to the move. Let us know when you want to visit.

Arranging an international move is not straightforward.  You can’t really call Mayflower Transit and get the ball rolling.  That might have worked for the Pilgrims almost 400 years ago but it does not facilitate a move south of the border.  So what do we do when we need an answer to an unknown question? Google it! According to Urban Dictionary, “Google It” can be used as an answer to any question that you don’t know, and therefore using the term, “Google It!”,  will not result in a feeling of inferiority to others. Hence, I could find my answer there. Initial research revealed that if we planned to transport goods across the border we had better be prepared.  For starters, a spreadsheet of all items being moved complete with descriptions, values in US dollars and MX pesos would have to be created. Of course this spreadsheet would need to be written in both English and Spanish. (Google Translate here I come)  Items owned less than 6 months should have receipts for their purchases while other household goods would need estimated values. At the border we would be responsible for claiming all goods and a Mexican border agent would scrutinize our paperwork. If expectations were met, a 17% import tax would be charged on goods coming into the country. One important point to mention is… this specified process is dependent on getting the “red light” at the border.  Receive a “green light” and one can just drive on through. However, driving a big truck full of boxes increases the “red light” chance to 100%. Another bit of insight uncovered from research was that the driver of the truck would need some level of espanol to converse with the border agent. LET’S STOP RIGHT THERE!  After completion of a 9-week online Speed Spanish course, umpteen audio sessions via CD and a Spanish Conversation Class together Mike and I were less than fluent.  We had accomplished numbers to 20 something, colors, the ability to find a restroom and a few other key phrases. A deeper “Google It” enlightened us on one last detail; it is not actually legal to drive a U-Haul type vehicle out of the USA. So with limited Spanish and the lack of the law on our side, we figured Plan B was not only a consideration but a necessity. 

Plan B consisted of interviewing current San Carlosians who had actually survived a move from the states about options. Whether over dinner, lunch, a quirky online forum or a sidewalk conversation we were often given the name of the same company. For blog purposes let’s call the company Movers-R-Us and the owner/driver of this company Lenny (because he sort of reminds me of the lanky character from the 70s sitcom Laverne and Shirley.)  Almost every person we questioned were satisfied with the service they had received from Movers-R-Us, but more importantly…Lenny seemed to be the only game in town. So what did we do? Google it!  The Movers-R-Us website boasted 20+ years of dependable, efficient, timely, “White Glove Service”. Sounds like a great starting point, not to mention, they are the only game in town. We began our outreach for timely service in December which was suitable considering arranging a return phone call took a few voicemails and multiple emails.  Eventually Lenny responded. One of the first things I learned after providing my current location was that this guy was originally from the town of Krum, Texas about 30 miles away from our humble abode in Flower Mound.  So he “knew the area”; or at least he knew it from 20+ years ago. We had a hard stop date in mind. We wanted to be out of our house and on our way to San Carlos at the end of June. I asked many questions about confirming dates, creating the “spreadsheet” and a company contract.  Lenny’s response, “Let’s just say, we can make it happen.” I explained again about the spreadsheet I was already manufacturing and he said, “Don’t worry about that. We can make it happen.” When asked about a contract with Movers-R-Us, his response, “Just contact me when you put your house on the market.”  Hmmmmm? Is this the same dependable, efficient, timely guy? So on a wing and a prayer, no contract and no other real option out there we waited. Sure, on the outside I acted like things were moving along with perfect timing. But inside, I felt like a clock wound way too tightly. Months later we reached out to Lenny again.  Imagine my surprise when it appeared he had no idea who I was. So after repeating my need for a timely move to San Carlos he once again responded with, “Let’s just say, we can make it happen.” I was beginning to wonder if this was a tagline for Movers-R-Us. However, contracts were signed, tentative dates arranged and a deposit was paid. Now we just had to wait and see if Lenny would show. If he didn’t, there was no Plan C. 

The night before he was to arrive I sent Lenny specific directions to avoid a road closure.  Shortly after I received a call from him alerting us that he would be later than planned. His truck was in a repair shop in Louisiana. WHAT?  He was scheduled to be there at 9:00 am and we had to be out of the house by 11:59 pm on that same day. But not to worry because, “Let’s just say, we can make it happen,” was once again uttered.  The following day Lenny rolled up about 1:00 pm with a crew of great guys and they loaded our things. Taking a final look at 1820 Southwicke Drive was a tough one but “the events of the day” made it a little easier to say, Hasta Luego!

Our items were to be delivered in San Carlos on July 6th.  Mike and I were arriving on the 1st and would have five days to remove the furnishings in the home to prepare for the arrival of “our things”.  Once again, clockwork. Months of planning were paying off. The timing was working perfectly! Items were taken away from the house on the 5th leaving behind one lonely mattress on the master bedroom floor.  But, it’s only for one night, right? I called Lenny leaving a message asking his anticipated ETA the following morning. Crickets! I emailed Movers-R-Us. Crickets! This is the point when springs begin to detach from the internal clock and gears grind in the pit of your stomach.  Did we just lose all of our household goods from both homes? 

Late that evening we received a nonplussed email.  There was going to be a delay. The hands flew off of my whirling inner clock.  What’s one to do with zero control? Wait? Drink? Google It? The answer is yes.

A few days later the truck made its way to San Carlos where we learned that Sam Walton’s grandchild’s move of a yacht had somehow taken precedence over our move. Not surprising.  We also discovered that 50 miles outside of town the moving truck’s “tongue” had all but broken off the trailer. A few more inches of metal and we could have kissed all of our belongings goodbye.  So, dependable, efficient, timely, “White Glove Service” perhaps not but our household is pretty much intact. Weeks after unloading furniture, memories and 93 boxes of things we’ve determined we mostly don’t need, we can reflect on the experience of an international move.  Here is my advice. One, when you’ve had it with packing, convince yourself the rest of those things don’t spark joy and tell them goodbye.  Two, wear deodorant on moving day. And three, “Let’s just say, you can make it happen.”

July 30, 2019

My maturity level can be dependent on the time of day partnered with the amount of bubble wrap left behind after a long day of unpacking.

– Laura Lane

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8 Comments

  1. It wouldn’t have been an interesting start to your adventure if Lenny hadn’t been involved to “make it happen”. Glad you are getting settled!

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