The Shanghai Room, Part 1

The Relocation Reality Show Begins!

By the time we’re breathing the smoky air of Bandon at the bottom of Oregon, we are four days into our relocation road trip. Our car is piled high with our some of our most intimate belongings, including three cases of wine and a video green screen.

We decide to pass the night in The Shanghai Room at Bandon’s Table Rock Motel. It’s a quirky, noteworthy room. But let’s rewind about four days.

Back to Beaverton

The only furniture we didn’t sell or move. Not so cozy!

It’s a Tuesday morning, and we wake up on the floor of our house in Beaverton, Oregon. It’s the day after the eclipse, and we’re excited and ready to embark on our new life. Our buyers insisted that this is the day we needed to be out of our townhome.

We have semi-planned our trip, and just know it is going to fun and glamorous. I have all my outfits for the trip perfectly planned-out and organized. Andy doesn’t have to worry so much about clothing, because the movers had packed his dresser and closet and were long gone before we realized what had happened. Lucky, he was doing laundry when the movers left, so he still had some clothes to wear in the dryer.

Hurry Up and Wait

Part of our Exit Flurry: Fish Fest!

We have been rushing to ready the house for the new owners, packing and cleaning. Meanwhile, Andy has still been working at the radio stations and putting in late nights to finish an audiobook he was narrating, plus working a music festival.

I was right there by his side, while I also was dealing with a rude moving company. The owner had a meltdown on me, then cried that he was under stress. Really dude, you’re under stress?! We are on zero sleep, eating nothing but fast food for a week. Now your incompetent movers, reeking of alcohol, show up several days earlier than our agreed-upon date, and just shove our belongings into my mom’s garage. But you are stressed, crying, and want more money?! (More on them later.)

Drawing a Deep Breath

But back to us waking up excited! We decide we’ll shower, pack the car, and begin our trip. YAY!!! Then we get a call.

It turns out the buyers, who were supposed to sign yesterday in the escrow office right after us, did not sign until 8:30 pm. From ARIZONA!!! What? Closing will be delayed a day.

Okay, we are definitely not leaving until this is a done deal. But we can’t sleep on the floor one more night, and I had arranged for all the utilities to be stopped. So we need a place to stay.

The Extended Stay (Why would you?)

Because everyone and their brother has descended upon Portland for the big Eclipse, hotels are either full or $500 a night. We settle for The Extended Stay within a block of our townhome for $189 a night, thinking that at least we would have a bed and air conditioning. Turns out, that’s the most you can say about Extended Stay too! Beyond that, it’s comically awful.

Ready for your hose-down?

The bathroom looks like was it designed by the guy who did Alcatraz, complete with a drain right in the middle of the floor. My Facebook check-in has friends hilariously speculating about why a sign above the bed warning us not to hang our clothes on the fire sprinklers is necessary!

Whew! Glad they warned us!

All night long, we’re treated to what sounds like elephants playing soccer on the floor right above us. Neither of us sleep a wink.

In the morning, we escape Alcatraz, I mean Extended Stay, and hit the road. We’re nervously waiting for good news of cleared checks! Maybe we’ll hit Moonstruck Chocolates for some coffee and a box of chocolates for the road.

Newport Oregon

The plan is to drive and sightsee while being fabulous each day until about 4 pm, then Google up a room wherever we happen to be. After a final lunch at a favorite restaurant in Bridgeport Village, we take the long way through McMinnville to Newport. After that, we’ll slowly drive the coast all the way to San Diego, seeing what there is to see along the way.

No photos from our final lunch at Twigs in Bridgeport Village, sadly now closed. But this is from a couple of months earlier.

Our drive this afternoon leaves us without cell service until we arrive at the beautiful Best Western Agate Beach Hotel. Then Andy’s phone chimes, and we have two messages.

Message number one is from the lady who bought our Pottery Barn couch for $25. She has decided she does not like it and would like us to do something about it. Message number two: the buyers, their down payment, and their agent are all missing in action. We are now officially freaking out! We have vacated the townhome, and have no money in hand.

La La La

We try to make the best of our evening. Andy is confident that everything will be fine, but I suspect he’s as Jello inside as I am!

Our room is beautiful with an ocean view, including historic Yaquina Head Lighthouse! And it’s only $175 a night. Well, “only”… if the money hits the bank soon! If not, it’s going to be a quick, slim trip to Encinitas.

We get out the traveling wine glasses and do a toast and a video.

Then we head to our favorite restaurant on the waterfront in Newport, Local Ocean. We discovered Local Ocean on our honeymoon and love the vibe, view, and food. Tonight Andy is having the fish and chips, and I am having the Fisherman’s Wife Stew. It’s like cioppino, only better! And of course, more wine. We are stressed.

Laughing it up at Local Ocean! Trying not to think about the missing buyers and their money.

I am really trying my best to keep it together. But in the middle of the night, it all gets to me, and I have a sobbing meltdown. Poor Andy, his peri-menopausal newlywed wife is in a complete state of freakout! He handles it like the trouper he is.

Dawn of a New Day

At 6 am, Andy receives a text. I have been awake all night, but am afraid to look.

Yes! The buyers — and their money — have been located! All is well. We are assured the deposit will happen today.

Good news… and great coffee! Still, we need to see the balance in the bank.

Let’s take a walk on Agate Beach before we even shower! Huge shout-out to Best Western’s complimentary coffee in the lobby. It is so good!

The World’s Biggest Sigh of Relief

I forget what his point was.

We hit the road southbound, passing a sign spinner in a pot leaf suit. It isn’t exactly the World’s Biggest Ball of Twine (or Hemp), but we sense a photo op and stop for a shot.

Heading over the Yaquina Bridge, we pull over and stop at Lost Creek State Park, an average-looking beach with stinky bathrooms. This is where we finally get the alert that the sale has been recorded… and the funds are in our bank!

Money in the bank, baby!

We can now relax and enjoy the trip, and it will all be stylishly fabulous. Or so we thought.

Stay tuned!