Good Days With The Mays

Personal blog for Jess and C.J. May

Sweet Home Alabama

On October 29th, C.J. and I, with the help of our parents, spent the day packing up our Pella apartment. Since we were only going to be traveling to Alabama with our Highlander, we knew we couldn’t take too many things. Our incredibly generous parents let us store most of our belongings in their houses.

After saying goodbye to our families, and precious cat, C.J. and I departed for Alabama early on October 31st. Being newer to my job, I didn’t have much PTO built up, so I decided to work from the car while we traveled. C.J. was able to take 2 days off of work to be the main driver. We drove for about 13 hours on the first day, and stopped in Tennessee for the night.

We knew that in the long run, hotel stays while we traveled could get costly. So, we invested in a rooftop tent for our car. I wasn’t on board when C.J. first proposed the idea, but let me tell you, this tent is amazing! We parked at a Love’s truck stop, next to dozens of semis, and set up the tent. It’s incredible how easy the set up is. We simply opened the hard-shell case, and the tent automatically popped out. Then, we pulled out the ladder, added a few poles, and we were set!

Our car top tent!

One thing I didn’t know about semi trucks is that they stay on all night long at truck stops. Luckily, I like white noise, so the dozens of semi engines running all night didn’t phase me too much. C.J., on the other hand, didn’t sleep quite as well as I did. You win some, you lose some. After getting ready in the truck stop bathrooms and closing our tent back up, we departed from our trucker neighbors.

We drove about 7 hours on November 1st, and made it to our condo around 3 pm. We began unpacking and taking in the view of our new temporary home. Things must’ve been going too well, though, because as we were unpacking, we got a knock on our door. A pest control worker casually walked into our condo, stated that the previous visitors complained of seeing some bugs, and then began spraying behind our fridge. Being from Iowa, I assumed it was probably just ants. But then the man told us it was cockroaches; lovely! I began vigorously searching every inch of the condo, making sure there were no more surprise guests. Luckily, we haven’t seen any more cockroaches in our condo…yet.

In my opinion, staying in Airbnbs is always a gamble. Even if there are dozens of good reviews, you can never be too sure. Besides the bug scare, we got pretty lucky with this condo. It’s spacious, well-stocked, and for the most part, pretty clean. Despite everything looking nice and orderly, I’m still very skeptical of some things, such as bedding. A short Airbnb stay might be different, but since we are staying at this condo for two months, I opted for buying our own set of sheets and a quilt for the bed.

Everything else about our condo is wonderful, though. We have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a full kitchen, and a balcony overlooking the ocean. We feel very grateful to get to have this experience. The size of the condo has been nice since we both work remotely. C.J. has setup his workspace on the large kitchen counter and since I only work from a laptop, I’m able to work from the bedroom, the living room, or the balcony!

Our first night in Alabama consisted of unpacking our car and sleeping. The next couple days, however, we started exploring. After work on Wednesday, C.J. and I walked along the beach and relaxed. After work on Thursday, I took a swim in the ocean. C.J. chose not to swim that day because the wind was a bit chilly, but I thought the water was incredibly warm! After work on Friday, C.J. and I walked along the water to a beachside restaurant called The Hangout. It was a fun, upbeat place with live outdoor music, an energetic DJ, and frozen alcoholic slushies. We ended the night by stopping at a souvenir ship, where I purchased a snorkel mask that I am entirely too excited to use.

That brings us to today, November 5th. We had a lazy day that consisted of sleeping in, going to target, and spending the rest of the day working on our own projects; C.J. worked on a computer project while I created this blog. Tomorrow is supposed to be a very nice day, so C.J. plans to read on the beach, while I plan to spend the day with my face underwater thanks to my new snorkel.

– Jess May

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