Boston week one – friggin’ insanity

This is a picture of Intersection of Harvard and Beacon Streets, Coolidge Corner, Brookline, MA
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

I’ve come to understand that even the best laid plans don’t guarantee smooth sailing. That being said, when shit hits the fan, it’s not fun.

Our journey to Boston started well. We left last Wednesday morning, March 1, with decent weather and very few inconveniences at the border. We did have to get out of the car to go through some paperwork when we crossed, but it was pretty routine and the  guards we dealt with were pleasant. I’m sure it helped that we were fully prepared with all the papers we needed and happened to be a car full of white Canadians.

I should note that we’re actually living in a town called Brookline. We don’t live in Boston proper, but for those who aren’t familiar with the Boston area, it’s easier for us to just tell people we’re living in Boston. Anyway, we arrived at our Airbnb in Brookline  in the early evening, unloaded our stuff, and grabbed dinner before crashing for the night.

Our Airbnb was good. It was clean and in a great location down the street from our apartment. We were all Airbnb-virgins, so there were some surprises where it differed from a hotel experience. In the end, it served it’s purpose well and I will be giving the hosts a good review.

Our second day in Brookline started out great! We had an awesome brunch at Zaftig’s, recommended to us by a friend, and it did not disappoint! It was sunny and warm and we were feeling so good about the day. We made our way to the apartment to check it out for the first time in person. The outside of our building is nice and everything seemed good leading to our front door, but as soon as we walked in, we were overcome with disappointment. It didn’t look anything like the pictures and video the realtor sent us. The paint was peeling and cracked all over the place, the room we wanted to change to a nursery was a hideous pink colour, and the bathroom was an ungodly sight. This wasn’t supposed to happen. My exhaustion and pregnancy hormones took over and I had a meltdown. Lucky Mark.

Later that evening, things started to look up again, as we were told the whole apartment would be sanded, plastered and re-painted. This meant pushing our entire moving schedule back by several days, as the painters would be doing the job over the weekend and it was only Thursday. We had to delay our IKEA order and receiving our moving truck full of things, etc. Not the end of the world, but annoying. Fortunately, we booked the Airbnb for five nights anyway.

For the next few days/nights we explored our new neighborhood and began ordering household items we would need. We spent six hours in IKEA on Saturday going through each section, carefully looking for anything we needed and we placed an order to be shipped for this Thursday, March 9. We started getting excited for the week ahead and even though our wallets were feeling a bit light, we felt like everything was going to be awesome. By another stroke of luck, Mark found out he didn’t have to start at work until March 13, so the stress was starting to dissipate.

Yesterday, oh yesterday. We couldn’t extend our stay at the Airbnb, so we moved to a hotel this morning, all good. We found out the painting etc. was done and the apartment had been cleaned, again, all good. Then we realize that there is a potential danger of lead-based paint in the apartment and since the painters were sanding/grinding, etc., there may be a danger of lead dust in the apartment. Lead dust can cause damage to an unborn fetus if the mother is breathing it in. Shit. Mark had to go into work for several hours yesterday for some orientation stuff, double shit. So, my ever-so-patient-and-very-generous in-laws are working with Mark to sort out a solution to this potentially major dilemma. Legally, our property manager has no obligation to do a lead inspection until up to 30 days after the baby is born, then they are responsible for any fixes. This means that we have to pay for a private lead inspection to be done and possibly pay for a proper clean up of the apartment, etc. to remove any toxic lead dust. Fun! This also means I have to keep my pregnant ass out of the apartment in the meantime and the icing on the cake is all those orders for furniture, etc. we had coming had to be canceled or re-booked. Super fun!

This is where we’re at now. It’s been an emotional stress-fest over here but we’re doing our best to remain positive. Once the apartment is clean and safe for me to be in, it’s going to be awesome! We’ve got some great furniture on the way, the apartment is bright with lots of windows, all new. We have a nice deck to sit on in the summer months, and we have a dishwasher! That was a big seller for me. There’s a pretty park across the street from our building and the neighborhood is fantastic, full of young families.

We have so much to look forward to, this is just a minor bump in the road. The moral of this story is, if you’re moving to a place in another city/country and you can’t get there to see it in person, get someone you know to do so for you! Realtors don’t always share everything you would want to know before moving into a place. Thank heavens for helpful in-laws and a husband who does everything he can to keep it all together when everything feels like it’s falling apart.

In other news, my baby bump is more evident now and I can feel the little bugger wiggling around in there. It’s magic!

Stay tuned for more updates and hopefully some pictures in the coming weeks 😉