June 07, 2013

From Milwaukee to Miami

We have arrived in Miami after spending 3 days on the road, stopping in Kentucky and Georgia along the way.  I'm grateful we had a smooth trip, which didn't stress the cats out too much.

We found an apartment in North Miami our first day here and have now settled in.  Our favorite feature of the apartment is the view of the bay from our balcony.

I was nervous about traveling with two cats by myself in a car for 24 hours (while Chris drove a moving truck), but I found a lot of great advice online which really helped.  I'm going to summarize it here, just in case Google leads someone else making a cross-country move to this blog post.

How to Travel Long Distance with Cats by Car -  
  • Each cat should be in their own space.  We used two small Midwest dog crates, which fit perfectly in the backseat.  There was a pet bed in each, which Merlot and Chianti snuggled up in and slept the majority of the time.
  • Bring a spare car key and leave the air conditioner running when you make stops.  Also bring something along, such as towels, to block sunlight which helps prevent cats from overheating.
  • Remove food and water a few hours before leaving to avoid any motion sickness issues and the need for a litterbox.  I offered, but neither cat wanted any food nor water until we had arrived at our final destination each night.
  • La Quinta and Marriott both have many pet-friendly hotels within their chains.  Oh, and luggage carts which are really helpful in transporting pets!

It's funny to come to Miami for the first time ever and not do any touristy things.  I haven't seen the beach but I have been to the DMV.  After getting new driver's licenses and registering our car today, we headed to Casa Vieja for lunch.  Only after being seated, did we realize the Colombian restaurant was connected to an ice rink. 

So while dining on fajitas and quesadillas, and enjoying tropical drinks, we watched figure skaters do some pretty impressive routines through the glass wall at the end of our booth.  Now that I'm living in Miami, I need to learn how to make piƱa coladas at home!

Did you know that hurricane season starts June 1?  That isn't something I was aware of until I started researching life in South Florida.  The rain was torrential from almost the moment we crossed from Georgia into Florida, but today was even worse.  We have gotten 13.94 inches of rain in the past 6 hours! 

Tonight we talked with people who had to abandon their cars because the roads are so bad here.  Chris attempted to get food by walking to the grocery store, but after wading through knee-high water, he found the doors sandbagged and the store closed.  Our first two days in Miami have definitely been interesting!


  1. Your cats look so cute on the luggage cart! I think this experience is going to be interesting and educational for all of us! Can't wait to hear more.

  2. Stay safe! I can't believe the amount of rain they are getting and that you happened to move there at the start of hurricane season. Love the view from your apartment. I showed Craig and he was quite jealous!

  3. Wow. That is a lot of rain. Thankfully it wasn't snow. :)

  4. Okay this has been worrying me (at the risk of looking like a dumb northerner)... Are crocodiles a concern wading through knee deep flood water?

    1. That's a good question. They say that crocs hang out in the canals and that it's common for people to accidentally drive into canals during flooding because you can't see where the roads end, so I would think that crocs would be of concern when wading through flood water.

  5. Chris' hat looks very Miami in the luggage cart picture. I am looking forward to reading as your blog takes a Miami-turn!

    1. I bought that hat for him in Rome in 2007 :) It's held up remarkably well considering it's 100% paper and Chris wears it quite often.