These last few weeks have been a whirlwind. The kind that gives you pause and makes you wonder if and when a sense of normalcy will ever return. But now that we’re settled in BAM for the next few months, it’s getting there. Painfully slowly mind you, but getting there, and progress IS progress.
Let me start with where I left off, just prior to Sarissa and Josh’s visit August 21st through September 7. They mostly stayed in New York but I spent a day with her in Westchester for lunch and shopping, and they then spent a few days with us at the cabin over Labor Day weekend. We also went to NY the weekend prior for a night out in Manhattan. We stayed at the Orchard Street Hotel which is chic, clean and in a great location, but the room unequivocally qualifies as the smallest room we’ve ever stayed in. I’m talking literally having to walk sideways at the foot of the bed or you’d hit the wall, and we did. But what’s a few bruises when you’re in the thick of it all, and here I am doing my best to look sophisticated and carefree and like I belong in the city.
We started the evening at Employees Only, Sarissa and Josh’s Singapore sister club, and moved on to dinner at Estelas, a wonderful tapas type restaurant that, typical of many NY restaurants, has tables way too close to each other. It’s a pet peeve of mine when you’re forced to sit as close to strangers as the person you’re with, but since the table next to us was occupied by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biels we managed to tolerate it. For nearly two hours we heard snippets of their conversation (not that we were eavesdropping mind you), witnessed them being lovey dovey, and yours truly just happened to go to the unisex bathroom at the same time as Justin (one person at a time though. Darn it). He’s taller than I thought, a little better looking in person and has great posture! Yes, I notice these things. Leaving NY the next day we drove by the Freedom Tower, an impressive structure surrounded by well thought out, lovely parks that reminded me a bit of Savanna. Definitely visit if you can.
The following weekend we took city boy Josh to his first ever country fair in Goshen, Connecticut, where he won a teddy bear, tossed hay bales and we all ate way too much junk food. We parted ways on Sunday night then Fisherman and I got to work doing the fun task of packing :/.
Just about all our furniture was sold with the house, but we still had enough stuff to fill a 16′ Penske truck top to bottom. We were scheduled to pick up the truck Wednesday morning, spend the day packing it up then leaving Thursday as early as possible, first stop College Park, MD, before moving on to Wilmington, NC Friday morning.
Here is where the fun begins my friends. After driving 40 minutes to get the truck, we were told they didn’t have it! Yes, we confirmed prior to going. Not once, not twice, but three times, the most recent confirmation being the day before. They admitted this sort of thing happens frequently, and I politely (ok, I might have been a bit sarcastic) suggested that perhaps they should revamp their system.
After checking other locations, they found a truck an hour and a half north of where we were. I asked if someone could drop it off at our house and they arranged it, but the truck didn’t get there until three in the afternoon, at which time it started to rain. I mean seriously, it’s like someone is up there testing us!
We loaded up the truck from 3:30 to 8:30, but it was dark and drizzly and we needed a break and some dinner so we called it a day and started up again early the next morning. We pulled out at 10 and made decent time to College Park where we stayed at a lovely Holiday Inn with a comfy bed, soft pillows and a view of one of my favorite stores, IKEA. Life was good, at least until we got to the storage facility near Wilmington late Friday afternoon and when asked for photo id I discovered my license was missing from my wallet!
The lady was very nice and processed the paperwork anyway, so we unloaded everything and finished at 10:00 pm, finally ate something at around 11 and then headed to our dump of a motel. I’m talking about a place Norman Bates wouldn’t touch with a stick folks. Half used shampoo bottles on the shower shelf, dirty floors….just gross. I mentioned it to the manager and he said it would be taken care of, but the only thing housekeeping did was remove our towels and not replace them. I asked for some towels at the desk but was told they probably didn’t have any. You can’t make this stuff up! I found a maintenance man who promptly brought us towels so we showered and headed to our favorite down town restaurant in Wilmington, Circa 1922, and had a lovely evening in spite of the days events.
But there was one thing looming over me. We were scheduled to fly back on Sunday and of course airlines require a government issued photo id, and without my license I didn’t have any. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while you might recall last year I lost my license while in Ft. Myers. Yes, this is a pattern. Don’t mock me. I ordered another one but the person who found it sent it back to me, so I have two, one in our other car that we left at the cabin, and while I wasn’t 100% sure where the other one was, I had a pretty good idea. More on that later. I asked a friend to scan it and send it to me and we went to Staples and made a colored copy and got to the airport a little earlier than usual as per the advice of the airline (I called on Friday to explain my predicament).
So…we get to the airport but our names are not on the passenger list. When we showed the agent our print out, she explained our flight was the day before! I can’t even. Between my license and the reservation snafoo, we can give Abbott and Costello a run for their money in the doofus department.
Fisherman made the reservation with Expedia, which gave us a full refund (yay!), but the airline fare was twice as much (boo!). At that point we were just happy they had two seats available, and in case you’re wondering, unless you don’t mind getting felt up, you might want to avoid finding yourself in the same situation. (Extra precaution is taken by the TSA, in spite of the fact I had a very clear copy of my license.)
When we got home Sunday night, I immediately checked a small shoulder bag I wore when we went to the Goshen fair and sure enough, that’s where my license was. Sometimes when attending venues like that I don’t like to carry a traditional bag but I still need my license (I usually do the driving), a place for my phone and maybe some $$. I just don’t always remember to remove my license and replace it in my wallet when we get home!
Monday, the next day, we went to the real estate attorneys office to sign some documents for the closing that Friday the 15th, picked up BAM then started the packing process all over again on Tuesday, and spent most of Wednesday tidying up the cabin. We took off early Thursday morning, stayed at an rv park just outside D.C., that night and once again, got up early Friday morning and made it to Wilmington Friday late afternoon, just as the closing was completed up in Massachusetts.
Our park is super convenient to downtown Wilmington and just about any store you could possibly imagine, quite a refreshing change from the isolation we experienced the last 3+ years.
Our showroom appointments are scheduled for this Thursday and Friday! Lots and lots of decisions to make, from paint colors to flooring, appliances and hardware, cabinets and doors, light fixtures and so much more my head is spinning. I’m sure many compromises will need to happen, as the house is not a custom build and the builder only has so many choices from which to choose, but we will either live with them, make immediate changes or change things up in the future if we really want something different.
In the meantime I’m sure I’ll want/need some feedback and opinions along the way so stay tuned. I don’t have my MAC and I am still not super comfortable blogging without it, but I’ll snap out of it ;).
In other news…
Mrs. Kravitz is alive and well folks!
Remember our fire pit that we built two years ago? Well, apparently some of it was on common property. We received a call from the manager of the community that ‘someone’ had brought this to the attention of the Board. She of course didn’t say who it was but we were fairly certain we knew, and in fact it was later confirmed it was our immediate next door neighbor who just happens to be good friends with the President. A day or two later we got a phone call from the manager asking if the Board President, herself and the maintenance guy could come by and have a look.
Our biggest concern was that we would be asked to move the boulders, which would have required a back hoe, a lot of $$$ and would tear up the yard. Thankfully that didn’t happen but we were asked to reduce the size of the fire pit and stop mowing the part of the yard that was on common property. There was no specific discussion of an exact date as to when it should be done, but of course the unspoken obvious understanding was it would be done before closing.
Now…that weekend we had a moving sale and a day later I went to NY to see Sarissa for a day of shopping and lunch, so it was a very busy time. (For those of you that don’t know, we see each other only once a year). After I returned we started on the firepit and completed the lions share of the work when lo and behold we received a rather aggressive letter the next day from the Association’s attorney threatening a lien against our house if the firepit was not finished by September 5th.
Now here’s where I got my knickers in a twist: the President should have discussed a completion date with us during our initial meeting. To have an attorney get involved just one week later was a waste of funds and unnecessary. It’s odd to us that this was the way she choose to handle the situation, when during her tenure literally tens of thousands of unpaid dues went uncollected and not one letter from an attorney was sent for several years because it was ‘too expensive’. But when a VERY small piece of property was found to be infringing on common property (we are talking a few feet), property that borders wet lands and would NEVER be used by anyone, it was deemed necessary to get an attorney involved. How petty!
When we purchased the cabin twelve years ago the previous owners told us to be aware of the nosey neighbor, but we pretty much kept our distance and had no major issues. It’s unfortunate for us she choose to show her true colors when we were knee deep in everything a move entails and had a million other things to deal with.
We are so glad to be out of there!