Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mojave Desert and Arizona

The Best Western in Barstow was comfortable. Look how cute the towels were! An elephant, I can hardly stand it.

We left Barstow at 8:20am and had a delightfully uneventful drive through to Holbrook, AZ. The temps in the Mojave Desert were in the 110s. Nine hours of driving today.  Let's hope tomorrow's leg is uneventful too ;)


Friday, June 29, 2012

On the Road Again

Even though the little Holiday Inn Express was clean and comfortable and had free wifi, we were all a little restless to be back on the road. The mechanic called us at 7:30am and said he had to go to Stockton to get the part. He got to the hotel around 10. He worked on it with Captain's assistance until almost noon. Mr. S and I hung out in the room watching Looney Tunes until we had to check out at 11 then we loitered in the lobby while we killed time with Sharky.

On another note, we will have to get the Little Peacock fixed when we get to FL because the stress of being tied to the trailer and going over ridiculously bumpy roads has caused a shock problem. Its leaking hydraulic fluid on the driver's side. The least of our problems really.

We finally got back on the road at 12:30 after grabbing some McDonald's for lunch. I think I heard something about a reimbursement from Uhaul. We'll see...

We made it through to Barstow without event, stopping around 8:30pm for the night. Time to get a good night's sleep and hopefully another dull day tomorrow ;)


On the Road and Going Nowhere

We left the peninsula around 3pm and crossed over to the east bay to take a less busy route south. After only 90 min on the road we hear a loud, startling sound and thumping. This could not be good. Immediately we pulled off the highway and looked. At first I didn't see anything, but upon closer inspection the truck had blown the back inside tire and there was metal hanging underneath. Nope, not good. We called the roadside assistance number and they were very nice and sent someone out to help us. 45 min later we had a great mechanic telling us that its even worse than it looks. Fan.tas.tic. If anyone is familiar with NorCal we were on hwy 580 just before it merges into I-5. Hot, dry and middle of nowhere. Oh and speed limit is 70 which means people are really going fast! We could see the rest stop a mile up the road and I had to pee like nobody's business. Needless to say its very awkward squatting next to a Uhaul with traffic on both sides. Mr. S was a trooper holding a blanket in front of me. Enough said.

Turns out the blow out ripped off the sheet metal that protects the fuel lines underneath, then sheared off part of the siding and the gas cap. In doing so it crushed the fuel line and was digging into the outside good tire. After 2 hours working on it in the hot sun and fast hwy, the technician was able to get it repaired enough to be moved. The closest town was Westly (yeah, I've never heard of it either) and it was determined that a part of the pinched fuel line needed to be obtained from Uhaul. So now we are spending the night at a tiny little motel, who took pity on us and gave us a deep discounted rate. But at least they have free wifi which gives me an opportunity to catch up on my blogging. We'll see what tomorrow brings. :)

To be continued...


Let the Adventure Begin

After 2 straight days of intense packing and multiple mishaps, we are on our way! The 17' Uhaul is packed with a little room to spare. This is the smallest Uhaul we've ever used. Captain says it will be like driving a sports car,  I'm not sure I'd go that far. We're towing our car behind and Mr. S and I will also be riding in the cab.

Time to load the car onto the transport. One of our neighbors who we'd never met before popped by out of curiosity and stayed to help out. Perfect timing because I couldn't even watch as Captain tried to line up the wheels and not drive over the edge.  Too much stress!

The real reason he stopped by was to complement us on our ingenuity for placing an extension ladder and sawhorses in front of the car trailer because our neighbors kept parking very close to either end of it.

Thanks to all our friends who kept our kids occupied and stopped by for moral support during this transition! We'll miss you!!

Adios Foster City!


Second Verse, Same as the First

One advantage to the kids spending another night with us is that Divagirl (far right) got to spend one last fun-filled evening with 2 of her best friends. They went to the movies and out to dinner and had a blast. She was so happy!

After the airline mishap yesterday I did not have high hopes for today. The kids were automatically re-booked on a new flight leaving at 6:41am and connecting through Chicago. Anyone who has connected through O'hare knows that this is bad news. More bad news is that due to the cancellation the rest of the week's flights are completely full. Nonetheless, Captain woke up at 4am and took the kids back to the airport to do an instant replay of yesterday. Only it was not to be. Turns out the level of incompetence was higher than I thought. United does not allow a six year old to fly without an adult 18 or older, even if she's flying with someone who is allowed to fly alone. They basically told him that they have no idea how they made it through yesterday. Or why no one knew on the phone. So Captain needed to pay an unaccompanied minor fee for her, but not for Mr.T, although they both received wristbands since they were flying together. Then all sorts of fun kicked in. They oversold a direct flight and bumped 2 people. Captain had to stay with them until the plane took off. Thankfully, the flight was on time. But the new flight was at 10. After packing all day and night, getting up at 4 and then having to wait at the airport for 5 hours, coming home to pack afterwards was not fun.

They got to Florida 13 min. early and their grandparents met them at the gate. I actually got to talk to the flight attendant and she said they were absolutely wonderful (of course they were) even though they couldn't sit together. Divagirl sat between two gentlemen and had them wrapped around her little finger within minutes. They waited on her like a princess and she talked their ears off the entire trip. I wouldn't recommend United if you had minors flying alone.


Who Needs Summer Camp?

On Monday we called Comcast to schedule internet shut off for Thursday. As soon as Captain hung up we lost our wireless connection. Coincidence? He called back to see if it was a glitch and we had already been terminated and removed from the system. Really?? Meanwhile he was still supposed to be working online. The kids were using the wireless for the ipad and their ipods so they weren't pleased either. Therefore, I haven't been able to stay connected or update the blog until now. I've been totally relying on my phone to stay connected and using tons of data. I'll do my best to catch up...

I really don't see why all our friends stress out about finding summer camps for their kids all day. Just do what we do, drop them off at the airport and come back for them 7 hours later! Okay, before you call CPS, that's not really the entire story. We had planned on Mr. T and Divagirl flying early to their grandparents and we booked them on United months ago. I even called the airline to clarify their somewhat beguiling policies. We got there an hour and a half before the flight and its already delayed 45 min. We find the Special Services desk and ask for a gate pass. Because Mr. T was allowed to travel as his sister's guardian only one parent can get a gate pass. Hmm, ok, Mr. S and I waited until Captain got them through security and settled comfortably at the gate. Then we bid them farewell and went home to pack. We'd been following the flight info through notifications and the flight kept getting delayed. Long story short, after many hours at the gate and 2 hours on the plane the flight was cancelled. Stop packing, return to airport, pick up kids and carry on. (to be continued...)


Locks of Love and Ballet Wrap Up

Divagirl (on the left) is our little ballerina. She takes 2 classes a week, but during the month leading up to the Spring performance she can take up to 4 classes a week. And she still wants more! That means that up to 4x per week her slick, slippery Chinese hair is wrangled into a sleek bun. There has been a considerable amount of breakage over the year, so back in February we started talking to her about donating her hair to a child that needs a hairpiece due to medical conditions. She loved the idea as long as it went to a girl "because its girl hair".
The day after the performance we went to the salon and had nearly 11" cut off. She was a little concerned initially, but after it was dried and she got to swish and swing it, she was sold. Since we are heading to FL in a week, she will be much more comfortable in the heat and humidity. She even made a little card to send in with her donation. I don't know if anyone will ever receive it, but its the thought that counts.

I think she looks adorable, but I might be a little biased. ;)


Saturday, June 16, 2012

2 Weeks Left

Two weeks until we leave and the landlords have already re-rented this place. We've sold a handful of things on Craigslist. We're trying to eat up the food we have in the house. We're trying to sort through our belongings for those that will make the cut. But we have a problem. Its HOT. We are experiencing a heat wave here and we don't have a/c, heck we don't even have a breeze. Its in the 80's in the house and no one wants to pack, no one wants to eat the meals I have to make, and we're all a little cranky.

I'm starting to wonder how this move is going to come together...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sort and Sell

This is a process of minimizing. The first step is to sell any belongings that you don't love, need or use on Craigslist. Wait for people to call and inquiry. Arrange time for pickup. Wait for said pickup time and wait and wait and wait...Yes, that's usually how it works for us and C*list. Although we have managed to sell 2 tables and the patio furniture.

I've been going through knick knacks and home decorations and deciding which I want to reuse and lovingly pack and catalog them away and which ones I'm really tired of looking at. My stumbling block at the moment is the box of old photos and the box of last year's art work (for 3 kids), both of which need scanned or photographed so that the originals can be tossed. This type of project overwhelms me!

The goal is to get most or all of the big stuff sold first then have a yard sale for the remaining little things, donating whatever doesn't sell after that.

I've packed up several more boxes to go into storage. Doesn't it always seem that things get messier before they get tidier? The garage is on my list for this weekend. Although, the kids may win out and we may just hang at the pool and wait for Captain to return from his business meeting. It is supposed to be in the 80s and 90s this weekend.