Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back online!

I don't even know where to start, but I'll give it a shot :)

Our drive up was fairly uneventful. We didn't hit much in the way of traffic, and I think we only had to stop for gas/snacks about 4 or 5 times. This drive was a major milestone for me - I've never driven for more than a 2 hour stretch. You can imagine the Grapevine was a bit of a challenge for me, but I managed to pull through. The first day (Saturday), we made it to Redding by 6pm. At that point, we decided to go for broke and push ahead to Roseburg, OR before settling in for the night. I'm still not too sure whether that was a good idea or not. We made it there safely, but that meant driving through the Shasta mountains and through the major hills on the border of Oregon. This is challenging enough during the day, but we were driving in pitch blackness by the time we crossed the border and beyond. We rolled into Roseburg at about 11pm, and I was never happier to see a hotel bed! J was fortunate, in that Lenore has that Caddy suspension and steering. The steering on the Benz is so stiff, I was fighting it through the winds in the Grapevine and the whole trip up, so I felt like I had Popeye arms. But I was awfully proud of myself for getting through the drive like I did. Then it was only a quick 3 1/2 hour drive the next day to the Beaverton area, so we had time to relax and drive by the property management office and our home for a look-see before the next day. Oh, and to hit a McMenamins for lunch as well :)

Tangent - am I just a big nerd for liking McMenamins so much? I was so utterly charmed by this little chain on our first trip, but I wonder if I am making a big deal, when they may just be the local answer to TGI Fridays? All I know is that they serve good food and great beer.

The cats acquitted themselves pretty well on this trip and managed not to kill each other. They didn't even pee outside of their litter box in the crate! I love my girls :) We smuggled them into the hotel in Roseburg because we were unsure of their pet policy, and kept them in their crate. We did let them out in our hotel in Lake Oswego, and they seemed to enjoy the opportunity to roam, cuddle, and hide behind the bed. We kept them in their crate during the move, and finally let them out in the afternoon on Monday after we had things sufficiently situated. They seem very happy to be with us, but I think they also miss J&M, because they've been yowling a bit :(

Tangent #2 - I highly recommend the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lake Oswego (which is also about 10 minutes away from our house). It was really nice, Embassy Suites quality, and they had a surprisingly lenient pet policy ($25 flat fee per night). It was only $108 per night with our AAA discount, and I think the rates might be even lower than that in the winter.

Monday was fortunately not as crazy as we feared it would be. We got to the property management company early, and they were able to get us in before our appointment time, so we got out of there at about 10:10. We zoomed over to the new place, and the movers had just pulled up to the house. We took a quick run through the house to determine where stuff would go, and started directing traffic. Whilst this was going on, we met two of our neighbors and talked to them for a little bit. They seemed to be about our same age, and they both have young-ish children. They both seemed okay with the hearse too, although they didn't understand too much WHY we have one, but that's to be expected :) At about 1pm, Comcast showed up to do their thing, and they left at about the same time as the movers, around 2-2:30. The rest of the day was spent rearranging some of the furniture, setting up computers in the office, getting the cats situated, and having a much deserved bottle of wine to celebrate the end of the move. Last night we slept in our own bed, and I was close to unconscious until about 5 this morning. Best night's sleep for the past few weeks!

Some observations about the house - we have lots of room, but the master and guest bedrooms upstairs are tiny, which sucks. I think we can still fit both of our dressers in the room, but we'll need to be creative. The guest room will be able to handle a bed, and that's about it. Yet both rooms have walk in closets! The mind boggles. I love that the W/D are upstairs, so I don't have to haul laundry around. The layout of the house is interesting - you walk into the garage and through the door, and the office area is on the right. There is a sink in the office, which apparently counts as a half bath, and there is piping in the closet for a shower (which gives new meaning to the term "water closet", har). You walk up half a flight of stairs, and that takes you to the landing at the front door. Up another flight, and you are on the second level, which consists of the living room, dining area, kitchen and breakfast nook. This floor is enormous, and I love having a big kitchen and living room. No bathrooms on this level, though - they are all on the third level with the bedrooms. We will take a lot of pictures, and I will point out some of the other oddities at that point.

The people up here are interesting. Totally laid back, friendly, and can't drive worth a shit. There's no real road rage, but there's a lot of eye-rolling when somebody gets cut off. There doesn't appear to be a lot of speeding, at least on the surface streets. It is gorgeous and green, even in the crappy parts of town. Where we live? Totally not a crappy part of town. In fact, it is more like Newport Coast. And apparently we live about 3 miles away from their version of South Coast Plaza. And yet, no real Nazi Germany aspect to it (yet, knock on wood). And at least in this area, most people are not from around here, either - our neighbors are from Boston and New York, respectively. And there are tons of Californians as well. But we're still getting our registrations changed and new license plates as soon as we can manage it.

Oh, and the rain. Rain rain rain. I love it :)

If you made it through this rambling entry, congratulations! Believe it or not, I've left a few ranty things out that I will let J cover, because I want to leave him SOMETHING to write about ;) We miss and love everybody in CA, and we'll update often with all the weird and wonderful things we encounter here.