Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two Eyed Two Eared Purple Potato Eaters

We got a late start this morning...we didn't get up until 8:30 :-p. Which is only half an hour later than we have been, but we sat around being lazy until noon. We decided that we should probably eventually do something productive, so when I was satisfied with my Bejeweled score and Adam could finally be pried away from his fighter plane game, we took to the road. We went to PetSmart to buy some dog food, Target to buy some hampers, Bed, Bath, and Beyond to make some returns and buy a paper shredder, and the bank to cash a check.

Then we came back, I called my mom, Adam went to the post office to mail a few things and to the trash place to set up our garbage pick up. Then we went back to computering for a while (We were not very motivated today...it happens.) I then remembered that our KitchenAide mixer was supposed to arrive today and found the FedEx notice on the door that they had come. Expecting to find out when their next attempt would be, I found out that they delivered it purposely to the neighbors instead. I thought that was strange that they'd assumed we know and trust our neighbors. It was nice to find out that we can. I went next door and met the other neighbor (not Harry Moore). She seemed very friendly...but I can't remember her name. I need to do better with that. She did have two sons and a large dog...and offered her help if I ever need anything. I'll probably go back and say hi later next week...and actually remember her name this time.

For dinner, we had pasta with the leftover sausage, eggplant, tomato sauce thing we made yesterday...and purple potatoes. Seriously...they're purple. Look:

We bought them at the Farmers Market. They looked interesting, so we figured we'd try them out. They weren't too bad, but tasted less different than I expected them to. We decided to try a different show on Hulu, since Royal Pains wasn't quite our cup of tea, and discovered the humor of Arrested Development. We had both seen it in the past...but neither had actually watched it much. Five episodes of the first season later, I think it's fair to say we're pretty hooked.

Side note...not than any dog owner doesn't already know this...but fireworks and dogs don't mix...and for some reason, Lacy thinks it's safer upstairs.

After dinner, I got a phone call from Samantha. We got to talk for a while...and it made me miss Champaign a bit (not that she was even in Champaign...and not that I had much chance to hang out with the people that DO live there...but it's a strange pill to swallow knowing that the opportunity isn't as readily available, anymore.) It was really nice to hear from her...and only breifly interrupted by the doorbell. Some ladies from the church we went to Sunday (including the one that we had met that Adam had been in correspondance with before we moved here) came by to visit the people that were new on Sunday. It was nice of them to come by...I'm just hoping that we really do meet some people our age and feel like we fit in 'cause it's always harder to move on to a different place when you already feel somewhat established...and the more they want us to do and the more people we meet...the more I fear making someone feel bad if we don't end up feeling at home there. I guess we'll see how Sunday goes.

I suppose that's it, for now. Adam's retreated back to what we've deemed "the office" to play his airplane game, and the only way to stop is if I get off my computer, too...so peace out for tonight.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hmm. Today we got a smog check, went to the DMV, and yeah, that was all. The smog check was fun. We passed it by so much, and the averages are so far below the allowables that I decided it is just a huge racket and another tax on drivers ($60 a car). But it makes you feel good when you score a 0.01 when the limit is 1.0. (Erin was mad the car passed. She wanted a new car. I told her she is crazy)

Then with lots of documentation in hand we went to the DMV. I'm used to the Waterloo DMV, where there are 3 windows and chairs for about 12 people. This one had 14 windows and seating for 50, with plenty of standing room. It was probably a bad idea to show up at 12:40, but we decided we needed to get it done. I think we only sat for an hour and a half, which wasn't too bad. We got the license paperwork done fairly easily, but the triage number-givers didn't give us the paper to get a CA registration. Insert awkwardness as we tried to fill out a paper that would have been nice to have an hour and a half to fill out, but it got done. More confusion later, and we were registering the car to Erin Childers because Erin hadn't changed the name on the loan. Even though it was a Chase loan and she changed the name on another account at Chase, it's a different business so it needs a separate paper. So that added to the frustration of the DMV.

Then we had to get the car verified, which required us to leave the awesome parking spot we had so a lady didn't have to walk to far to read the VIN in 3 different places. Of course that spot was filled so I had to drive 3 blocks to repark the car, fair enough. We get back inside with the verification papers and a different lady checked us out and said the first lady had messed a bunch of stuff up and overcharged us $38. Of course California is too busy collecting interest on overcharges to pay for other stuff that will be cut from the budget in a few weeks, and we were warned that it will take monthS to get the check.

Then we took the written test. I had been warned that a lot of people fail the first or second time through, but we had read through most of the rules of the road. Erin missed 3 and didn't do 1 (6 or fewer misses is a pass). Congrats. I was getting nervous because I was feeling like I would fail. On the first page I missed 4, and I gave up. I decided that if Erin had one version, and I had a different one I could handle a retest pretty easily. But I finished strong with a perfect backside... heh... and we both got our temporary driver's licenses (half sheets of paper). It takes 2-4 weeks for them to print and mail the real ones, weird (we did get the new plates today though).

We took one last, illegal drive with Illinois plates, put on the new ones, and shed a tear for the $305 it cost to drive a car in California. (Plus $15 more to change Erin's name on the registration, minus $38 refund). Maybe it counts as a moving expense.

It was windy and sunny today. I think it will be windy and sunny the rest of the month. :) (I refuse to comment on the heat). I also met Harry Moore, our neighbor, today. He was nice.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"The thing that gets me is that even the breeze is hot"

Today was probably the most restful day we've had. ("Mainly 'cause I didn't feel like doing anything"-Adam). It was 102 degrees at one point today...which probably contributes to the feeling of laziness. No wonder life is slower in the south. Adam claims that sprawling out on the floor and panting like a dog makes you cooler. ("Try it...it really does make your mouth feel cool." -Adam)



We went to church this morning. Adam said he thought it was neat. Before we had moved here, Adam had emailed a lady a this church about housing and Rosamond in general. We met her and a few other people. At first glance, there didn't seem to be many people our age there, but we were assured by Jo (the lady Adam had written to) that there are TONS of people our age. She said the two best ways to meet them would be to go to the Sunday School class and join a small group. The church seemed similar to Windsor Road. It wasn't as lively this morning, but as Adam said, they've got to have their stuff together 'cause they're currently building a multi-million dollar Family Life center. I missed our music ministry in IL, but I've been to several churches, and I'm not sure there's much that would compare. We're planning on giving it at least another try to see how we fit in once we actually meet these alleged people our age. They also just started a new preschool there, and while I'm not sure that I want to be employed just yet...or full time...I talked to someone there who's the sister or sister-in-law of the director and she said she'd have her get ahold of me and we can talk about what she might need, even if part time, in the future, should I be interested. So that could be a good opportunity. I told Adam that it's definitely something I would consider...especially if I get lonely and feel like I need a purpose in life :-p.

After church, we came back and had s
ome lunch and then unpacked a bit more (me moreso than Adam, as he stated earlier :)). At some point, I decided that our house shouldn't look completely like we just moved in since we had company coming this evening. It's starting to come together. I'm sure, someday, when we have more furniture than a couch and an entertainment center, it will look a lot more homey....but the more that we umpack, the more it feels more comfortable.



This evening, Adam's friends Steve and Bob came to visit. (Steve provided today's title). They were fun guys...both Aerospace Engineers from U of I that ended up in CA not too far from where we are now. We went to Foster's Freeze...apparently California's Original...though I'm not sure of what it's the original of. Regardless, it was really nice to see a familiar face (I hadn't met Steve, but I had met Robert a couple times before). Hopefully, there will be visits like that often 'cause it'll help me not to be as homesick.

Then Adam and I watched a documentary about a High School in Compton, CA putting on a production of Our Town. It was interesting. Now, Adam's laying on the floor with Lacy...panting and trying to stay cool. Lacy's a lot more calm in this climate. I think the heat keeps her calm...and we've had quite a bit of excitement in the past few weeks. And by the way, yes, we do have central air...but we've decided it's cheaper to sweat, so we'll deal with it to some extent...which we'll be doing a lot more of in a bit when we do some Wii Tennis playing.

I want to apologize for not keeping in better touch with people outside of this journal, for now. We've kept pretty busy with unpacking, getting organized, and running errands. I'm sure you all understand that and know it comes with the territory of moving to a new place, but I'm hoping to have a chance to at least chat or email everyone that's checked in and that we haven't had the chance to talk to in the coming weeks. Thanks again for taking the time to read this. It means a lot that you guys care :). Good night!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Though we didn't actually intend on celebrating being married for three weeks, today...we had a nice day doing stuff together. After breakfast (and using our new toaster), we drove out to the Antelope Valley Winery for the Farmers Market there. It was pretty small, but we bought some purple potatoes, eggs, avocados, cinnamon/honey almonds, and a couple of bottles of locally made wine. Afterwards, we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some things because they will only let you use two gift cards at a time online. Then we made a stop at Trader Joe's to buy groceries for our egg-plant parmesean...and a new rose plant :).

After lunch, we did some more unpacking of kitchen stuff...and it's starting to look like a real kitchen, now. It's kind of exciting. We worked on that pretty much all afternoon until it was time to make dinner. Adam was super excited to get to use his knives and the new pots.
I was excited to get to open up more boxes to get out more supplies. We used my grandma's recipe that she gave me for Eggplant Parmesean, and I think we did pretty well. It tasted good...which is a good thing since we'll be eating the leftovers for a few days.



During dinner, we watched a John Clease movie on Hulu called "Wine for the Confused." It was supposed to give us insight to the flavors, how to taste, buy, talk about, etc...wine. We both decided that it didn't help all that much, but we did learn a few things that we didn't know.
Afterwards, we though it only appropriate to put our viewing into practice, so we broke out the rest of the Arbor Mist, Triscuits, Camembert, and some of the almonds we bought and watched another movie on Hulu. Beer. (We had a theme going). It was a movie that I felt we should have watched with other people that could appreciate how bad it was with us to make it more enjoyable :-p. I'm not sure what Adam's review was (other than they tried too hard), but I'd say it's safe to say that one viewing was enough.

Now it's time to sign off for the evening. We're going to church tomorrow at 10:30. We're going to try out Wayside Chapel Community Church. Adam has talked to someone there when we were looking for a house to rent, so we figured we'd give it a shot first. Until next time....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Another Day...a lot of dollars...

Adam and I had our first outing together, today...meaning we left the dog at home. I'm not sure how she did, since we weren't here, but having a house made it a little easier to leave knowing she might bark since we're not sharing walls with anyone for the first time in a long time. It's kind of ironic because she doesn't like it when we leave, but the majority of the time we've been here, she goes upstairs and sleeps by herself.

In anycase, back to the outing. We had a couple goals in mind...to purchase a bed, mattress, shelf liner (the non-sticky kind!), and some cat supplies. We accomplished all of the above. We found a bed fairly quickly, though not at the first place we stopped. Our first attempt was at a place called "4 Day Mattress". We're not sure why, nor did we ask Woody, our salesman. He was a little shady and gave us deals that only got worse with the more stuff we said we wanted to buy....which seemed a bit backwards. That and he wasn't going to be able to get us our stuff in any less than 2 weeks. Not to mention the fact that he wouldn't really tell us the brandname of the mattress we were looking at...but said, in his opinion, it's the best on the market, even in comparison to brand names. To his credit, though...he REALLY wanted to make a sale.

We ended up going to a place called A Royal Suite...which Adam will tell you I initially thought was somewhat shady looking from the outside, but I felt a lot more at ease once we got inside...and talked to someone who knew what she was talking about...and sold national brand stuff. She also gave us free delivery, sale price, and took off the sales tax, so we ended up getting a pretty good deal....AND...we'll have our bed next Friday.

We also made a stop by the rental office to turn in our observation sheet of things around the house. Adam reminded me a lot of my dad in that endeavor. He made a very detailed list, but also took pictures of every listed item and burned them onto a CD that he dropped off with the list. It was very thorough. Not to sound horribly sappy, but rather to clarify...I am not saying any of this mockingly...I actually very much enjoy the moments that I see my dad in him. It makes me feel more at ease and at home having someone like that with me.

Once we got home from our travels (mostly money spending), we had lunch and did some more shopping online with giftcards (THANK YOU :)) to do some registry completion. I'm excited to get more boxes in the mail soon! Speaking of boxes, we also spent some time unpacking kitchen items, today, too. Adam's been working diligently putting down the shelf liners so we can actually put stuff away. He also started our first load of dishes in our dishwasher (another new concept to both of us). Because I've gotten a few requests for pictures of the house, though it's in no real condition to take them, I decided to journal what it looks like now to tide you over. I hope this suffices for now:

The kitchen after, believe it or not, I started to clean it up and then thought I should take pictures.
The damage in our garage...which is gradually getting smaller.
The living room, for now. We hope to get a different couch...eventually...and like i said, the design of this room is a little odd, so let's just call it a work in progress.


We watched a documentary on bio-engineering of plant genes, tonight, on Hulu. It was fairly gloom and doom in nature, and made me feel horribly guilty for not buying organically and locally...but I'm pretty susceptible to propaganda, at times, too. It did make some convincing arguments, though. Adam's pretty eager to help out local economy when he can, and I like helping out people...so we might try to do more local shopping when we can. I found out there's a farmers market at a local winery on saturdays, so we might go check that out.

One final note...it's now amusing to me to hear my friend and family in the mid-west talk about how hot it is. We have a high of 100-105 this weekend, depending on where you get your info. I learned really quickly how much of a factor humidity plays. It takes a lot more to be miserable when there's no moisture in the air...which I'm glad for...but make it more entertaining to hear that the high 80's and 90's are hot. Enjoy your humidity...that's one thing I DON'T miss!

Peace out!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finally...

This is the first official post with our own internet connection. It's been a long, very productive day. We woke up at about 8 (note: from now own, all times will be in pacific :)) and started cleaning and going through the house. The gas man came at 8:30 (Lacy LOVED that...not). Then we cleaned until 1, when the truck came. It took us about an hour and a half to get everything unloaded. It definitely made us appreciate having so many friends back home that helped us pack...THANKS! (though an hour and a half by ourselves isn't too shabby, if I do say so, myself.) After that, we cleaned a little more and then I got ansy to have our internet set up. Adam set up his computer and dealt with the internet company and I set up the entertainment center, Wii, TV, DVD player, and brought in the bed as my thanks for him doing that :).

The first thing I found out when I got online was about Michael Jackson's death. It's weird...and hard to believe. I'm not devastated...just a little shocked. I guess it was going to happen sometime.

Here's some leftover pictures of the drive. Pictures of the house will be on their way once we get more things set up and have more time.


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Things are going well here, but we miss our friends at home. We'll have our first visitor Sunday. Adam's friend Bob is coming by to have dinner. He lives in L.A., so it's not a HUGE drive, but it'll be good to see a familiar face. I'm a little nervous about how we'll fit into the neighborhood. It seems like everyone has rims on their cars, despite what kind they are. We did see a lot more neighbors out, today, though. We said hi to the family across the street (from our truck across the street) when they came home. I told Adam that once the T.V. and internet were set up it would seem less lonely, and he thought that was weird, but I'm hoping that, once things are more settled in, I'll have more courage to just seek out the neighbors on my own without waiting for us to run into each other.

Lacy and George are doing fine. There's
an alcove by our stairs that George likes to hang out on and feel cool. Lacy seems to be doing better now that we've been in the same place for more than a day. We have gardeners, which means the grass is actually pretty green. I kinda wonder how often they mow. It doesn't seem like you'd have to do that much in the desert...but I guess we do have sprinklers. Too bad we have to pay for that water.

The house is nice. It's a lot nicer than other places we've lived in our single lives, but not completely what we expected. It has a som
ewhat confusing layout and isn't as big as we thought it was from the pictures. The walls are kinda thin and you can hear a lot of outside noise. There's definitely things we would change about it, and even after I said I was never moving again so we'd have to just convince the owner to sell the place to us :-p, I don't think we'd consider buying this house. It's actually a pre-fab, which we didn't know, and there's several in the neighborhood that look very similar. It's nice, though, and we'll make it our home for a while. It's starting to feel more comfortable now that things are getting put into place.

A couple important things I've learned today:
-I HATE self-adhering shelf liner...and it's a pain in the rear to get off.
-It's true that dry heat is far more bearable than the humidity of the mid-west. Don't believe me? Come find out for yourself :).

Well, that's about it for now. We're going to get cleaned up and watch a movie...now that we can actually do that sort of thing. Thanks to everyone who's checked in. It means a lot that you're thinking about us. Feel free to leave comments ;). Talk at ya soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

12:00 P.T. - This February, for Valentine’s Day, Adam gave me a  miniature rose plant…so I could have something that wouldn’t die after 2 weeks that I’d still be able to enjoy, later.  Apparently, roses are hard to maintain, but I did everything that I could to make sure it stayed alive.  It had a couple close calls.  In fact, when we left for the honeymoon, I had pretty much given up on it.  However, when we came back, it had been somehow revived.  Perhaps because it was able to get a bit more sunlight…or maybe I had been watering it too much.  Regardless, it had new leaves and new hope.  I trimmed it down and it seemed to be thriving.  I was excited.  Adam had given up on it a long time ago, but it was a gift from him, so I was determined.

So what does this have to do with our trip to California?  Apparently this rose plant was a threat to the entire states economy and shouldn’t be allowed any further into the state for fear that it would transport the demise of the state of California.  If you couldn’t tell by my tone, I’m a little ticked off.  They took it from me, no questions asked.  I guess I should be glad to know I live in such a superior state, now.  So every time you eat all that delicious produce and food that came from sunny California, you just think about all the helpless, innocent roses that were sacrificed so that you could have it.  Maybe it will make your dining experience that much sweeter.

 ….Now it’s time to wait another 45 minutes until the next sign of civilization so that we can eat lunch.  Peace.


7:00- After what seemed like years of driving, we're at our house.  We've been here for a couple hours, but Adam's been running some errands, so the animals and I have been chilling.  The place is pretty nice.  I took a walk and only saw one neighbor, and he was a couple streets over.  He said hi.  We'll see if I get the nerve to actually try and meet people as the time goes on. Adam's on his way back from Walmart.  We'll probably eat dinner and then clean for a bit.  The truck comes tomorrow, so then we can start unpacking and make this place feel more like a home.  We don't have our internet set up yet, so you'll have to wait a day or two for pictures of the drive and our place.  That's all for tonight.  Peace out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2:55 p.m. (Mountain Time) I’m officially further west than I’ve ever been. I realized earlier that this is only my second one-way trip of my life (and Adam's first)…which is a really weird feeling. I kept thinking things like, maybe we’ll see that on the way back…then realizing we’re not going back. New Mexico has proven to be more challenging driving than the roads of Illinois. Adam doesn’t seem as phased by it (though he did just admit that “this is kind of a scary road” as he was driving), but I don’t like not being able to see where the road is going when you’re going around curves or up mountains. I suppose you get used to it. The scenery has been much more enticing than the Midwestern drives I’m used to. Of course, some of the coolest parts happened while I was driving, but here's some of what I could catch on "film".



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Lacy has been super tired today. George slept most of the time anyway, but we’re pretty sure Lacy hasn’t slept much at all and it’s starting to catch up with her. They both did well at the hotel, last night. Lacy only barked a couple of times. We played the “Dog Ease” CD on repeat to keep her relaxed (thanks Sheila). George doesn’t care wear he is as long as there’s room to lay down, food, and water he can spill all over the place.

Adam hasn’t puked yet, either, thanks to Tums and Dramamine. So far, we’re chocking it up to being car sick, but we’ll see how the rest of the day goes.

7:45 Pacific Time- We made it to Flagstaff. We're tired. That's about it. G'nite.

Sidenotes: Adam made it the whole day without getting sick...and we did actually drive through Winona (how could I forget Winona?! :-p), and stopped in Gallup where we actually drove on Route 66 shortly. I thought about my dad...he would've loved making it the whole way.

Time to get our kicks....

Plans have changed. We decided to go to Flagstaff, Arizona tonight for a couple of reasons. One being there wasn't actually a La Quinta in Lake Havasu and they take pets for free, so we're sticking with them. The other being that our 12 hour trip turned into more like 15 yesterday, so we're shooting to make it to Flagstaff by tomorrow :-p. So we're about to hit the road, again.

In my excitement about going to Flagstaff (purely because I could then sing about the city we were in and the city we were going to) I looked up the lyrics I couldn't quite remember to the fullest:

Well it winds from Chicago to LA
More than two-thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six.

Well it goes through St. Louie down to Missouri
Oklahoma City looks oh so pretty.
You'll see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino.

Won't you get hip to this timely tip
And think you'll take that California trip.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

So, all the cities in red are cities we have or will pass through. We started in St. Louis, passed through Oklahoma City, slept in Amarillo, are gonna pass through Gallup and Kingman, Arizona...and our truck with all our stuff is in San Bernadino. And we didn't even TRY to drive on Route 66. My dad would be so proud.

Now that you have that song stuck in your head, it's time to sign off. Happy travels!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Four States Later....

2:15 P.M. I’m driving and I’m sleepy from eating lunch. (He actually is driving, I’m just the typist.) We left at 8:00. We stopped an got an oil change. Then we drove to Rolla and found Mountain Dew in glass bottles. Then we drove to Springfield, Missouri and had too much to eat for lunch…hence the present state. Illinois should really reconsider the whole 55/65 speed limits on the Interstate. It seems much safer whenever the trucks are not moving roadblocks. I think that’s about it.

Okay, my turn.

Humorous Quote #1: “Goodbye sugar...I was talking to the cookies.” –Adam throwing away cookies so as to avoid his family eating sweets when they’re not supposed to.

We only have 88 miles until our next “turn” which is generally more of a “keep right” or “merge left” type of thing. We’re about to hit our first toll (and by about, I mean in 42 miles), which is $3.50. Lacy hasn’t slept at all in the car, so we’re hoping that will translate into her being really tired once we get to CA. She’s done well, though. She sat quietly in the car during the whole oil change…except when she barked really viciously at the dude (Manager Keith) who was around the car the whole time but she only cared about when he stood in front of it and directed us out of the garage.

George has done all right, too. He doesn’t seem to mind his carrier. Probably because it stays cooler than the rest of the car since it’s dark and insulated by all the stuff around it. He’s only peed in is his carrier once. We tried to get him to go outside, but he seems to think he’s incapable of anything other than army crawling when he’s wearing his harness and leash. We’ll keep trying.


Adam says he really wishes that life was like a video game and you could go to a garage, pay some money, and get a better car. I think that’s about it.

5:50 P.M. So Erin’s been driving and it’s a good thing. I wasn’t feeling wonderful before lunch, and lunch didn’t really settle the stomach any. So, give it a few hours on the Oklahoma Turnpike and I went searching for a plastic bag… I recalled our roadtrip to Dallas for my cousin’s wedding in ’95 when we were driving through Arkansas when I went searching for something with a bottom in it and came away with a cardboard box. The result was messy and required ice water from the coolers to get things cleaned up… Fast forward to half an hour ago, and I must say that my aim has improved drastically. With a laptop on my lap (there is no other place to stow it) I kept about 98% in the bag. Erin did a good job keeping the car on the road without throwing up herself, then we did our best to not “keep our land grand” and threw a shopping bag of Gatorade, water, and vegetables from a Panera sandwich out the window. The ‘pike never saw it coming! Quick stop at McDonalds for a sprite and a trip to the gas station for plastic bags and we’re back on the road.

So, a couple hours down the road and Adam got sick, again. Fortunatly, this time we were a little closer to an exit. I drove the remainder of the 3 or 4 hours, and now we are safely in Amarillo without any further incidents. Adam was very excited to see the trailers for almost 20 NASCAR racecars on the way including Tony Stewart’s and Kasey Kahne’s. At least he had something to keep him happy while he was feeling miserable. It was a huge relief to arrive at La Quinta after so many hours. Even Lacy was having trouble staying awake.
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I took at trip down memory lane singing to Simple Plan, Rocket Summer, Gavin DeGraw, Howie Day, and Bastian to keep me awake. Now, in our second room at the hotel (the first one was very obviously not cleaned yet), we are more than ready to call it a night. This is the first time either of the animals have been in a hotel, so we’ll see how it goes.

Next stop…Lake Havasu, Arizona (although Adam’s having second thoughts about driving that far, tomorrow, so stay tuned.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We Made It To Millstadt...


The former Home Sweet Home...

It's been a fairly intense day. We woke up at 6 a.m. to finish cleaning and packing with enough time to drop off various items at various places before going to church. The combination of Father's Day and leaving Champaign turned out to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. We both had moments that hit us a little harder than we expected them to. After church and lunch with some friends, we went back to pick up Lacy and George (the dog and cat respectively) and hit the road. George only meowed for the first half h
our or 45 minutes or so. Lacy, on the other hand, doesn't know how to relax in the car unless she's had all her energy run out of her...but generally just sits backwards and watches out the back window of the car. I didn't get to do much of anything since we ran out of room and I had to hold the cooler on my lap for today's trip. We dropped some stuff off for Adam's mom, though, so hopefully that won't be the case tomorrow.

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We took a pit stop at a gas station and let Lacy and George out (George was on a harness and leash. He seems to think he's only capable of army crawling when he has his harness on. It's my goal to get him comfortable with it so that he'll go for walks with me so I can be the crazy new neighbor who walks her cat. I'll let you know how that goes.).

We heard tornado warnings broadcast on the radio a couple times on the way down...not too far from where we were at the time, actually. We're pretty sure that the really dark clouds looming in the rearview mirrors were part of the storms that were being broadcast. Adam thought it would be really cool if we saw the tornado and could put the picture up on the "blog-o-sphere." We got pretty lucky and missed the majority of all the bad weather...just some drizzles and wind.

We made it to Millstadt around 6. Besides the shampoo and conditioner that exploded when they fell on Lacy and she stepped on them, everything made it in one piece. We had dinner with the fam, looked at wedding pictures, watched the slideshow...and then Emma and Adam's mom (and as many of the other people that Adam's mom could convince to join in) entertained us by entertaining themselves taking pictures of themselves on my computer.

We're leaving tomorrow morning around 7:30 (in theory). Adam and I are switching off driving every 2 hours and hoping to make it to Amarillo, Texas by tomorrow night. This is gonna be interesting...yawn. And to prove my dedication to keeping this current...I now have collected countless misquito bites from the quest to find wireless to upload the pictures. TTFN.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Saga of the Missing Marriage License...

Back two weeks ago, when we got married, we signed our marriage license. That's usually how those things work. In any case, here's what I remember of that encounter: Ben took the actual license to make things all official...and I remember handing someone the ceremonial one that we keep, along with the application for name change, and asking them to make sure it got with our stuff.

So the day rolls around, after the honeymoon, that I actually have time to go to the Social Security office to get my name changed. Of course, I couldn't find the papers or the ceremonial license anywhere. I looked through all the boxes, gifts, etc. I made the mistake of asking Ben if he knew of it's whereabouts, only to be given deserved crap about losing it after he apparently asked me if I wanted it or if he should hold onto it. I asked Terri and told Adam to ask Erik (the maid of honor and best man respectively) if they knew where it was...'cause they were the only other two people that I remembered being in the room when we signed it. The only deduction that Adam and I came to after neither of them having helpful information was that it HAD to be at church, still.

Now, let me interject that it was only the commemorative certificate in that folder, and that could be easily duplicated if necessary...it just wouldn't be the same...

Thus, I emailed five or six of the church staff begging them to look in the room we signed the license in to see if they could come up with it, but in the meantime, decided that I'd just go to church myself and look for it. While at church, I asked several people, checked the storage room, and asked Brian (the Adult Minister, and the person who heads up after wedding clean up) to no avail. I walked down to the room it was in, and found nothing, but the walk back down the hallway sparked my memory that I DID, in fact, as someone to take care of it...(and to give credit where it's due, Adam suggested calling Jenna (my good friend who acted as Wedding Coordinator), but I swore up and down she wasn't in the room)...

...which she wasn't when I handed her the folder and asked her if she could make sure the guest books and the license got put with my stuff at the reception.

So, I called Jenna...who didn't answer. The next obvious choice was to call Dan, her husband (and also the DJ for the evening, which will be important, later). I dialed the number, and Dan picked up by saying, "Erin, I have your marriage license." We made arrangements to get it back from their home in Nashville, where it ended up. Later I got a phone call from Jenna. She told me that she had written down a bunch of info for Dan to use at the reception...but he decided to use the printed out copy on her clipboard for ease of being able to read it (makes sense). However, her clipboard was also where our license was. The plan was to get it to the reception (check), do the intro of the wedding party (check), and then give the license to my mom (oops :)). It ended up working out fine, though, because I just got another copy of the Social Security papers, and Dan's twin brother Sam got married this evening, so Jenna and Dan could just bring it to us in person without having to bother with mailing it.

Dan even thought ahead and brought it with him earlier this week when he came into town so that they could make sure it got here...and it did. For the first time in 2 weeks, our marriage license (of the commemorative variety, mind you) was in the same state as us.

...but...

Dan forgot to bring it with him to the actual wedding :). Heh. So now, we will reunite with our license once we get to California, after it's journey through our United States Postal Service. Good thing we have quite an adventure of our own ahead of us. It would be a bummer if our license had more travel experiences than we did. :) God speed, license. We'll see you soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

T-Minus 2 Days and counting...

Many of you have called us crazy and said things to the effect of "I can't wait to hear how THAT goes," especially in reference to our cross country trek with the dog and the cat in the car. This seemed like the best way to accomplish the telling of such a tale. I don't know how effectively I'll be able to post of our adventures, but I'd imagine being able to read about the trip will be just as entertaining for you as it will be for us to eventually recount.

Thus far, our week has gone something like this:
We arrived back from our week long honeymoon in Virginia on Sunday evening...only to come back to tons of boxes EVERYWHERE...and unwrap all the presents only to pack them all up into boxes. Our moving truck arrived Monday morning. We spent most of the day packing up our apartments and running errands...but found time to take a break to have dinner with some friends. On Tuesday, we did more packing, rented a U-Haul, and brought all Adam's belongings to my house and onto the truck. Between the Ex-FedEx employee, two engineers, and one other willing friend, the others of us found it easier to watch the packing happen (and all the stuff was packed in less than two hours!) After saying bye to our small group and my mom, we sent our truck off on Wednesday...and slept for most of the day. (Adam realized very quickly that sleeping on a floor was only comfortable when we were younger...sleeping on a floor is really more of an oxymoron than anything). Thursday, we did more cleaning, packing of reminants, and running errands to have my name officially changed to Kuester...(side note: they didn't ask for ANY identification at the Social Security office other than my application and marriage license. I could've sent anyone...which is a little odd). We spent a relaxing evening with some friends to thank them for watching Lacy for us (which as anyone knows is anything BUT relaxing).

It's now Friday...thus far, today, we dropped off clothes at Salt and Light, bought some dog food at PetSmart, returned broken dishes to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, recycled a computer battery, bought some art supplies with a gift certificate I got last September, went to CVS, picked up Adam's contacts, dropped off stuff at Jon's house, went to lunch with some friends, Adam got a massage, Erin borrowed a vacuum, picked stuff up from Jon's house, faxed some papers to BCBSIL, downloaded stuff from Adam's school account, forgot to meet up with Adam's landlord (he didn't care...shocker), and now are about to have dinner with my brother.

And if that wasn't enough...today's drama is brought to you by the moving company's idea of 7-10 business days meaning our truck will arrive in California on Sunday...yes...THIS Sunday. If you're doing the math...that's 2 buisness days....and 3 business days before we had planned on arriving there ourselves.

And to answer everyone's question....no, there will be no kitty or puppy sedatives. We're going au naturel. Could be interesting when Lacy's favorite place to be during a storm is in the bathtub (she generally will bark her brains out unless she has access to one). In case you were wondering, those two things are not really at all related, but I needed a good segue so that I could post this picture :).



There you have it. This weekend will consist of more cleaning, a wedding, church, lunch, and driving to Millstadt for Father's Day. Our official trek to California starts on Monday. Stay tuned.