Monday, November 28, 2005

1003.4 Miles Later...

Yes, I'm home from the Big Move South. I'm not weeping too much, too often. Although I have spoken on the phone with my daughter 3 times so far. She's gonna start screening my calls... (Oh, btw, ignore the date on that picture - at some point the batteries died and the camera re-set itself to the factory default date. I've yet to fix that, as you can see.)

It's been a real comedy of errors - Dawno style.

We were supposed to head south on Saturday but it got moved to Sunday due to SailorBeau having a family. I *told* my daughter to consider an orphan boyfriend - fewer of those pesky relatives to get involved with...but no, don't listen to Mom.

It took us from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to reach the South Bay of Los Angeles from the SF Bay - my Dad just moved down there (my sister is about three blocks away and my brother is down the road a bit - they live pretty close to the airport, so in the future, I may rack up some Southwest Airline miles rather than drive) and I said we'd stop by briefly on the way. That's actually really good time for a 12' rental truck full of furniture. Our visit lasted about an hour. Dad's new digs are lovely. It's weird to see all his and Mom's furniture in a new place, but it looks very homey.

We left Dad's at about 2 - got to San Diego at 4:30 - again, excellent time - no real traffic at all on this trip, and I was so worried about L.A. We hit a slow patch just past Six Flags Magic Mountain (which wasn't open so that's not why it was slow). My daughter had bought walkie talkies so we could stay in touch on the road and there was much chatter about passing trucks and taking pit stops. They were a good purchase. I had trouble with changing channels and at one point I think the batteries died so I put in new ones I had bought at a truck stop for about 5000% above normal retail cost. They really gouge you at those places. Gas was 10 to 20 cents a gallon more than I was paying at home.

So, we've made it to San Diego and we all flop on the couch, exhausted. We decide to have dinner before we try to move all the stuff in - even though it's getting late and it means they'll have to move stuff in the dark. I order a "Giant Pizza" for the kids at their request. Giant is no exaggeration. If it had been two inches wider in diameter it wouldn't have fit through the door while being held parallel with the floor - seriously, there was barely any clearance. For reference, my daughter, holding the box, is 5'4".

After dinner, my daughter's SailorBeau and his friend carried up a ten gazillion ton steel framed queen sized sofa bed up a flight of rickety wooden stairs under my supervision with many helpful suggestions and a bit of lifting support. Fortunately they didn't have a major incident which would have crushed someone - I had visions of Navy Med-evac helicopters. Both my daughter and I also, I'm proud to say, managed not to yell "Pivot! Pivvvv-ot!" even once. (If you didn't watch Friends religiously you might not get that reference - season 5 "The One with A Cop")

Everything made it through the trip safely into the apartment except for my daughter's favorite Cheshire Cat mug from Disneyland that I broke getting it out of my car, where she had put it for 'safekeeping.' That was the beginning of my bad luck streak.

First bad luck: I had asked, when we rented the moving truck, if we returned the truck lafter business hours, would there be a way to park and drop of keys. Gal in NorCal who rented us truck said, yes, just park in the lot and drop keys thru door. Got to drop off place around 8:30 pm Sunday. It was behind 10 foot, barbed wire topped, double chained and padlocked gates. No place to leave the truck or keys. Area is within walking distance of Petco Park (formerly Jack Murphy park, were the Padres play baseball) - Not a great area to just leave the truck on the street, besides which, where would we put the keys? We call Penske - they say to SailorBeau "Your contract says you were going to drop it off on the 26th." I have a copy of my online reservation form - where I said 27th. See:

The gal in NorCal was a stone moron - but I didn't double check that she had the dates right, she was working off of the online reservation, I thought. I was so tired of waiting for the hour it took her to figure out how to rent us a truck that when she finally finished I was giddy with relief. She did an 'inspection' and missed the fact that someone had gouged a hole in the driver's side door in an attempt to break in - and SailorBeau told me about it while we were still up north, so I believe it came to us damaged. Thank goodness I bought the insurance that covered that. The guy at the San Diego store said I would have had to pay quite a bit, otherwise.

Back to the phone call with the SD Penske folk, SailorBeau is a charmer, I bet he's part Irish. He tells the guy he's in the Navy, new in town, the gal in NorCal was mistaken with the days. The guy on the phone says if we turn it in tomorrow before 11 we might get the fee for 1 day waived and for sure not have to pay for 2. We took in the online confirmation printout hoping to get both days fees waived but that's later.

Second Bad luck: Get to my hotel. Pull out hotel confirmation paperwork - apparently I was dazed by over-endulging in turkey and AppleThing on Thanksgiving night, the night in which, at 9 p.m. in NorCal, I went online and reserved my room in San Diego - either without changing the default dates on the online reservation calendar or did change them and there was a system glitch. I'm not betting heavily on the system glitch.

Anyway, because I was a no show on Thanksgiving night - a night I was blissfully playing Clue with my SO, daughter and her SailorBeau, and unaware that I was supposed to be sleeping in a hotel room in San Diego, I get charged for the room. Here's photo evidence of the Clue game. Too bad the date is wrong, huh?

I give the front clerk my sob story, she brings out the night supervisor. The hotel is only 14% booked tonite, no prob getting a room. She'll talk to the main manager and see if she can work anything out about the extra night's charge or reducing my rate for tonite. I will show the manager the print out that says I reserved it at 9 pm Thanksgiving night and maybe they'll add it all up and take pity.

Misc little bad luck-ettes: Broke 4 fingernails and banged up my left hand enough to get out the Band-aids. Later after the check in crisis, I get to my room and there's a guy sitting in there watching tv. He's got several phones with him. Apparently he is going around fixing the programming on the phones and was waiting on a call back on my room phone to see if he got it right. If the phone doesn't work, I'm supposed to call I'll just holler down 11 floors to the lobby. Good thing Embassy Suites is built around an open central atrium - the lobby would actually hear me if I did yell. Anyway, he was nice and left quickly. That wasn't so much bad luck as just weird.

I decide to go online. I try the wireless access portal stuff several times. Finally I call down to the desk - uh, how did you spell my name when I registered? (the portal requires that your name match the hotel system's record) My name has a capital O'B at the start of it...they spelt it with a capital O, no apostrophe and a small b. I try this - I'm in. I post something much like this blog post on AW. (I'm copy/pasting and editing from that post - yeah,I'm lazy, so?) Then I go to bed.

Next morning I get up much earlier than I thought I would, having awakened the previous day at 4 am and not gotten to bed until 11 pm. I take my time, go online for a bit, get dressed and grab some breakfast then go down to the desk and ask about the no show charges - I give the nice fellow the print out and point out the date at the top that shows I made the reservation at 9pm Thanksgiving night. The day guy goes to the back room for a bit. He comes out and hands me a biz card. He says they'll remove the no-show charge, if it shows up on my bill just call the guy on the card and he'll take care of it. Cool. I must have earned some good Karma somehow. Now it's time to see if the Penske thing works out as well.

I had gotten directions on how to get to the hotel from the kid's place although I didn't use them due to the whole truck thing. Instead of dropping the truck and giving the kids a ride home I just drove to the hotel and they drove the truck back to their place. I look at the directions and start following them from the bottom up. It's 9 am on Monday and I'm driving through downtown - where's the traffic jam? I think I love San Diego. I'm out of downtown and figure I'm getting close so I start looking carefully for Fern St. which is supposed to cross the street I'm on. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that Fern turns into 30th somewhere over there, and I'm driving, driving, driving looking for Fern. I get to 47th street and with a lovely view of everything east of San Diego in front of me, that I can't remember ever seeing before, I figure I've missed my turn - clever, huh? I call SailorBeau (my daughter has serious difficulty with directions so I know not to call her) SailorBeau reminds me that Fern turns into 30th. Oops, gotta go back 17 blocks. No Prob. I find the place, we caravan back to Penske. By the way, it's about 70 degrees and sunny at 9:15 am. Did I mention I love San Diego?

Guy at Penske is wonderful. All extra charges are to be waived - he makes us listen to some stern advice about double-checking, calling the service # etc. but it's worth saving $100 to listen. I'd listen to him evangelize at me about a snake-handling cult for $100. He goes and inspects the truck and tells me about the damage I mentioned above and tells me what a good girl I was to buy the insurance. Yes, I am so glad I did that, can I kiss your ring? I'm near bankruptcy with all the stuff I'm paying for to help the kids, I didn't want to pay for a new door on that truck. When I do go under the kids get to take turns taking care of me. I'll spend the winters in San Diego.

I drive the kids home, hug and kiss and threaten ("You take care of my little girl SailorBeau or you will get no rest before AND after you die hideously...")and I drive back to the hotel to pack up and check out.

The rest of the trip home - fodder for another post!


Frank Baron said...

Holey moley Dawn, that was a busy weekend!

Glad folks were kind and saved you a few bucks. Shame about the mug though. And the fingernails. But then again, fingernails can grow back...that poor mug sounds like it's toast.

Glad you're back safe n' sound. :)

Mac said...

Glad you're home. :) We missed ya!

Jill said...

Dawno - that is one heck of a post! And four fingernails?? BUMMER!

So - how ya feeling now, is the question?? :(

Dawno said...

Yeah, this was a long one. More of a 'save for posterity' post - hope you all will forgive me for that once in a while.

The good news about the mug - that picture of it was from the website that I found a replacement at - ordered it for my daughter and am hoping it shows up in time for Christmas.

Had to trim off all my nails since I hate it when they're uneven. The upside is I type better and faster when they're short. Yes, I always look for the silver lining.

Frank, those kind folk helped renew my faith in humanity. Now we'll see if the charges actually *don't* show up on the bill...

I'm nearly recovered from the trip...I haven't had much energy the last couple days...and my brain is full of fluff, so I haven't been able to think of a thing to write about. I'm hoping this weekend will be the turnaround point and I'll be back to normal (well, for the Dawno value of normalcy).

You guys are wonderful to keep coming back and reading my blather! Thanks.

emeraldcite said...

Glad the trip turned out okay in the end. There is never an uneventful move.

Happy to see you back and in one sparkly piece.

PS. Tag. Check out my blog! You've got a meme to do. Even if you've done it before. I'm calling you out, Dawno.

Tish G. said...

Hi Dawn...

well, since you haven't posted since monday, you must've spent the week in recovery!

moving is hard work, no matter who's making the move, how far, or where. I hate moving. The next time I have to move, I'm geting movers. This old 44 year old bod just cant' lift those boxes the way I did when I was in my 20's (not to mentin that I have twice as many boxes now...)


Joanne D. Kiggins said...

We missed you, Dawn. What a trip! I felt like I was reading it all in one breath. ;)

Cookie said...

Okay, I'm tired from just reading that.

Dawno said...

Cookie!! Thanks for dropping by. Hope you come around more often - I promise I won't post many of these War and Peace length posts.