We spent another great evening with our friends Donnell and Michele. We met at our favorite Thai Restaurant and had a wonderful dinner. I’m already looking forward to our next visit. The more we’re around them the closer we get and the more laughs we have. They have already moved away from the hotel but we’re so happy they called yesterday to set up our date for last evening. We’ve exchanged numbers and we will definitely be doing this again.

They have been approved for their loan and should be closing on their house this week. Michele was telling us everything that needs to be done like rip up the pink carpet and paint over the very pink walls and on and on. But she’s already talking about fixing dinner for us one evening in the future. What FUN!

Taking Care Of Business

I’m taking care of more business today like the yucky stuff that needs to get done when one moves out of state. Today I’ve already:

  • Changed our car insurance – Do you realize we save over $300.00 per six months on our insurance premium. I was thrilled! (That’s another reason why we love driving here so much, there is NO traffic and we are so in love with that. And the perk is, we get to see that great deduction in our car insurance because of that!)
  • Called the DMV to see what we need to bring for our vehicle registrations and drivers license.
  • Spent who knows how long on hold
  • Called more people than I can remember
  • Finally got all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed
  • And once the insurance information is available on-line, I’ll be over there with my proof of insurance and all the other stuff I need to finalize what I started out to do.

I’ve had quite a full week and we’re getting settled in by the minute. It’s funny that now we feel like this hotel is home as we refer to it as home all the time now. This coming Sunday marks our 5th week here and before too long our vehicles and we will officially be residents here too!

A Summary Of The Last Couple Days

The last couple days were filled shopping, house hunting, errands and whatnot. Tonight we arranged to go out with our friends Donnell and Michele again and we truly had such a wonderful evening. We met at our favorite Japanese restaurant and enjoyed the entire evening.

Donnell and Michele will be checking out of the hotel next Saturday and I know we are going to miss seeing them around. We’re going to swap numbers so that we can continue running into them long after we’re out of here. It’s been pretty amazing meeting new friends along the way and we know there are more friendships to come.

Royal Treatment

I’ve been getting the royal treatment from Jennifer from the day we arrived here at our new destination. I can’t begin to express what a wonderful day I had with Jennifer and her friend Jill who I just met this morning. Jennifer invited me to join them in Old Historic Downtown for some fun shopping and lunch.

We strolled down the streets and shopped in the old-fashioned shops where lots of goodies did abound. We also visited some wonderful galleries where many different kinds of art were so beautifully displayed. We also visited a wonderful gallery where two gentlemen were painting and they were so gracious to allow me to take their pictures.

My New Set

Everything about this day utters perfection – From the beautiful sweater weather and the warmth and coziness of quaint little shops to the wonderful autumn aroma that filled the air and the best company topped it off. There’s something about autumn that beckons a hint of pumpkin, cinnamon and spice mixed with a blend of cooler weather and today was just what the Dr. ordered.

More Shopping

This week has been moving right along. Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day at the mall. I have many clothes to buy more like winter clothes. I’ve been hanging out in my short sleeves from the moment we arrived but we can definitely feel a wonderful change in the air.

I’m off house hunting again this afternoon. Our new Realtor has some goodies to show and I can’t wait. But before my little trip, Hubby asked if I would like to meet with him for lunch today and that sounds like a wonderful plan.

Magic Goes To Sleep

We had to put our kitty to sleep this weekend; it was time for poor Magic to rest. We remembered all the good times we’ve had over the years but we still had a very sad Saturday morning. But we had such a wonderful day together remembering kitty.

We’ve decided to wait until everything settles before we think about getting another pet. But every time a commercial comes on with kitties, Hubby and I look at each other and smile.

The Places We Go, The People We Meet

The friends we meet along the way are truly amazing. After spending 3 weeks in a hotel, you sort of separate the old timers from the people who are on ‘vacation’. So far we’ve made friends with many couples who are not vacationing but each have their own circumstances that brought them to this hotel.

I’ll start with Donnell and Michele, they are such a warm fun couple to see each morning at breakfast and after seeing them a while we asked if they were vacationing. Come to find out, both Donnell and Michele are transferring here like us. Tonight we so happened to bump into them on our way out to dinner and we asked if they would like to join us. They agreed and what a wonderful evening we all had. Donnell is soft spoken mixed with a twist of humor and Michele seems just a little more outspoken. We spent several hours with them this evening and what a delightful night we had. We’ve already made plans to have another date with them next weekend for dinner. I’m so glad we met that cute couple.

Then there is Derrick and Lora who we’ve seen day in and day out from the time we arrived. They are such a darling couple with the cutest, well mannered little boys. They have just transferred here from Ontario Canada. This morning when I was at breakfast, Lora and I visited for over an hour. Her cute little guys are around 3 and 5 and they both have taken quite a liking to me. They were both asking for my help with juice or water or something and I was so delighted to give them a hand. At one point the littlest one was right by my side resting on my lap as though I were his mom. Oh, he won my heart over this morning.

Bob, he’s our 85 year old friend. He so proudly told me his age the other morning and he and his wife have been here since May. A huge tree fell onto their home and has done some pretty serious damage to their house and they will be here until their home is back in living conditions. I’ve never met Bob’s wife as she never comes down to breakfast with her groom. She’s quite sickly and has been in and out of the hospital on and off all summer.

And then the cute little couple (who I would say are well into their 70’s) we’ve seen from day one. All I can remember is the gal’s name and her name is Rosalie. They just told us that they are here due to a fire destroying their home. It was so sad to hear her tell us all about their home and how everything was destroyed. They were in the home when the fire started but did not realize that a major fire was already underway until it was too late. The only things that made it were the precious couple and the clothes on their backs. To be exact, she told me all she had on was her night gown and that’s it. She says her husband is the one who keeps her upbeat during this traumatic experience as he says “We’re not taking anything when we leave this world and the funny thing is, we outlasted all of our worldly possessions”. Through all of this they have managed to be the happiest little couple and she always has that pretty bright smile through it all.

Kathy, she and I struck up conversation this morning and seemed to talk the early morning away. When she asked what I was going to do on this gorgeous day, I responded, I think I’ll do a little scrapbooking, some errands and whatnot. She found that interesting and went on to tell me how she’s an artist and has some of her work in a gallery downtown. We bonded immediately and our conversation was like a river flowing from that moment on. She said “for some reason, I knew I should get to know you”. She told me about ~ Gallery Night which means they have Gallery Night every first Friday of the month and she’s invited me to come by her place this coming October for the Gallery Night.

We’ve grown to have a soft spot in our hearts for the people we rub shoulders with day in and day out. And I know we’ve already met people that we will definitely see after we part ways from here.

Time Waits For No One

I’m one who enjoys having plenty of time to get ready no matter what it is I’m up to. I give myself 45 min to an hour depending on where I’m going so that I don’t have to rush around or forget to do anything before I’m out the door.

Well, I had an appointment with my Realtor to pick me up here at the hotel at 12:00 sharp. I got up and leisurely meandered down to breakfast around 9:30 this morning. After breakfast I came back up to my room and started in on the computer for a while. I kept checking the time at the lower right of my screen thinking I had all the time in the world and planned to start getting ready by around 11:00.

The next thing I knew, it was 10:30 and reached for my cell phone to make a quick call. Hm, my cell phone registered 11:30 AM, what’s up! I looked around at the alarm clock and clock on the TV and both were blaring out 11:30 AM! I don’t know what is going on with my computer as I’ve already changed the time in there but for some reason it decided to revert back to Central Standard Time. Hubby’s going to have to figure that out as I’ve already done it once and thought it did the trick.

This was one of those rare occasions where I had to get ready in a flash. Took a quick shower, quickly dried my hair and pretty much quick, quick, quick everything. All the while trying to remember everything I wanted to have with me!

Well I had just enough time to get ready and by the time I reached the landing, the clock was striking 12:00 noon and I saw my Realtor pull in. I had everything I needed in hand and was out of here on time. I just hate that frazzled feeling but I managed.

The house hunt went pretty well and there are 4 homes that I want Hubby to see this weekend. I’m not so sure what he’s going to think so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

The Good And The Bad ~ The Bad First

Yesterday’s plans were canceled due to my need to stay in bed all day. I guess you could say I was blessed with a very good dose of food poisoning from dinner Monday evening. I woke early Tuesday morning sometime around 3:00 AM feeling ever so sick and stayed in bed until 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Due to all that sleep, I was concerned if I would get any sleep last night but by nightfall I was completely exhausted and ready for sleep.

Today dawned and I felt like a brand new person, it’s amazing just how great I felt and was reminded to never take my good health for granted. I had plans to meet my friend Jennifer at the local Starbucks where we began our morning. Then she proceeded to be my Realtor for the entire morning and breaking for a nice lunch afterward. My new and improved Realtor Jennifer took me by some fabulous places for sale and I plan to take Hubby for a gander when he gets home! Then we continued on to a couple pottery galleries in the area and that is when I began to feel just a little bit closer to my passion for pottery. And to my surprise she introduced me to this fabulous place called where I can spend as much time as I want at that studio for just a minimal fee. I’ll say Jennifer is the best Realtor and tour guide I could have ever asked for! And the best part ~ I had such a great time visiting with her!

A Hunt For A Home Is On

I’m not so sure pottery is the thing I’ll be into after all this week. Hubby and I are beginning to feel a bit stir crazy, longing for a place to call home. We’ve entertained the thought of building but right now a place to call home is winning. When we started house hunting, we had a list of things we wanted in our next home. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of property for sale in this area to begin with so we had to reluctantly skim some of our wishes off the list. The one requirement we have is that our basement be a walk out so that I can use it as my studio. It is also required so that we can easily transfer a thousand pounds of clay without doing stairs. I was in contact with our Realtor this weekend and she’s getting ready to take me house hunting this week. So, as the Realtor says, we’re starting all over from scratch. Hubby leaves for Boston today and will be back Thursday night. Maybe I’ll have something exciting to show him when he gets home.

A Day In The Scrapbook Factory

I spent a good portion of the day fooling around in the scrapbook factory. I put together a couple pages from my trip to the beach this past summer. I used two pictures merging them into one. There was a lot of cropping done in order to fit these together to make up one picture. I used some of the techniques I learned in graphic art design to pull these together as well.

Two Pictures In One

The orange umbrella was an accent I threw in for the fun of it.

These two pictures were used to create the picture above.

The Hunt For Shoes Is Over

I finally found a pair that not only fit just right but they are oh so comfy too! And on top of all that they were 40% off making the deal even sweeter.

Sometimes I have difficulty finding comfy shoes. I have a really wide foot limiting the shoes that I can actually try on. And then sometimes when I get the perfect fit width wise, I have trouble with my heal slipping like I’m in a flip flop. Not the idea I have in mind when wearing a shoe, so I pursue until I get it right. I was beginning to think my shopping efforts were going to drag on into next week. But I’m so glad I can cross that off the list and get on with some other things.

The plan for next week is to discover that pottery studio and I’m so thankful I thought to pack all my favorite tools so that I can play dirty.

Still Looking For Shoes

I still haven’t found a pair of shoes so I’ll continue to explore today. When I packed, I didn’t think about packing any closed shoes for myself. All I packed were sandals and flip flops. Mind you, we left TX when it was 102 degrees and I was no where near thinking about covering my feet. And it’s already half that here at night time. So in my quest to locate a pair of shoes, I was completely caught off guard when my eyes caught a glimpse of boots ~ just that in itself was enthralling, how often does one stumble upon such a thing when coming from my neck of the woods? I found myself lagging considerably behind as I meandered through the many different styles of boots. Every square inch of the shelves boasted of nothing but cute looking boots (alright, not every single square inch). For one thing, I’m not used to seeing boots and another thing, I have a hankering for a pair. I’ve tried on at least 10 pair thus far when I should be trying on shoes. The boots have definitely contributed to me not finding a pair of shoes. Yup, they’ve been a distraction ever since I started my pursuit.

I’ll have to say, my shopping spree was dedicated to finding shoes. But there have been some other distractions along the way. The other day when I met Jennifer on the sidewalk, she pointed me in the direction of another shoe store in another plaza just down the road from where we were. Well, Home Goods so happened to be in that same plaza and I got caught up in there for who knows how long. All the pretty fall decorations were displayed so nicely and I got lost in the array of autumn color. Silently I wished I had a home for some of those pretties and at that moment I felt sort of homeless. True, I could decorate the hotel room but I do not wish to start a buying frenzy having more stuff to box and carry out of here. Now the plan is to stick to purchasing the things I really need for the time being. Let’s see if I can come home with a pair of shoes today, preferably the closed toe and heal kind and no I don’t need boots yet! (Talking to myself again.)

Remember When

The days seem not that long ago when we were children heading out for that first day of school. Yesterday I was reminded of those days while out shopping for some shoes and other goodies. There were children and parents out doing that last minute shopping and the little lads and lassies were out flaunting their new duds and backpacks. The crazy thing was, I ran right smack dab into Jennifer and Little Chic on the sidewalk and was so shocked to see them.

The picture below is my very first recollection of Jennifer and me. Jennifer is in the orange and I’m in the red. Back in the day, Jennifer was a wee second grader and I was a wee third grader. Just in case you don’t know the math, that was 31 years ago! We were in a school program… and who knew all those years ago that we would be bumping into each other way up here in NY. I think this is pretty cool!

Luggage Goodies And Whatnot

I never got around to elaborating on our travels but we ended up bringing well over 300 pounds of luggage I would venture to say upwards of 350 pounds! I thought of everything from hangars, to our digital bathroom scale, to the important papers we needed and everything in between. We ended up with a total of 5 check bags and 4 carry-on’s.

Every single piece of check baggage was carefully weighed on our handy dandy digital scale so that we wouldn’t be over the weight limit of 50 pounds per check bag. There was one bag that weighed exactly 50 pounds and I mean EXACTLY 50 pounds at home. When the gal at the airport was ready to take that bag, Bob informed her saying “this bag is exactly 50 pounds.” She rather gave him a funny look, took the bag and the bag was exactly 50 pounds on the scale at the airport. It was not 50.2 pounds, I’m talkin’ no points, just 50 point zero pounds EXACTLY! (insert a HUGE PRAISE and a sigh!) I was just a wee bit concerned about that bag as that was the heaviest one. All the other bags were a mere 49 point something pounds each. It was an enormous relief that all the bags passed the scale test and I was amazed that both my scale and the scale at the airport were exactly the same.

The gentleman right in front of us in line had gone over the weight limit by 15 pounds and was charged $50.00! He argued with the gal checking his bag and she firmly said “Sir, you can either take out 15 pounds or pay the $50.00” he said in a gruff tone “just charge it”. You can imagine how jittery I was after that ordeal.

When we arrived into Binghamton, a gentleman right next to us, after seeing our luggage said “Are you guys going to be gone a month or something?” We said yes, we just moved up here.

We shocked ourselves with the amount of luggage we brought because we’ve learned to travel light. I normally pack just one carry on for the two of us if we’re going to be gone a week (that’s if it’s summertime). That’s it, we don’t fuss around with check bags and what have you. So for us to have such an entourage of luggage ended up being a puzzle loading all that stuff into the rental car. We made it home with our luggage and I had it all unpacked and put away by the very next day. The bags are now stowed away upstairs in the other bedroom and we are all settled in.

For the upsetting part, I lost my camera while whirling around all that stuff in Texas. I totally misplaced it and came to grips that I accidentally packed it somewhere. It wasn’t until I started unpacking up here in Binghamton that I found it safely tucked away in my carryon! (Sigh)

Our cars arrived yesterday! And to think just two days ago they told us we would not receive the truck until this Friday. I’ll tell ya, I felt like ‘Queen Bee’ back at the wheel of my old familiar truck. It was truly like a piece of home delivered to our hotel doorstep! And my face lit up so bright to see my set of wheels outside!

Bobby has not driven since he got home from work Friday evening. He’s made me drive everywhere this weekend so that I would get acclimated to the area. I’m so glad he thought of that and directions are starting to sink in. I’ll be ready to hit the road no problem and I have plans for the mall today.

We received our computers Friday afternoon and Bobby so diligently set up my computer that evening. I brought my tape dispenser, scissors, pens, little stapler and a few other desk items.

My Little Office

Bobby was so nice to give me our bedroom desk area downstairs and he’s taken over the bedroom desk upstairs for his computer/office area. I think he knows I got the better end of the deal but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bobby’s Office

We’re settled into our little nest and beginning to call this home. After all, we’ll be here for quite a while, so why not make ourselves ta home in our hotel.