this and that, updates

Mexico Mission Photos

This post will have to be short as it’s already late and I’ve got a long day tomorrow. In case you haven’t seen them yet, there’s a new album over here with photos from the Mexico mission trip.

I haven’t had much to blog about lately, not because I haven’t been doing things, but rather because I’ve been doing too manyΒ things to really write about them. Life is just plain busy. And between camp and a mission trip and getting ready to move.. well, I’m out of spare time.

Oh. We’re moving again. In September we’ll be heading to San Diego. So we begin the PCS* Chronicles again. All the drama of house hunting and finding a grocery store and other such thrilling things are happening again. I know you’re as excited as I am.

More to follow, I’m sure.

—-

*PCS = Permanent Change of Station, i.e. moving because the military is reassigning J.

updates

Closing time?

I know I’m overdue for a photo post. I’ve been taking them but I haven’t had the time (or attention span) to sit down and upload them to the blog. Maybe today I’ll have the time, since J’s got duty.

Anyway, I’m writing to ask your opinion, few and faithful readers. J and I found out this past week that we will be leaving Hawaii in the fall. I am both excited and sad about it, as we’re going to a great new place and I always enjoy a fresh start, but we’ve made so many good friends here and I do love being able to go outside in shorts year round.

I’ll write more about that later. And I’m sure you’ll hear all the usual military-move-related rants when the time comes. But in the meantime, I have a question–

Should I rename my blog?

My domain name is up for renewal next month, so I have to decide in the next two weeks if I’m going to keep it or change it. Should I make it just be my name? Should I change it to say something about where we’re going? Should I keep it the same? What do you think?

this and that

Hawaiian Birthday

I wish I had remembered to bring my camera with me today to show you some pictures from yesterday. I’ll have to get them up here soon…

Yesterday I spent the day with my cousins who live on the Windward side of the island. We went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, which is a wildlife preserve and state park. There’s a coral reef inside a crater there that’s protected from sharks and overly large fish, and has a wide variety of tropical ocean fish. I need to get an underwater bag for my camera so I can take some photos of them… Anyway, it was a lot of fun and we got some sun, too, which I needed. I’ll have to get my own snorkel gear, though, so I can go again. ^_^

After that, we drove back along the coast and stopped at a natural formation called the Blowhole, which is a place where the volcanic rock is exposed to the waves and the water rushed up through a hole in the rock and spouts like a geyser. Right at the base of the rocks we saw several sea turtles popping up for air and then sinking back below the waves. It was very cool. Apparently it’s a good place to see whales in the winter months as well. I’ll have to go again.

Once we got back to my cousins’ house, their kids decided to bake me a birthday cake, so that provided afternoon entertainment– it was a very cute cake once they were done with it– and then I stayed for dinner. It was a very good birthday, even though J had to be on the ship. I’m sure he and I will do something fun this weekend, though.

Our furniture comes tomorrow, so I’ve been busy trying to get the house ready. I have to clean out the loaner furniture (especially the dresser!) and make sure it’s all ready to go away tomorrow as well. I’m so ready to have my things again, but I’m a little worried about their condition… I guess that since we got here safely, and the cats got here safely, I really shouldn’t worry about anything else, but I can’t help thinking of things like a couple of bottles of nail polish that were in the bathroom… heh. I may be in for a few surprises.

We get internet and cable next Wednesday and I won’t have to make daily treks to Starbucks and Jamba Juice anymore, which will be nice. Plus, I’ll have my own tea kettle back, so that will make everything better. Now all I need is a good tea shop; the tea at the Exchange just isn’t doing it for me.

navy life, updates

New House Walk-Through

We did an unofficial walk-through of the house on Friday so that I could take some photos and make notes of anything that needs fixing or that is not in “perfect” condition so I won’t get blamed for it later. We have an official walk-through with an inspector on Monday (tomorrow!), but as we’re also having the alarm company come, taking delivery of our express shipment and our loaner furniture, moving in the cats and getting Jared ready to go back to work (on Tuesday), I thought it might make things a little easier for everyone involved if I already had a list of things ready to go. Of course, there’s nothing major wrong– just a couple of loose drawers in the kitchen, a scratch on the flooring, things like that– but it helps to tell them in advance. Anyway, I’m going to post a bunch of photos on the photo blog (see the top of the page for links), but thought I’d give you a couple of them here with captions so you know what you’re seeing. ^_^

Continue reading “New House Walk-Through”

navy life

We got a house! Again…

Today we finally got a house. It’s the third one they’ve offered… The second was that cute blue one I posted photos of yesterday, but due to a “computer glitch” they rented that one before we signed paperwork. Anyway, we got a house in the same neighborhood (which is a GOOD thing– I think we’re in one of the better neighborhoods) and almost an identical floor plan. I think they felt bad about the mix up, so they tried to get us as similar a place as possible. Anyway, we have an address, which I’ll be emailing to people soon, and we move in on Monday. I should still be able to take photos on Friday (when we sign the lease) and have them up here Friday evening.

In the meantime, we’ve finally managed to get our car insurance switched to Hawaii and the rates dropped significantly, which is one of the few things that has gone right the first time. Ha. It seems like every time we try to do something, what should be a simple process turns into hoop jumping and back tracking and re-doing things and I’m over it. It’s not just with the Navy, either… Today I decided to go to the pool to unwind and as I walked down, a huge dark cloud rolled over our area. I stubbornly sat there half an hour, but it’s not moving so I came inside.

Tomorrow we’re taking the day off from moving stuff and going to visit some of my local family and do some hiking. I’m ready for a break. Hopefully there will be some pretty pictures tomorrow night, though. ^_^

navy life, updates

We got a house!

Yesterday was VERY productive! J checked in with his command the afternoon we got here to start our TLA (temporary living allowance) but had to do all the paperwork yesterday morning, so I stayed here with the kitties while he did that.

His sponsor brought him back and they took me to lunch with them, then we went to the car shipping people and got our car. It’s awesome having our own transportation!

Next stop was the housing/personal property office, where we went to sign up for a waitlist for Navy housing. We’d explored various options and with the high cost of living here, it makes the most sense financially to live in Navy housing. It’s technically “base housing,” but is all run through civilian contractors. We made friends with the woman helping us (whose husband is getting transferred to Chesapeake– go figure!) and had her laughing so hard at us that she was crying. Just because I was doing a dramatic reading of the paperwork… hehe. Anyway, she showed us where all of the Navy neighborhoods are and they’re slam-up beside the base. Not that base isn’t pretty… but it’s just plain crowded here. I feel hemmed-in, so to speak. I asked if there wasn’t anything just a little further out of town…

…and she told me that they just had the blessing ceremony on a brand new area Thursday called Hele Mai. She thought there might be 3 or 4 houses left in the area, and sent us over to the housing people to ask. There was only one left by the time we walked across the office, so we pounced on it. Normally I would never take a place sight-unseen, but…

Good stuff: The house is brand new, with brand new appliances, and we’ll be the first to live in it. The floor plan in two stories and upgrades us from a two bedroom, one bath to a three bedroom, two and a half bath. Awesome, right? It’s also in a gated community and has a little fenced in yard with a patio for our grill and is beside the neighborhood park. Inside the community they have a gym, bowling ally, tennis and basketball courts and mini mart, all within walking distance.

The bad stuff? Well, the only down side anyone could tell me was that we’d have an “awfully long commute to base.” When I asked for specifics on this awful commute, I was told “40 to 45 minutes with bad traffic.”

Yeah. Around here 40 minutes is an awful commute. And if we can manage that terrible drive, then we get to live in a beautiful area that’s near the Dole Plantation and out of the congestion of the city. Please tell me where the negative is!

Anyway, we’re driving up there today to judge the distance ourselves and to check out the community. The town is Wahiawa, if you want to look at it on Google maps. ^_^

I’m going to go get breakfast and start getting ready for the day. So excited!

navy life

Welcome to Hawai’i

Well, we made it. We’re in Honolulu at a Best Western near the Navy base. And the best news: We have the kitties!

The trip yesterday was long and exhausting. We had to be at the airport at 4am to drop off the cats for their 6am flight, then we boarded at 6:30 and arrive in HI around 7:30pm Eastern time.

First impressions? The base is much prettier than the one in Virginia. Hands down, it’s the prettiest Navy base I’ve seen yet. There are flowers everywhere and the water (as we flew in yesterday) looks gorgeous. It’s hard to say much more than that, though, because everything is very… crowded. Congested, I guess. The hotel is near the base and the airport. Everything is “near” everything else because it’s all crammed into one area, along with all the people, and it’s hard to see anything really. I guess it’ll get better after we get our car…

Anyway, that’s about it. No photos yet, but I’ll get them up as I can.

OH! We definitely saw the Grand Canyon yesterday as we flew over the country. Way cool.

Call me if you wish, but remember that I am now six hours behind Eastern time. ^_^

navy life, updates

Carolina in my mind

Well, we made it to NC with minimal mishap and are finally starting to get rested and back into some semblance of normalcy. Of course, we’re living in my parents’ house and the cats are confined to the upstairs bedroom (where they’re fighting a lot with each other…) and we only have one car, but at least we’re not juggling movers and my job and a broken car. *whew*

Today we sent off the paperwork for the cats’ importation. FedEx guarantees it’ll be there tomorrow by 5pm Honolulu time. Amazing! It’s good to know they can do that, in case I ever need something quickly from back here. Anyway, it was a little bit nerve-wracking and a whole lot exciting to get it sent, and we paid the extra money to require a signature on the other end just to make sure a real person takes it.

This weekend we’re going to Chapel Hill to visit my brother and hopefully catch the football game. I’m looking forward to it. I didn’t expect to go to another game, but with the extension, we actually have time.

I’m sorry if you haven’t heard from me recently, by the way… (NM– I got your message, but haven’t had a chance to call back yet.) We don’t have much cell phone coverage to speak of at my folks’ place, and when we’re out, we’re usually with other people. Don’t give up on me, please! If you’re local and haven’t heard from me, give me a call and remind me. Really. I’m just too scattered lately to hold onto anything for very long.

navy life

Marathon day: check!

Today was the first real marathon day I’ve had in a long time. It got to the point where I had to write myself a schedule… That’s just a little bit sad.

I will say, however, that we did manage to ship the car today, which is a huge accomplishment. I was starting to feel like the car was not ever going to leave, what with the other car breaking and then breaking again (we had a relapse on Monday of the overheating thing about 3 blocks from the car shipping place and had to get the car towed home again), being out of town, having a dozen other things to do first, etc. The best part is that we even lost the shipping paperwork for it. We had the paperwork when we first tried to ship the car last Friday, we had it when we tried again on Monday, and couldn’t find it anywhere today. We spent a good hour looking before finally giving up and getting new paperwork.

My throat is sore and I am exhausted, but the goal now is to get a good night’s sleep and then go play tomorrow. We’re going to head to Busch Gardens for a last hurrah and then maybe have dinner at Colonial Williamsburg in one of the taverns. Should be nice.

Welcome to my new readers. ^_^

Continue reading “Marathon day: check!”

navy life

Swapping Rooms…

We are at T-minus 6 days until movers arrive.

J got his separation paperwork from C-school today and is officially a coded welder. Yay for that.

Once he got home from school today, we went and picked up a cargo van from the rental place and are waiting on a friend to come over and help us get everything downstairs (all 49 of them…) and into the van. I’m swapping dressers with my old room at my parents’ house, as well as getting my old headboard and my dining room table (that currently lives under the bed in my old room) and maybe a bedside table. Basically we’re getting a whole new bedroom set.

The kitties are also going down to stay with my parents for the next month. We arrive in HI in about 30 days, so I’m about to start filing all of their paperwork as well… should be interesting, to say the least. I have to get all their stuff sent overnight with return-receipt and then still get them a valid health certificate. Yikes.

Well, my little break is over. Time to start loading the van…