I am back from my weekend trip to FL.
My plane left at 6:45 Friday and I got to Jacksonville about 10:30. I grabbed the rental car and headed out to the realtor. She gave me a map, some directions, and info on 4 complexes. (If I didn’t like any of the 4, she said they were open Saturday and I could come back for more prospects.)
I only got semi-lost once, and that was mostly because the map wasn’t the greatest. (I needed to make a right on a service road just past the light, rather than at the light.) I got to the first place just as a rain storm blew up. Obviously, the leasing agent couldn’t take me out to show me their apartments because of the storm, so after getting some info from her, I left to find lunch. (I had seen a CiCi’s Pizza on my way there and decided to brave the children.) This is when I got my first indication that FL is a whole new world from DC – I stepped in a pot hole in the parking lot and the water in the pot hole was warm. (Since there was a vet clinic in the same strip mall, at first I thought the hole was filled with something other than water…) Just after getting inside, I got my second indication of change – the rain stopped and the sun came back out. (By the time I finished lunch, the parking lot was dry.)
After lunch, I went back to the apartment complex I had just been at and got to see one of their apartments. Liking what I saw, I decided this place would work fine, but I still wanted to check out the other 3.
Another one was just down the road, so I went there next. Sadly, this place didn’t have any 1 bedroom apartments to show. I liked the floorplan and the community was nice, but not being able to actually see the place worried me. Turned out that was fine, as I found out the next day that the company that owns that place does not allow Sheppard mixes in their apartments. (Valkyrie is more golden retriever than German Sheppard, but she is clearly part GSD when you look at her face.)
Wanting a break, I checked into a hotel to veg for a few hours. I left about 5 to check out the third place. (The last one – which I strongly doubted I would want – I had decided to save for Saturday.) Third “you aren’t in DC any more” moment – it was rush hour, I was driving on a main road, and traffic was moving very well. This place was nice, but more expensive and farther from the school. They also only had 1 1-BR left and I knew 2 other people had just been in looking at it. They also do not have washer/dryer in the apartment (just hook-ups), though you can rent a W/D for an extra $40/month (first 3 months free). I decided it wasn’t worth it and this place was removed from my list.
By now, my head cold was getting to me (I had forgotten to take medication with me and hadn’t seen a drug store yet), so I went back to my room and got take-out for dinner.
Saturday I got up at 9, ate breakfast, and went to the last complex. I had to wait about 30 minutes since they didn’t open until 10. This is somewhat ironic, as I ended up waiting longer than my actual visit to the community. (This is when I discovered the management company does not allow Sheppard mixes.) I had already filled out the application for the first place I had visited, so I went back there and dropped it off. As chance would have it, next to the grocery store that I went to to get the money order to pay the application fee, there was a CVS! So I got my cold drugs as well.
By now, it is about 11 and I have done everything I needed to do for the trip. So I went driving. I found a place to board my dogs and several restaurants. Then back to the hotel where I promptly fell asleep for a few hours. Dinner at 5, then back to the hotel to pack up and get to bed so I could be up at 4AM. (My plane left at 6:30.)
But that isn’t the end of my story. Remember my head cold? It had been playing with my ears for a few days prior, and all the up and down in airplanes didn’t help. (I had layovers in Atlanta both ways.) By the time we started making our final decent into Dulles, my ears were refusing to pop and felt like someone was sticking needles in them. Once I was on the ground, they had stopped hurting but still felt like there was cotton in them and I could barely hear anything. So after picking up the dogs from “camp” and getting a short nap, I went to the doctor. He said there was so much fluid in my ears he was surprised I wasn’t in constant pain. Then he put me on an aggressive med regime to keep me from getting a double ear infection. Today they don’t feel like there is as much cotton in them and I can hear better, but they hurt more.