Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keys To The House

WOOHOO, finally! A week and a half after our original closing date and we have keys to the house. We will be able to move in! We are so excited. Now the work must begin.

Here are some pictures of us moving in:
Nathan holding a key to the house.

Nathan unlocking the door.

And now the deadbolt.

A gift from our realtor.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Camping/Lover's Point

Since we didn't close this last week we are camping again this weekend. With all this camping we have been doing to avoid from spending the $200/night at a hotel, I have been enjoying it more.

It was nice this weekend to head out to Carmel to see Lover's Point.

Enjoying the shade. It did get hot after sitting in the sun for a little while.

Starting the camp fire back up for lunch.

Lover's Point picnic and BBQ area. A view of SandCity and SeaSide from the park.

Hubby on the rocks at Lover's Point.

Looking out towards Carmel.

Butterfly statue on the park.

Just some other cool things in Carmel:

We met with Laura on Sunday at the house. We did a final walk thru before closing.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Signing Escrow Documents For Owning The Home

So we were scheduled to close on the 19th. Obviously that didn't happen. If the bank had gotten back to us sooner on our request to lower price we could have but the bank took its time. We believe that the hold up was we needed an answer from the big cheese at the bank for our request.

After a crazy day on the phone yesterday we finally signed all our escrow documents, at our Realtor's office, with the notary, today. I don't have any pictures after that half an hour of signing :(

We ran into two little mishaps that were corrected. One was with ID's. I know it sounds silly. Nathan's driver's license is expired. But the state of FL allows him to drive with an expired license as long as he carries his active duty military ID. The notary representative wasn't comfortable with that. Nathan remembered that he had his military passport in our stuff (that was in the truck). The funny thing is that his passport was due to expire 2 days after today. The notary representative was happy with that.

The other problem was the notary representative didn't have all the paperwork that she needed. Thank goodness for Laura, our realtor. We had just signed some of those papers with her before the notary representative arrived.

Laura was able to save the day by providing a scanner for the notary representative. The two were going to scan our documents and send them via e-mail to the escrow company. Laura mentioned this so that we could close before or by the end of the month. Otherwise the notary representative was going to have to send them via UPS or FedEx and both of these delivery businesses are closed on Friday's, here in Monterey County. I should clarify that these business will deliver packages on Friday's and Saturday's they just don't process packages on Friday's. It is possible this was part of a budget cut that companies here in CA are going through to save money.

Nathan, Angel and I celebrated by heading to Brick Oven Pizza for supper. That was a long and rough process and hopefully all will go through by Monday :) It also looks like we are spending the weekend camping.

For MSRRA Supporters & MSRRA Coalition Fans

I wanted to share this by Tom Parker "Rules of Thumb - A Life Manual" "READING" YOUR CONSTITUENTS Politicians attach a "weight" to comments from constituents. A form e-mail, reflects the opinion of 5 people. A personal e-mail, fax, or postcard reflects the opinion of 10 people. A form letter reflects the opinion of 20 people. (This includes handwritten notes that are obviously part of an organized letter-writing event.) A phone reflects the opinion of 30 people. A truly personal letter reflects the opinion of 50 people.

Please become a fan of the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act Coalition

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bank Says...

We heard back from the bank today. They said no on our request for reduced price. We now have to decide if this is a deal breaker. There are things wrong with the house. The Kitchen needs to be remodeled (not sure how much that will cost us), we need a new roof - $5500, the house needs to be fumigated/tented for termites - $2200, we will need new electrical (cost to us unknown at this time).

Nathan and I took some time to sit down and talk about it. We are going to go ahead and purchase anyway. We don't think we could do any better with regards to the location and even though it is an older home it is in fairly decent condition. We let Laura know and she wants to try to push us to close on Friday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WOOHOO Las Vegas!!

We left my parents on Monday morning to head to Las Vegas. Nathan wanted to have some fun before we headed to CA to engulf ourselves in house remodeling. I wasn't about to say no. Nathan had been to Las Vegas briefly before. It was my first time. It was a place I did want to visit. We had fun and saw as much as we could in the two days. We enjoyed seeing the free shows and walking through as many hotels as we could. The buffets at some of the hotels were unbelievable. We had one not so great one (Circus Circus) and one great one (Mandalay Bay).

Below are some pictures from our time in Vegas.

Luxor with an advertisement for Transformers. Nathan holding up Luxor.
New York & Mandalay Bay New York Roller Coaster
Nathan at Mandalay Bay water fall.
Treasure Island
Moving Statues at Caesar's Palace
Me at Mirage
MGM Grand
Nathan at Palazzo
Us at Venetian
Encore and Wynn
Us at Bellagio at night waiting for the fountains
M&M World

Yes, Angel stayed in the hotel in her kennel. I did take her for two walks.

Back In Monterey

After our two days of vacationing in Las Vegas and enjoying every minute of it (including all of the walking), we are back in Monterey. We came back in time to sign documents before our original closing date but that didn't happen. Now we are going to spend time camping. Nathan doesn't start classes until the 21st so we will make the most of what we have without having to pay the ridiculous hotel prices.

Hopefully we will hear something soon in regards to our reduced price request.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Extended Closing

We still haven't heard from the bank on our reduced cost. Today we submitted a form to extend our closing date. We are hoping that this will get the bank to respond to us. We also put in $0.00 for our per diem for requesting this closing extension. (The per diem is something that we agreed to when we signed into escrow.) We were scheduled to close on the 19th but that won't happen now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Angel Is Back

Back in May when we made the first trip to CA our halfway point was to Kansas. It was a long overnight drive and when we made it to my parents it was hard. It was nice to be with family but I knew that I was going to have to leave Angel and she is my buddy. We hang out all day together. She is not used to me being gone. I wasn't sure how she was going to handle me not being there.

Kandi and Kristi did an awesome job keeping me updated with how she was doing. They posted pictures and stories up on Facebook so I was able to physically see how she was doing. She had been on so many adventures in the past month. She went to the vet with her new friend, Boots (my parents cat). She played or tried to play with some turtles and turkeys. She was spoiled with her own plates of human food. She got to play chuck-it and go for a run or walk every day. She tried ice-cream and Mike & Ike's. She went to college and took some very difficult final exams.

I am now finally able to have her back. I am still very grateful that my family took her in for over a month. I don't think I would have been able to leave her at a kennel for days on end just to take her out and put her back in a couple of days later.

Our visit to Kansas this time was another short stay. We arrived on Thursday evening and left this morning. When we arrived on Thursday, we gave as a Thank You to my family, plenty of chocolate from Hershey, a cute Thank You bar to Kandi and Cabot's Popcorn cheese, YUMM!!!

On Saturday evening we got to see Mark O'Connor in concert with Brian Lewis, Roger Meyers and Amy Sue Barston. We heard a wide variety of different types of music and Mark explained what each piece was and how it was composed. Thank you Kandi for doing my hair for the evening :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Arrived At The Tyner's

We made it to Kansas last night. It was an uneventful drive with the exception of the highway traffic detour in Kansas. One of the exits was closed and traffic was directed to the next exit and one exit was backed up. Got to love driving during rush hour.

We had a couple of hours to spend with David before he was heading on a plane at 5:30am to Vermont with his girlfriend. My little brother paid for his entire trip back to the Green Mountain State. It was his graduation present to himself. He saved some money by staying with Katy-Kakes.

Loan Contigencies were released yesterday and a buyer investigation extension was requested due to more information being needed after we saw the Natural Hazard Report. That was a little concerning. There is a leaking underground storage tank located at the corner of our street or about 1/10 of a mile from the house.

While at my parents I find out that a piece of my letter to the VA Senate Committee, for the hearing on MSRRA, was posted in a Florida paper. Click here to read the article.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night

Before leaving Harrisburg I booked another hotel in Indianapolis at the end of our next 8 hour leg on the road. Amazingly my first bid of 24$ was accepted by Holiday Inn! This is the cheapest hotel I’ve ever won on priceline. I never book hotels anywhere else if I have a choice. Granted it doesn’t give you much flexibility and you can’t do it with pets. But, the price is unbeatable. I kept it in the 2 star range since the last time I stayed at a 1 star hotel in Norfolk I worried for the safety of my truck and felt compelled to throw the deadbolt, chain, and bar at night to barricade myself in the room.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Hershey, PA

We planned for 2 days to enjoy Hershey since last time we went through we had the dog and didn’t get to see much. We were up semi-early and made it out to Hershey Gardens. Even I was impressed. It was the best botanical gardens we have been to. It was better than the ones we visited in Hawaii and the Caribbean which is no small feat considering the northern climate. The rose garden was massive, 70,000 roses.

It turns out the huge building overlooking Hershey is NOT the Hershey hotel. It is Hershey’s school for orphaned children, the hotel is in the back. Hershey really did build a town around his chocolate industry. With no kids of his own, he left all his money to the school.

Next we went to Chocolate World, chocolate tasting, and the Chocolate 3D experience. All were enjoyable but rather disturbing considering the glorification of junk food and the harmful associations that must be created by vacationing to such a happy place with all those diabetes inducing decadent delectable delights. I think we left with 6 free mini-Hershey bars. Of course we purchased some chocolate for the Tyner’s for watching our dog.

I did learn a few things about the cacao bean I did not know. Like coffee and wine local vegetation and soil can change the taste so you can get a fruity, nutty, earthy taste depending on how and where it is grown. It also goes through a fermentation process that can be changed for different affects on the bean. Raw Cacao beans are supposed to taste like aspirin!

After Hershey we visited the Hershey Story. A new museum about Milton Hershey. The 10$ admission was free for military. We always ask and I’ve been impressed everything in Hershey we went to had a military discount. The history was interesting, they had a timeline of every Hershey product including those that were discontinued. Some we didn’t even recognize.

To wrap up the day we did a bit of shopping. I found Rikki a new wallet since her last one exploded from being stuffed too full. We stopped at subway for supper and called it an early night. On the way back we drove through a hail storm, only about the size of peas but that was scary. We were afraid the windshield might crack.

Monday, June 08, 2009

There is no place like home

Rikki and I had a great week in Vermont with family. We both hated to go but it is now time to visit the dark side of the family in Kansas. We left Vermont early and had an uneventful drive to Hershey. We booked a cheap hotel via priceline in nearby Harrisburg. Who knew it was the state capital?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Vacation In VT

Going home to VT was needed. Nathan needed to do some physical labor. He likes working with his hands or working outside. It was nice, sunny and almost hot in VT. After being in cooler Monterey where it takes too long for the morning fog to burn off, it was nice to see green and sun.

It is usually hard for me when we go back to VT because I am not there to see everyone every day or at least on a more regular basis. That is the hard thing about being a military family. It is not always convenient for you to go home and see the rest of your family. I had been feeling uncomfortable, however our trip home to VT this time was one of the best.

I got to spend some quality time with my MIL, SIL and GMIL. While all the boys went fishing the girls went shopping. I spent some quality one on one time with my GMIL at camp. I can't give you recipes but that one on one time was spent in the kitchen cooking. I spent some quality time with my FIL getting some tips on gardening and how to shoot pesty birds. We went to two of our oldest nephew's baseball games. We got to help babysit our other nephew and watch him eat his first smore at a camp fire. We went to one of our neices dance recital. We spent time with the entire family at camp where I was surprised with an early 30th Birthday Party/Congrats Home Owners party. Cake for the party was a homemade Boston Cream Pie, YUMM!! We also had a Surprise Graduation party for Tobin. He graduated with his Masters degree.

Of course we spent some time while in VT taking care of paperwork for the house. The week went something like this for the house. We submitted a request for cash back at closing. The original form we filled out for that wasn't correct so we got the proper form and submitted that. We needed to request a loan contigency extension since we hadn't received our preliminary title. Sign contigency removal for the appraisal. A packet of various disclosures needed to be overnighted to us for signature and then overnighted back to our Realtor. The bank we are receiving the loan with didn't like the cash back request for repairs so we filled out paperwork requesting reduced price instead of cash back. Then call and set up home owner's insurance. Inspection contigencies weren't removed because we were waiting on a response from the bank on our reduced price. So we signed an inspection contigency extension.