A Rental House is Only a Place to Sleep

We made a list of what needed to be fixed for this house to be liveable but it became clear they weren’t going to fix them or if they did, it could be months out. After all, according to them, it’s basically just a place to sleep. So we’re making the fixes in stages. First up: the tri-level staircase was dangerous for the cats so we hired a contractor to come up with a fix, which we will then have him remove and repair on our way out.

Actually that wasn’t first. First, we had to install a shower head because it was in shambles on the floor. Then second, we had to install drapes in the master bedroom because the blinds were broken and only covered about a foot of the window at the top.

We replaced two toilet seats with slow-closing because who wants to use someone else’s toilet seat. We had the HVAC guy out to clean and replace the filters and discovered there is no heat or cooling in the Casita which is where I’d planned on using as my studio and the whole point of choosing this property.

The kitchen sink faucet is super slow, the garbage disposal has been removed, and the cook top doesn’t work. We’re using the electric skillet and microwave and oven for cooking for now. We submitted the requested photo but they insist on a part number that we can’t find.

There are numerous more things that need fixing and if we owned it, we would fix everything. But for now, we’re priotizing the necessary fixes. Oh, and yes, the doors had different locks and we weren’t given keys for all of them but told we could change them, which we also did. And we brought our security with us.

This is the problem with the rental world post foreclosures. We saw the same situation in Orlando and why we ended up in an apartment instead of a house. We didn’t want to do the apartment thing again so we took a chance on the house.

It’s located in really the most desirable area of Las Vegas – quite lovely – and so this is giving us a different experience than what we had before, although it was also in one of the Master Planned communities. But there’s a lot more happening in this area. Lots of upscale shopping, restaurants, and a nice locals casino is just a mile away and we’ve been having such fun having brunch or lunch or dinner or just cocktails there. Super awesome! Good to have that back.

The following photos show some of the drops and the platforms we had built to protect the kitties.

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More Moving with Cats Fun: Florida Storm Kicks us in the A** and Daisy Hides in the Dishwasher

So we headed for I-10, which goes all the way to Santa Monica, for our eventual destination of Las Vegas. But first Florida had to have her say in our leaving once again. This was the worst storm we’ve ever been in. Lightning right over our heads, buckets of rain so bad I don’t know how Rich could even drive, thunderous roars. This went on for hours – until we crossed the border into Alabama. Whew! Never want to be in one of those storms again!

Unlike our very first cross-country move when we moved from Oregon to Ohio along I-70 with 10-hour days, our days on this route were no more than 8 hours long. We stopped just north of New Orleans in Covington on I-10. I don’t recall any weirdness that night.

The next day we were thrilled to cross the Mississippi and stay over at one of our favorite hotels in San Antonio. Why? Chester’s Burgers and Beer. Yep, Rich just walks over there, gets our burgers and beer and walks back. No problem. And delicious Texas food! But they’ve removed the carpet, like so many are doing these days (Disney, for example), and I detest wood floors in a hotel room. I want the warmth and passing of carpet when I’m in a strange place, getting up in the middle of the night. Daisy hated walking on the wood floors.

The next night was El Paso, the place I dreaded the most and why last time we took I-40, which was a huge mistake. This time around I was rather impressed with El Paso – it’s coming into its own. I wouldn’t mind returning on a pleasure trip – the food is awesome and then there’s Carlsbad Caverns, of course. Haven’t done that since I was 8.

New Mexico was a welcome sight – after the border patrol, of course – and then our last night on the road was in Phoenix. Goodyear, AZ, actually, and we were very impressed with Good Year. We could see ourselves living there. I forgot to mention how Daisy would hide every morning just past first light, knowing we were going to put her in a cage. At each place we stopped, would check out all the possibilities so we’d know where to look for her. Well, here she was able to squeeze underneath the cabinet framing and climb underneath the dishwasher.

We waited for her to come out but after awhile, we realized she wasn’t coming out and we needed to get on the road to get the keys to our Vegas rental by a certain time. So we called Maintenance and he eventually had to remove the dishwasher in order to get her out. He says he has to rescue a cat or dog at least two or three times a year, but this was a first for the dishwasher! Crazy Daisy!

The day’s drive was only about 4 hours to Las Vegas, but we stopped by the rental company right away with the cats. The plan was for me to stay with the in the car while Rich got the keys. We’d already signed the lease and paid the deposit online before we left Florida. Well, that’s when all the rental fun began – just as bad as when we were trying to rent a house in Orlando. He insisted we both come in with our cats so he could read the lease aloud to us.

If you get the idea this guy was a real jerk, well your instincts are correct. He went on and on and on about worst case scenarios and when I mentioned the casita, he said this house didn’t have one and said, “Are you sure you’re renting *my* house?” It isn’t *his* house, he’s just an employee of the company handling the rentals of another one of those enormous companies who snapped up repos and are now renting them out. But I think he was right about one thing. Basically, you’re only guaranteed a place to sleep. More on that fun in future posts.

Welcome to Las Vegas – home sweet home – lol!

Moving Day: Saying Good-bye to Our Dream Kitchen

Since our previous long-haul driver lived in New Smyrna Beach, we’d hoped we’d get him for the trip back to Las Vegas. Sadly, it was not to be. I mean, he was incredible! It would have relieved our minds to have had him at the helm. The guy who showed up and his two helpers were very slow!! Friendly, but oh so slow.

I think he overheard us and he tried to say he’d be done by 1:00 but it was more like 3:00. The other driver, Chris, had been done by noon. I was running behind them cleaning and vacuuming, mostly because we had an open house the next day.

Eventually, they were all loaded up so we loaded the car and the cats (yes, Daisy was in her cage the entire morning), and we headed for Residence Inn #1 in Jacksonville. We wanted to get a head start but make it a short day, having planned out each day.

I took photos of each room of the house and said good-bye to our dream kitchen. And then we were off!

Really hard to see this kitchen, especially after living with this one for a month now. Sigh…

Packing Day: Where’s Crazy Daisy?

By packing day, all had been going well for the move. But then the packers arrived early, taking us by surprise and we didn’t have the cats locked away in their cages. They were hanging out in the master bedroom. I think the plan was to put them in the hall bath. So when strangers entered the house and we opened the master bedroom door, Daisy when crazy!! She’s the kitten we got last January and we had no idea how she would react to a move. Shadow, thankfully, is an awesome mover – the best moving cat we’ve had!

Daisy is afraid of strangers and her sole mission is to hide to keep herself safe. The problem is we had no idea where she was hiding. She headed for the couch, but we turned that couch upside down but couldn’t find her. We were in deep freak-out mode! Of course my wild imagination worried that she would get packed in a box. Rich, the more rational one, said that she would never let a packer pack her in a box and he was confident they wouldn’t pack her anyway. Well, from our previous packing adventures, I wasn’t so sure about that.

Anyway, we stressed for hours while the packers packed up the entire house. We didn’t bother putting Shadow away, hoping he’d find her and let us know where she was. He is such an awesome kitty, he was totally chill for the 6 hours they were there, but we never saw where Daisy was hiding. We looked and looked and called out to her but no sign of her – we were  stressed beyond belief.

We’d talked earlier about doing our usual Residence Inn with the cats while the packing was going on, but somehow we thought it would be better if I was there to help Rich with the packers, and to make sure boxes were marked properly. Ha! We were totally oblivious to what the packers were doing and we didn’t care. All we cared about was finding Daisy and making sure she was safe. We were just sick with worry!

The packers finished and left, and all we could think to do was rest on the bed, hoping once the house got quiet, she would come out of her hiding place. Which is exactly what she did. We suspected she had crawled up into a small alcove under the left arm of the couch.

Daisy’s favorite red chair – she is small so she can hide in a lot of places, even if it means ripping a hole underneath the furniture.

Daisy’s favorite hiding place – the red couch – we suspect she crawled up under the arm of the chaise side because she was nowhere to be found when we turned the couch upside down.

Florida Beach House to Vegas RV Boat House

The theme for this leg of our journey is “Florida Beach House to Vegas RV Boat House.” You remember some of the other themes, such as “Oregon Cabin,” “Sanford Stinky House,” “Hotel California,” and “Orlando Resort Living.”

Okay, so we’re not really living in an RV or a boat house but watching our RVers and boaters living the mobile life full-time is helping us (me) cope with the usual rental property that is so less than our usual brand new homes. I know, we’ve been spoiled with so many brand new homes, which is what we prefer. So as I watch them cope with their mechanical challenges, it helps me cope with ours.

I grew up in brand new homes in SoCal and have lived in several as an adult. Rich and I have been blessed to have built five with two brand new rentals thrown into the mix. Is there a sixth new build in our future or will we choose to remain more mobile because it’s always a pain to sell the house when we’re ready to move on? That is the big question for 2019.

Of course, the new year doesn’t really get started until the first full week so we’re finishing up holiday treats, making repairs on this place, setting goals, and trying to figure out how to move forward.

I didn’t meet my weight loss goal for 2018. I’m on the slow road to weight loss, which I’m very pleased with, but after a year and a half of vacation living, travel, and tragedy, I’m doing well to be holding my own. Here’s hoping I meet that weight loss goal this year. I should if I don’t get distracted too much.

So in the spirit of catching up on our latest adventures, I’m going to get cranking documenting December 2018 and the move from Florida Beach House to Vegas RV Boat House. 🙂

I’ll start with our last time at La Fiesta in Port Orange, Florida, one of the best Mexican restaurants we’ve found east of the Mississippi. Yep, we were regulars – lol!

Rich pondering the menu after ordering a Modelo

The “Mexican” Margarita with Don Julio

Yum!! (sorry, brother Bob)

Carne Asada Tacos – my usual

Skirt Steak Chimi Churri for Rich

After watching FreshBaked on a daily basis to keep up with Disneyland, we decided to celebrate with a churro finale.

If I’d written this post back then, I might have said we’re going to miss this. But we have such a plethora of choices here in Las Vegas and nearby SoCal, which I’m sure we’ll be mentioning in the future.

Leaving Florida: What I Will Miss

I will miss the morning sunlight peeking through the trees,
Soaring birds chirping their morning wakefulness,
Squawking gulls flapping their wings,
Treading shore birds scanning the pond for breakfast.

I will miss sipping my coffee on the lanai greeting the dawn with prayer,
Scribbling my early thoughts,
Clearing my mind of nighttime fears,
Making room for gratitude and thankfulness.

I will miss cocktails and apps overlooking the springs at the BoatHouse,
Strolling World Showcase,
Martinis in the Wilderness,
Dipping my toes in the ocean.

I will miss our dream kitchen,
White cabinets and quartz countertops,
Undermount lights with a view,
Morning walkers and evening golf carts.

But most of all I will miss
The last house where Skipper lived.

 

Welcome Home to Florida

We caught an early flight out of Las Vegas yesterday morning and as the plane circled over our former home, heading out into the open desert, I said something like, “What a pile of dirt!” – lol!

It had been an emotional roller coaster revisiting the place we’d called home for 9 years. I was reminded not only of the excitement we’d had flying in from San Francisco and staying in different hotel properties, but also living there. I was also reminded of why we felt compelled to leave.

The flight on Southwest was pretty good going back – the service was quite attentive – and before we knew it, we were landing in Orlando via over Tampa to avoid some storms. What a sight for sore eyes! I mean, literally! All the greenery and water! What a contrast from the Las Vegas desert.

And I began to feel a renewal of my original love for Florida as we drove the hour back home. So pretty. So peaceful. Sunny but not too sunny. Hot but not too too hot – even the humidity is a welcome relief from the oven-like temps of Vegas. Maybe that was the point of the trip for me. For Rich, well, he had a very productive week at work. Everybody so excited to see him. They’d love to have him back at headquarters but I don’t think I could live there again.

We’re definitely looking forward to getting back to Disney, and especially for the Food & Wine Festival. Rich’s brother will be here for that – looking forward to reconnecting like we did on our trip in 2010. What a year that was – doing the F&W Festival with our Disney friends and family. Looking forward to seeing who we can meet and connect with this year.

We stopped at our little downtown deli and Rich got us some sandwiches to take home because neither of us wanted to prepare food. We noticed a musician set up outside the market/deli area and we stopped for a listen and offered a tip. I took some video and captured a pic of that. What a fabulous welcome home!