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Derek's back in San Diego

by TONI H / June 3, 2008 11:02 PM PDT

Arrived Monday morning, got diesel fuel sticker shock at over $5.30 per gallon for his truck, and will be busy over the next few days logging out of the Naval Station there, getting his transfer papers to northern Virginia, and getting their travel money from the base.

Heather already had Naval transport pick up their stuff two weeks ago and haul it to put in storage waiting for them. They will load up the truck with the dogs and cat, and they will head to Las Vegas to the place where they bought a car hauler from, load up her car, toss the cat into the car (he doesn't travel well and screams constantly so I told her to get some tranqs from the vet), and head across tornado alley for home.

I suggested traveling north and taking Route 66 to Michigan, then head southeast or travel south and take US10 to Atlanta, Ga and head north east, but Derek already nixed that because of the gas prices and said they would just haul a$$ and take the shortest route....so being the nagging, worrying mother that I am, I will be calling them every hour on the hour to make sure they haven't become tornado chasers behind my back.

The house deal fell through after many, many 'hit your head on the desk in frustration' roadblocks because of one vital piece of information that the mortgage broker she was dealing with neglected to check into, even though Heather kept asking him over and over if there was going to be a problem with one issue and he kept reassuring her that it wasn't an issue. The day they were supposed to close on the loan was when the fact that she didn't already have a job in VA reared its ugly head and the loan was denied.

What ticked everybody off over this was that she and I were IN Manassas during the house hunting process and we could have stayed another couple of days in order for her to secure a job ahead of time and everything would have been fine.

But, the real estate agent she used actually located a large house on an acre of land that they were able to get rented immediately. The landlord has no problem with the animals, and there is an option for them to buy the house (it's in their price range as well) and nobody else knows about this house since it's not on the open market.
Once they get there, Heather can secure her job, and they can decide if they will put in a bid on this one or if they will start over and house hunt locally since now both of them will be around for that.

Like Derek said about the deal that fell through...."Jesus Christ Himself didn't want us to have that house when you consider all the brick walls we had to hurdle to get down to the final wire and we still didn't get it, so I guess we weren't meant to have that one". LOL

I'm just glad he's back. The rest will take care of itself.


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Welcome to the real world
by Willy / June 4, 2008 12:12 AM PDT

I say that, as that's what we said after getting off the plane, once on American soil. Good to see he's back and healthy and able to piss&moan of American life again and yet enjoy everything else. Wink adios -----Willy Happy

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Good news all around!!!!
by Angeline Booher / June 4, 2008 12:45 AM PDT

Now, as one active military Mom to another, Derek was wise to take the shortest route unless he wanted to drive for several days without meals or sleep or pay the extra out of pocket. The Navy knows the distance between San Diego and DC, and the average travel time. They don't want them to bust a gut getting there so builds in some leisure time in the amount of reasonable travel money allotted.

(It is possible they also provide a "suggested" or "preferred" route. It's not always the shortest, but can include other factors such as safety, access to help, etc.)

Mine's getting ready for a 4,000 mile one (also with 2 dogs) , not including taking one car to a port for shipment. The logistics of it all boggles the minds, but after 17 years they take it in stride.

Happy for Derek, Heather, and you, Mom!!!

Speakeasy Moderator

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Being the eternal optimist that I am, I just love...
by Jack Ammann / June 4, 2008 4:39 AM PDT

...success stories. And I think all in all, when you look at the whole situation in context, things worked out very well.

May God continue to bless you and your family,


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I had a giggle at the reference to the cat, :)
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 4, 2008 6:27 AM PDT

'toss the cat in the car'. I can just picture it, Happy

I've not been around much in SE lately Toni so I have lost touch. Is this your son home on leave, or has he left the forces for good?

Whichever, I hope they have a safe journey home, and they get their accommodation sorted out.


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by TONI H / June 4, 2008 7:14 AM PDT

I also haven't been around in the CNET forums for a while, let alone SE....posted a few things today though at a couple of them.

Derek re-upped and got a new land-based assignment near Washington, DC (about 12 miles west) for the next three years so they decided to put down roots and stop wasting the Navy's housing allowance on rent. I guess if he likes this assignment, he will re-up again, and he's really looking forward to this new job. There are always things about a job, even if it's not military, that grate on nerves, but like a personal relationship, if you are getting 90% of what you really need from it and like it to boot, you put up with the garbage 10%. LOL

Heather is also looking forward to this move since she and her father have been Redskins fans since she was really small and since they will be only 4-1/2 hours from my house and three hours from her father's house in WVA, she and her father will be heading for lots of home games. Derek figures he can drive 'home' to visit friends on those weekends LOL


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Ahh. Nice.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 4, 2008 8:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Mark

I'm a New England Patriots fan myself, but I suppose not everyone can be right, Devil

It always amazes me when I hear Americans talk of distances. 4-1/2 hours driving time here in the UK is just short of half a country. We pack up the tents, emergency rations, a change of clothes and say our last farewells before we start out on the expedition.

But for you it is just a trip down the road. We don't understand the size of the US.

I hope you are well. How's your sister? Happy


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The size of our country
by TONI H / June 4, 2008 8:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Ahh. Nice.

is sometimes a liability for us since it's so easy for unsavory people to hide in plain sight....we have beautiful areas that can be overwhelmingly mind blowing, but because of apathy, indifference, or isolationism by far too many, we tend to not notice strangers as often as we should. Maybe that's not just a trait here but it seems to me to be more so here because of the vastness of area alone.

My sister is still the 'attitude' queen and has deemed herself to be an expert on everything from computers to how to transplant a potted hosta and how to manage other people's finances or kids. I think I spend more time hanging up on her when she starts than actually hearing what she has to preach about anymore. I moved 400 miles away to get rid of the dictatorship and chaos of family, but 20 years later, it's the same old song. It's like the line from a movie I saw...."just when you think you escaped, it sucks you back in" or something close to those words. LOL


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Mark...just a little bit of Texas trivia...
by Jack Ammann / June 5, 2008 6:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Ahh. Nice.

...There's an old saying here. "In Texas, you can start driving at sun-up, and at sun-down, you're still in Texas". And as an aside, apropos to the above...the speed limit in Texas is 70 MPH, with a 10 MPH grace to compensate for speedometer inaccuracies. So we're not talking about any "wimpy" speeds.The East-West border to border distance is real close to 900 miles.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 5, 2008 6:45 PM PDT

That's scary.

In the UK if you drove for that long you would end up in the sea, whichever direction, Happy

(Well, almost).


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Re: We pack up the tents
by jonah jones / June 5, 2008 8:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Ahh. Nice.

same "mind-set" here as well....

and it's only about 280 miles from N to S to boot!

jonah "you want expeditions?....i got expeditions Wink " jones


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by TONI H / June 5, 2008 9:22 PM PDT

San Diego CA to Washington DC

Driving straight through with no stops: Estimated Time: 40.0 hours 29 minutes Estimated Distance: 2697.89 miles

If anybody in our family wants to go camping, they usually end up here at my house LOL

Derek and Heather have to make a detour as they leave SD and go to Las Vegas, Nevada first in order to pick up the car hauler and load up her car before actually heading out eastbound so they will probably add another 300-400 miles total to that since Las Vegas is northeast of SD and they will have to find a major highway after that to connect back to in order to actually start the trek.

They are leaving on Tuesday morning, the 10th.........The labs (Colby and Cody...one black and one chocolate) travel well so they will be in the fold down back seat with them. The cat (male named MOUSE lol) has been banished to the car being hauled. He normally loves spending time with the dogs and sleeps with them but he's such a screamer in a car that you would think he was getting neutered without anesthesia. lol


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This sounds dangerous to me
by TONI H / June 6, 2008 9:09 PM PDT

Derek's 'plan' for the cat and the car being hauled....during the night, leave the windows cracked for cool night air, but during the day, turn on the car and let it idle with the air conditioning turned on while he's hauling it.



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Agree and it's probably not legal
by Steven Haninger / June 7, 2008 1:25 AM PDT

to have a car with it's motor running and no on behind the wheel. I'd check with the highway patrol.

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I don't see anything wrong with it.
by James Denison / June 8, 2008 12:36 AM PDT

Sounds like a good plan. I have a system on my van which in winter I can turn on and it will crank it every hour and let run for 12 minutes. I can have the heater turned on and helps keep the interior warmer. Can use in summer with AC turned on. Great for bitter cold nights where temp may reach 10 or 20 below and snow or ice might freeze doors shut or freeze engine in spite of antifreeze. In summer if out doing things it will keep the van cooled off at intervals so it's not baking hot when I return. Of course gas is higher now. When I've been on the road in winter from Maryland to Florida, I've often set the system to crank hourly and taken a nap in back of van (seats out on those trips) on a mattress with a sleeping bag, back window open a very small crack. Just as it gets too cold the van cranks and warms things up again. Of course I can use the fob to remote crank it before then if too cold and it just resets the schedule till I turn the longer term automatic crank system off. System is a Viper 160 XV.

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