Well, today is officially the beginning of my last week in the good ol’ U S of A. Next Tuesday at 11 a.m. we board the “big big airplane” (expression courtesy of my son) to go to our “new one house” (ibid), with a consultation stop in San Juan, PR. We’re getting to the end of our preparations (or we should be, as our car is being picked up tomorrow, and we pack-out on Thursday), and it’s as stressful as I thought it would be. Thank the gods for my wife, the endless amusement my kid gives me, and bourbon (but not necessarily in that order, fwiw).
Victories this week:
1) Pet shipper no longer requiring me to get our International Health Certificate counter-signed by the USDA-APHIS. Score. The Dominican Republic does NOT require this, but my shipper was saying that Delta Cargo DID. Lies. After numerous phone calls to the Dominican Embassy (in Spanish), extensive Google searches, and numerous calls to Delta Cargo, the airline defers to the country of destination’s regulations. So let’s not pay an extra $250 and be done with it, OK?
2) Auto insurance successfully moved from USAA to Clements. USAA has a US Touring Policy for $5 per year that covers you when back in the States and driving any car. Also helps to keep you on their registers in case you go to a post they cover (or get a D.C. post) – i.e. no extra paperwork/re-adjustment of your policy.
3) Patio dining set bought (folding teak set), so I feel better. Was one of those annoying last-minute things that was really grating on my nerves. We found a lot of sets that were gorgeous and priced right, but there was No Way In Hell© that they were going to get to us in time for our pack-out. But, we’re all good now.
4) The wife’s wardrobe was completed this weekend. Dropped a cool $400 @ Burlington Coat Factory for like 6 suits… not the world’s greatest quality, but they work. If we get one year out of them, our money was well-spent. After that, we can get her NICE suits that’ll last a while. This was a battle.
Despite the HUGE delay yesterday (i.e. Oakwood Falls Church deciding that they could send an 11-man work crew into my apartment with no notice for fire-suppression system installation), we’re close to being on track. My warning to anyone reading this who’s close to being called up on the register: beware Oakwood Falls Church. It seems like a nice place (pool, tennis, PCS-friendly), but there’s a LOT of renovations/work going on now that are VERY inconvenient. In about a year, this place will be the bee’s knees, but now it’s a bit of a nightmare.
More updates after vehicle pick-up and pack-out. It’s going to be a busy week.