Friday, July 1, 2011

Changing Bases, Faces and Time

I finally have a block of time to sit down and write about my adventures thus far. Moving from Fort Drum NY to Fort Campbell KY has been an experience, to say the least.

We left out of Fort Drum on the 19th of June. We were supposed to get on the road early, but didn't end up leaving until around 3:30pm. Seems even though we bought a Hitch Haul for our truck (cargo hitch rack) we didn't actually do a load up to make sure that everything would fit. James managed to make it work though, and so we were off!

Our first day we drove to Conneaut OH. Just over the PA/OH State line. The hotel we stayed at was conveniently located right along the interstate. We went to dinner that night, literally, and the restaurant had already turned itself into the bar/tavern/night club of the area. It gets better! We ordered some food and the waitress actually let me order off of the kids menu. (See, I have a small appetite and can hardly finish any meal I order at restaurants, so kids portions are always the best for me.) We are eating and having a beer, when these two ladies came in the bar and sat at the table next to us. No big deal. Or was it???

I am proud to say that James got to see a Transvestite in person for the first time!!! LOL  It was nothing new to me, since my hairdresser from years ago is a one. I finally said something to James after they moved to the bar, and James said something to the effect of "She has a bigger Adam's Apple than me!" lol My poor Baby.

Saturday rolled around and we hit the road again. The only thing we missed seeing in Conneaut was the covered bridges. We thought about going, but then decided to just get on the road and get done with the traveling. We stopped in Jeffersonville OH at the outlet mall, walked around trying to find James some Fibram 5 finger shoes to no avail. We got gas, and rolled out heading to Cincinnati/Newport.

We made it and were completely surprised to find that the hotel I had booked was right on the riverfront! We could see the Cincinnati skyline, Reds Stadium... everything. We ventured out that night and walked the Pagan's Pathway bridge to Cincinnati. Craziest thing I have ever seen? Someone rented the ENTIRE bridge for their wedding reception!!! (A fool and their money are soon parted.) We tried to check out the aquarium, but it was too late to entire. We found Hooter's and so we went to eat dinner. BEST HOOTER'S EVER! It is on a barge in the Ohio River. And the women were actually nice to look at. I mean, most are pretty from the neck down, but these women have pretty faces too! lol

We went back to the hotel, slept and then got ready and on the road Sunday.

Sunday morning was gorgeous and warm! We hit the road heading to our destination: Fort Campbell. We were stopped on I-71 for a while. We aren't exactly sure what happened, but we did see a burned up cargo box from a transport, and the road and grass was scorched pretty bad. At any rate, we continued on our way. We were planning on stopping in Louisville in order to see about getting James his Vibram shoes. Going up one side of a mountain, our trucks cruise control rev'd super high, the wrench light came on, the ABS light came on and the Slip Control light came on. GREAT! But after about 3 minutes or so, the lights all went out and the truck continued on as if nothing happened. Ok?

We made it to Louisville and found the Running Store we were looking for. We parked, went inside, bought James his shoes finally, and then went back out to the truck. As we backed out of the parking spot, the truck made a grinding noise and slowed us down. I asked James what it was and he said "You felt that too?" GREAT! We tried to drive and anything over 5-10 miles an hour, the truck would grind and slow us down again. We managed to back into a parking spot and then we called USAA. Roadside assistance should be good to go...

Tell me How The Heck we don't have roadside assistance on our policy???? Really??? We never called them and removed it, James made sure it was in the policy when he went with USAA 10 years ago!!!! Needless to say, I am ticked right off, James is not impressed, it is Sunday and we are calling around for hotels and a tow truck. Thankful for the website I had been using - I called my Girl Michele and she took my credit card number and booked us a hotel for at least 2 days. The hotel was only about a mile and a half from where we were stranded. Then we called several cab companies. Finally found one that was willing to take the animals and us to the hotel. We checked in and got settled, then James and I walked back to the truck to wait for the tow.

The tow truck came, loaded our truck up and took us another mile and half in the opposite direction to the Ford dealership. We dropped it off, not relishing the fact that we were now going to have to walk about 3 miles to get to the hotel. Our tow truck driver decided he wasn't going to let us do that, so he drove us back to our hotel. Of course, I slipped him a little bit of cash for doing us that favor. ;)

Great. We are at the hotel, no vehicle and we are starving. Back to heel and toe express. Need I say that our hotel was conveniently located across the street from yet another Hooter's? LOL We walked in that general direction then headed further down the street hoping to find someplace to eat. We walked about a mile, turned around and headed back. We were going to eat at Subway, but apparently Subway in Louisville/St. Matthews closes on Sunday's at 6pm. Ugh. So we cross the street and head to Denny's. I am not a fan, but at least they had meal deals so dinner didn't cost us an arm and a leg.

We get back to the hotel and pass out. In the morning James' cell rings and it is dealership. They tell him that it is our front left wheel speed sensor (if I am remembering correctly) and the total cost will thankfully be under $1000. We tell them to go ahead and fix it. We got up, got dressed and headed back to Denny's for breakfast. After that we decide to walk over to a little strip mall we saw the night before. As we are over there, James receives another call telling him that the truck is fixed and ready to go. w00t!!!

We head out on foot again, back to the hotel to change shoes, then the walk to the dealership. We walked about 10 miles in a day and a half! We get to the dealership, get ready to pay and we find out that we have an  Anonymous Angel. See, through this whole experience I was keeping family and friends apprised of our situation through facebook. Apparently by my doing so, I gave enough information for this Anonymous Angel to lend a helping hand. We will forever be grateful!! And we will be sure to pay it forward.

We stayed one more night in the hotel, because we had already paid for it and it was well past checkout time. Tuesday morning brought gorgeous weather and we were on the road again. We made it to Fort Campbell in a thunder storm, went to our hotel room, unloaded a bunch of stuff and finally went to The Bandy's. They are amazing people too! They are housing our animals until we get a place to live ourselves.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent looking for a place to live. What an experience! No one in the area wants to house animals over 25lbs and if they do they want a decent pet deposit. No problem there but the issue always seemed to be that when we called about seeing a place, it had conveniently just been rented. Just our luck!!! The whole experience was a giant pain. I decided that on Friday, we were going to housing on post in order to make sure we were on the list and what our wait would look like.

We were told anywhere from 2 months to 4 months for a house on post. UGH! Can this be any more useless? Over the weekend, we scoured the internet, AHRN and local ads still trying to find a place. We went back to housing on post and told them that we did in fact want to be on the list because at this rate, we were getting no where. Amazingly, a lady that works there offered us a house!!!!!!! She told us the address and we went and checked it out. It is 2 bedrooms but it has a double garage and a fenced backyard. It is a corner lot so the front yard is huge! Of course, we said we would definitely take it! The catch? The current resident doesn't move out until the 19th of July, and then there is a turn around period for maintenance to go in and fix anything that might need fixing. We have been told that we might be moved in by the 3rd of August. Irregardless of the time - we still have a house!!!

So now James has to go see about extended temporary lodging. No worries because if they say no, our amazing friends, The Bandy's have told us we could probably crash in the room that our animals are currently inhabiting. Of course, we are not going to take advantage of them, so we are trying to figure things out so that we don't have to stay there and inconvenience them. As well, The Son leaves NY on or around the 7th of July to come to us, so we will have to figure out where to put his butt too.

At any rate, we are currently in Fort Leonard Wood MO. Why? My girl Michele and her husband are here. They were supposed to come down for the long weekend, but instead they offered to help us save money by having us come to them and stay here. I could never ask for a better lot of friends than I have right now!!!

oOo and we are in Central time again!!

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