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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Time goes by...

We have been here two months, how has time gone by so quickly.

So what has been occurring since 30th October?

We had a Halloween party/housewarming party. Though considering there was only 6 of us I would be inclined to call it a gathering. Halloween was a slight disappointment. Many of the kids are taken out to the strip malls as they get free sweets (candy) from all of the stores there. Also to get into the community in which we have our apartment you have to have a key. I am guessing the children which live in this complex went to the strip malls instead!

Friday it rained and rained and rained. Quite a change in temperature too. It seems that November to March there is more rain but there are still warm days in between. Went out with the ladies during the day on Friday. We went to a mall which is not far from here, about 7 miles in fact and is all indoors. We all decided that actually we are not a fan of that mall.

We had heard there had been an accident on the I15 so we took another route to get back. This route was long, avoided all freeways and took us around the mountains past Ramona. It was certainly scenic.

We ran into Home Goods and also ran into Walmart and Home Depot. It was one of those days though where nothing quite went to plan!

Friday evening M and I went to a meet up at the Shakespeare Bar which is downtown in the Mission Hills area of San Diego. This was via the website and was for British people living in San Diego. We of course want to meet up with people who have always lived in San Diego or at least in USA but this was the first meet up we had both been interested in attending.

There was about 12 people at this meet up, some had been here a year, some as long as 10 years. It was good to hear about everyone elses experiences and get some tips. We will certainly be attending future meet ups with the group.

On arriving back at the apartment we found a wet spot in front of the fridge. At first I was panicking that the fridge/freezer had broken which would be a bad thing given that we had been shopping and had salmon, beef mince, chicken, pork, Pizza and ice cream in there! However, on closer inspection it seemed the water was coming from the ceiling.

M and I went car shopping on Saturday, the day was bright, warm and sunny, retrospectively thinking we should have done something more exciting and made the most of the weather!

 M had decided he wanted a Mustang so we headed to the Auto Parkway up in Escondido. First stop was a Honda Garage. There was one in there that he test drove while I sat in the customer lounge drinking free Starbucks hot chocolate. Yum. The car was silver grey, was convertible and only a year old. However, it had 30,000 miles on the clock and was an ex hire vehicle from Hawaii. A big no. Hawaii is very wet (it rains a little at each day) so there was some rust and god knows how well it had been treated and serviced given its history as a hire car!

Saw another one which was red and was a 2006 one but didnt test drive that one. That one happened to be in the garage next to the Chevrolet garage. Well, it would be rude NOT to go look at the Camaro's while there. I so want one of those. We sat in the Transformers model. Gorgeous car but over budget by a long way!

Next up was the Ford garage, well given that the car is a Ford we knew there would be some there. There was a number of new Mustangs and four certified used vehicles. M settled on a white 2008 Mustang which has the "pony package". Yes, M is calling it his little pony! Hahah!

The process of buying the car was not simple. We dont have a cheque book. Basically when the bank account was set up it was set up to our UK address, we couldnt change the address until we were in our permanent address out here (this took 7 working days) and then we ordered the cheque books. It takes up to 3 weeks for them to arrive.

The garage couldnt take the payment by debit card, it needed to be a cheque. The bank we are with has 3 branches in San Diego county, the main one in downtown is only open Monday to Friday and the two in Chula Vista are only open til 2 on a Saturday. It was half 1. It takes 45 minutes to drive to Chula Vista from Escondido. There was NO way of us getting there in time.

On top of this we needed to have the insurance in place before we could buy the vehicle. So M was on the phone to an insurance company while we were trying to work out a way to get a cheque. We couldnt put a deposit down by card, they advised the vehicle could only be held with a cheque.

The sales person took us back to our apartment in the Mustang where we had some blank cheques (nothing printed on them at all) so that we could pick them up and have a cheque to hold the vehicle. However, this was to just hold it over the weekend, the printed one was still required.

I stayed here at the apartment when M went back which was a good thing as he was there for three hours filling in paperwork and in the end they didnt even take the blank cheque, instead they got him to sign something saying he would be back Monday. Such an ODD procedure.

We had been due to be at another meet up with the British group of people at 5pm. However, we didnt end up there til half 6 due to the delays with the car! This meet was in University Heights at the British food shop called Rosie Lees. There was a lot of the same people as the night before but they were all lovely and we got to meet a few others too.

Around 9pm we all went round the corner to a bar called Cheers which was a gay bar which they would descrive as a dive bar but I really liked it in there. There is normally only one meet up with this group a month but they had this second one to celebrate Guy Fawkes. You cant have private fireworks out here so it was just an informal gathering.

Sunday started off pretty dry. We had to take the hire car back then go and pick up another hire car (it needed to be one that could be returned up in Escondido) then headed back home. It started raining again. So Sunday was just food shopping and chores!

M tried (and failed) to start a fire in our fireplace. The apartments do not have any insulation out here so whilst they are very good at staying cool when its hot they are very chilly on an overcast or wet day.

Yesterday the maintenance guys came to the apartment, fixed the water issue (the recirculation pump was not working so there was no hot water in the en suite bathroom or in the kitchen unless you ran it for ages), replaced the two light fixtures on the balcony which were not working and also sorted the leakage issue- there was a ton of leaves blocking something which was causing the rainwater to go down a vent and drip into our apartment. Well, actually it was more of a bulge into the ceiling and then some dripping through the light fixture. They are still getting the roofing guys to come take a look. JUST in case.

If this has been our apartment in the UK we would be panicking about the cost of all the repairs and replacements. Thank goodness its rented. Takes a huge pressure off us.

Monday lunchtime it was down to get a cheque. I managed to direct M around the downtown without the use of the sat nav.  This is not an easy task believe me. M then dropped me back, took the hire car back and got the Mustang! I am yet to have sat in the car (since he has owned it) but I am sure its only a matter of time. Photos to follow (once I can take them in daylight).

Today (Tuesday) was a trip to the Post Office then to the Library with one of the ladies. It was also the first day where I have felt relaxed, no surprise given how much we have been doing!

Zoo tomorrow with the other lady! Road trip at the weekend!

Other stuff we need to do... get my flu jab, apply for my gym membership, apply for a learner's permit (for me to learn to drive) and when that arrives find me a driving instructor. Not sure I will be wanting to drive the Mustang though! Also need to try and attend more Meet ups and possibly visit the bar down the road (this could be an entry in itself!).

The work permit forms have gone off today. Couldnt be sent before as we needed two months payslips.

Little by little it's coming together. So much paperwork when starting out!

Enough rambling. This is long enough. I shall return MUCH sooner with a post about fun stuff. The past three weeks fun stuff has not been happening!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a lot of hoop-jumping to get the car! I'm glad it all worked out in the end. Hope you have time for some fun stuff soon. Great that you're getting along to the meetups.