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Sunday, 13 December 2009

D+2 - Friday - Uhaul and Recliners

We slept until 6am this time, though the floor was a little hard on my hips and backside, so early mattress acquisition was desireable.

We went up to the clubhouse to get online, and ordered the T-Mobile phones and booked a U-Haul van for 3pm. Then Beth discovered that her credit card that we had bought everything with was blocked "for unusual activity", i.e. we'd actually used it. That meant we couldn't get started on shopping until we'd been to the Bank of America (or called them on our non-existant phones) to sort that out problem, but we were planning a Bank visit anyway at 9am, so it wasn't a big deal.

Off to the Bank then, and after they unlocked the card we also sorted out Bank accounts (checking and Savings) for me, and a joint checking account. That was all very quick and easy, and I was impressed with their efficiency. I walked out with a temporary debit card I could use, something I haven't encountered in the UK, and very convenient, especially considering our current needs.

Then off to CostCo, a discount warehouse where you have to be a member (for $50 a year) to shop, but you can buy in bulk a great prices, and they also sell TVs, various furniture and other stuff, and also food and clothes. We decided to become Executive Members, an extra $50 fee, but you get the $50 and more back at the end of the year if you spend enough. We may well buy a big 50" TV here when we get our house, which would be more than enough to get the cashback. Beth also ordered an American Express card linked to CostCo (the only credit card the accept) which confers other perks. Havinggot our membership sorted out we had a look round but didn't buy much, as we planned to return another day.

Back to Fred Meyer to order a second recliner for Beth. The sales assistant had been a bit too pushy the first time, and put Beth off, but we decided that having two matching recliners would be better, so we ordered a second to be colelcted that afternoon, then got a 32" LCD TV, an Oregon Ducks T-Shirt for me (they are in the Rose Bowl 1st Jan 2010 - GO DUCKS!), and soe foodstuffs, before heading back to the apartment to set up the TV.

Now this may seem foolish, but I hadn't realised the TV needed a separate aerial, I had assumed it was all included, so I would have to go back to FM to get that. We also discovered two packages missed while we were out, one left at the Leasing Office and the other mysteriously not, so I would have to go to the FedEx centre in Springfield after 5pm to collect it, or wait for a redelivery on Monday. The FedEx package was my laptop, so I determined to collect it.

We collected the second package, a replica Philadelphia Eagles Helmet for me (for display, not use), went back to FM and got a Digital Aerial for the TV, and finally home to get it all set up. This provides us with about a dozen channels, the main ones CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, plus a few local stations.

After some lunch we went to u-Haul to collect a van, and then back to FM for the third time today to collect the two recliners and a flat packed table. Home again to set them up, and dispose of acres of cardboard packing. It had started to rain, and it was interesting manouvering the boxed chairs into the house, but we got them set up OK, and now each had somewhere comfy to sit, and a TV to watch. WE did not yet have beds to sleep on, just bedding, but we decided to leave the mattress hunt until Saturday.

Beth had a job interview lined up now, that she had arranged before we left the UK, so she drove off in the increasing rain and encroaching dark, while I went off in the van to collect my laptop.

Well it's a simple drive to Springfield in good weather and daylight, but a tense one in an unfamiliar van, with freezing rain lashing down and in the dark. The Beltline highway was my route for 90% of the way, and I saw a couple of crashed cars that had obviously fallen foul of the poor conditions. I drove slowly, peering through the murk to see mty way, and not unnaturally missed my turn the first time and had an interesting 15 minutes navigating the backstreets of Springfield before, more by luck than judgement, happening across the FedEx office. I collected my package with a polite enquiry as to why it wasn't left at the office (and not a very satisfactory answer), then hauled myself back into the van to carry my new toy home.

Beth arrived home from her interview, which went well and she has a second interview next week. We watched a bit of TV, but were too tired now to have much interest, and collaped again, Beth in her bedding, me rolled up in my comforter in my recliner.

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