We made it! The kids, the cat and I are safe and sound in Hawaii.
We’ve had a few amusing stumbling blocks since we’ve been here though.
Before we even left, I had decided to keep my Palm Pilot with me and use my mom’s old hand-me-down laptop for our transition. If hubby needed a computer for his school work, the Army would provide him one (or, he had my permission to buy something new since the hand-me-down wasn’t going to last forever). Of course, the Palm Pilot died the day after my desktop computer with the other copy of our current address list was sealed in a crate. Good thing I’ve actually memorized my SIL’s address and phone, or I’d have had no contact number to give anyone as we move from one place to another.
The laptop served us well in Germany, but when I started it up here, the bottom quarter of the screen was black. Everything else works though. They have wireless internet here at the hotel and, with the computer hooked into the phone line in the lobby, I signed up. Unfortunately, to actually use the service, I need to click on the “accept terms” button at the bottom of the page — but I can’t see it because that’s in the black part. I went to the room to call tech support, but the wireless Hot Spot doesn’t go that far. I went back to the lobby and used their phone, but the computer still didn’t recognize the network. So I cancelled the service. Sorry — no photos for a while because I can’t upload them to the library computer I’m now using.
The reason I had to go to the room to call tech support was because I chose not to buy a cell phone. We had one in Germany and I rarely used it. I figured I just didn’t need the extra expense here.
The Army did not have housing for us on post, so I’ve been house hunting nearby. Of course, to go see the houses I need a car. I called around and got a good deal at the rental company that has a concession on Post. The kids and I walked over to pick up the car before a big day of seeing five houses. They would not accept the hotel number as a valid phone number and since I had no home phone or cell phone, they denied me the car. Telling them that I needed the car to get the house in order to have a home phone just didn’t convince them. We went back to the hotel and called the first appointment to cancel. She said she’s pick me up and then drop me off at the alternate car rental agency. Great! I called the second appointment and rescheduled for the next day. Once the realtor arrived, she realized I had kids and said her car insurance didn’t cover them. Quick, I took the kids to a friend’s office and dropped them off (phew). After seeing the house we went off to the second car rental agency. They had moved and the 800 number I had been dealing with hadn’t known to inform me. Not knowing how I’d get a car now, I used the realtor’s phone to call the third appointment. She was also on her way and didn’t want to turn around so realtor #1 (love her) said she’d take me to another car place she knew the location of, which wasn’t far. I got the car with a combo of the hotel phone number and a friend’s number (much more reasonable) and headed off to see the next house only a half hour late. The rest of the day went fine.
Yesterday I asked the hotel how much my phone calls from the room were, afraid that my decision to forgo a cell phone was a bad one. Guess what? Local calls are free!! So, ten minutes on hold to the transportation office at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base cost me nothing. I actually think this is a better deal than using minutes on the cell phone. We’ve also found a house, so I am in much less need of a phone over all. I can’t wait to sign rental papers tomorrow as I am still a little afraid that the house isn’t really ours. A promise that we will be moving into it though, was all the local school needed to enroll the kids. My hesitance because the house isn’t 100% ours yet cost the kids their first day of school, but when the went to class today no one seemed to think it was a problem.
Despite a few technical difficulties, everything seems to be working out just fine. Hopefully, I’ll ba back blogging with pictures in about two weeks. Meanwhile, check out the 12×12 website on August 1 for our next reveal!