The Week of Pain has drawn to a close. Slowly. And painfully.
All of my regular readers may have noticed that I haven't posted for slightly over a week. The Fambly and I took a vacation, of sorts. We went out to beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado to do a little house shopping in the mornings and evenings, and for me to start my new job there in the afternoons.
It all started out beautifully enough. We took a limo to the airport, checked our bags at curbside, and were informed that we all had middle seats. Now, I've flown back-and-forth to Denver may times, and I have generally had a middle seat. But it is problematic when you have a 2-yr-old, like little MaxieC, and you can't sit next to him. HannieC, being 6, might make it a little longer - say up to 30 minutes - before freaking out. But, the flight is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
We got hit with what I would consider a classic bait-and-switch marketing campaign. I don't know why this is legal. If I were Eliot Spitzer, I'd investigate it. I was making the travel arrangements online at one of my favorite online travel sites, and I was making darned sure we found a flight where we could sit together. I discarded the first, and cheapest, flight out because there were no seats together. I managed to find a flight out and a flight back where we could get seats all next to each other. Then, as soon as I hit purchase and agree to the non-refundable nature of the transaction, it sends me a little update. "Your itinerary has changed." What has changed? "Seats assigned at check-in."
Why is that not illegal? Why can they give you a seat assignment when making the purchase, and then take it away as soon as they have the money?
But, anyways, it all worked out. The gate agent was able to get The Mrs. and MaxieC next to each other, and she was able to get me an aisle seat two in front of HannieC's middle seat. When the guy in the aisle seat next to HannieC showed up, I just said, "Hey, would you mind switching seats? They didn't seat me next to my daughter, and she's very worried about flying by herself." No problem. He gets an aisle closer to the front, and he avoids sitting next to a screaming 6yr-old.
Dennise's sister met us at the gate. She had flown in from Barfalo to be the nanny during the trip, since The Childrens cannot possibly sit still long enough to let us actually look at a house. Now, I have to admit I was against this idea. See, I still remember the time we brought her brother in to help with HannieC after she was born, and The Brother promptly got drunk and broke his ribs in the hot tub. So, instead of him helping take care of HannieC and The Mrs., the Mrs. had to help take care of him. I expected a similar amount of usefulness from The Sister, though without the getting drunk and breaking of ribs, given that her life appears to revolve primarily around sleep and eBay.
I've got to admit I was wrong on this one. The Sister provided pretty good childcare, and her continual pining away that her boyfriend, who is out of the country on an archeology expedition of some great merit, didn't email her enough gave me an endless source of material for cheap shots. Poor The Sister.
The house hunting went very badly the first two days. On Monday night, we went and saw what I thought were the four most-likely-to-purchase homes of the roughly 14 that met our requirements. They were all problematic. 3 of the 4 backed up onto very very busy streets, and the 4th one was junky. We loved one of the houses, but the busy street was too much.
The second day, we saw stuff from a new development. It was mostly new construction, with two house being a couple years old. We really liked one of the almost-done homes (done Aug 1), but it was at the top of our price range and came with no landscaping at all nor any window coverings. And once we got a copy of the homeowners associations rules and regulations, we got scared silly.
That night, we were a bit depressed. We were to see the final houses the next morning, and then start revisiting those we liked the next evening. And we didn't really like anything all that much. The Mrs., sensing my despair, arranged for The Sister to babysit The Childrens after they went to sleep so that she and I could go to the hotel bar and have a bit of beer.
I was too depressed to go. I said, "What if I really don't want a beer? What if I just want to go to sleep?"
The Mrs. said, "I don't think I have ever heard you turn down a beer as long as I've known you."
That'd be 26 years that she has known me.