Thursday, November 18, 2004

Whirlwind Weekend

I went to visit my wife this weekend, who has been residing in Maryland without me while I finish up my job here and she trains for her new job there. I can't really take any significant time off of work, so it's been about 2 months since we've seen each other, and I was very excited to finally be getting on a plane to see her.

I left work early on Friday so I could make my Jet Blue flight. I have discovered that the extra drive to Long Beach Airport to get Jet Blue is well worth it, and this trip confirmed my belief. Beware: prejudicial statement to follow... I think I figured out what makes Jet Blue a different airline. I think it's run by (or highly staffed by) gay people. I am fairly certain that 90% of the flight staff in both directions was gay, both male and female, both in the airplane and in the airport. It's almost like the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" of air travel.

Anyway, I had a terrible migraine on Thursday that hadn't quite evaporated by Friday's flight, but I was doing OK except for when we hit turbulence... I think the woman next to me thought I was afraid of flying, but I literally was preventing myself from getting sick during the bumps. Fortunately, I got to Maryland in one piece. Tracy met me at the airport, and for a second I actually thought she was going to run and tackle me, she kind of looked like she was going to start a sprint and her smile was quite big. It was so good to see her.

I arrived late, but it was about dinnertime on the west coast, so they made me some dinner and it was the beginning of a food-centric weekend. (little segue, not to focus on food TOO much, but my show is wrapping up and so we had our last catered meal yesterday... all-you-can-eat lobster tail and filet mignon. ordering in will never be as good!) On Saturday, we slept in late and then began the phone calls to the realtors and brokers. We followed this up by a short drive to see the geographic areas of Maryland from Gaithersburg to Rockville on a roundabout way to dinner. The weather was in the 40's and 50's, but the cool, invigorating air actually helped my headache and I was good throughout the rest of the weekend. We ate at the Tokyo Lighthouse, kind of like Benihana, but all-you-can-eat for only $25. Believe me, we got our money's worth! Great food, and we ate a ton!!!

After dinner, we went to a party thrown by a realtor who is the wife of one of Tracy's colleagues. They live in a beautiful 6000' home in Germantown. The people there were incredibly friendly, and we even met one woman who wants to show us around the area once I move out in January. It really made me feel good about both the realtor and the people back east. And speaking of good people, we got up on Sunday morning to plan on meeting some of my friends that live in Silver Spring and DC. We met for lunch at Philip's Seafood. Everything in Maryland is about the crab, and there is seafood everywhere! We even saw them roll in a cooler that had just come from the boat while we were eating... and this was a fast food place! The weather looked a lot sunnier, but it was much colder. It was in the 40's, but invigorating... I think it was warmer in the evenings, as weird as that is. While I like to be warm, I actually enjoyed the cooler weather for a change... I just need a new wardrobe! Anyway, it was great to see my friends and I look forward for the chance to spend more time with them. They've also been very supportive and helpful of our move, and despite the difficulty in leaving my local friends behind, it is wonderful to know I have some good friends I'll be near. I value my friendships and all relationships more every day.

After lunch, we went to meet with a broker to determine how we can get pre-approved for a loan. I don't mean to brag, but I think our credit scores were so high that we almost had to get tested for substance abuse. This was an exciting and scary part of the process. We realized that while we have good credit and assets, the prices in the area have soared so high that any home we would want has well surpassed the range we were looking for. However, we are on the fast track for purchase, as things will only get worse with the "spring rush" and if we get priced out of the market in Maryland as we have in LA, it will be unlikely we will be able to afford a house in our lifetime without winning the lottery. So, we had to swallow all the confusing paperwork and mortgage choices, and now we have to swallow our high likely monthly mortgage payment, but we hope to have a house by February.

After this, we needed to relax, by gorging at Buca di Beppo for dinner. As usual, an amazing meal. We got home late, went right to bed, and up 3 hours later (the equivalent of 12:45am west coast time) to get to the airport and hop on another turbulent filled plane trip back to LA so that I could land a little after 9am and go straight to work. Needless to say, it was a crazy fast trip, but I had a great time, and now I am super-stressed (and excited) looking forward to my move in January. There will be many more adventures to come...

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