Friday, July 4, 2008

Hit the ground running!

I think it is safe to say that I have settled into my new home! I've got a lot of stuff to get you all caught up on so here we go:

Got to Songtan on Sunday afternoon and moved my luggage into the house. What a cute charming shack! I really like it. There seems to be a lot of storage available which is a blessing. The attic has some floor space that is useable, the basement is a bit damp but is all cement so I hope to fix that up some. The shed is ready to be scrubbed as well. I think we'll be able to really take advantage of the non-living space.

Inside, there are plenty of kitchen cupboards. Probably twice as much, if not more, than what we had in San Antonio. And the huge shoe closet in the foyer is another source of ample storage.

Once I got in and poked around a bit, exploring my new digs, Snuffles and I set off for downtown. It is so close and convenient!! As is the main gate for the base. A few things have changed downtown since I was here for a visit a few years ago, but many things remain the same.

Of course, it was mandatory that I re-establish my chosen seat at JJ's Cantina, my favorite place to spend some time. With all the bars here that cater to the meet and greet crowd, JJ's is a haven. It's more of a pub type feel for me. We sit outside on the front patio and watch the people go by in the street. Very relaxing. And the owner is just the nicest guy.

Monday morning was spent on base, getting me checked in and official. We got most of the items on our checklist done so it was a pretty productive day. I spent the rest of Monday afternoon in the house waiting for the water cooler guy to come deliver our cooler and 5-gallon bottles of water. He was to be here at 1:00 PM but he never showed up! I was itching to get out some more and walk around but I did make use of my time by evaluating the living space we have and thinking about how to get all of our piles of stuff into here.

I've decided that the third bedroom will be our in-home theatre room. Oooooo, how fancy!!! The thing is, with the living room laid out the way it is, I couldn't really figure out a way to fit in the 57" tv and media tower. Plus, the third bedroom is farthest away from the master bedroom and that will be a bonus to not have the tv blaring while someone is trying to sleep.

I discovered a pretty little calico kitty in our courtyard. So skinny and obviously had kittens recently. She's very timid but I am slowly working on gaining her trust. Each day is a little better. She knows that I feed her but won't get any closer than about five feet from me. Such a sweet little girl.

On Tuesday, I decided to get busy. While Snuffles was at work, I started at the BX with my shopping. I had lots on my list of things to do but while at the BX, a woman stopped me and asked for some information on the ration card. She is here visiting her husband on his unaccompanied tour. We started talking and just hit it off!! Her name is Penelope and she is an assistant school superintendent in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Her husband is the chaplain at the Suwon post (a primarily ROK military post).

Penelope and I spent the day together and it felt as though we'd been friends forever. She was driving her husband's "hoopdie" (term here for junker car, suitable for driving around locally) and it had a spoiler that was half hanging off. Penelope decided it would be better off the car than on, so she and I pulled it off and set it by my front gate.

Funny follow up to that. Snuffles came home from work and saw the spoiler sitting there. Figuring that our Korean neighbors had dumped it there since we are just lousy Americans, he grabbed it to put it in front of their house. I said, "No! That's ours!"

"What's ours?"


"A car spoiler?!?!"


"Where did you get it?"

"I pulled it off a car."

"What car?!?!?!?!"

"The chaplain's car!"

His face was PRICELESS!!!

The water guy ended up coming around 6:00 PM on Tuesday and got us all set up with a water cooler. It even has instant hot water! Woot!!

On Wednesday, I met up with Penelope in the afternoon and she and I set out for E-mart. It's kind of the Korean equivalent of Wal-Mart. The local E-mart is about 10 minutes away in Osan-Si. Interesting store! The grocery floor is fabulous, with an incredible meat selection. Everything is so fresh and clean. The next floor has housewares, drugstore items and electronics. The top floor is clothing.

We enjoyed shopping and being the ONLY non-Koreans in the place. Little kids were fascinated! Over in the children's book section, we found a book titled "Sex and the City" and flipped through it. Penelope bought a copy immediately. It appears to be some kind of sex ed book for young kids but OMG it is NOT suitable at all for young kids!! Rather interesting illustrations, I must say.

We returned to Songtan and met her husband; Snuffles called me and agreed to meet us at Sam-Il Bulgogi House for dinner. He and Penelope's husband seemed to get along great and we had a very nice dinner and then went to JJ's for an evening beer. There at JJ's, we sat - across from the sex toy shop - while Snuffles translated the children's sex book for us. With the chaplain.

The next day I was going to take the train up to Suwon to meet Penelope and go to Fashion Island, a big outlet store, in the afternoon.

In the morning, my internet friend Ralu came down to Songtan from Yongson Garrison in Seoul. OMG I am forever indebted to Ralu!! She is the BEST EVER. Ralu introduced me to 4-Seasons Quilt, a tiny hole in the wall blanket shop that does quilting for you!! You provide the pieced top, backing and binding and they do the rest. She had two quilts to drop off to be done - one was a small lap-size quilt and one was slightly smaller than a twin size. For both, including the batting, the cost was under $60!! I am going to keep that store in business, to be sure!!

Then Ralu took me to another hidden gem: A purse shop, with a "secret" upstairs room. Where the good stuff is!!! Big Chanel handbags for $89! Coach purses for $30!! Oh my my!!

Afterwards, she and I had lunch and hit the BX for a bit. Then she had to catch the bus back to her base and I came home. Feeling a little crampy, I laid down for a bit. Penelope called to confirm with me but I begged off the afternoon trip so I could deal with the crampiness of it all.

Snuffles came home from work with a gas grill, which he promptly worked on assembling. Took a while but what a nice grill!

Today we bummed around the house and waited for our outdoor swing to be delivered. Once that got here, around 11:00 AM, we put it together (not the quickest item to assemble!) and then rolled out the grill and did some steaks.

Now he is sleeping, because tonight he has "Barf Bus" duty. Not really a bus - well, they used to have a bus - but he will be on patrol on the base getting all the 4th of July drunks home safe and sound.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Famous Flower Lady of Songtan

Productive Day, Wasted Day

It started out promising, it really did!

Snuffles came home from PT and I was ready to go. Today was the day to "in-process" me and make me an entity here at Osan. We did a lot of running around, enrolling me in the BIDS system (which means that I am approved to be here), applying for my ration card (necessary in order to shop in the commissary and BX), getting my A-3 Visa and SOFA stamp, registering me for medical, updating finance so that we get the OHA at the with-dependent rate. Still a few more things to do such as gas mask and driver's license stuff, but we decided to have some lunch in the BX food court and head home.

That was the productive part.

The hurry to get home was because the bottled water delivery guy is scheduled to come today to set up our water cooler. Obviously, drinking the tap water is ill advised. He was due here at 1:00 PM.

Here is the wasted part. It is now 4:00 PM and still no water guy! So I have wasted an entire day sitting here waiting for him to come (Snuffles had to go to work for the afternoon). I'm not very happy about that because I had some errands to run downtown. Now I will have to do those this evening but I was really looking forward to being on my own for a bit to explore downtown.

Oh well, we need to go downtown anyways so I can get my cell phone finally. It's silly how dependent I've become on having that all important phone! LOL!

While I waited, I did some straightening up and some more work in the garden, pruning away. I'm starting to see some progress! I need to pick up a rake downtown to clear out the dead leaves and apricots on the ground. Then I want to get a bunch of plant pots and flowering plants to enhance our courtyard.

Ooo! A big orange tomcat in the courtyard!! That makes two different cats I've seen out there. I am appeased in my desire for a cat by having strays to ooo and ahhh at.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Journey Begins

Friday, June 27, 2008

I have now been awake since 7:00 AM on Thursday, June 26.

At 5:30 AM, I enter the airport terminal and get into line for Security. After 10 minutes in line (a very long line), the woman in front of me sees someone she knows at the end of line and waves her over to join her at this point in line. I'm tired, I'm grouchy, and I open my mouth. (Really, did you think I wouldn't?) “You are not seriously having her cut in line,” I said. “But we are traveling together!” came the bleated reply. Standing behind them in line for another ten minutes and listening to their conversation, I discerned that they were co-workers on a business trip and did not travel together to the airport. Shuffle pucks. At one point, they spied another co-worker at the end of the line but wisely did not have him join them at the front of the line.

As we reached the winding portion of entering security, the line cutter turned around, placed her hand on my arm and said, “Tell you what, why don't you go in front of us since you are upset about this?”

The HELL. I said absolutely not, that didn't make it right and it wasn't fair to everyone else behind them in line. I just glared at them after that. Sometimes I truly despise people. I don't care if you are “traveling” together, everyone is going through the same security checkpoint and the plane will get them both to where they need to be.

I got through security and waited to board my plane. Flight to Atlanta was fairly uneventful except for the fact that my RLS was in hyper drive. You would have thought my seat was on fire or I was seriously epileptic the way I was jumping around – thank you so much legs. Grrrr. I apologized to my seat mate and he was most kind and understanding.

Landing in Atlanta, I made my way to my assigned gate as per my boarding pass. On the way, Missy called my cell and I talked with her for a couple minutes. I had approximately one hour between flights. I kept patting my Ambien in my pocket, ready to take it once I got on the plane.

When I got to the gate, I realized that it was not my flight. Ugh. Trudge over to the departure / arrival screens and I am at gate 26 instead of 12. Fine. Gingersmurf the Pack Mule schleps to Gate 26.

Once there, it is announced that there is a delay and the plane will leave at 12:30 instead of 11:00. The issue? The entertainment system on board was not working. Okay. 15 hour flight, a little in-flight tv / movies would be nice.

By now I am so far beyond exhaustion and in physical distress that I am starting to lose it. In tears, I talk to the lady at the desk to see about being upgraded. Can't do that, she said. I could pay if I like. $3000. Definitely not feasible for me. She did change my seat to the bulkhead seat so that I had a little more leg room and honestly, sometimes that helps. Being able to brace my feet against the wall can sometimes subdue or lessen my RLS.

My cell phone rings briefly, and I see that Snuffles has attempted to call. Not sure why the call won't go through. A couple minutes later, it rings once again. Same situation. I open the phone to call Missy and get a recording of some sorts, instructing me to dial *611 for Verizon assistance. I do, repeatedly, and nothing. Nothing at all. Fuckers at Verizon have canceled my phone service, 24 hours before they were to do so.

I went to find something to eat, and tried to hook up to wireless internet. Miracle of miracles, I manage to snag some internet! I popped into CinC chat and GOD BLESS YOU WONDERFUL CHAT LADIES!!! Thank you Elisha!! Elisha (infantrywife99) called Missy for me and asked Missy to IM my husband. I had just sent him an email but couldn't access Yahoo Messenger. Then somehow, through the email, I had some kind of Messenger connection! Thank God!! I chatted with Snuffles – okay, well I completely had a Tourette's Episode where I repeatedly told him that he could have gently caressing love with himself and every single noun of every single sentence was clarified as being a gently caressing mother.

There I am, sitting in the food court area of the Atlanta airport, bawling my eyes out and chatting on line. Keep in mind, I have been up for well over 24 hours at this point.

Feeling completely hopeless, I sign off and go to my gate for my delayed 12:30 PM departure. Yeah, right.

Delayed some more – we will leave at 5:30 PM. More than seven hours after the scheduled departure time. All for some flipping in-flight entertainment.

At this point, they pass out a meal voucher to compensate for the inconvenience. Seriously? Oh well that makes EVERYTHING better. (Do you detect a touch of sarcasm here?)

I ask to speak with a supervisor and of course, once again, fall into complete shambles, bawling and blubbering like a stark raving idiot lunatic. We do apologize for the inconvenience, did you get a voucher? My God.

Now I am reduced to wandering around the airport like a mental hospital escapee, crying, muttering my displeasure and complete loss of sanity under my breath, trying to find someway to communicate with my husband. Cell phone? Nope, all gone. Internet? Can't log onto it for free again, have to pay with credit card. That doesn't work for some reason. I find a internet phone thingy, credit card operated, call anywhere in the world! I swipe the card (minimum $3.50 charge) and hit SELECT COUNTRY. Any country you want. Provided it is America. Or the United States. Fresh round of tears and insane muttering.

There is no where in the airport to purchase an international calling card. Nowhere. I tried to call my credit card company because they are very good about halting a purchase when it is out of your normal area and their system is down. Great. Just fucking fantabulous.

Still patting my Ambien in my pocket as though it has magical properties, I continue to wander aimlessly around the airport. If I sit down, not only will I fall asleep but my RLS will frighten everyone around me. Have to keep moving.

Added bonus? My shoes are making blisters on the tops of my toes. Yay.

Finally, we board the plane. I had the bulkhead seat but it was so uncomfortable! And I was in the middle. My seat? Oh yes – reclining NOT A POSSIBLITY. Lovely.

I immediately fell asleep due to sheer exhaustion. Slept through take off, woke up about half an hour later. The stew came by and offered a beverage and I looked at him and just burst in to tears again! I was so uncomfortable.

I took my Ambien hoping to be knocked out quickly. No such luck. So I got out of my seat and walked to the back of the plane where I could stand up for a while. There I am, looking miserable, weeping, muttering, and falling down everywhere due to being tired and the Ambien kicking in. They finally shooed me back to my seat and I managed to fall asleep.

I woke up after a few hours, but my eyes were now so swollen I could barely open them. I checked my watch and was delighted to see that the flight was almost half over! I realized then that my bulkhead seat had an unobstructed view of the completely empty Business Class section with its roomy reclining seats. More tears.

I was starving by now so I wandered back to the galley area. Finally the crew took notice of me and I asked for a cup of hot tea. Walking back to my seat, I saw an unattended mini galley and I helped myself to a packet of cheese crackers. While I had slept, the crew had served two of the three meals for the flight and I had received nothing.

In the last hour of the flight, they served supper. Mostly inedible except for the fresh cut fruit which was delicious. Then a crew member escorted two ladies from coach up to the business class seats and told them to sit and relax. WHAT?!?!?! Guess who was not happy about that? Yep – me.

Finally we landed and got off the plane. Long hike and two escalators to the transit train in the airport to take us to the immigration desk. Getting through immigration didn't take long at all, and then on to baggage claim and customs. And then . . . I WAS FREE!!!! I was so incredibly happy to be off the stupid plane and done with flying that I burst into tears again. LOL!!

Snuffles, God bless him – what an incredible wonderful man he is – knew from our computer conversation that I was at or beyond a breaking point and instead of catching the military bus to the base right then (another hour and a half journey), he informed me that he had booked us a room at the very upscale Hyatt by the airport. What did I ever do to deserve such an fabulous man??

At the Hyatt, he told me to help myself to anything from the honor bar and order anything I wanted from room service. I took a fabulous shower and he ordered me a European breakfast meal from room service: granola and milk, hot Earl Gray tea, orange juice, croissant, frittata, sausage, bacon, roasted potatoes, grilled cherry tomatoes, Camembert cheese, prosciutto, melon, walnuts . . . ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Then I promptly fell asleep on the fabulous bed. Head hit pillow, and I was out.

Woke up refreshed and ready to go! The one bonus about landing late at night is that I don't end up with jet lag. While he slept I went down to the hotel restaurant for a breakfast buffet and had yet another incredible meal.

Then we took the shuttle back to the airport and went to get our bus tickets to ride to the base. At the military services desk, there was a “situation”. A young boy, 11 years old, was there at the desk. His father, an army man at Yongsan, had dropped the boy off at the airport entrance with his plane ticket and a few dollars in his hand to fly home to the States alone. Unbelievable! The military men manning the desk were working to try and contact the boy's father or his command; in Korea, unaccompanied minors are not permitted. Plus this young boy had more than one international stop before reaching family in San Francisco. I hope that the boy's father gets the full punishment he deserves for this stunt. Makes me sick.

While waiting for the base bus, Snuffles checked out my new passport. Guess what he found in there? Mr. Competent, the passport guy on base, had an approved entry stamp for Germany in the passport!! Good God! It is a miracle that I ever managed to get to Korea and to an air force base at all with that dimwit in charge.

So now I am home and relaxing. I like the house and the location to the main gate and downtown is perfect. We took a walk downtown to get a cell phone for me but they can't activate them on Sundays so we will go back tomorrow. Picked up a long handled scrub brush with which to clean the courtyard outside, and then sat and enjoyed a cold beer at my favorite bar in Pyeongtaek, JJs Cantina.

And that, my friends, is the Saga of Gingersmurf Getting To Korea!

And awaaaay we go!

It is 4:29 AM on Friday, June 27. I'm drafting this entry now while I am still awake, but I don't have internet access right now.

What a whirlwind couple of days it has been! Let's recap: on Wednesday, June 25 at approximately 9:30 AM, I got my passport and my plane ticket to leave for Korea, leaving at 6:45 AM on Friday, June 27!! So much to do, so little time. Such a cliché but for me, it has never been more true.

Thank God for such wonderful friends! Stephanie N, Kristin, Stephanie E and family – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! No way would I have ever been able to pull this off without you all. I feel like I didn't do much more than zombie around and I completely apologize for that. I am just so completely frazzled and exhausted and I owe all of you SO MUCH. I love you all so very much and can never express how incredibly grateful I am.

Here is the run-down of the most harried two days of my life.

Wednesday after I got my plane ticket and broke down into complete emotional overload (Thank you Missy for putting up with my caterwauling!), I got busy. With my mind whirring a million miles a minute, I contacted all the utilities to cancel service (except Time Warner Cable, a separate entry on them later).

Then I dashed to the post office to mail a quilt top to Sage and some little gifties I had for Missy's wonderful kids. While there, I submitted a change of address, effective June 26, 2008. Then I went home and quickly loaded the car with the remaining items I had for Michael (my son). Three flights of stairs and a total of 8 trips up and down later, I hit the road for Austin.

I got to Mom and Dad's and unloaded the car (Michael can pick up the items from there). Visited with Mom and Dad for a bit and head still spinning, I hit the road back to San Antonio.

Once home, no time to rest. Stephanie N and Kristin decided to come down to help me out and for one last time together – slumber party! Steph brought her young charge who is the most incredibly well behaved happy child. While waiting for their arrival, I went over and over my list of things to do and wandering fretfully around the apartment checking and re-checking what need to be tossed, what needed to be packed.

On their road trip down, the girls were stopped by the police for speeding. Granted they were going 68 in a 65 zone, but what my brother (the cop) has told me is that up to five miles over, the police won't bother with you. I personally think this particular cop was targeting two young women and figured they were easily intimidated. When he first approached the vehicle he informed them they were going 68 mph. Then, when writing the citation, he reiterated that 78 mph was not legal – and wrote the ticket charging them for going 78! Then – and this is what pisses me off – when he asked what their rush was, they stated they were coming to see me one last time before I went to Korea for three years. Ignorant little jerk that this man was, he derisively sneered at them “You are lying! Korea is unaccompanied only and is a one year tour!”. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Shut your mouth, you stupid ignorant man.

While waiting for them to get her, Snuffles called to check in. The previous night he had sent an email saying “Come home soon!!”. I replied early in the day “How soon do you want me? Is Saturday good for you? 3:00 PM? Airline Flight Number?”. I also then wrote about the troubles with Time Warner Cable not allowing me to cancel the service.

Snuffles called and asked, “Did you get your passport?” In a weary voice, I replied, “I sent you an email, didn't you get it? Read the email.”

I waited while he opened the email. Immediately he exclaimed, “What? What the hell is wrong with Time Warner?!?”

I instructed him to read the FIRST line of the email and forget about the cable portion. He read it out loud, no real reaction. Then a couple of beats later, it dawned on him. “Saturday!!?? THIS Saturday!?!?! I thought you were JOKING in the first line!” Needless to say, very happy Snuffles. Then he reminded me of the package that was en route to me, the PSP (Play Station Portable) for watching videos on the plane. Oh crap! Forgot about that. According to the tracking number it hasn't left San Francisco yet. More info this to come.

The girls arrived safely and a very full toddler was put to bed and fell asleep immediately. I enjoyed having the girls there – they were sanity in a insane two days.

When I wasn't asleep at 4:00 AM, I gave in and took half an Ambien in order to get some rest. Snuffles kindly called and woke me at 7:00 AM as I had requested. THREE HOURS SLEEP!! Ugh!

Thursday was probably the busiest, most hair-raising day of all. I got up, wen to the post office to check on the status of the package coming to me. Remember, I had already changed our address at the PO the day before! The lady at the post office service desk said that they didn't have the package, but assured me that the package would be sent back to the shipper..

I got home and Snuffles called again – he traced the tracking number again and it showed as received in San Antonio, at the main center. So I called the 1-800-ASK-USPS number to find where the package was so I could go and pick it up. Both the employee and supervisor merely parroted repeatedly, “You can not pick it up until a delivery attempt has been made”, and of course the ubiquitous “I do apologize for that”. Sage, you do not exaggerate the Party Line LOL!!

I called my local branch office then and talked to a wonderful man, a God among men, Garza who checked the area and said that yes, it was there!! He put it aside for me and I was able to pick up the package! Score!!!

Then the girls followed me to the Carmax location so I could sell the car. While I went in to start the process, Steph and Kristin drove over to Time Warner to drop off the cable modem and cable box. Not without more idiocy from Time Warner, mind you, as I received a call from Steph asking for the last four of Snuffles' social security number. What the hell? Yes, Time Warner, we stole these items and are RETURNING them to you. Ugh.

Carmax – what a fabulous place!! Quick, courteous, professional. I am more than pleased with my transaction there. They took my information and then went to evaluate the car. They had several waiting areas to relax in, including a fabulous play room for children. When Steph and Kristin returned from Time Warner, the little one had a blast in the play room.

All in all, it took no more than an hour and a half for the entire transaction to be completed. I didn't have a lot of hope for much money for the car; figured I'd be doing damn good if I got $500. I didn't get $500. I got $1200!! I know it doesn't seem like a lot but with the time crunch I had, and the recent history of repairs on the vehicle, I was willing to give the car away. So over a thousand bucks was a very good deal for me.

We decided to go to a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch and called Steph E. so she could meet us there. Just as we pulled up to the restaurant, a hand appeared in the window to flip the OPEN sign to CLOSED. LOL!! I thought that happened only in movies. Granted, it was about 3:00 PM so we weren't upset but it was just funny.

Instead we all met up at Taco Cabana for some lunch. I have to say, considering that in about 12 hours I was leaving to live in Asia for a few years, I'm glad we ended up having Mexican food for lunch.

Afterwards, we split up – Steph N and Kristin needed to stop by a couple of stores, and I needed to cancel my cell phone. The two girls took off and I got in the car with Steph E. As we drove towards the Verizon store, I realized that I had left all my paperwork in Steph N's car!! I called them and told them to meet us at Verizon as soon as they could.

At Verizon, I gave the gentleman a copy of the military orders and he faxed over the request to cancel service due to the move to the main office. He specified that the service was to be suspended on Saturday, June 28.

After that, off to the house where Steph E's husband met up with us. Luke – you are a saint, a blessing, a true-blue miracle. Thank you thank you thank you for doing all the grunt work. You saved my life!

We cleared out the apartment including a bookcase headboard and a box spring down to the dumpster (Luke did that), and stuffed Steph N's car to the gills with groceries, candles, etc.

After Steph and Kristin headed back to Ft. Hood, the rest of us gathered all the trash together and Luke again championed my day by being the designated dumpster diva. Then Steph and the kids and I donned our bathing suits and went to the pool for an hour or so just to cool off. Oh my, HEAVEN! Luke hadn't brought a suit (and didn't want to borrow Snuffler's suit - “can't have my boys where his boys have been” - LOL), so he chilled out on a lounge chair by the pool.

Then it was time for dinner. I decided that I wanted to take the E. family out to thank them in a small way for all their help. We went to Chili's and after about half an hour wait we were seated. You who know me can guess what is coming next. Yes, The Curse of the Gingersmurf!!

Oh, our waiter was friendly enough – he took our drink orders, delivered the beverages, took our meal orders. And we never saw him again. Someone else brought out the food, but without the ranch dressing that young Master E had requested. After a couple minutes, I flagged down another wait staff member who looked like he had just been chosen to be sacrificed to the volcano. I told him what we needed and he walked away, looking completely stricken. After an animated conversation with some other waiters at the drinks station, including pointing at our table, the sacrificial waiter returned with the ranch dressing. That was the last of any interaction with wait staff that we had. Steph herself went to the drink station a few times to refill the children's drinks.

As we finished our meal, Steph went to the front and requested that the manager come to our table. After explaining the service, or lack thereof, the manager comped our entire meal. Not that we were unreasonably whiny – all the tables in this waiter's area were in the same boat! A table of six beside us were very vocally unhappy as well. To be fair, I did ask if everything was okay with the waiter – the only thing I could think of was that maybe he was ill and stuck in the bathroom vomiting or something. No, the waiter was just incompetent. So yay for the Curse; another free meal on the books!!!

Then Steph and family departed (I am going to miss you all so much!!!!!) and I was alone in the empty apartment. My friend Deb and her two children stopped by to say their farewells and to pick up a computer of theirs that we had. Gotta love her kids – only those two would come to a completely empty apartment and ask for snacks and some toys to play with!! LOL!

After a bit, Deb left and I got everything packed into my luggage. I still needed to take out a couple bags of garbage, clean the refrigerator out, wipe out the oven (I had set it to clean the night before), tidy the counter tops, etc. but I was so worn out after all that had conspired over the previous 40 hours that I just gave up. My apologies to the Lodge but I couldn't lift another finger.

No furniture, no television, no landline phone, no internet. I was able to talk to Snuffles for a while on the cell phone until the taxi cab arrived to pick me up.

AAA Taxi in San Antonio is THE only choice. Their rates are incredible, their service goes above and beyond. I met the driver at the front gate and he drove me to the apartment and he carried all my luggage down! Three flights of stairs!!

Got to the airport in plenty of time and waited for the flight that would start my journey to The Land of the Morning Calm.

Note: From about 8:00 AM on Wednesday, June 25 to 4:00 AM on Thursday, June 26, no sleep. Sleep from 4:00 AM on Thursday, June 26 until 7:00 AM on Thursday, June 26.