After being on the road for about 8 hours we stopped in Templeton, CA for the night. We didn't just pick it off of a map, Eric's air force academy sponsor's live there and offered their home to us for the night. We were exhausted by the time we got there and Etta was beyond ready to get out of the car. Templeton is an amazing little city in CA that I would love to settle down in in the future (if we ever have enough money!). The Johnson's live in about 11 acres that they've owned for many years and have spent considerable time updating their beautiful little home. We only took a few pictures of our stay. The first was Etta's reaction to the animals. She got to see cows and horses for the first time up close. This horse was extremely friendly, especially with apples. Below is Etta's first time playing a grand piano.
The next baby Beethoven?
Needless to say we all slept really well that night. We hung out with them all morning long and they even took us to a local farmer just down their street. They had Bing cherries for sale and each picked up a pound. We got to see his farm where they also grow chardonnay grapes, table grapes, apples, pistachio, walnuts (which he gave us a big bag of at no charge!), apricots, and I'm sure other things I can't remember. He even had chickens and kittens running around. Needless to say Etta had an amazing time checking everything out there. We unfortunately had to continue our drive to Monterey and left the Johnson's that afternoon. It only took us 2 hours to finish our drive to Monterey though.
We dropped Maggie off at a dogie hotel then went to billeting on base (for those of you non military folks) which is basically a hotel for military people. We were given two rooms that are joined by a bathroom. One room is a master bedroom and the other is a living area, dining area, and a makeshift kitchen with microwave, fridge, and a sink. It has been treating us pretty well so far. We normally don't have television and have one in each room hooked up to cable. It's strange to just sit and watch tv.
While we were checking into our room I was chasing Etta up and down the hallway. The manager came out to talk to us and turns out she knows one of the guys we had just met in DC that will be doing the Japanese class with us. She also speaks Japanese and is a fellow Christian. She invited us to OCF (officer Christian fellowship) for Thursday night and also mentioned the Baptist church she attends. Needless to say last night we gave her a call and asked if we could follow her to OCF. We got to meet a handful of wonderful people and even met up with someone Eric knew from the academy and someone I met at a wedding 2 years back. It was great getting plugged in just days after moving here. Heck, people were offering us to stay with them if we needed a place until our household goods arrived. Very friendly. We'll be checking out the First Baptist Church of Monterey this coming Sunday. People here are so friendly!
We did some house hunting on base Wednesday and lets just say it's an eye opening experience working with 'those' people. We showed up shortly after they opened and gave us a list of all the homes available to us (by rank and number of dependents). They drive us around showing us all the vacant homes like a realtor. Eric wouldn't even let me look at the first few places because they were that bad. The first place he does show me...I start crying. The thoughts going through my head were: wow, this is horrible, they expect people to live in this?, I can't believe this layout...where they smoking crack when drawing it up? Needless to say we spent all afternoon looking at amazing P.O.S. that were available. The kicker, you have 48 hours to sign on one of those houses that they showed you that day or they won't help you again for 30 more days. Wait a minute, no one had mentioned that to us before. We hadn't even looked at any of the off base rental homes yet. That rule is just amazingly stupid because it gave us no chance to look at anything else. There was one home on base that didn't absolutely suck and we figured someone else looking at homes would feel the same way about it. Because of this stupid rule we knew other people had to act fast as well. We ended up driving by some of the off base rentals and they were complete dumps as well and just as small. Since we would have to pay a little out of pocket we decided to sign with the house on base. It's basically an apartment even though it's referred to as a house. It's a three bedroom two bath with a living area, no garage, and practically no backyard (sorry Maggie, you're peeing and pooping on dirt). We do have an ocean view and have a playground right outside the house. It's not ideal, but it will do for the next year.
The kicker is trying to figure out how to put everything from our last house into this house. Basically, it's not going to happen. Here's another funny thing, we had our house packed up and shipped last Wednesday and arrived in Monterey the following day. Eric called to have them deliver it for us, guess when the earliest they can deliver it? Next Friday! Hello, it took you one day to get it to Monterey then 8 days from the time we called to deliver. Can we say inefficient? So, we are moving into our house tomorrow and won't see our belongings for another week. Once they cram everything from our 4 bedroom three car garage into the house we have to have someone come look at how crammed we are to beg for them to cover storage for us. Otherwise we'll have to sell a bunch of things (think of all the nice furniture we have and won't have room for) or pay for storage ourselves. Needless to say, the past two weeks have taken a toll on me and I feel I'll be going into early labor for certain!
Sorry for typing so long this morning. It's 4:40am and have been awake for the last hour and a half. Some moron hit their panic button on there car and left it going for several minutes. Needless to say, the pregnant woman is wide awake now. Lots of prayers needed during this time of transitioning. Also, Etta is still battling the chest cold which Eric and I are resolved in finding the pediatrician on base tomorrow to take her in. She needs medication and since everything I have won't show up for another week, she needs to go in. I'll take pictures of our empty house tomorrow and post them soon.