Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One more thing...

I forgot to mention in my previous post, I found out a little more about the building that our new apartment is in.

Apparently, it's on the National Register of Historic Places! The building was built in 1909, and it's one of two "Wolters Double Houses" (it, and the building next to it)--essentially, old "duplexes" or row houses. It was built by the same architects who constructed the beautiful Boise High school and the Egyptian Theater downtown!

Our leasing agent also let us know that these beautiful fixtures (in the dining room area) are original:

We'll be living in turn-of-the-century STYLE my friends! I can't wait to have you all over for tea, crumpets, and a ballyhoo.

And thus commence packing.

Wow. One week (did you hear me: ONE WEEK) until Charlie and I (and Charlie's dad!) make the big drive from Portland to Boise, earthly possessions in tow.

The closer we get to that day, the more things speed up. Tomorrow is my last day of work, and then it's a pack-a-thon until we fly our little nests on the morning of the 1st.

Pack-a-thon and clean-a-thon that is.

I remain stunned by how much dust accumulates in my house. I also remain stunned by the amount of JUNK that builds up. Time to purge. Hopefully a "free" listing on Craigslist takes care of at least some of it.

I'm also going to try to sell a few more things (couch, nasty old papasan chair, some old bike wheel rims, old horseback riding breeches/boots, etc.). Hopefully craigslist works out, and we'll be done with those things soon.

* * *

Otto isn't exactly sure what to make of all this packing up. He'll zoom around the house, frolicking in all the new, extra space, and then he'll stop, look up at me with these forlorn, confused little eyes. It's pretty apparent he knows that SOMETHING is up, just not quite what.

One thing is for certain, though, he doesn't want to be left behind:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Forgot to add...

Forgot to mention, the rest of the pictures from our trip are up... you can check them out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/arielarielariel/ if you're so inclined!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's official!

I got a call this morning from the woman who was looking at our rental application for our #1 choice apartment--and she confirmed it, we're set to go with our favorite place! Yeehaw!

I can't say enough nice things about the apartment--nice part of town, beautiful place, full of character. I'm running out of steam as far as a long texty post goes, but I will share some of the pictures we took of the place below.

Basic stats: 2 bedroom, one bath. Ground floor apartment. Built-in's, hardwood floors, fireplace. Laundry on-site. Good enough for me!

Dining room.


Pocket doors.

View down the "hall" to the kitchen.


From the outside. Ours is the one on the ground floor.

So there you have it! Our new house! Hooray! I think it's going to be a really lovely place to live. We're both so very excited about it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Heading home...

I'm blogging this from the Boise airport, where Ariel and I are waiting for our flight back to Portland after our three-day house-hunting trip. It's been a whirlwind of house and apartment viewings - we toured 8 different places! All were unique and different from each other. Luckily, we've narrowed the search down to our top 2 places. Both are apartments in the north end of Boise, a beautiful, old residential area of town with tree-lined boulevards and easy access to several parks and the downtown area. (You can read more about the historic north end here.) We've got confirmation from one of the apartments that they'd love to rent to us and we're pretty sure the other one will be offered to us on Monday. We will have an update here on Spudward about our new apartment soon!

After checking out rentals all day yesterday, we took an evening drive on Bogus Basin Road into the foot hills outside of Boise last night where we watched the sunset. Ariel snapped some beautiful shots of the hills and city at dusk:

Today (Saturday), we walked through the Capitol City Farmer's Market downtown, took an afternoon walk in Morrison Park (where we unexpectedly ran into the Boise LGBT Pride festival taking place!), strolled down the Boise River Greenbelt and walked through BSU's campus, and topped the afternoon off with (world famous) milkshakes at Moon's Kitchen Cafe.

It's hard to believe that we'll be back for good in two weeks! There's so much left to do before we move, but after this trip it feels like Boise will be a good "first home" for us in our life together.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Can you come look at the house at 8:30?" "PM?! Uh... sure...."

(Caveat: The following was written and posted at about 10 pm after a crazy day of house-hunting that started at 4:00am in Portland, OR. I've decided to leave it up, crazy and disjointed as it is--it captures how crazy I felt by the end of the day!!)

When we finally got back to the hotel (to finally stay there for the night, that is), Charlie turned on the TV and John Stewart was saying something about people taking vacations.
Well, today is the first of our "vacation" days off from work for the purpose of visiting Boise and finding a house to live in.

Trivial, light-hearted fun!

Actually, we're having a lovely time together--exploring Boise, meeting people, and enjoying the 70 degree days (!!!). It's just that we've been up since 4:00 am this morning.

Of course the day started E-A-R-L-Y in Portland this morning. Even the cat, known for his 7-am-on-a-Sunday-good-morning-walk-up-your-body-and-lick-your-forehead, seemed to think this was a little extreme (he was the last one in the house to get up this morning, and when I fed him, he kind of stumbled into the living room--because that's what he was "supposed" to do--and then spent a while looking at his food in a confused sort of way). We had a gorgeous and amazing flight from Portland to Boise. I forget how much I enjoy flying! As we climbed out of town, we were moments away from identifying my house from above when we broke through the clouds and into clear, sunny skies.

It was breathtaking. Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Jefferson and the Sisters, and possibly even Baker (though, we weren't entirely sure about that one) were all rising above the clouds. I've never taken pictures from a plane before, but I think I got some nice ones today despite the fuzzy, blurry airplane windows.

In addition to the mountains, it was amazing to see how the clouds ended abruptly at the Eastern edge of Mt. Hood, and kind of poured into the valleys and into nothingness.

(In the picture above, from left to right: Mt Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams)

(Above: Mt. Adams in foreground, Rainier behind.)

After we landed in Boise and picked up our rental car, we set out immediately to meet up with a rental management representative and check out a house. And so began our day. We had three appointments lined up to see houses even before we arrived. Aside from a brief interlude in which Charlie took a brief work meeting (and I went to Starbucks and searched for more houses) it was all houses all the time. Back and forth across Boise I-can't-tell-you-how-many-times.

In the end, the tally has us at: 5 houses toured, one house rented away before we could view it, and countless houses visited from the outside and either rejected or added to the "emergency back-up" list. We have three applications in-hand that we intend to complete this weekend, all three of which are for places with their perks, their quirks, and that we all love a little already. We'll see. Once our brains are feeling a little less loose and wiggly in our skulls (aka, tomorrow!) we'll be figuring out our game plan and lining up a few back-up apps.

Boy. Are. We. Exhausted.

I have to say, we've sure met some lovely people along the way today--everyone has been so kind and so friendly. I really think that we're going to enjoy living here. If for no other reason than that Boise is such a trusting place!

TWO of the appointments for houses we had lined up in advance for this trip involved landlords who left the doors unlocked (or told us, raw strangers from the internet, where the keys were hidden)--when I asked the first leasing agent about the car break-in rates in the neighborhood (a valid question, I thought, given he busy street close by, and our experiences with petty crime of that nature in Portland!), she looked at me as if I'd just said something truly appalling. It took her completely off-guard, "I don't keep crime statistic rates on my properties." But I love how trusting and sincere Boise seems. That said, I don't plan on changing my habits of locking doors any time soon!

Anyhow, we had some fun checking out rentals today, so I'll leave you with a couple funny shots.

(And no, ye curious minds, Charlie didn't actually use the toilet in the picture above.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

We're gonna get married!

We're engaged! Super awesome wedding coming in 2009!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Returning to the city of trees.

Contemplating how much browner it will be in Boise this trip than it was on our last (just shy of three weeks ago).

Temperatures are supposed to be in the 70's and upper 80's. Excellent house-hunting weather if I ever saw any.

In advance of our trip, I wanted to share another gem with you from the great Craigslist search of 2008.

The posting title reads: "$850 / 3br - Enchanting 3br 2ba w/ AC,Washer& Dryer included, built in wine rack (Boise Area)"

Take a moment and imagine what you picture an "enchanting" house to be. For some it might be a river view, for others s fireplace and jacuzzi tub. Here's the ad.

Perhaps I'm being a little hard on ol' Boise, but, for me, this ad demonstrates two examples of things that do not scream "enchanting:"

1) Rent to own because of pending foreclosure.
2) Taupe.

Though, I suppose if I were to REALLY utilize that built-in wine rack HARD, anything could eventually become "enchanting" enough....

Cross your fingers, we have four appointments set up for walk-throughs (of exceedingly enchanting houses, of course!).

More updates from the road to come!