Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Idaho Falls - Day 2 and a half

Last post was kind of a downer. Here is some fun stuff I've seen up here:

  1. Tumbleweeds exist! They are real! I saw one blow across the street!

  2. Squirrels in Idaho have sulfur-yellow tummies. Weird.

  3. Kids who chase geese and their goslings and scare them half to death suck. And I am unanimous in that!

Idaho Falls - Day 2

Today started out fairly well: I woke up at 4AM local time (6AM my time), got dressed, made coffee, and went downstairs to the car, where it was a chilly 40 degrees and raining out. It was perfect.

Then began the day-long circus.

Like I said yesterday, I gave Michael and Catherine the wrong key, and the night maintainence guy wouldn't let them in without the office's say so. So I called the office. 3 times. Twice I left messages, the 3rd time the phone was answered ... by a girl who was not the complex manager. Turns out that the manager was on vacation, and the girl who was subbing for him didn't know the policy and couldn't decide on her own whether to let the neighbors in, so she had to call the manager and leave a message.

An hour or so later, she calls me back, and says that yes, she can let them in, but only if I fax over a signed statement that says she can. The good folks at Center Partners were kind enough to lend the use of their fax machine, and off it goes. I called the office again, confirmed reciept, and a few minutes later Michael texted to say he had picked up the key and was walking over now. Phew, problem solved!

Or so I thought.

About 20 minutes later, Michael calls. The key they gave him was to his apartment, not mine (seriously!?!?) He went back and asked for the right key and was told there ... was ... no .... key. Yes, you read that right. The apartment complex DOESN'T HAVE A SPARE KEY TO MY APARTMENT. Apparently in the entire universe there are only 2 keys to my apartment, one with me, and the other presumably resting in the pewter bowl on my living room table.

Ok, deep breath. Think this through. What are the options? The maintainence guy said I had two:

  1. Raise up a ladder and try to break through one of the windows of my 3rd story apartment. However, the ladder was so big it needed 2 people to carry, and only 1 maintainence guy was around. Because of liability, they wouldn't let Michael carry it. So I'd be stuck until tomorrow morning. Scratch option #1.

  2. Have the maintainence guy drill out the lock, and replace it. This would cost $50 and would require another round of phone tag with the apartment manager. Additionally, since there'd be a new lock, my old keys wouldn't work anymore, and I wouldn't be able to get into my apartment at 12:30AM Friday morning without waking Michael & Catherine. While this wasn't ideal, I was getting desperate, and so I called the office again to start the 2nd round of phone tag. And called. And called. 3 messages and 2.5 hours later, the girl finally calls me back, and says that she would be happy to have it done, but it'd have to be tomorrow morning. *Sigh. Scratch option #2

Eventually, I decided to go with option #3, recommended by Justin. Go to Walmart, make a copy of the key, and FedEx it overnight to Michael & Catherine. It costs less than the lockout, is more convenient for everyone, and I get an extra key that I'm sure the office would love to have . One problem: Jodi and the rest of the gang were about to leave for Jackson Hole for a good dinner, and their car was going with them. Worse, nobody seemed to know exactly where this FedEx place was, and Google, Mapquest, and FedEx's website all disagreed about it's precise location in ID Falls.

Luckily, the kind folks at Center Partners were kind once again, and one of the VACD program leads drove me to Walmart and then sought out the FedEx location (for the record, MapQuest was right). Knock on wood, this is finally fixed, and my poor Lucy will not starve or dehydrate to death. (I'm not really REALLY worried, she had a full water dish and a good amount of food when I left her yesterday morning, but more than 48 hours without fresh food/water would've started to be worrisome).

Also, Michael and Catherine absolutely ROCK. You guys are awesome, I will hate to see you move away this summer :(

Monday, May 10, 2010

Idaho Falls - Day 1

Well, technically Day 1 was Richmond-Chicago-Denver-IdahoFalls, but that's a bit too long for a title. Over it was a pretty decent day, but with one big exception that I'll get to in a sec.

The flights were long, and boring. To give you an idea: the most exciting leg was Chicago to Denver: our plane, a Boeing 757, was the same as our flight number, UA757. It was also a little bumpy. Whee!

Idaho Falls is pretty - my hotel room actually looks out over the river and across to the Mormon Temple, which is absolutely gorgeous when it's lit up at night. Pictures of it, the river, and a gigantic fountain in the middle of town coming soon.

Dinner last night was an adventure: Justin recommended a place called "Smitty's Steak and Pancake Houe", but it was voted down 3-1 (sorry Justin, my travel partners just aren't as brave, or as crazy, as you are). We set off looking for a restaurant called Iggy's ... but apparently the average lifespan of a restaurant in ID Falls is about 6 months, so typically what happens is that Jodi (CapOne's relationship manager with CP) will eat there once or twice, love them, and then try to go again on a later site visit, only to discover the restaurant has closed. Which Iggy's had. So we drove around a little more, and eventually found a brewery called the Brownstone. It was decent - I had fish & chips (while everyone else had something healthy, sheesh) with a beer, which was a good way to relax.

Ok ... now for the not so good stuff. I left Lucy at home, and gave Michael & Catherine (my neighbors) the spare keys so they could look after her while I'm gone. Only ... I gave them the wrong keys. So they can't get in. Which is a problem. I called the after-hours maintainance (which answers the phone as "Fidelity Services" ... wtf?), but he won't let my neighbors into my apartment without the office's permission, and said I'd need to call them Tuesday and have Michael pick up the keys directly. Which is a perfectly reasonable policy and I copmletely agree, but still it sucks. I feel like the worst dad ever. :(