Monday, January 28, 2008

Our Apartment

at pre-moving conditions

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jetlag + sickness = matinees

Okay, so after surviving our trip to the Philippines and then both of us getting very ill soon thereafter, the sickest I've been in a while, lasting practically 2 weeks, we did experience a bit of an upside: jetlag

While the jetlag + sickness hit Brian the hardest since he told me he wanted to get home as fast as he could so that he wouldn't fall asleep while driving, and that it didn't help with getting much restful sleep in the early stages, it did help us catch up on some movies on the weekends. (oh, and it also helped Brian get to work super early so he could come home early as well)

I guess the sickness is more of a side note, since our movie craze hit on the last few days of recovery. Essentially, we easily woke up on both Saturday and Sunday mornings and caught the first shows of both days. These were lazy days as we weren't feeling up for doing much, and having two movie theatres within a 5 minute walk made it that much easier. And so we ended up seeing 6 movies in 4 days, mixing up indies with mainstream.

Saturday, January 12th: Juno (quite awesome and entertaining) + I Am Legend (starts off good...)

Sunday, January 13th: Atonement (too much hype, good but wish it was better)

With the Bethesda Row Cinema, we discovered that they offered free bagels and coffee - awesome! - before the first showing, so we happily took advantage of that.

Another sweet discovery was The Original Pancake House, also within a 5 minute walk from our place, within 10 from the theatres. We've both seen the sign for it before, but never made it in until we had the urge for some breakfast food after the matinees.

Pancake House was so appropriately named, for their pancakes were deee-licious! (see photos below) And there was always a crowd at the entrance waiting to be seated.

My first chocolate chip pancakes were as every bit as good as they sound.

Apartment-hunting the following weekend...

Saturday, January 26th: Cloverfield (ok, this wasn't a true first show matinee - loved it btw)

Sunday, January 27th: No Country For Old Men (sooo terrifyingly good and better than Atonement for Best Picture) + 27 Dresses (yup, had to squeeze in a chick flick in)

Banana pancakes and French toast this time around. The French toast was good, but I wish I had gotten the choco chip pancakes again, although half the serving.

I guess the one good thing about discovering about the Pancake House late was that we probably would have gained not just a few pounds but several if we ate their regularly. Granted our eating habits have not been the most healthy lately, resorting to take out, or delivery rather, quite often due to being sick and then lazy as a result of it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Decisions, decisions...

ever make a decision without sleeping on it? and one that involves a $3,000 check?

well, after scheduling a full day's worth of apartment hunting (that's one every half hour from 9am - 3:30pm, and then 4:15pm - around 6:45pm with a broker), for a total of 20 viewings - yikes!, you would think we would need at least a day to think things over before deciding on a new place to live.

in our hotel room, eating our first real meal of the day - a couple of Italian hoagies from Subway, before heading out again to meet the broker

In order to keep some sanity while looking at all these places, we did rate each one on a scale from 1-5, with categories like cost, size, location, etc, and gave each place a name based on a defining characteristic, such as "french doors" "louisiana" "u-shape" and "old lady".

Completely exhausted, we went through our options over dinner, and had narrowed it down to the four mentioned above. Somehow, over a burger and pot roast, it went from the four places to one ("louisiana" - the owners are from there), to calling the owners and then visiting the apartment again around 9:45pm that same night, taking measurements, and then talking about lowering rent since it was several hundred dollars more than another one we were considering that was just three doors down, then realizing it was a 3 bedroom vs. a 2 bedroom, then walking back to our hotel, and even before we reached it, decided to call and take the apartment.

Yay! We found a place! It felt like such a relief. We even had two more potential viewings the next day, but slept in and cancelled them.

So, after checking out, we headed over to our soon-to-be new home to give our application and deposit. Not settling for an old-fashioned tub, Brian even suggested helping out with renovating the bathroom. The owners, being a young couple as well, were ecstatic to have another couple living upstairs instead of the current all male bachelor pad. We would take the second and third floors, with them on the first. As we drove off for brunch, we saw one of the owners take their "for rent" sign inside the house.

Two days later, after designing the floor plan and realizing the extreme lack of closet and storage space for every day things and factoring the extra costs involved to accommodate all of our things, we sent an unfortunate email to our would-be-neighbors backing out of the apartment. It felt pretty horrible, but we had to do it, and as expected, they were shocked and upset.

It was good we didn't sign anything except for our application and check. But more importantly, they didn't say the check was non-refundable, which they claim was supposed to be and had already deposited it. To be sure, we stopped the check ourselves so that we could put the money down for the apartment we ultimately decided to take. That would have been pretty awful if we couldn't get the money back.

So, we actually went with "old lady", named so because the woman who lives there, we assume is an old lady due to how she decorated the apartment, full of antiques and doilies. And it turns out that we would still be neighbors to "louisiana" as "old lady" is just three doors down.

Hope it won't be too awkward...

So the moral of the story?

Sleep on it, or at least visit all the finalists at least one more time, and never underestimate closet space.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Trip to the Philippines

Because I kept a traditional journal during our trip, and this will certainly take more time than I have at this moment to recap, so I will let you know when it's up and running.