It is surreal, for sure. Every morning I wake up and there is a chill to the air. When I see the deer in the backyard that my Dad considers a nuisance. When I'm driving and know which way West is because the mountains are always there, larger than life. (OK, I had that in Orange County, too, but it's a little different....mountains were East and that really messed with me) Anyway, we arrived late on Wednesday night. My tires are a little bald and the cat was a little overly-rested, but we survived the journey.
Thursday morning was all about finding a home. My dear, brilliant husband decided that my time off would be best spent after our time in California was through.....that we would be able to find an apartment on our first day in Colorado, re-routing our belongings from storage to the new address.
What my brilliant husband did not take into account was that somehow, Denver's rental economy is not only robust, but it's a freaking NIGHTMARE for renters. Nightmare. On our first day, nobody had immediate vacancies. They were 100% pre-leased, with first units available after the end of September. And even if the units were ready to be leased, we weren't able to see them because they weren't "ready." Our fallback option was the community we had lived in four years ago before leaving Colorado. Much to my dismay, it was a bit of a nightmare. Broken garages everywhere, trash all over, landscaping overrun.....and not to mention cigarette butts everywhere. I left there and cried. It was not looking good.
Friday was much the same, although we were able to identify 3 possible apartments in the month of September that we would consider living in. On a whim, I contacted a Craigslist ad and arranged to tour a townhome on Saturday morning. I had a feeling this was the one, but it was pretty pricey and not going to provide the huge savings we thought we'd have over Orange County rent.
Thankfully, it had good bones. Saturday morning's tour was mostly okay......the current tenant is a single mother of 2 teenage boys, with 2 cats. She is a mess, and the carpet was pretty well thrashed. More dirty than destroyed, but pretty gross. Everything needed to be cleaned and lights needed to be replaced, but the "bones" of the townhome were good. 3 stories. Tandem garage on bottom floor with bonus room that is perfect for my trainer and triathlon crud. Full bath adjoining bonus room, for sweaty triathlon bodies to shower. 2nd floor is the living room with foyer, dining room, kitchen, and 1/2 bath. 3rd floor is the 2nd bedroom, linen closet, washer/dryer, master bedroom, and 2 full baths. Yes, you have read this correctly --- 3 1/2 baths. It is my dream come true, after having lived with DH in a 1-bathroom apartment for so many years. We figure the extra money is worth the extra space....we are more than doubling the square footage that we had in California, and now both of our cars can stay in the garage. Here are some pics for family and friends:
I am also pleased to say that I did a bangup job in negotiations. The landlords, who are a very cute younger couple, initially wanted an 18 month lease. I talked them down to 6 months, with a month-to-month tenancy thereafter with only a 30-day notice of intent to vacate. I figure this should give us enough time to settle, figure out where we want to live, and househunt before we commit to buying a home. The lease is far more friendly than a lease with an apartment management company, and I really, honestly feel like we are going to be happy here. I am literally 1 minute from *2* bike trails.....one that is 12 miles one way, and another that goes all the way to the mountains and makes for an additional 50 miles from Denver to the West side. I mean, this is SWEET! (Except it's going to snow soon, I am sure, so I won't be able to partake until late spring)
On another note, I am positively disgusted with myself for not having done anything physical at all since I've arrived. Climbing stairs has left me winded, so I am really scared to see what has happened to my run fitness. It's almost been 2 weeks since I did anything, so tomorrow morning I am forcing myself to get dressed and out early. I'm going to try my best to run. ....and hope I don't get so frustrated that I cry.
Speaking of crying, even with family I feel awfully lonely out here. I guess it's because I've had the Divas for the past year. The same faces every weekend and after work. I'm group-motivated, so it feels like a part of me is missing. Perhaps that will ease up with time, but I'm struggling for sure.
My cat is finally settled. He has proven to be omega, the cat in the herd who is so chill that he's okay with backing away from any and every fight. His mother is proud of him and thinks him to be very smart. His father, on the other hand, thinks he's a wuss, especially considering he outweighs the other four cats by over half their weight! (His head is twice the size of theirs-- I am convinced he could sit on them and suffocate them) Nobody loves him quite yet, but the hissing is more or less over and done with. It makes me happy to see him like this, but would you believe he prefers the dog over the cats?
So, that is my news. We are moved in. I have 16 more days living with the parents until I can move into my new place. It's KILLING me, and the thought of being here for two more weeks is only slightly disturbing. I miss my bike.
How's that for an update? I promise, more goodies coming soon. Next entry: training at altitude and Weight Watchers Core.....oh, the things we do to get faster.....