Friday, April 19, 2019

Another Trip to the Virginia DMV

First we went there to find out what exactly we needed to bring. Then we went back earlier this week to finally get our Virginia drivers license and license plates. When you move to another state there are certain things you just have to do. And it doesn’t matter if you just renewed you last license two months ago. So I was able to get my license, along with car registration and license plates, after three hours. But my husband didn’t have enough proof of Virginia residency, and would have to return. So we did go back yesterday afternoon with more than enough documentation. It doesn’t seem to matter when you go to that place it is always extremely busy. It was bad enough to have to be there again and fill out the papers and wait - again. But when my husband’s number was finally called he went to the desk he and the attendant didn’t hit it off well at all, which is very unusual. And it was a terrible experience from that point on. The eye exam was an unpleasant exchange. I have already been warned that the photo ID is going to look a bit rough. I was glad when the ordeal finally ended. Let’s hope we both end up with our licenses in the mail within the next ten days. I can’t believe I’m even thinking this - but this experience makes DC seem heavenly! 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

An Errand Run to DC

We needed to take a ride to DC yesterday. I finally made an appointment for a haircut after more than two months - it was long overdue since we moved from DC to Virginia. We haven’t changed any doctor, dentist or other services yet and are waiting until we settle in and things calm down. You need to time the trips to DC to avoid the traffic as much as possible. That means avoiding rush hour times in the morning and afternoon, baseball games, and other major events. Usually the first times after lunch work the best, and it was yesterday. So we passed by the usual places - GW Parkway, Memorial Bridge, Lincoln Memorial. We stopped at the neighborhood gas station to have our license plates changed from DC to Virginia, our building to check on the unit that hasn’t sold yet, then to Trader Joe’s to pick up some fruit. We picked up a Hill Rag at Eastern Market and got some cheese. Then I went for my haircut and we got home within short order. The city looks so different now that we live away from it. We feel more like visitors and are anxious to get everything done to finish and tie up the loose ends. It really is quite beautiful, but very difficult to live in. I’m glad we did live in the city for the last thirteen years, but am happy to leave. It’s close enough to visit when we want to which makes it all the more convenient. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Virginia Drivers License, Vehicle Registration and Plates

It looks like it’s going to take a few times to get this right. We moved to Virginia from DC this month and needed to change our drivers license and license plates. I guess you have thirty days to get it done. So we went last week to the DMV in Tyson’s to find out what paperwork we needed to bring. I hadn’t had a chance to look it up online. Nevermind that we just renewed both of our drivers licenses to Real IDs in DC within the last few months. Unfortunately all of the mail coming to our new address has my name on it, so my husband was out of luck when the post office change of address letter only had the last name on it. After waiting in line, we were told he didn’t have enough proof of Virginia residence - the deed for the new property wasn’t enough. So we decided that I should go ahead and get my license exchanged, and get the car registered along with license plates. The whole thing took three hours and the place was packed. I can’t believe I’m going to say that the experience was much worse at this station in Virginia than it was on Capitol Hill. The sad thing is we have to come back - again - for my husband’s license! We also need to get emission testing and register the car for stickers. What a racket this all is. So it was great sadness when we removed our DC plates that we’ve had for thirteen years and replaced them with Virginia. I suppose it’s just another phase. I’m sure I’ll get over it soon. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

First Walk in the New Neighborhood

It’s been about two weeks since our last morning walk. We moved from DC to Virginia about ten days ago and have finally settled down enough to begin our familiar routine. We are just ten miles away from Capitol Hill, but our neighborhood is so very different - in a good way! So this morning we decided to try the north route that brings us to a small park with a walking path. It reminded us of a tiny version of Grant Park in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. Since it’s still spring the flowering trees looked lovely. What we immediately noticed that anyone we passed by enthusiastically exchanged greetings or waved - so very different than the “cold” DC personalities and much more like what we were used to in the friendly Midwest. The trail took us in to a residential neighborhood and we were able to stay on a sidewalk all the way back home. So many new areas don’t believe in sidewalks. Then we walked around our building where there are a few exercise machines on the trail, but there is also a fitness room in the building that we need to learn more about. We are still trying to figure out all the entrances and exits of our new building and each day becomes a little more familiar. So far so good - the neighborhood and the routine. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Container Store Shoe Rack

We had a California closet in our Midwest bedroom. We also had a tiny version of California closets installed in our tiny condo on Capitol Hill. We just moved to a really nice - and new - condo in Virginia. It’s just 1000 square feet so we still need to maximize space. Luckily our bedroom closet is quite large. We need to use it for our clothes, but also for laundry shelves, and all other storage. I managed to figure out how to organize it using a rolling cart I used for an additional clothes rack, and two other rolling carts we used in our storage closet. But what I didn’t have was a shoe rack. We stored our shoes in the shoe bag that was nailed to the back of a door as well as inside the entryway hall closet enclosed bench. So yesterday we went to the container store to pick up a couple of three tier shoe racks - one for each of us. They were easy to assemble and worked very nicely as they can expand to the desired width. Although nothing is covered at least everything looks relatively neat. We are also trying to make a habit of walking only with slippers in the house to keep things clean. That may be more of a challenge. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Embassy Auto wash

It’s been a long time since we had our car washed. The car has been parked outside since we bought it in 2015 because we only had street parking. We used to take the car to Splash car wash on Capitol Hill. We just moved last week to a brand new condo building in Virginia that has underground parking! It’s one of the nicest things that could happen for so many reasons. So we went to Embassy Auto Wash just a few blocks away and picked the cheapest available wash option - which was enough for the time being. Unfortunately the windshield is still covered in white dots and smudges that came from tuckpointing work done on a very windy day. I’m not sure if that mess will ever come off. So we watched as the inside of the car was vacuumed and then as the Subaru made its way down the conveyor belt getting the bath it so deserved. Now the car looks at least reasonably clean. Hopefully it will stay that way much longer now that it has a place to park under cover. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Town and Country Boxes Everywhere

I’ve taken a few days off from blogging because we moved from DC to Virginia last Friday. It took several weeks to prepare all the belongings. Luckily when we moved from Milwaukee to DC thirteen years ago we had seriously downsized from 2500 to 480 square feet, and then added another 450 square feet when we bought the second unit across the hall three years later. Our new condo is a little over 1000 square feet, so it was just a matter of consolidating the two spaces and getting rid of the black leather loveseat that I never liked. We enlisted the help of Town and Country movers to pack on the day before we moved, move us the next day, and unpack the furniture and boxes that same afternoon. It went incredibly smooth - things seem so different now than in the “old days.” So on the last night of our stay on Capitol Hill we were surrounded by boxes. The whole experience feels surreal- and we are so happy we finally made the decision. Time for a fresh start in a neighborhood we already know very well.