"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Northern Virginia/Washington DC here we come

We've decided. George Mason University in Fairfax, VA is our next stop. So we'll live in either northern Virginia in or around Fairfax, or in Washington DC and Jed can take the Metro to and from school. We've even reserved our Penske truck and are shocked and thrilled at how cheap it was. I mean, it wasn't cheap, but it cost us three times more for a truck to move here from California.*

My mind had been taken over now with how to make all of this work. Where will we live? How will we move? Etc.

Two small concerns, among the much larger are these:

I need an new umbrella stroller. I've been saying as soon as we stopped using the baby car seat that snapped into our stroller for Baby X that I'd get an umbrella stroller. I just keep putting it off. And now I need one because I know Jed is going to say no way, no how to bringing our stroller on our Utah trip in July among all the other stuff we have to drive across the country, and I like having a stroller wherever we are. And now, moving to such a big city, and needing to get around on the Metro, I'll definitely need a smaller, more maneuverable stroller. But I've just finished reading reviews of my contenders (Jeep Wrangler, Evenflo X Sport Plus, Chicco, Maclaren, and Combi Flare) and I'm so confused. Each has reviews all across the board.

Here is what I want:
an umbrella stroller
easy to fold
easy to store
adjustable or taller handles (Jed is 6'3")
storage underneath
sun shade
affordable (probably right around $50, give or take)
not horrible looking
I think I want a shoulder harness rather than just a waist belt

Any stroller company want to send me a stroller to review?? :)

The other, much bigger thing on my mind is where we will live. Not just which city, but specifically where. It's an expensive part of the country, which stinks because we are in Kansas to escape California (the other expensive part of the country). I've been looking around at various rental sites (ie: hotpads.com) and on Craigslist.org. Here's the deal, the people running scams on Craigslist are ridiculous. I'm not really responding to ads yet because we wouldn't move in until after August 1 and don't really want to pay rent somewhere for the next 3-4 monts. There have been two ads on Craigslist that have seemed way too good to be true (an awesome house with a huge yard and tons of ammenities for $1300/month and a beautiful 3 bedroom townhome/apartment in DC for $800/month). While I knew it was too good to be true, I also figured I had to at least inquire to know for sure it was a scam.

Both properties were flagged and removed shortly after I emailed the poster, and before I received a return email. Both return emails gave me way way way too much information. It's like they were creating an entire life's history so I wouldn't think it was a scam. But here's the thing, when I'm interested in renting their house, I don't need to know stuff like:
  • they are the oldest of 4 kids
  • which department they teach in at which University
  • which out of country University they've been transferred to
  • or that they are living in another country, but traveling for a long time in another, more remote country
  • that their dad is a state chiropractor working for a baptist church in another Virginia town**
  • Etc.
Plus, being the internet research queen that I am, with all the information they gave me, and their names, I was able to google search them and find out stuff like the University of London doesn't even have a zoology program. Idiots!

Both also insisted that they would only rent to god-fearing, church-going people who would respect, maintain, take care of, and treat the house like it was their own. Are the scam artists out to get good, church-going Christians?

So we're moving. We know where to, sort of. I need recommendations for a good umbrella stroller and any suggestions or help for where to look for a place to live. And I have lots of stuff to sell on ebay still (I totally underestimated the shipping costs on my first batch of sales and am kicking myself over it) and on Craigslist for the big stuff (double stroller, anyone? Little People sets?? Entertainment center that I love and Jed hates? Crappy TV?).

*If only I could remember how big that truck was so I know if all of our stuff will fit in this truck.
**Are people really stupid enough to believe that there is such a thing as a state chiropractor, that a church would have a chiropractor, and that a state chiropractor would get transferred to be the chiropractor for a church????


Kristi said...

I'm glad your BIG decision is made. That has got to feel good. Now, good luck finding a stroller. Ours is a Jeep- not exactly like Erin's. Erik is 6' 3'' too he says it's better than our other strollers as far as height goes. You and I are the same height and it works for me too. It's easy to fold but not the smallest I've ever seen. It cost $50 at Walmart. It has storage underneath. It has a sunshade and it's lightweight. It does not have a shoulder harness. It does have a cross bar in front with a tray and cup holder. I always think that gives a little extra security. It's not a TOTALLY AWESOME stroller, but it is my favorite souped-up umbrella stroller that we've owned. Would you like to borrow it for a day?

Erin said...

Congratulations! That is so exciting.

Mine doesn't have any storage at the bottom which would be nice. It is maneuverable and lightweight. My sister has a Maclaren and it is very nice. I think they are slightly annoying to collapse. It seems like they are very popular in urban areas. Actually she is going to be living in DC for the next two months for her husbands training. I will ask where her apt is. It sounded like a pretty good deal.

Leslie said...

I have the Chicco stroller and love the taller handles!! It has the sun shade, storage and is lightwieght. I don't remember the cost - but it has lasted for over 5 years. That is long in stroller life in my opinion!

Congrats on George Mason! I have some extended family in that area and they love it. Good luck in the housing search. That is always the most stressful for me too!

Angela said...

I have no advice or experience with umbrella strollers, but I have had experiences with those dumb craigslists scams. It makes me annoyed because now if I see a really unbelievably good deal I automatically think its a scam.

Tiffany said...

Wow, what a big decision, and you are headed to Virginia! The east coast is a great place to live - so much to see and do. Good luck with everything, especially finding the right place to live.

wendys said...

Sounds exciting! We have the Jeep stroller from shopko, 29$

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