Introducing these kids to real donuts – Krispy Kreme
Our kids no longer remember Krispy Kreme donuts (they only have Dunkin Donuts in MA) so we decided to give them a little education. Thankfully the hot light was on so they got the perfect donuts fresh off the line.
Then we had a long drive to Collierville for a night at Wade’s parents’ house. It was a little surreal to stay there without his parents. They were already in Arkansas for the wedding but we needed one more stop before we drove the rest of the way.
Today we spent in Atlanta! We started the day with everyone’s favorite – Waffle House. Then we explored the Georgia Aquarium. All of the kids, and the adults, loved it. I had been once before for a work trip, but it was new to everyone else.
Wade and I tracked down a Jake’s ice cream – one of our old favorites. I was so excited to see Cinnamon on their board of buy-by-the-pint. The employees were so apologetic when they couldn’t find it in their freezer. We were in there a while eating and talking. The ladies realized we were from out of town and one of them got determined to find the ice cream. She came back with a quart she found hidden in the back and then wouldn’t let us pay.
Next up on our day of adventures was walking GaTech’s campus and stopping at the Varsity for a late night treat. The kids were exhausted after our day, but we had a great one!
I drove up to Paducah on Tuesday, but Wade didn’t come till Thursday. His parents drove up to visit his grandparents in Paducah on Saturday morning. We decided to see everyone while we were in town and stopped at his grandparents’ house for lunch on Saturday. Then we continued our drive to Atlanta and met up with Laura and the other people attending the SEC for dinner at Morton’s. We spent the night in Atlanta and then had brunch with my dad and Laura before the championship game. The game was Arkansas versus Florida. The first half was kind of close and then Florida dominated. It was still a good time. Did I mention we had second row seats?
Wade and I spent most of the day at his grandparents’ house. We had breakfast, including Judy’s famous coffee cake, and then gathered around the Christmas Tree. Papa didn’t like waiting his turn to open a gift and would often dive right in. Granny continued the tradition of giving Wade toothpaste. Wade had considered returning the favor and giving Granny an AOL CD, but didn’t in the end.
The best gift had a tag that read to Judy from Jerry. Included in the gift was a heartfelt letter thanking her for all she does. The actual gift was the unlabeled cans from the white elephant exchange (picture below). Emily and Brian were the masterminds and deserve full credit. The family also has fake dog poo that gets passed around at Christmas. It appeared again this year as a gift to Uncle John. This Christmas is always full of laughs. Did I mention when Granny started making condom jokes? Papa had been saying condiment and didn’t get the whole word out fast enough…
We got back to Mom’s house and all took a nap. Then the Upshaws, minus Liza, appeared for our last Christmas. The Toadfrogs and Elephants weren’t all there, but we took our traditional picture anyway.
After church this morning, Wade and I drove to Atlanta for a day of roller coasters. Jamie and her boyfriend have season passes to Six Flags. On certain days, they can bring a friend for free. Today was one of those days. We got to the park about 3 pm and spent the next four hours riding roller coasters. I am kind of indifferent to roller coasters. I will ride any of them, but I don’t really get excited. I did find one I really liked – the Superman. The roller coasters tilts the seats forward so you are facing the ground. It was also one of the smoothest rides we had. We got five rides in four hours – not bad.
Dinner was at Eat’s – lots of good food for cheap. This cash only restaurant has two counters. One is pasta and the other is chicken. In the pasta line, you can pick any pasta and any sauce for a set price. The chicken counter is either jerk chicken or lemon pepper chicken with numerous side options. Yummy food.
Now we are headed to bed early.
I had big plans for today – shopping and dinner with friends. There was a two hour lunch break so three of us made a quick trip to Old Navy. When we finished the meetings at 3 pm, I shopped my way to midtown. I made small stops at American Eagle (jeans), Gap (polo shirt), Wolf Camera (lens for Wade), Sunglass Hut (sunglasses), REI (flip flops), and IKEA (nothing). Then I headed on to dinner at Fellini’s to meet up with Josh, Ryan, and Emily. I hadn’t seen Emily in a very, very long time!
I am ready to buy a house. It will be nice to have our own space and be able to paint and remodel, but the biggest reason is the absence of a landlord. Although everything seems to work out in the end, I have never had a great renting experience – especially with a house. All of my rented apartments have been through large companies so in the end they return deposits and don’t charge for normal damages. They also have the convenience of having a full time maintenance staff.
Renting a house is a whole different story. Wade and I decided to try to find a house to rent in Atlanta after we got married. We had decided on what we were willing to pay and looked around to see if it was feasible. We found a cute little yellow bungalow in Midtown Atlanta. The landlord seemed really nice and even agreed to give us a discount on rent in exchange for repairs on the house. That was perfect for us! That way we could change things the way we wanted, be reimbursed for materials, and get the cute little yellow house. We should have realized we had a problem when it took weeks of phone calls and some strong words to get the money for the repairs. I don’t think we ever had a phone call returned in less than a week and never on the first call. When it came time for our lease to end, we asked if we could go month to month until we decided if we would be staying in Atlanta. After much waiting, remember he doesn’t return phone calls, our landlord finally said no and he was raising rent by $300 a month if we wanted to sign a year’s lease.
Wade and I decided this was ridiculous. We quickly found another house that was bigger and closer to my work. Our landlord now returned phone calls because he wanted to show the house and make sure we weren’t there. He eventually found a tenant, and ended up only raising rent by $100 a month from our discounted rate. I did warn the prospective tenants I met about the lack of communication between landlord and tenant.
Because of our previous issues, Wade and I were a little concerned about getting back our security deposit of a month’s rent. We cleaned and cleaned and patched holes and painted. We made an appointment with Rob so that we could go over everything with him and fix anything he noticed. He said it looked great and he would mail us a check in a few weeks. Right. At the end of a month, the time to have a check specified by the lease, we began calling him. Of course he didn’t answer the phone. Wade mentioned that he would be looking into court proceedings if we did not have our check by the specified time. Now Rob calls back. He leaves a message saying “You didn’t get my note? You know where to reach me.” Wade called him back and I have no idea what he said, but it must have bothered/scared Rob. (Rob is taller than Wade but physically intimidated by him. I have seem him shake when Wade uses a stern voice.) He called back and said he was mailing the check that day, certified mail. The funny thing here is he wouldn’t tell Wade how much the check was for and he told Wade if he called again he would be in violation of some law.
To make a long story longer, we got a check in the mail for the full amount. We laughed to see that the check and the letter were backdated to comply with the month deadline, but of course the postmark on the envelope told the truth. We have deposited the check and are hoping it clears. As well as we can figure, Rob is overextended financially (he owns a house and has two rental houses) and probably just didn’t have the money. If he had just told us this, we could have worked something out. However, did he think we would just forget about the money?
Our current landlords are wonderful and we don’t anticipate having any problems with them. However, I think our next location will be in a house of our own. I had at one time thought leasing property would be fun, I have definitely changed my mind!