Friday, May 11, 2007

Settlers in Utah?!

Hey all! First of all, thanks to all of you who post comments! I love to know who reads our blog, what you think, what questions you have...and that we are missed. You all are missed too. Seriously, the only people I have met in Utah so far have been our real estate agents and mortgage guy...more about them later. :) So, hearing from you guys is great...and once we get a little more settled and I get used to being 2 hours earlier than you all, I'll learn when is the best time to call...i tend to forget that when it is 8pm here, you guys are at 10pm and getting ready for bed!

Ok, so why has it been so long since the last post? It's not like I have a job or know anyone out here! Well, that mostly is due to the fact that we have been staying on base where there is only internet access at the library (where I am now) and it isn't always open...and is a few blocks away...and i only found out about it 2 days ago...and once we got settled into our tiny little temporary quarters, we found out that we can move into a real apartment off base guaranteed for 2 months, so i had to re-pack everything and get us ready for that after unpacking and trying to settle in....WOW...between that and eating out everynight b/c we don't have a real kitchen to cook in, and meetings about buying a house, I guess I have kept pretty busy!

So starting from the beginning...we drove through the rest of WY on Monday and it was gorgeous...we saw more mountains and then all of a sudden we were in desert and then mountains, and then desert...insane! We finally arrived in Utah around 4pm and that is when I realized what a treat we are in for. UTAH IS SOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL....I can hardly believe it. It is so green, and the mountains still have some snow...and the mountains are, as Ben said they would be, RIGHT NEXT TO YOU...and all around you, you can't be anywhere and not see the mountains. The veiw from our temp quarters gives us the mountains all the way down to Salt Lake City (SLC) and the valley, and you can actually see the SLC skyline from here, 35 miles away! The views just go forever. You won't believe it till you see it, but I believe this is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Ben took me through Ogden and we are agreed that is the place for us to live (as opposed to Layton or Roy which are more like Plymouth Meeting area, and Ogden is more like Phoenixville, a real "city" with a main street and "old houses"). We had dinner in the Ogden Canyon after driving around the lake/resevoir that is at the bottom of Snow Basin ski resort. I didn't believe a place like that existed before I saw it. A gorgeous blue lake surrounded by open country and farms up to the mountains that surround it. The canyon is literally that you are driving along a tiny river (looks like the perkiomen creek to me) right between two huge mountain sides that just rise straight up. again, you'll believe it when you see it!

The base is interesting but not very welcoming/warm. Like I said, I haven't met anyone. But it is it's own community within a city. It has houses/apts/dorms, a minimall that is like a walmart with a food court, a comissary (food store), a bowling alley, a gas station with a garage, a car wash, a burger king, various restaurants, a library, a movie theater, child care, a chapel with protestant and catholic services...and lots of other things I don't even know about. We can't use much since we are civilians, but we're leaving base today anyway.

The weather is in the 80s during the day and drops to low 70s at night. There is no humidity and a nice breeze, so it doesn't feel that hot. There is more sun than i could ever imagine. Ben says we are on the western border of the mountain time zone, so we are almost to west coast time zone and get a lot of sun b/c of that...i don't get all of the weather/geography stuff, but i sure love the sun!

So the apt we are in on base, or rather just left, was tiny. The bedroom had a full bed in it, a dresser & closet...and the full bed BARELY fit. The bathroom was so tiny you almost can't shut the door and the kitchen was basicly a sink, refrigerator and 1/2 size oven. the microwave was on the little table in the living room area which was the only spacious enough area. Anyway, today we move into "Luxury apts" that are the same rent we paid at home for our crappy carpet. The complex has a gym, an outdoor pool & hottub, a free tanning bed (hehe) and gorgous grounds. we get it for 2 months and it is covered by govt per diem except for the pet fee which is ours to pay. our meals and groceries are still covered up to like $60 a day or we eat out for dinner and most lunches, but we'll see about that once we get into the new place. Eating out all the time can mess with your system. :( hehe

So we were referred to a husband/wife real estate team and met them last night. Rob & Amy seem really nice and seem to get what we want, so we'll see how quickly they can get us into a house. We met with them and with Kris, a mortgage guy last night to start that process, and Utah has some great, low interest, 1st time buyer programs, so I think we are set! We'll start the house hunt next week and i'll keep you posted on that.

Hmmm, what else? Well, Rascal is doing fine. He is adjusting to everything pretty well except for the schedule. He was sleeping in the car all day last week and staying up all night, and is continuing that now, so we are trying to keep him up more during the day and out of the bedroom at night, but we had to do something to keep him from sitting outside of the bedroom door and meowing. (he never did that before) So Ben concocted the "Rascal Forcefield", which is a fan pointed at the bedroom door all night while it is closed so he doesn't want to sit there and meow. It worked and Ben slept a lot better, which is good b/c he gets up early for work and has had crazy busy days getting set up. He likes it, but i'm still convinced that he is going to need something new for work in a few years... like teaching maybe???

We are told they are desperate for teachers here, so i'll see about guidance counselors. There haven't been a lot of openings so far, but school isn't our yet. Something to pray about!

Ok, this is long others should be shorter b/c i'm told we'll get wireless in the new place starting tonight, so i'll try and stay more up to date! Love you all & keep posting comments! Oh, and i'll be posting pictures to a Flika account and giving you that info soon too!


Natalie said...

great to hear about your new surroundings. how great to live so close to the mountains. and that big western sky! amazing.

Beth said...

Now that was a long post.

So Ben and teaching... I can totally see it. Yes. He'd be an awesome teacher. And how cute would it be if you were both teachers! I do hope and pray though that the Lord opens a guidance counselor position for you because I know that He's given you rare gift for that kind of job.

I love the way you described Ogden. It sounds so beautiful. I can't wait to visit you and Nat and see it for myself.

I love reading your blog, Esther! It gives me hope that we will always be friends. Love you!

Stephanie said...

there is nothing wrong with plymouth meeting, FYI.