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week in review posted: Sat 2017-12-30 07:40:13 tags: n/a
A week without blogging is pretty unprecedented, huh. I pulled out all the stops in the working days leading up to Christmas vacation week, to leave with a much clearer desk than how I started the week.

Sat/Sun 12-23~24: Packed up the Soul with stuff to stash in RDU storage. Brought earrings to Jared for repair.

Mon 12-25: Mimosas and eclairs rounded out a special breakfast. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was overall pretty good, but I was disappointed with Snoke's brief treatment and Luke's backstory with Kylo Ren felt flimsy. Golden Phoenix Chinese for supper and early to bed.

Tue 12-26: On the road before dawn to start our journey. Met up with "the kids" at Daytona Beach Cracker Barrel, made a few more stops to mail a package and at Tanger Outlets malls to try to find ladies coats, but no luck. Chinese leftovers for a late lunch/early supper, spotted a few snowflakes as we pulled into the Hawthorn parking lot around 9 or later.

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Wed 12-27: Up at 7am sharp, Miss made me coffee while I showered. Cranberry juice, blueberry muffin with PB, eggs + extra thin crispy bacon at the free hotel buffet. Opened a storage unit account and unloaded by 10am.

Vue 64 was very nearby, so Ashlee showed us around there first. I liked the white quartz(?) counters and Miss liked that they had a firepit. If price was our absolute main concern, we could have done much worse than live there. We drove past Central on the Green and immediately decided against it - frumpy 2-story construction would satisfy neither my preference to be off the ground nor Miss's preference for an elevator, and there were no interesting views to redeem it.

Next Michaela showed us around Level at 401. A 2BR would have been affordable. It felt like a good combination of timeless decor, good value for the amount of space, and peaceful location.

Sometime around here we ducked into a little indie pizza joint for a couple slices each.

Our next stop was with Kate at Weston Lakeside. A 3rd floor, 2BR here with a bit of lake view would have been right at the limit of what I wanted to spend. Miss's feelings were mixed when it came to the angled hallway to the bedroom that would make it difficult to get any larger furniture in/out, and by some logic I don't pretend to fathom, she unpleasantly associated the decorative pillars in the LR with the 1990s.

The next property over was Lakeside Lofts. The stone outer wall treatment was crumbling away from corners around balconies in some places, they had no 2BR with lake views and we would have paid an unnecessary premium for a 1BR with the view, so we took a pass.

We drove past Hermitage at Beechtree, decided against based on no views and no elevators. A 2BR with a spacious balcony at Apts at the Arboretum was affordable, but the only unit available with the larger balcony layout overlooked Ruckus, a pizza/pub with live music events that promised more noise than Miss was willing to cope with.

Our last stop of the day was with Nicole at The Bradford. One big draw here was being literally across the parking lot from a Publix. The indoor swimming facilities were also pretty fancy. The master BR suffered the same angled-hallway problem as Weston Lakeside and the 2BR prices were a little beyond our comfort zone.

Found a USPS retail partner to send out the batch of mail I was sitting on. Returned to the hotel for free "pizza" and "beer", went to sleep early and fast.

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Thu 12-28: Same drill with coffee and breakfast at the hotel. Our first stop was a surprisingly affordable community, which we'll call "Waypoint" for now, with units facing out over a man-made water feature unnamed on Google Maps. Later I would Mapquest the location to try to find its name and the water wasn't even shown... just a creek, so presumably Mapquest sourced its data before that park was engineered.

Next we visited Wildwoods at Lake Johnson. This felt a bit too rustic for my taste, no units with a real lake view were available, and I was not enthused about the age of the construction nor the cellar-dweller atmosphere of the ground-floor unit we looked at facing Lake Johnson, which would be obscured by foliage at winter's end.

Waypoint's agent wasn't able to show us units immediately when we first arrived, so we returned to view a model unit. The big minus in Miss's book, a not-ground-floor unit without elevator service, was offset by the colossal space, storage, view, and location for the price. After that we had lunch and a Bond Bros. Strawberry Plum Sorcery fruit beer at Craft Public House and poked around the neighborhood a bit more, but we knew from circling Lake Crabtree (Weston Lakeside, Lakeside Lofts) that there wouldn't be much more in the way of affordable, available lake view apartments at less than 1 month out, when most lessors want 60 days notice of lease termination. Plus we both just had a very good feeling about Waypoint. So we went back and committed.

Found a Co-Op network shared branch office at Cary Towne Center to get a money order. From Miss's OfferUp sales of furniture and my old RPG stuff, I had more cash than I was comfortable carrying, so that was a good opportunity to thin out my wallet. Dropped off the money order and filled out the app forms, confirmed online payment options and our future mailing address. Found Miss a good winter coat. Dinner at Gypsy's Shiny Diner, decided to cut our trip a day short if it would save us a day's hotel rate.

Fri 12-29: Checked out, got breakfast at Rise on Daniels St. In SC south of Santee and Lake Marion, traffic was starting to congeal and we needed to fuel up, so on a whim I exited onto Rt 26 in search of a gas station. Google Nav suggested we could save some traffic time taking back roads (Vance Rd, SR 21, Freedom Rd, Low Country Hwy) through Bowman, Branchville, and Smoaks to circumvent a slice of 95.

Detoured into Savannah for late lunch, parking was unexpectedly difficult, turned into a delightful dinner (shrimp and grits for Miss, shrimp etouffee and a Service Brewing Co. Compass Rose IPA for Sir; praline cheesecake and coffee) and a stroll along the riverfront. Considered getting a hotel room overnight but decided to come back another time instead. Home around 1AM?