Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sluggy Goes to Virginia

We left bright and early last Sunday morning.
The mission was to secure an apartment for Eldest son and his GF in the Fredericksburg, VA area.
We had 4 appointments lined up for Monday plus any that Eldest might hear back from before we left town on Tuesday.

Bur first of the agenda was stopping for Lunch along the way outside of Baltimore to meet/visit with a fellow blogger who use to write the 444 Express Blog but now writes at Grapes Writes
I guess I can use her name since she's now a contributing writer on the CBOE .
We met Meredith and her Hubs, Dave, at the Padonia Ale House.

Of course I brought Meredith a present, a sack lunch...........

Ok, inside joke here.
Inside the bag was a jar of my homemade pepper relish and that was no joke.
Just a little something I share with friends.

It was also $6 Burger Sunday so guess what we ate?

My "Ricky Bobby" Burger with a Boulevard Brewing "Dark Truth" Stout....Mmmmm

We had a great time chatting and before you knew it 2 hours had gone by.  So much for making Fredericksburg by 3pm! lolz

Then Meredith did something sneaky......she paid the bill without us knowing it!  I appreciated it but you didn't have to do that. ;-)

They are a fun couple and Eldest and I had a good time with them, even if Dave couldn't resist making bunny ears on me in the photo......

We were back on the road after a lingering lunch.
Traffic around DC wasn't bad until we hit I-95 below the Beltway.
At least we weren't in the clusterf**k of northbound traffic heading from Richmond to DC.
Jay explained that much of that on a Sunday is all the DC area folks heading back home from the beach/etc. at the end of the weekend.

Speaking of Jay........we met up with him for Dinner at Poco Loco in Thornburg, south of F'burg.
He got snared into a multicar pile up heading out of Richmond so we had a little bit of wait for him to arrive.  A nice meal and conversation over Mexican cuisine and beers(iced tea for me)ensued.

Eldest took our photo before we headed back to F'burg for the night.

Nice to see you again Jay!

Eldest and I got a swim in at the hotel pool before turning in for the night.

Monday was occupied with apartment viewing.
But first a hot breakfast compliments of our hotel......

Eldest with a cup of bacon, breakfast of champions!

Then it was off to King George County(east of F'burg)to an older complex on a nice wooded heavily treed property.

 Living room with exposed brick wall and patio door

 Small kitchen with room for a table and chairs

 This place had 2 bedrooms and hardwoods throughout.

But no storage space other than bedroom closets.  The other 3 apt. residents in this 2 story building used the area under the stairs to the 2nd story as a storage area(which wasn't secured).  And there was no dishwasher and it was furthest from the school Eldest will be commuting to.  Other than that it was a good deal(even had a community pool and small exercise room).

Eldest submitted their application and the manager after finding out his employment situation(teaching contract)waived the credit check(fee)and said if he wanted the apt. she'd take his personal check as a deposit on the spot. 
But Eldest wanted to see all the other possible places first so we moved on.

Then it was off to get more coffee(not me)at the hipster coffee joint..............
Local Starbucks with hipsters on their electronics at tables with electrical outlets and USBs.
The skies opened up while we were in there so we sat for awhile before going to the next appointment.

Then it was off to see a complex a few miles from his school.....

 Carpeting throughout

The appliances were newish and there was a dishwasher.  Also a washer/dryer in the apartment.

 A HUGE walk in closet in the only bedroom.  Closet big enough to put an inflatable mattress if you had an overnight guest tho. lolz

There was a storage closet(that locked)off the patio-ed living room.

This was a large complex with 3 story buildings.  There was a larger pool and a huge exercise room with equipment and a sauna.  Also attached was a clubhouse with tv and a coffee bar.

Both of the options so far had washer/dryers in the apartment and allowed pets(they have a cat.)yet this apartment wanted a Huge nonrefundable pet fee(plus a deposit and a monthly fee for having a pet).  I guess all that carpeting accounted for the nonrefundable fee.
Both the 1st and 2nd apartments would be $900 a month.  Electricity and cable/internet were not included but water, sewer and trash removal was included in that $900.

We went to our 3rd appointment at noon, only to find the office door locked and a sign that they would return at 1:30pm.  He left a voice message on the office phone about his appointment and that he would return at 1:30.
So we had a leisurely lunch nearby at Friendly's and went off the trade-offs/ pros and cons of the 2 places we had seen.

Back right at 1:30pm to #3 apartment complex(an older one than the last place but also a few miles from his school).  The person manning the office told him they had no apartments available.
He set this appointment up 2 WEEKS ago via phone from Pittsburg so why the hell didn't they call him and let him know this!?!  We could have saved ourselves another trip to this apartment complex and moved on to the next possibility. 
Funny how their website still had apartment availabilities when I checked later that day........
Thanks a lot for wasting our time Camden Hills Apartments!
Even if you had an apartment available after the lack of professionalism on the part of your office staff, I wouldn't allow him to rent there.  It would have been no different dealing with any issues had he rented here.

So we moved on to the place in Milford VA Eldest found on Craigslist.

You can see the listing HERE.

In case it gets taken down, here is what it says......

$850 / 2br - **All Utilities Included Affordable Apartment **
Very affordable apartment for rent. 2 bedrooms. 1 bathroom. All utilities included!

Monthly rent is only $850. Convenience store within walking distance. Friendly neighbors!

Address is 15421 Antioch Rd Milford VA 22514.
Sounds like a great deal, right?
First off it's in the middle of nowhere, not anywhere near Richmond or Fredericksburg.
And the "convenience store" is in the first floor of the building where the apartment is. lol  The only other things around are a post office next door and a similarly run down auto parts store across the street(also owned by the guy who owns the convenience store building).
We lovingly refer to apt. #4 as "the shithole".......
It was in an old brick building above a convenience store.  The stairs were the first obstacle...rickety and I just knew I'd take a tumble going down.
 That "porch" area once you got up the stairs was rotting plywood with some linoleum tiles still intact on it.  Filthy dirty too.
Here is Eldest standing in the larger of 2 bedrooms(still not every big with a tiny closet).  The air conditioning for the whole apt. was this window unit in the bedroom.  The windows looked original to the 1930's/40's area building.
The main bedroom looked like a crime scene before the cleaners arrived.  The carpeting was ripped and patches missing(in both bedrooms).  There was mold on the wall underneath the dirty hand prints and graffiti.  No attempt had been made to clean anything in this shithole.
 The whole place smelled of mold and funk.  That is why Eldest has his shirt over his nose and mouth. lol
 This was a large drawing a previous tenant(or vandal)had made on the wall.  It also looked like someone had smeared poop on this wall.
The kitchen counter and cabinets looked old, damaged and smelled of mildew.  The fridge dated from the 60's or 70's and the linoleum in the joint kitchen/living room was also ripped up and curling.  The one redeeming feature was this newish stove/oven.
Under the stairs was a concrete slab with assorted old junk sitting on it.  You had to walk past a dumpster to get from the parking lot to the stairs.  It was almost as bad smelling walking by that as what the apartment smelled like.
So you take out the $100 or so your electricity would run if you were paying for that like in any other apt.,and the apartment slumlord wanted $750 a month to live in this shithole  There were also no smoke detectors in the place or a lock on the door!
And the worse part of this(other than smelling and seeing it)was that there was another identical apartment next door to this one and someone was living in it!!!
It must be a crack head living next door to not notice the deplorable living conditions here!
Let's see.......far from work, filthy, no washer/dryer facilities(nearest laundromat was 3 miles away in Bowling Green VA) for $50 less than a nice clean convenient apartment near work.
I don't think there was must of a decision to make here, do you?
Eldest decided at that point that we had seen enough and he had 2 good choices so it was just a matter of conferring with the GF as to her desires that evening and going back the next morning to fill out paperwork and secure the apartment they wanted.
So we drove around a bit so Eldest could get familiar with the area.  Of course that meant finding the liquor stores.  lolz
They have a Total Wine & More store in Fredericksburg so we went to check it out.
This one wasn't as big as the one Hubs and I hit when we go down to OC but it will do.
After wandering the aisles for a good 45 minutes Eldest found a few things to buy he can't get in P'burg plus found he could get his favorites here too.  Even better is they have a rewards program which he signed up for!  Discounts on beer?  Yes, please!!
That evening he told the GF that he wasn't coming back to P'burgh, he's just stay here and wait for her to move down.
I think he's going to like this town.......
We also found a World Market(more beer but most of the same stuff as Total Wine)and checked out the grocery stores in the area.  There is a nice Walmart too in case the GF transfers to this one from her part time job at the WM in P'burgh.
We saw this antique car license plate on an old Toyota in the parking lot.....it only looked to be a 1970's model.....
Are there any Toyota's old enough to be designated antique cars? lolz
Back to the hotel for a swim.  I get my suit on and walk down to the pool entrance to find this.......
"Closed for Maintenance"
Back to the room to call the front desk to ask when the pool would reopen.....I am thinking an hour or two, right?
Front desk person says it may be reopened this weekend.
It's Monday!
Had I known the pool was going to be unavailable for more than half my stay I would have gone elsewhere for a room.  Part of the reason I paid this much and at a hotel WITH a pool was to be able to use said pool!'

I let the front desk know just how unhappy I was when I checked out the next morning.  They didn't seem to care a single shitlet however.  Just wait until I use all the online outlets to let them know just how UNHAPPY I was with them!
As my kid is going to living in F'burg for years to come and in an apartment with no room for guests, guess which hotel just lost a buttload of my business?!
The Sleep Inn, that's  who.

But enough of my ranting...........
Eldest wanted Waffle House for dinner so we went back out later and I treated him to Steak and Eggs.  We had a drink back in the room and I watched cable tv(haven't had cable for 10 month now at home so this was a dubious treat, I think?)and Eldest played some WOW on my computer.
On Tuesday morning before leaving Fredericksburg Eldest went back to the #2 apt. and put in his application and by Wednesday morning, after they did the credit check, he had the apartment.
We are slated to move them from Pittsburgh to Fredericksburg the end of this month.  8-)))
So we had an early lunch before leaving F'burg on Tuesday at the Blue & Gray Brew Pub .....

 Here is my brew, a pint of Stonewall Stout.  Appropriate name if you know the history and geography of the Fredericksburg area.  I especially like their slogan for this stout......"I'd give my right arm for a Stonewall Stout!"  ;-)
Since it was Tuesday I also got to take home the glass it was served in.
Eldest son got a flight of their beers. He was partial to their lager and their coffee stout.
The view of the tanks from our table.
We each got a sandwich and shared half with the other.  Eldest son's choice was a Muffaletta and I got a Pork Barbecue.  My bbq sauce was made with some Stonewall Stout and the handmade mustard on the Muffaletta was made with their Red Fred(an Irish style ale).  Tasty!
They had an art exhibit in the Brewpub consisting of longhorn steer skulls that had been bedazzled.  I posed with this one.  At a price of $500 it stayed on that wall and didn't come home with me.....
The t-shirt was tempting but I got Hubs a bomber bottle of beer instead.

The trip home was pretty uneventful.  We bypassed DC and Balto. on the way back, heading north on 17 toward Winchester and then I-66 West to I-81 to home.  A tiny bit longer route but little traffic compared to I-95 to I-83.

The "big move" comes the week after this.  Not sure if I'll be going though as I really don't have the muscles to move heavy stuff.  I'd just be supervising where boxes and furniture go and/or be the lunch bringer for the real help.  It's about 13-14 hours total from here to Pittsburgh to Fredericksburg and back home but it would be stretched out over 3 days I suppose. 
More fun times ahead it seems......



  1. I'm getting caught up... a little....

    Looks like you've had an adventure! Maybe if you talk to the guy with poop on his wall, he'll give your son a discount on the room.... But personally I like the first place best!

  2. At least you guys found a decent apartment - now your sons life can resume and professionally he can advance. What a good Mom you are! Antique truck my *ass :)

  3. #2 apt. choice looks nice. always an adventure at your house!

  4. You are like me and have kids spread out. Maybe college boy will land closer to you?

  5. So cool that you got to meet up with other bloggers on your trip. What an adventure. How do you do it all Ms Sluggy?

  6. I agree #2 seems like the best of the bunch, but it's hard to see from the photos.

  7. Sounds like an adventure to me! Stonewall is my long long cousin. My mom says we have his baby spoon…lol.

  8. This was a great post, especially about the apartments. My DD is moving to NH, so we will be doing this same thing shortly (she is rooming with a friend to get a feel for the area first) I hope my post is half as humorous as yours Sluggy

  9. BEST POST EVER!!!! (You know why!) HAHAHAHAHAHAA

    I am so glad you found a great place for Eldest to live with his gf! It's hard to do sometimes.

    We'll have to get together when you come to visit them, and I want to meet at the Blue and Gray! On a Tuesday! I want a glass. I collect them.

    Oh, "Antique" plates can be had for vehicles over 25 years old...so at this point, if you can keep a vehicle going from 1990, you can get those plates...rather stupid, I say.

    LOVE THIS POST!!!! Especially that one pic! HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Peace <3


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