We’ve been on island for a month now, I figured it was about time to finally update the old blog!!
- Trying to get our dog Abbey shipped to Colorado was a mess. Temps in Dallas on the original date we booked were too high so we had to rebook her for a later date.
- That, in turn, affected Ryan going to San Diego to ship his truck. Instead of driving out on Thursday, spending the night, turning his truck in on Friday & then flying back that night, he was forced to do it all in one day. Yup, he drove from Sierra Vista to San Diego, turned in his truck, got on a plane & flew back that night. He was exhausted.
- We finally got Abbey Dog shipped out to Colorado the Tuesday after Columbus Day. If you’re military & need to fly a dog during non-summer months, go with American. SERIOUSLY cheap rates. If it’s during the summer, look elsewhere, all cargo on American goes through Dallas & if temps are above 85, they’ll cancel the flight.
- Movers for our HHG were supposed to start on the Friday before Columbus Day, but someone somewhere dropped the ball. Luckily the moving company was able to get someone out on Monday (Columbus Day) to start packing.
- My “big folder o’ important PCS info” got inadvertently packed twice. My iPad got packed once. I learned NOT to put things down. Our movers weren’t playing around! Luckily I discovered the missing items early & was able to rescue them. I eventually just put them in my car for safe keeping.
- While driving to Tucson, it dawned on us that we’d need a rental car, and one big enough for all our luggage. Oops!! This is definitely something you plan & make reservations for AHEAD OF TIME. I flat out dropped the ball. Too much other stuff to worry about. I found a great deal through a local discounter on the Internet with Thrifty.
- We arrive on island, Ryan goes to the military desk, instead of reporting for duty on Nov. 2, like his orders said, the NCO at the counter wanted him to sign in off leave right then & report for duty Oct. 22. So Ryan took his paperwork back & said “I was never here.” As it turns out, the Army won’t let you start drawing HI BAH (basic allowance for housing) or TLA (temporary lodging allowance) until you sign into your unit. We didn’t know this.
- We catch the shuttle to the Thrifty lot & I went in to get the 4-door Jeep I rented for us. WRONG-O!! Because we have no return flight info, we have no car. Did the local discount place I talked to on the phone last night ASK me about our return flight?? HECK NO!! I go back outside where Ryan is waiting with an extremely antsy Aidan & explain. I tried calling the discounter, it goes to voicemail FOUR times. So off I go, trudging down the road to Advantage, who, apparently doesn’t need a return ticket or major credit card. Y’all, never, ever rent a car straight from the counter. Talk about getting SCREWED!! I got a 2011 Nissan Rogue for $723, for a WEEK. I have a 2011 Nissan Rogue & I pay less than half that per month. I thought Ryan was going to bust something in his head.
- We have transportation now & head over to Schofield Barracks so we can get what we need so we can check into our hotel. There is a hotel on post, called The Inn at Schofield, but they had no availability, so we could stay at our choice of designated hotels in Honolulu/Waikiki. But, as it turned out, the whole “Ryan not signing in” thing at the airport came back to haunt us. TLA was supposed to pay for our lodging costs but if Ryan wasn’t signed in, we had to eat it. That would not work at all because hotels are $150-$200/night & we were looking at staying for 2-3 weeks!! Plus, he needed to start drawing HI BAH as soon as possible so when we got into a house, it would be available. So we drove all over post looking for a CQ desk where he could sign in. Nope, looks like we’d have to go back to the airport.
- Back at the airport, the desk was unmanned. They’d taken a dinner break & gone back to Schofield. By about 8pm HI time, which was nearly midnight AZ time, he signed in & we could FINALLY check into our hotel. We stayed at the Aqua Lotus Hotel on Waikiki (the quiet end of Waikiki, down by Diamond Head) and the views could not be beat!
Thus ends part 1. Stay tuned for part 2 (which I SWEAR won’t take a month!)