Work and Play

Went to Waffle House for breakfast to start the day and then had to do a little work so I went by the Keller Williams Savannah office.  I visited with the leadership for a bit and then sat in a conference room to host a webinar for one of the offices in FL.  The training was supposed to be on Friday, but due to the hurricane and the a family issue, they had to reschedule it.  It went well and they asked for some more advanced things so showed them some cool things!  After the webinar I worked on a few more things and then headed off to pick up the girls.  

Caley and Vanessa were ready and we ran to Walmart for a little trip before Vanessa had to be at a meeting.  They were so funny in the video/toy area.  They had Pop’s and the girls picked out some they wanted.  They also needed paper to use their printer.  Quick ride back to downtown Savannah and Vanessa headed to her meeting.  Caley and I parked and walked around downtown.  I wanted to go to the Savannah Bee Co store, it’s like a tradition now.  You can certainly get your walking in around here.  After Vanessa’s meeting we headed back to the car and went to find food.  That didn’t go so well, but we had a few funny moments looking.

I use Waze to get directions when I travel and they had an add pop up that said I could use Madea’s voice to give directions. We switched it and it was hilarious the way she gave directions and told us when we were there!  Caley added it to her story and sent it to friends.  We ended up going back to the dorm and eating at the deli in their dorm.  Here comes the funny part.  I get up to the check-out and the lady asked me if I was going to use a “meal ticket”.   Um no, it was a complement to think I look like a student.  I’m certainly short enough.  We at in the dorm and then Caley agreed to go with me to stay at my friends cottage by the water.  

We drove about an hour to the cottage and were presently surprised at how nice it was.  Jacob was playing a soccer game for his regionals so we hooked up the laptop to my cell phone and found the video streaming live.  It worked good for one of them, but the second game, not so well.  They won both games and he did good.  We can tell which one is Jacob because of his long flowy hair.  Caley tells me that is nick name is “Locks”, but he has “locks” of hair.  So funny!  He has 1 game tomorrow and some more on Sunday.  After that we laid town for sleep.  Caley set her alarm so we would get up and have breakfast.

Savannah Film Featival Weekend!

Successful Surprise!

Slept in a little and went to a place featured on “Dinners, Drive-Ins and Dives” called the Metro Dinner.  I sat outside and enjoyed a fruit waffle and a few eggs.  While sitting there I was texting Caley about her Halloween costume and what she still needed.  What she didn’t know was I had plans to go to Michael’s and look for what she needed.  She was thinking I would ship it to her.  I was scheduled to teach in Savannah her birthday, which is Monday!  Of course I wanted to come early and spend some time with her.  Since Hurricane Mathew came through and caused some of my trainings to be postponed, I had a few extra days.

With a full tummy I was off to Savannah and 2 hours later I stopped at the Michael’s in Savannah.  I texted her roommate, Vanessa, who told me that she was in class for a few more hours.  Since I could not see her yet anyway, no problem, shopping.  She got out of class about the same time that Will got off work.  He called me and I was almost to her dorm.  He called her with me on the phone (muted so she didn’t know) and he found out that she stopped at a place to get a smoothie across from the main SCAD building.  I drove that direction and parked the car.  While he was still talking to her, I texted him that I made it to where she was and he proceeds to tell her: “I’m sorry that you are away for your birthday, but I got you something.  Look around”  About that time I walked in and she saw me!  It was awesome.  She dropped the phone to give me a hug and started to tear up.  That was it, the moment we had waited for.  Even though Will didn’t get to come with me this trip, he was part of the surprise!  They talked for a little bit longer and we visited.  Then Will got off the phone and we chatted and went back to her dorm.

Finding Caley with Will on the phone!

Caley was on her bike so she road back and I drove.  She actually got there faster than I did because of the traffic.  I parked and walked up the 4 flights of stairs to her room.  Caley has been having problems with her Apple TV and her new printer we just sent her.  Of course, mom was going to look at them for her.  Well, I’m proud to say I fixed both of them!!  The printer she left some of the packing inside and it would not run with that in there.  The Apple TV I just messed with some of the settings and it started working on the WiFi.  What can I say, technology likes me.  I was happy to get them working for her!  She took her shower and got ready while we waited on Vanessa to get back from class.

I took the girls to a late dinner.  They wanted Mexican and even though it is not my favorite food, it was what they wanted.  We found a restaurant near a mall that they had not been to.  It was good and the girls really liked it.  After we left we remembered they needed paper for the printer and a few other things so Caley found a Walmart and we ended up in the neighboring town and they have and OUTLET MALL!!  We didn’t know there was one close, but we do now!  I dropped them off at the dorm after our Walmart shopping and I headed off to my Airbnb.  They have something to go to in the morning and I have a webinar to do for an office so we will get together in the afternoon.

I’m so glad I was able to surprise her!!  Will, Nick, Jacob and both Vanessa’s knew I was going and she had no idea!!  I’m looking forward to whatever time I get to spend with her here in Savannah.

Preparation is the key

No matter what line of work or what area of life, preparation is the key to succeeding at a high level.  The morning started off pretty normal with a small exception that I was told that a “guest” from Dotloop was coming to watch part of my class.  She was not the first and won’t be the last because I have another person coming next week, which I’m excited about.  I was set up and ready to go with one little problem…the TV would not display my computer screen.  This was bad, normally I have a back-up plan of another type of connector, but this TV only had a HDMI input.  I tried trading out the cables and plugged my iPad into the TV and quickly noticed that it worked, but my computer would not.  Either my computer or the connector was not working.  Since I just used this connector the  day before I thought it was fine, but I soon figured out it was not.  I had no choice but to keep the class moving.  Luckily I only had 2 students and the guest.  I was so embarrassed that it would not work.  We huddled around my laptop and I made it work.  The students learned to use the system and it went OK, but I had 34 registered for the day so I had to make a change if more people showed up for the afternoon.

I finished up that class, looked up the closest Best Buy and was very thankful it was close.  Skipped eating and managed to get 2 options just in case.  I bought another HDMI adapter and a HDMI to VGA in case that didn’t work.  Made it back in time to get set up with the new cable and sure enough the new adapter worked.  Glad it was not my computer, but what I time for the connector to go out.  The afternoon class had lots more people which was good, and could have been a disaster of the adapter did not work.  All went good and the class went well.  I had a broker ask me about training their office and we weren’t about to work it out for this trip, but it built a relationship for the next time I come this way.

Since I didn’t eat lunch, I had to go through a drive through for a quick bite and then I was off to my Airbnb.  The couple I stayed with was very nice and their place was great!  It had a pool and hot tub which felt fabulous to take a swim.  After a relaxing night and then picking up some dinner I stayed up way to late and slept in a little since I didn’t have to be anywhere early.  I chatted with Caley a few times through the day and asked her about her day and what she had going on for the weekend.

I have a surprise for her tomorrow and I can’t wait, but I have been holding this one for over a month!!  I’m prepared to surprised her and it took some work to make this happen.

Cable Preparation

Twisted Tuesday

Some days are just not that fun to travel and last night and today tested my patience.  Late last night I landed at the Jacksonville airport where I went to the Dollar Rental car counter to pick up my PRE-PAID car.  I was told along with another person in line “We don’t have any cars and it does not matter if you have a reservation or not, we don’t have any”. So here I was at 11pm and still 1 1/2 hours from where I was staying that night with no car.  I called customer service, they could not help me and gave me another number to “refund” my money, really?  I rented from their website!  I ended up getting a car for $89 for a single night through Avis.  That is more than half of the entire week’s rental price I already paid!  When I asked about a week, the cost was between $400 and $500, wow!!  I had not choice, I had to have a car and they were quickly running out of them.  

Made it to my Airbnb about 1:15am, yuck!  Got ready and went to bed for a little sleep.  Made it to the training the next morning which was only 6 minutes from where I was staying, now that is close!  Taught some agents and had a less than captive audience.  They all had a meeting right after my class to be at for their new MLS system they were getting and they wanted to be out of there, so that made for and interesting session.  

After class I was in no rush to get back to the airport to return the car and fight the other company, so I went to eat at a nice little sushi place in Gainesville.  While sitting there I tried to call the Dollar customer service again and all I was told to “go talk to the manager”, so I resigned myself to walking into talk to them and was ready for a fight.  Maybe fight is a little strong.  I was assertive and yet firm but not mean.  I will explain how I’m sure of this later.  I guess it was just one of those days because after eating my food I go to open my fortune cookie and get no fortune. ūüėĒ

Wonderful lunch, but missing fortune!

After a 1 1/2 hour drive, parking in short term parking and walking in, I proceeded to talk to the guy at the counter and was not very happy about it.  I explained my situation and we went round and round a few times and it went something like this.  “So what you are telling me is that you can put me on a ‘waiting list’ and you don’t know when a car will be available, you can’t even say I will get one and you can’t refund my money because then you can’t put me on the waiting list?”  His answer was “yes”, really??!!  Oh and he couldn’t refund my money anyway because I had to call someone else.  I kept my cool and basically was not leaving until they fixed it or did something for me.  He suggested that I take the car I have with Avis to another city and return it and get a Dollar car in that same city at the reserved price of my pre-paid booking.  Then I could bring the car back to the airport when I leave.  That sounds great in theory, but when you return a car to another location they charge you a “fee”.  So I would get charged an additional fee from Avis and another one from Dollar!  I also added that technically I would be doing them a favor by bringing them a car from another location and helping them out.  I figured out we weren’t going to get anywhere without some assistance so he called his manager and spoke with him in a low voice so I could not hear everything they were saying.  He got off the phone and said “how about I just give you a car for the rental agreement you booked?”  REALLY!!!  Now why couldn’t they have done that in the first place?  I said yes and took the reservation but had to ask.  

Ok, so how does a car just magically appear when you call your manager to ask about waving a fee?  After he tells me that this was the most pleasant experience he has had in dealing with this situation, he proceeded to tell me “you didn’t here this from me, but….”  Hurtz owns Thrifty and Dollar rental car companies.  When the cars are brought back from a rental they go to Hurtz car lot.  Hurtz decides of Thrifty or Dollar get any cars and if they don’t want to give them any, then they don’t.  Wow, so this company that owns 2 other companies controls the system.  You see Hurtz charges more money for the same cars, so if you rent from Thrifty or Dollar you get the same cars at a smaller price, but even if you pre-pay for your car rental, you are not guaranteed a car!  I’m sorry, but this system is broken and someone needs to fix it!  It’s pretty bad when the Avis attendant tells me that when you travel you should make a reservation for a car on the same nights with 2 companies so that you are sure you will have a rental because one may not work out, wow just wow!

After that fiasco I headed to my next Airbnb, which is fabulous.  So much so that I am staying a second night!  The people are nice, the place is spotless and the amenities are wonderful!  Went for a walk down a shopping are that is close by and then sat in the hot tub for a little bit!  I so want to bring Caley down here to shop.  It’s not that far from Savannah and they have an Apple Store, and pretty much ever stor in our mall at home plus they even have a Tesla dealership.  She has had some issues with her phone lately so it might be an option.  I’ve been chatting and texting with Caley and Jacob lately.  I know I just saw her a few days ago, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see her again soon!  Tomorrow is going to come early and 2 sessions will be fun.  I’m only 7 minutes away, I’m getting pretty good at close bookings!  I like being on a roll.  It will all be better tomorrow!

Monday Mania

Ever have one of those days where you would like to sleep in, but can’t because you mind is racing about all the things you need to get done? That was this morning. I knew I had to get my day started, after all I had a 3:55pm flight and had not even packed yet. Started with my list of things I needed to do that I made the night before. Packed the suit case, laundry and house chores and of course, right about the time I need to leave Caley calls. She was working on getting the Apple TV set up, which I was glad she finally got. There was a network issue and I tried helping as much as I could while getting my things done. I finally told her to call Apple support to see if they could help her. She later texted me and said that she got if figured out and it had something to do with her college network.  

Ok, list of things to get done: stop by my office, post office, bank, shopping, cox and somewhere get food! I worked through breakfast, which is not normal for me! Love my breakfast and it just helps get me going for the day. Office took a few minutes because when I stop in and they have not seen me in a while, they want to visit. Post office was a breeze! I have a good thing going with the lady that works the front so I have the packages ready! Picked up a few more boxes and was off to the bank. Made the deposit for Caley. Oh, yesterday, Grandma Betty gave Caley the sweetest card. She didn’t get her a birthday card so she wrote on a blank card for her. Caley asked me to open it and send her a picture of it. I teared up ad what she had to say, it was so sweet. Again, my favorite Grandma!

Special Birthday Card

I have someone coming from CA to see me train in New Bern, NC which I’m excited about because I know this person. She works for the development team at Dotloop and we have webinars on a regular basis so I “see” her on the webinar, but I have never met her in person. She wants to see how I train and some of the questions and comments that happen in a real live Dotloop class. The last time someone came to one of my trainings it was her boss in CA. Not sure what it is, but when someone makes an extra effort to do something for me I feel like I need to give them something or do something for them, so I wanted to bring her something. I went to the Rustic Cuff store and they were having a sale on gift cards 1/2 price, oh yes! I bought the gift card and then turned right around and bought the gift for her so that made it less, win for sure! I also made her some earrings late last night or early this morning, whichever you want to call it. When I got home they didn’t quite match, so I fixed up some more. I hope she likes them. I don’t think is she is much of a “bling” person, so I got a more conservative bracelet for her.

Food, needed food at this point because it was now lunchtime! Chick-fil-A drive through is always busy, but they do get you through it pretty fast, must faster than Arby’s next door! Dropped off the Cox cable box I didn’t need anymore and my driving errands were done! Next I had to get my nails done and I would be ready to go. That took about 30 minutes or so. I have the stuff to do it at home and I’ve done it so much, it went by fast. I was cleaning up when my dad made it to the house to pick me up and take me to the airport. Since Nick was still at school and Will was at work, I asked David to take me. He was happy to because we had not gotten to spend any time together in a while.  

Made it to the airport early and picked up a Starbucks sweet tea and I was ready. So love flying Southwest! I had A2 on both flights today, which means I was the second person to board after the “pre-board” passengers. Didn’t realized I was going to 2 cities before my next flight. We went from Tulsa to Dallas, then to Houston where I change plans to Jacksonville. Once in Jacksonville I have to drive another hour and a half to Gainesville, FL. I expect to make it about 12:30am or 1am then up the next morning for training! I’m making good use of my fight time!

Another Goodbye

Love her kisses!

The morning came early and way to fast!  I had to have her at the airport around 5:30am and she wanted to take a shower, so I was on mom alarm clock duty!  Some how I didn’t mind it too much this time.  Of course Dinozo, the cat, has slept with her every night she has been home.  She is defiantly her “person”.  I think he likes girls more than boys because when she is not there, he sleeps at my feet.  After I dropped her off at the airport I really wanted sleep, so I crawled back in bed and slept for a few more hours.

Woke up to Will’s texts about leaving his work badge, ring and glasses at home.  After a bowl of cereal in the gazebo I headed to his work with his stuff.  Once I got there, I visited for just a bit and then I played a few games.  I should have gone with my first instinct to leave when I was up, but I let Will suggest another machine which didn’t like me as much and took my money.  Oh well, I don’t play with much and only go in with what I’m willing to loose, no more!

I went by to visit mom and see how she was doing.  Her leg is looking much better and she is walking around pretty good, no help and starting to get back to normal.  She still can’t drive, but won’t be long.  The picture Caley painted yesterday she wanted to give to Grandma Betty, so I stopped by and took it to her.  She absolutely loved it and we visited for a while.  I don’t want to miss any time with her.  I have 2 grandma’s left and she is definitely the “nicer” one and happens to be my favorite too.  Another stop at Will’s parents house to drop off a suite case for my niece to borrow for a trip she has coming up and then Sonic and home.  

Sonic turned into a bit of a pain because when I got the food I was putting one of the drinks in the back and the styrofoam cut broke and went all in the back floor board.  Let me tell you, Cherry Limeade is not what you want on your car!  I quickly tried to clean it up and get the “red” spots off the lighter part of the carpet.  I think I got most of it, but still need to clean it good later.  They wer nice to bring me more napkins and another drink.

Relaxing night with Will just watching a bit of TV ar home.  It almost felt like 2 days since I went back to bed in the morning.  I went to bed a lot later than I should have and made my list of things I needed to get done tomorrow before I leave.  It’s crazy how when you are gone, things pile up that you need to get done during the work day in town.  At least making the list made it easier to sleep and not feel like I would forget something.

Day with Mom

So I didn’t mean to exclude the rest of the family, but the boys had her most of the week and we made some “girl plans”.  First on the agenda was sleeping in for a bit.  Then we watched most of the OU game with Will.  Caley had not gotten to see an OU game all season, so that was fun.  We sported our OU shirts to show our team spirit!  They won, which we were happy about.  Before it was over, we had to go to our Pinot’s Palette appointment.  We painted a harvest pumpkin with a few birds on a stem and leaves.  We had fun and were the last ones working on their paintings because we wanted it to be just so.  I mean come on, Caley is an artist so she wants it to look a certain way and I’m a bit of a perfectionist on some things.  It’s interesting how we painted the same thing, but they both look different.  

Painting Fun!

After our artistic adventure we were off to the mall.  We had on done much shopping in a while and we had a mission to return a few things, have a store take off a security tag they missed and find some things for Caley’s costume.  At SCAD Halloween is a BIG deal.  They all make their own costumes and dress up and even have a masquerade ball.  Sounds so cool, she is so excited about it.  We found a few pieces, but she still needs a few others.  She will be dressing up as Cruella DeVille.  I’m going to have to pull out the picture of her when she was little and dressed up as Cruella then.  Not sure how she will feel about that, but hey, that’s what mom’s do….embarrass their kids!
We picked up Chinese take-out at a place in Tulsa we go to.  It’s nice when they know you when you come in!  After that it was dinner and a movie at home! Just relaxing at home laying on the couch was pretty nice!  I missed that, so I sat with her because after all, I have to take her to the airport tomorrow morning EARLY!! 

Casual Conversation

I’m really enjoying when Caley messages me and wants to talk. ¬†No matter the subject, it is just nice. ¬†Sometimes we talk about school, family, friend and other times it’s just random things like an article one of us found on the internet. ¬†I know I’m the mom and I have to be a parent, but the nice part about her growing up is we can be more friends than parent/child. ¬†I have one more day on the road and then I will get to spend all of Saturday with her!! ¬†I can’t wait. ¬†We need some mother-daughter time!

I spent the day training at the Keller Williams Des Moines office. ¬†I like coming to that office because I have known so many of them for so long! ¬†My friend Kacy owns the office and when she opened it, I helped train them on all things technology in Keller Williams. ¬†They had more than their fair share of challenges starting out, but they made it through all of them and are a thriving office which is so great! ¬†It’s nice to visit and office where agents will just come by the training room and wave to say hello while I’m teaching, but it can be a bit distracting sometimes.

Also remember why I really don’t like students having computers. ¬†It’s not that fun as an instructor to look out into the room and see the tops of people’s heads and feel like no one is listening. ¬†It is different when I’m directing them to look at something, but not when I’m talking. ¬†It just makes me feel like I’m talking to no-one. ¬†Anyway, most of the day was great. ¬†One more day in Ankeny, IA then home to see the family.

Will, Nick and Caley went to eat at one of our favorite places to go as a family, just wish I could have joined them!  The went to the newly opened location in Tulsa Hill, Texas Roadhouse.  Love their steaks!  I had Caley send me a picture of the 3 of them so I could feel like I was there!

Love my Family!

Caley and I are trying to decide what we want to do tomorrow together. ¬†Right now the top votes seem to be massages and Pinot’s Palette, which both sound great! ¬†Well, I guess I better get to sleep so the morning will come faster and the sooner I will get to see my girl!!

The Place to Be

Another busy day!  I taught in Sioux City, IA today.   I find it strange that I slept in South Dakota and drove just 4 miles to the office in Iowa.  We had a fun couple of classes today.  Morning session was mostly about KW technologies and I don’t teach that as often as I used to, so it was a good change of pace.  Nick got a little irritated at me today, but he caused it, so I didn’t feel bad.  I texted him and told him to get up and around the morning and of course, he was late to school.  When he called and wanted me to “clear” him for his tardy, I could not answer because class had started so he had to go to ISI (in house suspension), until I called the school.  I’m sorry, but serves him right for being late to school.  Maybe he will learn his lesson and get his butt up! 

The afternoon class was a little more packed than the morning class.  Training in the middle of the bull pen area is not my favorite and causes its own challenges, but we made it work today.  Even though I was teaching at a Keller Williams office, we had some guests from another company and they were their to learn about DotLoop too.

After class Kacy and I headed out to Des Moines.  Strangely enough we were both going the same direction, but we both had to drive separate cars, so it’s not like we could visit the entire trip.  We stopped at the whole in the wall place that was pretty good.  It is the first time I have ever walked through a laundry mat to get to a restraunt, yes I said laundry mat!  It was called “The Place” and it was “the place” to get some hometown cooking.  I had some ribs and the BBQ sauce was not what I was used to, but it was good.  After a 3 hour drive, we made it to Des Moines.

I talked to Caley and Will a little on the way.  Caley talked about going to see her grandma, my mom, today and have lunch with her.  Mom had been asking about her and since Caley is home, she can go see her.  I suggested she go visit my grandma and dad reminded me that she still has some school projects to work on and that she does not have to go see everyone.  He is right, I just didn’t want her to be board or feel like she was stuck at home while everyone else was gone.  She does have the cat, Dinozo, and he defiantly loves her!  I’m pretty sure he likes girls more than guys, even though we rescued him for Will.  Strange how that happened.

Grandma Dona and Caley

Tomorrow the HS softball team goes to play in the state tournament.  Caley’s class also went to state and placed runner up last year, which was the best any team has done form her school.  They are doing the send-off in the morning.  I have mixed emotions about this.  I’m happy for them, mostly.  It brings up old feelings of how Caley was treated at the state games and that just makes my blood boil.  Caley is not upset or mad and does not have any hard feelings so I’m trying really hard not to also…..but it’s hard!  You see Caley was not put into play as a Senior for the last 2 games of her softball career and that just makes me furious to think about.  According to the coach she didn’t want to “change” anything that was working because they won the 1st and 2nd games.  Caley only ran for someone on the 1st game.  How crappy is that?!  Ok, I’m trying to let this go….not very successfully.  I did tell Caley that if they win tomorrow and Friday and make it to state then I will go with her on Saturday to watch them.  I do like to watch the games and I will give up part of my ONLY day with Caley to go watch because that is something that she wants to do.  Anyway, it will be good for me to go, if for no other reason than I get to spend 2 hours in the car each way with my girl!!  I will be happy just spending time with her and the location won’t matter at all to me!

Small World

Caley went to stay with Vanessa (not her roommate in Savannah) at her college, Langston, last night.  She had a fun time and spend some time with her best friend, which was a nice change.  She is not in the habit of checking the car before she leaves and managed to take Nick’s book bag with his homework in it.  He was ok with it, but mom and dad, not so much!  Oh well, he will turn it in tomorrow.

Best Freinds
I trained in Omaha, NE today and the first class was small, but the second was good sized.  This is my second trip to Omaha, but 1st trip to the Keller Williams office there.  Really nice people and we had some great conversations.  When I was done, I hopped in the car and headed to Sioux City, IA.  I find it strange that I’m staying at an Airbnb in North Sioux City, SD and teaching in Sioux City, IA tomorrow.  My friend Kacy is staying in South Sioux City, NE and we are both about 4 miles from the Keller Williams Siouxland office.  It just seams strange to have a 3 states all converging in the same area with 1 city metroplex.

Had dinner with Kacy and it was nice to see her, we have not gotten to visit in a while.  I’m teaching for 3 of her offices this week.  Tomorrow in Siouxland, Thursday in Des Moines and Friday in Ankeny.  While we were at dinner we discovered our waiter was from Ada, OK.  What a small world.  It turns out that we have a mutual friend, so I took a quick picture with him and sent it to my REALTOR¬ģ friend in Ada.

I got to talk to Caley a little bit today.  She is happy to be able to get a Tropical Smoothie because they don’t have those in Savannah so she has been missing them.  She had them all the time when she worked at Safari Joe’s because their was one right by there.  Happy she is home and the boys better enjoy their time with her because Saturday is all MOM TIME!

P.S. When you travel as much as I do, you will eventually need a needle and threat so it’s a good idea to carry one with you. Tonight I had to sew on a button to a pair of pants I’m wearing tomorrow, good thing I come prepared!