Sunday, January 11, 2009
One year ago...
I have quite possibly the coolest apartment in Odessa.
No, really, I do.
It's awesome! It has absolutely everything I need...
a king size bed...
high speed internet...
a water heater (no going without hot water! woohoo!)...
a dining room...
heated towel racks...
central air (great, if I were here in the summer! :)
a full sized refrigerator/freezer...
Oh, and did I mention the whirlpool tub?!!
Okay...I heard that collective, jealous gasp. Yep. I have a whirlpool tub - and I am putting it to good use. Everyone who adopts should have one of these things.
The whole apartment is pretty sweet (hehe - pun fully intended.)
But it took a bit of finangling to get here. You knew there'd be a story didn't you? What else would you expect from us? ;)
Okay...going back to my blog about arriving in the city of Odessa without a place to stay. Not one of our finer moments I have to tell you. It ranks right up there with the time we went on vacation in Duluth, MN without making hotel reservations. Surely we could find a hotel somehwere around there.
It was Grandma's Jazz Festival Weekend...there's nothing available for 30 miles around - except a seriously flea-bag hotel on the outskirts of town. They had one room...I'm not sure the last time it was cleaned...and we had to share the bathroom with a couple of other rooms.
Yea...you know how I feel about bathrooms.
We ended up going to Walmart and buying some sleeping bags to sleep in since we weren't convinced the sheets were that clean. We wouldn't have stayed there except it was freezing outside and there weren't any camping spots to be found either. We needed a roof over our heads, although about half way through I was thinking the roof of our car would have been just fine.
But I digress...
So I'm having flashbacks to Duluth 1995, as we pulled into Odessa, but Lev swears up and down that he has this covered. He saw a hotel close to the orphanage. He's sure it will be reasonable and within walking distance.
So he finds us a driver, negotiates a price and off we go.
We soon pull up in front of a very nice hotel...looks practically brand new. Sounds good to me. He runs in...and runs right back out. It cost $130 a night.
I hoped this wasn't a sign of things to come.
They had told us Odessa is one of the most expensive cities in Ukraine to adopt from.
They weren't kidding.
We spent the next two hours (remember we only had five hours before court - and we hadn't showered or gotten dressed yet.) driving around the area looking for a place to stay.
I kept telling Lev...'Remember...there's that place I emailed you about. I'd really like to check it out.'
And he kept putting me off. 'Oh, they're expensive. We're on a budget.'
So NOW he's worried about the budget! :)
Finally the driver takes us to a hotel that doesn't look too bad from the outside. He runs in and runs back out to say we're in...it's only $50 a night, with a breakfast included.
Alright...not too bad, I'll give it a try.
As soon as we opened the door to our room I told Meshack that night would be the last night we spent there. I guess in the big scheme of things it wasn't so bad...except that it was incredibly small. I can't imagine having an almost four year old running around that room. There was no place to run...literally. Our suitcases - as small as they were - took up the only walking space around the beds. There was a TV in the corner, but that was the only other piece of furniture other than the beds.
The showers were fine...but I couldn't see spending $50 a night for a tiny room, with no refrigerator or way to cook (I'd have to eat out every meal), not to mention no grocery stores anywhere. There was no way to wash clothes, no internet service for as far as the eye could see (there was nothing near this hotel)...and with Meshack leaving I felt like I needed to have things as simple as possible.
Thankfully, Meshack agreed.
So he went next door to Lev and broke the news.
Lev took it pretty well. He teased me the rest of the day about the rooms...but then ate crow later when he finally called Odessa Executive Suites.
Not only do we get this awesome apartment...but it's in the heart of downtown Odessa and we got it for only $20 more than the tiny hotel room.
A pretty good deal if you ask me.
Yes, my budget is hurting a little - but I'm saving on my food bill, internet bill and overall entertainment bill. Plus, I have clean clothes...
And a whirlpool bathtub.
What more could a girl ask for?