Well, here we are back in the nest! When the taxi dropped us off and I opened the front door, Radar's eyes lit up and he beamed one of those famous Radar Love smiles!! I think it's safe to say that my super traveling companion is exceedingly happy to be back home.
Now it seems that I've got a little catch up work to do. Let's start with a glaring, nearly unforgivable omission of some three days ago. On this, the second Radar World Tour, Radar had the chance to visit with all of his first uncles and his only first aunt. I say “first” because Radar's extended family of what we call Tios and Tias is massive and includes my aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and sometimes an occasional stranger... but as for the “textbook” definition of aunts and uncles, he has 3 uncles and only 1 aunt. And while all of Radar's uncles have received a happy birthday mention on this blog on their birthdays, July 23rd passed and not a peep was heard about Radar's only and excellent Tia Lali silently slipping past the 25 year mark.
To this, we can only say... “my bad!” Lali, you are the world's greatest Tia and sister, and we love you to Jupiter and back. We are sending you many super sloppy kisses. Happy big 25!!!
One other mention I'd like to slip in here before moving onto the title subject, is my primo Rafa. As you can see from the sidebar, primo Antonio is nearing his 3 month mark over in Iraq. Yesterday Rafa made his way to Fort Benning, GA for one week before he also ships off to Iraq next Saturday. We are so happy that we got to see you before you left Rafa... I am as proud as ever that my perfect son carries the name of my perfect cousin!!! Good luck in Iraq... stay safe and stay in touch. We love you!!
As soon as I have Rafa's address I'll post a link. Even though he insists he doesn't need anything, I'll bet he wouldn't poo-poo an occasional letter and chewing gum from family.
And finally, let's talk about that obstacle that I mentioned in the last post. Without going into too much detail, part of our plans for our just wrapped up trip had been to rent a one way minivan from Maine to Philadelphia to move a few pieces of furniture from my grandmother's house to Tio Javier's place. Before the trip, I had done a little bit of surfing and hadn't been able to find a one way rental, but I figured it would all work out once we got there.
Fast forward to the there... we arrived in Maine late on Sunday afternoon after hitching a ride from Boston with cousin Magee (aka Aunt Magee to Radar) and first thing Monday morning, I started calling every rental car agency. No one way minivan rentals. So I called U-Haul and Budget. The only one way rental they offered was a 10 foot moving truck which had two bucket seats in the cab... not enough room for two adults and a baby seat. Ok, how about hiring a moving company to take the few pieces of furniture and just renting a car? Two problems... the movers charge $1,200 and no rental car agency even offered a one way car to Philadelphia.
Say hi to Aunt Magee
Crap! That same morning my mom had an appointment at the bank, so Magee took me to a wi-fi spot where I could start searching for solutions. Last minute airline tickets to Philly were bookoo bucks. We could do a one way rental car as far as Boston, then change over to a train or plane... not tempting with luggage and a baby in tow, not to mention that every option I found ran upwards of a thousand bucks. I left not knowing what to do when I noticed an auto repair shop across the street with a few cars for sale on the lot. There was an old Caddy on sale for $1,895. We pulled in and I asked the guy if he thought the Caddy would get me to Philly... he scratched his head and said, “Yeah. It should.” I asked what he'd take for the car and he said $1,500.
Bingo!!! If I could get a Caddy for $1,500, imagine what I could get for under $1,000!!! So we got a newspaper and there in the classifieds, in fine black print were the magic words... “1996 Ford F-150 with fiberglass bed cover. Asking $950.”
I called for directions and a half hour later, there he was. I took him for a 2 minute test drive and asked the key question, “will he get me to Philly?” The owner, Dwayne, instilled enormous confidence in me with his answer, “I think so,” so I offered $850 and we were the proud new owners of Dwayne (after his previous owner), the Ford F-150 with 235,000 miles, no emergency brake, door locks or spare tire, a leak in the gas tank and a hood that doesn't open, that got us safely to Philadelphia where he sits outside Tio Javier's place waiting for a new owner.
Thank you Dwayne!!!
Lots of love,
Titi and Radar
PS - More about this guy and all of his adventures tomorrow!