Pleasant Surprises

Moving to San Diego has been full of pleasant surprises. I guess you could say, moving to San Diego was a pleasant surprise in and of itself, but our luck seems to have extended to most of the settling in, too.

Deciding on an apartment and buying a car was much easier than expected. While we initially planned just 2 days for those formative steps, we thought it would take longer or be a more difficult process. It wasn’t, and we were off to a good start. As mentioned previously, finding mattresses was also relatively easy and we got a fantastic discount, followed by the 15% discount we managed at C&B for our first furniture purchase.

One of the biggest pleasant surprises has been how early most of our orders have been arriving. In most cases, we find ourselves at the beginning of (or even just before) the delivery window, but in some, our goods have even arrived days ahead of schedule. For example:

–       On move-in day, our mattress delivery window was 10-2; they were in place by 10:15, allowing me to spend the rest of the day out and about, stocking up on essentials.

–       On day 2, the C&B order was scheduled for 12:45-2:45. At 11:30, the delivery crew phoned to say they were here. I was buying coffee beans in Starbucks, but was able to get home within 5 minutes, oversee the delivery and be back out shopping shortly thereafter.

–       We realized how quick and easy it is to hire a moving van, and decided on a whim to book one and collect our dresser (and bought the bonus tv stand & IKEA bookshelf + bed) a week before originally planned.

–       Our TV delivery window was 10-2. The guy arrived at 9:30; I was still in the gym, but just finishing up. He then realized he had the wrong telly in his van, hightailed it back to the warehouse to swap them out and was back here just after 10, allowing me to have a quick shower before he returned and set it up, but still be out of the house by late morning.

–       Our nightstands (for which we also scored a 15% discount) arrived a week earlier than originally quoted – a relief for Mark, who didn’t love having his phone laying on the carpet 2 ½ feet below him charging at night (we haven’t bought an alarm clock yet, so checking the time in the middle of the night is awkward when your phone is further away).

–       As I mentioned last week, our patio furniture arrived 4 days early, allowing us to spend lots of weekend time outdoors.

–       Last Friday, just a couple hours after remarking we didn’t expect our sofa to be delivered until late this week, the furniture company phoned to say they’d finished building our sofa and could deliver it Saturday afternoon! Mark stayed in, geeking and overseeing the delivery while I was out gathering more decorative pieces.

–       With the sofa in place, and having learned we could use our 10% gift registry completion discount at Pottery Barn before the official card arrived, we walked to the mall after dinner to order our coffee table (a gorgeous reclaimed wood piece we both loved immediately). Surprise! It was in stock, so we could pick it up any time. With the store closing in 25 minutes and our car back at the apartment, we continued browsing decorative baskets and area rugs and planned to collect the coffee table Sunday morning. Impatient and a little keen, we decided 10 minutes before closing that we wanted it that night. I ran back to the apartment to collect the car, while Mark went to the PB collection point to have them prep our table. Mark was outside with the box when I pulled up at 9:02. Being a large wooden piece, it was pretty heavy, but we lifted it into the car… and it didn’t fit. However! With the outer box removed, the table, covered in carefully positioned Styrofoam cubes and plastic wrap did fit. Just, but a fit is a fit, and we were only a 3 minute drive from home (lesson: never underestimate the power of the Prius!). Hoorah! By 9:20, we had a real living room – complete with TV, sofa AND coffee table! Obviously we still need some more bits (area rug, accent chairs, end tables and the artwork currently in transit from London), but the place really feels so much more home-like than even just a few days ago.

(please excuse the spare dining chair being used a space-holder for where the 2 yet-to-be-acquired accent chairs belong)

–       After ‘not planning to prioritize patio furniture’, I happened upon a perfect little set in Pier 1. The 2 chairs and accent table were all marked down about 30%, putting the total for all 3 pieces under $275. When we had them rung up at the till, the total seemed far too low (sub-$200 after tax). Turns out the chairs had been further marked down to more like 60% off. NICE!

(seat cushions ordered and expected soon)

All-in-all, we’re really pleased with the great deals and speedy service we’ve experienced so far. There are a few niggling pieces we want/need to sort out (and are trying to find the best deal doing it). I’m trying to be patient and remind myself we can’t always be so lucky. And missing a bookshelf and guest room nightstands is not the end of the home decorating world.

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