Update 1: The First Month

Whoops! I neglected my blog too long and forgot to update! I guess I have a lot to update everyone on, so I’ll do it in a few posts.

The last major update I posted only got you up through our road trip out here, so first I’ll cover our move and finding our new place.

We had a month of temporary housing covered as part of our relocation package, but it was a little wonky since they couldn’t get us into one apartment right away, so we had one place for 3 or 4 days until the apartment was ready. Mark had training in the Bay Area for a week, and then drove down to Orange County and our first temporary place that weekend.

I was only there for one night, since my parents and I didn’t get out there until Monday evening of his second week (June 8th). We had to check out of that apartment in the morning, and didn’t have the next one available until that evening. Mark and I loaded all our stuff into his car that morning and he went off to work, and I went off to house hunt.

We spent some time relaxing and checking out Huntington Beach around Mom & Dad’s hotel after we got there Monday night, but Tuesday was all business! Mark and I had already researched and found the neighborhood that was closest to his office before we moved, so my parents picked me up and we drove over to Irvine to start looking. We were pretty sure we didn’t want to move into a big apartment complex again unless we had to, so we were hoping for a condo or townhouse we could rent. I pulled up some places I found online to start, and we drove around and found them, and then set up a few tours for the next day.

We tried to drive around and look for signs in person, but I had underestimated how confusing the neighborhood was! The neighborhood is based around a giant ring road, and all the houses are on side streets that are either cul-de-sacs or loop back around on themselves. We got turned around pretty quickly and gave up on that plan and decided to check out the local shopping mall, because it was pretty warm that day and I didn’t actually own any shorts to wear!

The giant ferris wheel in the mall!

The mall was not at all what I expected! It was huge and all outdoor, with big common areas and a giant ferris wheel! We shopped a little bit and ate some lunch there, and then headed back to Huntington Beach to meet Mark so we could check into the next apartment.

I was surprised at how nice it was! We got a little spoiled living there, since it was much nicer than any apartment we could afford! It was furnished and had all the dishes and kitchen gear we needed for the month. The community was beautiful and had a really nice pool and common areas. Here’s what our apartment looked like:

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The next day Mom, Dad, and I drove back to Irvine to tour the condos from the day before. On the way, I made another appointment for a place that had just been listed on Craigslist that morning. The first couple places we looked at were nice sizes and layouts, but very shabby. The realtor showing us around was very pushy, wanting me to make up my mind on the spot, because rentals go very quickly in that neighborhood. The condo I found online that morning looked a lot more promising in the pictures, and we had an appointment to view it later that afternoon, so I held off making any decisions.

Mark met us at the condo from work, because I had a good feeling about that one and wanted him to see it if I had to make a decision right away. It was pretty much exactly how it looked online! It was a nice size, with an updated kitchen and bathrooms, and it had been maintained much better than the other places we looked at. It’s a good thing I had Mark meet us there, because there was another couple waiting outside to view it right after us! We had to insist to the landlord that we were sure we wanted it and we put down a holding deposit on the spot, so the other couple wouldn’t get it! It wasn’t available until July 1 (it was June 10 at this point), but that was perfect for us, since Mark’s company was already covering our temporary housing through the first week of July.

We got all the paperwork filled out that evening and sent back to the landlord and everything was approved the next day. We met her a little later to sign the lease and pay the security deposit and then we were all set, and I could relax the rest of the month!

My parents left a few days later to head out on their REAL vacation driving up the coast to San Francisco. It was hard to say goodbye, knowing I probably wouldn’t see them again until the holidays!

The rest of June was pretty uneventful. I enjoyed the pool at our apartment and mostly stayed around there, because traffic was really awful in that area and there wasn’t much nearby except the little shopping mall that our apartment complex was attached to.


Mark’s office “family fun day” was June 26th, so I got to meet some of his coworkers. They had rented out a Dave & Busters and had all sorts of food and preloaded cards to play the arcade games. It was a good time, even though neither of us knew anyone very well yet! Mark especially enjoyed the arcade-style Mario Kart and Guitar Hero games. I enjoyed the brownie sundae bar! We got a goofy unicorn (which you’ll recognize if you’ve seen Despicable Me) with all our tickets. Pardon my awful pictures, please. It was very dark inside and my phone didn’t like that!


Other notable things from June:


We found a great wood-fired pizza place AND a taco place that we loved!

And that’s pretty much it! I’ll update next on moving in to our condo!

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