Scott Hardie | June 1, 2002
Kelly and my mom and I drove to Tampa today to look at places in the classifieds. I had spoken to some of the landlords in advance and made appointments to see inside some places on Monday. Because of that, I didn't want to spend a Saturday just driving around the city, looking at places from the street. I thought it would be a waste of time. It wasn't.

That's because we really liked the first place we visited. That landlord had told me that the blinds were all up and I was free to look in all the windows. We parked and walked around the place, admiring everything. The interior was all new: New hardwood floors, new carpeting, new paint on the walls, new electrical wiring, and best of all, new kitchen appliances. The place seemed fresh. There was a large area that tripled as a kitchen, dining room, and living room (really just a large room with a row of kitchen stuff bending around one corner), and that has nice hardwood floors. There's also a large master bedroom, just large enough (I think) for that king-sized bed that Kelly and I have been wanting, and a pair of medium-sized bedrooms, all of which have closets with doors, which is a nice change for us. There are two bathrooms, oddly placed: The full bathroom opens up into part of the living room, while the half bathroom opens up into the master bedroom. Whatever. There's also a large garage, wide enough only for one car but long enough almost for two, and there's a new washer and dryer in the corner of the garage. The outside has a ground-level front porch (patio?), nice plants like a large hibiscus bush and a rose bush, a medium-sized fenced-in back yard, with several spiggots for hoses. There's no back door, but that's okay, the back of the house is exclusively bedrooms.

All of this was for $995 a month. That price is justifiable considering two things, that it includes lawn care, which would cost about $100 a month, and that it comes with a new washer and dryer, which we'd most likely have to buy if we lived elsewhere. It's also a short distance from central Tampa, maybe 10 miles from downtown and 8 from the airport (my estimate). The lease is for one year at a time, which is just fine now but could become a problem later. I'm going to call the landlord tomorrow and ask her to let us see the inside on Monday, and if we don't have any problems with the inside, we're going to take it. The only things that could make it fall apart at this point are somebody else getting it first, or finding out that they don't allow pets. We're very happy about this place. (In case you want to look it up, it's 4423 Lanier (la-NEER) Drive in Tampa.)

Scott Hardie | June 2, 2002
Aw yeah! I just checked for high-speed internet access, and TimeWarner does provide cable modem access to that street. It's a shitty $44.95 a month, but Kelly and I don't plan to get cable TV as long as we can receive broadcast channels there, so I think we can afford it.

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