A Travellerspoint blog

August 2011

New Day, Better Everything

Life is back to good

sunny 80 °F

The sun comes up and presto magic, a new day!

Claims today started across the Chesapeake Bay. I checked out of the motel and took off across the bay. What a beautiful drive, wish I’d had time to stop and take photos or just enjoy. But there was work to do. But it reminded me of other drives across other bays.

My third claim was near the center of DC. Driving to the claim I went past the Washington Monument, I saw it when I drove in yesterday too. It was so thrilling to see. We were in DC several years ago as sightseers but I was just so excited to see the monument again.

I finished up the DC claim and was off to the last claim, in the NW area. I had to take the George Washington Parkway to the next highway. OMG the drive is so beautiful. I really was wishing that I would have had someone with me to share that beauty with.

After the last claim I went to the new motel. Well it is identical in layout to the one last night but really spiffed up. Mattress isn’t a soft lump that feels like it just came from the dump and pillows are puffy, not flat and lumpy. Lights in the bathroom actually work. Paint and carpets are updated. It even has a coffee maker!

I went across the street and found a Kinko/FedEx who scanned the 2 sheets that needed scanning. Instead of needing to purchase a new scanner they scanned and put it in the computer for only $1.89. Then I walked across the lot to Boston Market and found gluten free food.

After a huge dinner of roasted chicken, green beans and spinach I got to work to start getting these claims out of here and get home! But I think that I’ll spend a little time sightseeing before taking off from here.

Posted by Miss Chris 22:08 Archived in USA Tagged food travel driving chesapeake Comments (0)

A Day Not to be Repeated

Just one thing after another, and none the end of the world not good either

sunny 80 °F

What a day that I hope to not relive any time soon!

Last night was not good. I was really concerned about how today would work out so didn’t sleep well. Then the wine I’d bought was way too sweet and fizzy, YUCK! It was a Virginia wine but not a good one so I really couldn’t drink much.

I had 4 appointments set up for today but 1st had to drive from Fredericksburg to Baltimore about a 2 hour drive. I left late so knew that although I’d be within the range I gave, I’d be later than I wanted. Fortunately, roads were not busy so I flew on my way and got to my first appointment on time.

By afternoon I’d checked both of the bank accounts and my advance was not there. I emailed the company and told them that either the money would be in my accounts tomorrow or I was packing up and going home, I would not be sleeping in my car. Of course they expressed surprise that the money had not been deposited but then later said that the money would be there. Hum! Wonder if they didn’t do their job?

So in the meantime I had to hassle with getting more dollars in my account so that I could rent the car for a couple more days, at least until the advance hits and stay in a motel. I found both a Starbucks and a branch of my bank next to each other, so stopped to make some phone calls and make some decisions.

I called the car rental company to extend the days of my rental but was told that I had to go back to the airport and physically exchange the car for a new one. To extend the contract would cost $200/day and with a new contract it would be $50. Now the airport was about 1 hour away to the SW and the motel that I hoped to get for the night was about 1 hour to the north from where I was sitting. Not to mention that I had new claims plus claims from yesterday to be called and appointments set which meant mapping first.

I called Dale and just burst into tears, everything I touched was just falling apart. Gradually I picked myself up and got on the road to the rental car company where they arranged to give me the same car so that I did not need to unpack. They assured me that I can extend for the same price and won’t have to go back to the airport.

After getting the car I parked by a wall and tried to reserve a room close to Annapolis but it wouldn’t go thru. I ended up calling Hotels.com and they found that there were no rooms available. Since the hotspot on my phone doesn’t work when I’m on a call the person helping me reviewed the rooms and those in the price range I was looking out. He found one that I’d seen before and it sounded fine so I got it for 3 nights. BIG MISTAKE!!!!

So I got to my hotel, nearly all the way to Baltimore, way too far north. Then the bomb; this motel is really old, there is no hot water, no AC, no electricity in most rooms although mine works except for the bathroom light. I must stay for tonight because it is too late to cancel but they were allowing people to cancel the other nights. Fortunately I was able to cancel the next two nights and found a room right in Annapolis.
No dinner tonight since there is no working microwave on the premises. No wine since I never had time to stop and buy some. Just a few almonds and water. Oh well I didn’t want to eat anyway!

Posted by Miss Chris 19:54 Archived in USA Tagged travel driving claims Comments (0)

Ups and downs of Being an Independent

Working as an independent isn't always easy.

sunny

The good news is that I woke up to power this morning but it was still windy and rainy. The wind and rain gave way to a beautiful day.

I had received all of 6 claims up until this morning so I was quite concerned that I’d be making enough money here to cover my costs. I mean really who has earthquake insurance here. I was so upset about the few claims but then calculated and determined that I would probably make the advance that I’m supposed to receive, and soon I hope.

I spoke to the supervisor on this storm and he told me that he had 2 catastrophe adjusters here; one to work Virginia and myself to work D.C. and Maryland. He thought that we would be receiving more claims before the whole thing is over. I had my doubts but didn’t express them. I thought to myself “I’ll hopefully be on a plane this next weekend to go home”.

Even though we had some wind here from Irene, I really doubted that there would be work from the hurricane. Since late morning I have received 5 hurricane claims. Now I don’t have a ladder to inspect roofs which means that I’ll need to buy one that will fit in this little rental car. Fortunately I won’t need one until Wed so I can buy one on Tues.

Tomorrow morning my room is up here in Fredericksburg so I’ll need to move. When I spoke to the supervisor today he suggested that I move to Annapolis which would be lots closer to claims rather than Frederick. I’d actually started to get a room in Frederick yesterday but then just hesitated and then hesitated again today. This turns out to be a good thing since Annapolis is much closer to my claims.

I did check out campgrounds near Annapolis for both tomorrow and for when Dale comes in two weeks. I may have to check it out sooner than later.

Posted by Miss Chris 21:04 Archived in USA Tagged travel independent catastrophe_claims Comments (0)

Surviving the Edges of Hurricane Irene

Holed up in my hotel with the edge of Hurricane Irene passing by.

storm

Luggage arrived this morning so I could take a shower and put on clean clothes. We never realize what we have until we do not have it at all. A shower and clean clothes was just want I needed! After I ran to Target, across the street and bought a lighter in the event that I needed my candles.

A few (precious few) earthquake claims came in today so I called and set appointments when possible. By afternoon, after a little power nap, I was trying to find a motel for Monday p.m. when the power went out. The internet continued for another hour but then that went down too.

The outer bands of Hurricane Irene had already started hitting but winds weren’t so high that it caused any concern, also rain was coming down but it wasn’t that bad.

I got my candles out, glad that I had miss-ordered the long lasting tea lights instead of the regular one. I set up everything and organized everything before it would be dark.

Dale had misplaced my inverter (I actually think he threw it away in cleanup frenzy) and I didn’t have enough money to buy another one before leaving. Unfortunately I’d run down my laptop battery so started downstairs to see what I could do. After waiting for the elevator I saw that I needed to use the stairs so on went the flashlight and down 4 flights of stairs I went.

Downstairs someone offered to loan me their inverter so up stairs to get the laptop but I didn’t think about the fact that the door is electronic so when I came back the door wouldn’t open. Down the stairs back to the front desk to get someone to help me, back up the stairs to get the laptop, back down the stairs to charge the laptop.

I sat in the car for about an hour charging the laptop and phone, sending claims info off and checking on the weather channel for updates.

Fortunately I’d brought some canned smoked trout and rice crackers. That made for an easy dinner with the rest of the red wine I’d bought last night.

Posted by Miss Chris 03:34 Archived in USA Tagged travel hotel hurricane_irene Comments (0)

Travel to the Hurricane

Crazy travel day

Travel to the east coast has been crazy.

1st: The claims manager called me at 5a.m. as he thought I was in Georgia, he wanted to just touch basis. He told me, I thought, that I should live as close to Fredericksburg as possible. I went onto the hotel site and found a place and reserved it for 3 nights. Frankly I wasn’t sure that there would be a significant amount of claims. Then the next morning I got an email saying I should be near Fredrick, MD. Opsy! Of course my hotel was paid for and non-refundable but I can work around it.

2nd My flights included 2 connections. I really didn’t think a whole lot about it until I was nearing Phoenix and realized that I had 30 minutes between the flights. Well of course I had to run from one end of the airport to the other carrying my very heavy camera bag on my back plus a 2nd laptop and my carry-on. I barely made the flight; everyone had already boarded but about 3 of us from the 1st flight. This time though they took my wheeled carry-on as there was no room on the plane. They told me I’d get it in D.C.

We got to Charlotte and again I had 30 minutes total and gates were totally on opposite ends of the airport. I again made the flight as they were giving seats to the standby passengers. Someone was already in my seat so that as I was sitting down finally the plane started moving. I’d also noticed that I received some claims and that one said rush. RUSH? Sorry but there was no time to rush on my claim, I was barely making my flights.

By the time I got on the plane to D.C. I was really getting hungry. I’d had the fruit/cheese plate on my earlier flight but it was small- 2 strawberries, 2 very small bunches of grapes, 4 slices of cheese and 1 small wedge of brie. There were crackers but they were wheat so I couldn’t eat them and since my bag was taken containing my rice crackers I was out of luck. So I was starving, wanted a latte, was tired.

I was so happy getting on that last plane because I was getting a window seat at least. The earlier flights were not by windows and everyone around me kept their windows closed. Well I got to my seat to find that there was no window at all, there wasn’t even a window close by, and I only had the smallest view out of the window by the person in front of me. Of course my books were all away so I decided to just sit still and clear my mind. I’ve forgotten how to just sit for a few minutes.

Finally we got into D.C. but then neither bag made it off the plane. When the announcement came that all of the bags were off about 5 of us were standing there. I went immediately to the customer service as I had located it earlier anticipating trouble. The woman took my info and thought that the bags might still arrive.

I got my rental car and drove down to Fredericksburg, stopping at a store to pick up water and instant food. Now to see if the storm does much.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:54 Archived in USA Tagged planes travel airport Comments (0)

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