A day spent tromping through houses.
It's a great thing that John and I have taken Jet out to see a lot of houses in new developments because Jet now LIKES looking at houses. It was a really unexpected side benefit to our curiosity, but now Jet actually wants to go into houses and look around. It bemused me, but he really likes doing the exploring.
We had a rather random morning. Jet had slept through the WHOLE NIGHT!! Amazing. Both John and I were up at 4 and both of us said, "I didn't get up for him..." We'd thought about going out for donuts, but Jet refused to leave his play-doh table until after I'd gotten up and showered, so we left it for a little later than usual. Turns out that the donut shop is open; but faced with the prospect of a sugary round treat, my stomach turned up its nose, so we decided to go to the Branding Iron, out in Fort Lupton, for breakfast. John did, however, buy Jet two donuts for HIS breakfast.
The funny thing is that Jet demanded them when John came back from the shop, but when we went into the restaurant, Jet forgot all about them, and played with crayons, the coloring menu, and stuff quite happily. We held his orange juice back when it came, and when everyones food came, including a pancake and bacon for Jet, Jet was still more fascinated with his crayons and with rolling up his placemat than with eating. He refused his pancake and his bacon, but didn't remember the donut, either.
So I started eating my breakfast, and as part of it, we got a huge stack of whole wheat toast. I took a slice, and when Jet saw me pull a couple of jam cubes from the rack, he insisted on opening them up. So I opened one, and then spread seedless blackberry jam carefully on my toast. Jet watched me. Then he proceeded to pick up the triangle of toast, very carefully, by the crusts and edges, so he wouldn't touch the jam, and he ate it. He then proceeded to eat three MORE slices of toast, alternating apple butter and blackberry jam.
He drank a little juice, and John and I shared his breakfast, but he just plowed through the toast like it was going out of style! Wow.
On the way back from the restaurant, we wanted to check out the new Tri-Town Carbon Valley Rec. Center. It's a HUGE, beautiful thing, now, and on the way there we happened across two new neighborhoods that were just... unbelievable. The first was a whole neighborhood of spec houses!! HUGE things of 2500-3000 square feet, beautifully detailed with separate garage loft apartments (which were zoned to be rented out) and beautifully and lovingly detailed floor plans that were just... astonishing. They were in the $500k range, which was ridiculously low for all the things in those houses, and they were on pretty large lots. It's just that there was this gorgeous neighborhood out in the middle of NOWHERE. Ten minutes from the freeway, half an hour from Longmont, and in the opposite direction we wanted to go. But they were hauntingly beautiful. Livable art is what the flyers said. One flyer denoted a walled-in water feature garden as part of the open floor plan house. Others had gorgeous glassed-in entries, or beautiful observation decks. Plenty of bedrooms, baths, and office areas. It was so beautiful and so... useless in some ways.
Especially with the down-turn in the economy that anyone would risk that much money in spec housing, where the houses hadn't even been sold, yet or customized to a particular customer seemed crazy. The prices were pretty much at or below the builder's cost to build them, now, as the last two years has been pretty lean in this area.
The next development was almost more astonishing. Individual-family, separated living "Lofts". Brick-front buildings, with really almost too open floor plans with exposed ducts, metal stairs, and a heating problem. They were pretty, too, and only two block's walk from the Rec. Center, which is at the end of the middle of town. It's pretty trendy stuff, but it boggles my mind to try and think of "Lofts" built on cow-pasture...
Jet loved climbing through them, though. He really liked the circular staircases and insisted on going down them with no one in front of him. Scared me, but he did just fine.
We then walked 'around the block' and by the Rec. Center, crunching through the ice and snow and feeling the humidity come up and make the cold truly cutting. Brrr... so on the way home, Jet fell asleep, just fine. And I napped with him. Mmm... nap.
The donuts turned out to be a great lunch for him, and he added juice and part of an apple as well, and we met up with Kay in the neighborhood we wanted to check out and we climbed, walked through, and discussed four different houses. The first two were too big, the third was pretty much perfect. The fourth happened to be an open house with the couple selling it By Owner showing people around and feeding Jet a chocolate cookie that he dropped crumbs of all over the house. Jet made up for the morning by insisting on wearing one of John's shirts and one of my shirts over his shirt, along with his yellow backpack, so he made a very, very eccentric vision. *grin*
The third house was perfect. Except for a very ugly, too huge island and really ugly granite counters in the kitchen. Problem with ugly granite in the kitchen is that pulling it out and replacing it with something else makes the value of the house/kitchen go down. It's cosmetic, though, and doable. But the price was a bit on the high end for us to comfortably do something like remodel a perfectly 'okay' kitchen, commercially viable, but emotionally off-putting. Thing is that the layout and everything else about the house was pretty much acceptable, and the flyer says that the owner is really motivated to sell. So we might get the price down enough to make the remodel acceptable in our sight.
Kay was very helpful, let us just look and tried to duck out of all my pictures of the houses. *grin*. She isn't quite as opinionated as Colleen, but then that's what we pay Colleen for.
After we said our good-byes and thank yous we drove by another half a dozen houses, and then went home. One of the houses we drove-by had SEVEN bedrooms; but it also had a gourmet kitchen with a six-burner NICE range setup with overhead hood. And it was a good $150k LESS than the other houses. With that kind of money, we could knock down walls, make bigger bedrooms, a nice study, a rec room, make sure the master suite was all we wanted and still be ahead.
Home again, home again, and I had a desire for pizza, so we called the local Nick and Willy's and found, sadly, that that one had gone out of business!! Bleh!! So I called Mugg and Pye and got a medium combo and we ate that. It was good, small enough to not have too many leftovers, and satisfying. Jet even ate half a slice between bouts of dough. Yay for a quiet evening. John went to sleep before Jet and I did, but when Jet finally deigned to brush his teeth, he fell asleep like a rock. Whew.