Sunday, February 13, 2011

Adventures In Biometric-ing

First of all, thank you to everyone who bought or shared about our Pendant Sale! We sold 36 pendants, which was enough to put us over $6,000 raised! In addition, 5 of those pendants were adoption/awareness pendants, so Masha's grant fund also received $25 :).

Now, as promised, the story of our trip to get our biometrics (federal digital fingerprints)!

Our appointment was at 8:00am on Thursday morning in Charleston, WV, so we decided to drive up the night before and spend the night at a hotel.

As we left Blacksburg, Rob casually mentioned that he had heard it might snow.

Oh boy, did it ever.

About 30 minutes into our 3 hour drive the snow started. And it didn't stop. It was the blowing-in-your-face, visibility-near-zero, sticking-to-the-roads kind of snow. We didn't know what lane we were in most of the time, because we couldn't see the markers. We couldn't see the sides of the road. We couldn't see anything beyond a few feet in front of us.

I was terrified and SOO thankful Rob was driving :).

And...we ran out of windshield-wiper fluid just as we arrived in Charleston. Here's a picture of our car after the trip:
Time for a car wash, don't you think?? :)

We got to Charleston and used our phones to find directions to a Hampton Inn downtown. We walked in and asked if they had any vacancies. They had exactly ONE room left! Of course we took it.

Then Rob, ever the bargainer, starts to ask if there's any type of discount we can get.

AAA discount? Nope. (What hotel doesn't offer a AAA discount?!).

Student discount? Nope.

Have our parents call to book the room so we can get an AARP discount? Nope.

How about, We're-in-town-doing-adoption-paperwork-and-here's-a-picture-of-the-kid-we're-adopting discount?

That did it! Lesson learned: Always whip out the picture of the adorable kid you're adopting.

She took $20 off our hotel price :). She then proceeds to tell us that there's a free shuttle that will take us anywhere downtown from 6am - 10am and pick us up. Also, the office we have our fingerprinting appointments at is just a few blocks away and the shuttle driver takes people there all the time.


So we go park the car in a non-spot (there were no more parking spaces and everything was covered in snow), get to our room...and the power in the whole hotel goes out.


All we could do was laugh and go to bed. The power came back on about 30 minutes later.

The morning went smoothly: We got up early, had a free breakfast in the lobby, and got the shuttle to take us to our appointment. We arrived early and the fingerprinting was uneventful. We got back to the hotel by 8:30 and decided to have a second breakfast :). Then we checked out, went straight to a gas station to buy some windshield-wiper fluid, and drove back to Blacksburg.

We're glad it's over and if we never have to drive in weather like that EVER again we will be forever thankful.

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