We made it back to Illinois safe and sound. Jeff was a bit freaked out by the airplane travel, but not nearly as upset as he was on the way there.
We made a bid on a house. I don't know whether it will be accepted, because apparently someone else also made a bid on the house. But we are preapproved and very financially sound, so I think our offer is competitive. If we'd known at the time that someone else was bidding, we would have offered the full asking price.
I hope we get the house. It's exactly what we wanted in a house: 2800 square feet, basement ranch, good condition, 3 bathrooms, nice, low-maintenance yard, and, as an extra bonus, it's really cheap. It's only $25-30K more than the value of our current house, so we figured we could use the extra money on other things, like having a nicer car or even a vacation home by the lake.
The house is in Oak Ridge itself, and it would only be about a ten-minute drive to work. That would be awesome, because I hate driving.
When we were in Oak Ridge, we came across this amazing gaming store. We went in and met the people there. They were having a demonstration of this game called "Pirates of the Spanish Main," which is a cross between a card game and a board game. They gave us complimentary starter packs and let us play. It was a lot of fun. I was the longest survivor against the owner of the store, who had a really tough pirate ship that was impossible to beat. But I outlasted my husband and another guy who was playing too.
On the karate front, we drove past the place where the Goju Ryu karate supposedly was, and it was a housing project. We called the number, and it had been disconnected. So I am disappointed by that. But, we did drive past a place in Knoxville that purported to offer kempo karate, which could turn out to be good.
There's a girls' club called "Girls Inc." in Oak Ridge, aimed at low-income girls, I believe. And since I am a sucker for disadvantaged children, and I have experience teaching karate to children, I thought I might see if I couldn't offer them my services to teach karate to the girls. That would force me to keep up with karate. My instructor here in Illinois said that he would be happy to keep up with me and test me remotely via videotape if necessary. But I know I need some sort of outside motivation to help me keep going, otherwise I'll run out of steam.