Location: Oregon, United States

Monday, March 05, 2007


Fair Warning: This entry is all about me, so if you want to know what is going on in the rest of the family's life you will have to wait for another entry.

Last weekend was my dear friend Kristen's birthday. After a flurry of phone calls and negotiations a couple of weeks ago, I had a ticket to Minnesota in hand for the party.

If you are at all in touch with Minnesota weather, you will know that they got walloped with snow twice last week. I was scheduled to change planes in Phoenix and was pretty darn sure I would be spending the weekend there instead. Thankfully, the snow had been cleared enough by the time we were scheduled to come in so our plane took off on time and we got there with no trouble at all. Susie picked me up and we went to her boyfriend Jason's house and had dinner so we could meet and get to know each other a bit. For the record, I approve. :)

After dinner, Susie took me to my sister's new house, which is totally beautiful and looks out over a wooded lot near Bush Lake. Mircea and I played a quick game or two of ping-pong (he beat me by two points) while Teddy followed Talley everywhere she went. Teddy is absolutely gorgeous, with eyelashes that could create a wind current, and he is talking up a storm, so he is fun.

The next morning, Mircea went to Sofitel and got us fresh croissants for our morning treat. Then we played with Teddy some more - by this time he had decided I was safe, so while I sat on the floor, he repeatedly pushed me over and belly laughed. It was a beautiful, sunny, winter day, so we went sledding as well - another activity Teddy totally enjoys - and a great work out to boot! Then off to a really great Indian buffet at Tandoor. I haven't found really great Indian food here in Oregon (unless it costs a fortune), so this was a treat. After lunch, they dropped me off at the Powell's house. Our time was way too short and sweet, so I cried as we parted and couldn't straighten up fast enough to be composed when Kristen and Bethany answered the door. So I started my time with them by crying for a bit - oh, well.

John had said he could get the party together on his own, so we decided that we should make ourselves scarce in order to facilitate that. We decided to go shopping just for fun and accomplished our mission. John had said that another one of dear friends, Dana, was planning to arrive early in order to help organize the party, so we arranged to be home a little early in order to have time with her. When we walked in the house, Kristen went first and then I waited a second and followed quietly. Poor Dana almost went into shock and started crying, so I cried right along with her. (Crying along with people is a gift of mine, I think.) It was wonderful to catch up with her, as we haven't kept up our contact as much as we used to.

After a bit, people started arriving for the party. It was a riot to watch their faces as they recognized me, said hello, then did a double-take/jaw drop when they realized how out of context I was. After a few of these encounters, I decided to be the doorman so that they could get over their shock and move on to enjoy the party. I truly had a great time - what a great way to see everyone. Thank you, John and Kristen.

Sunday, we got up and exchanged ideas for brunch - a miracle! John and I had both had the great idea of going for Dim Sum. Psych! So we stuffed ourselves, then came back, listened to the girls play cello and piano, and played a quick board game until they had to bring me to the airport. Again, really hard to leave, but we are planning to meet up with them this summer in the Grand Canyon, so that helped.

My trip home was ... interesting. The flight left from MN a bit late, which made my connection in Phoenix pretty darn tight. I touched base with the flight attendant and the best she could do was recommend I move as close as possible to the front and make a run for it when we got in. Gosh, thanks! So I made my way forward and ended up sitting between two really nice women, one of whom spoke about the loss her family has experienced as a result of Katrina. Heavy stuff, but good. The other gal worked for the airline and was able to call in when we landed. She found out my connecting flight was leaving 10 minutes late and told me which gate to go to. Cool! I still ran for it - why is it that I can run and run on the road, but you put me in a situation where I have to run and I feel like I'm going to keel over? Must be the adrenaline rush... I hope I never have to run to save my life or someone else's... Wheeze, gasp.

I made my flight, got in to Portland around 10:30 p.m. and hopped on MAX to make my way home. Random side note: Downtown, about 15 youth with bicycles got on the train. They started talking to a couple who asked them which hills they were going down and they talked for a bit. Evidently, there is this whole sub-culture out there that joy-rides down these massive hills in the dark on their bikes. They got off en masse at Washington Park to ride hills there. Yowsa. About half-way home, I realized that the train wasn't going all the way to our city. By this time it was about 11:30 p.m., so I decided to take a bus from the Transit Center. Trains, planes, buses and automobiles. This is nuts.

I wasn't feeling particularly safe at this hour - the only female in sight, with a suitcase, and knowing darn well I would faint if I had to run. Some guy had overheard my conversation with Paul as I arranged for him to meet me at the bus stop vs. the MAX station and then I thought how freaking stupid that was and toyed with changing my plans again just to be safe. But I got on the bus and decided to play it by ear. Two stops later, another guy gets on and I nearly fell over - it was one of my clients! My clients are the best people to have around at that hour - street smart, know the ropes, and watching my back. Nice!

So the short of it is, I had an AWESOME weekend. It was really hard to be there and not do EVERYTHING and not see EVERYONE and only spend a little time with the few people I did see, but it was totally worth it, and I can't thank everyone enough for the time I had with you. Thank you, John and Kristen for facilitating a really great time for me!


Blogger ~Noriel said...

we loved having you! i can reply for my whole fam on that! i was just talking to steven on msn- he's a riot!

4:42 PM  

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