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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Home again

So, we stayed with Brandi and the girls for 8 days, that's longer than our usual stays, but since it's such a long trip to get there and it's not often that we do, we made it a bit longer of a stay. The entire time we were there it was rainy and cold with occasional sunshine - except the last day. That would be the one and only day it decided to snow. Our day started at 3:30am with the airline texting me a delay in flight. I called Orbitz and the guy said he'd call back, which he did as soon as I fell back asleep - the first flight was delayed but we would be able to make the connection. That is until the next text, and the next.... we decided to go to the airport early and would deal with it there. It had been snowing a bit before we left as Brandi pulled out of the drive it got worse, the road was starting to look messy - of course!! She needed gas so while David pumped the gas we looked for a shuttle service - success. And better yet the pick up was 20 minutes away and the next one was due in an hour. We hung out at McDonalds - we had to change the babies and took them in the bathroom. They had a changing table that made us laugh, ive never seen one so high up in the air. It was about chest high on Brandi, if it had been any higher she would have had to toss the baby up. One of the twins had an epic poop and thats when we discovered the wipes were still home so we had to improvise. As you can see, the whole day was slow going, but the shuttle showed up on time and off we went. 

We checked our bags and then got on The Stranded People Line which was long and crabby. We were near a woman from NJ and she was killing us - she was loudly complaining with a running commentary ("Did ja see that - he's flirting with them, FLIRTING - like we need this!"), she was ordering her husband around and had a bag big enough to fit a couple of bodies in - it did make the time go faster. SO, when we got up to The Flirter he managed to get his attention back on his job (and honestly, I would not want their job re-routing a legion of disgruntled passengers). We were given the choice of flying into Chicago and then not flying back out til 2pm THE NEXT DAY - no thank you! - or we could fly into San Francisco, hang around for a couple of hours and then direct fly to Pittsburgh landing at 6 am in the morning. We took the second option, we were up for the night either way. San Francisco was not bad - we had wifi and outlets to recharge, the food was GREAT, I had Spanish which I love, coffee and lots of seating. We took off a little later than planned but as long as I was heading home I did not care. 

I was supposed to have the middle seat but the teenage boy offered to sit in the middle so I could have the aisle, which was nice. Until he started fighting with the window passenger who happened to be his brother - I was VERY glad when they fell asleep. I knit for awhile, read, slept fitfully and since it was an 8 hour flight had to use the bathroom. I hate using the bathroom on the plane, it's so tiny and I'm always afraid will hit turbulence and I'll be sent flying out into the aisle - but nothing happened. I had called the parking place the night before to let them know we were delayed. We arrived on time, weary but home at last! Even our baggage made it which was amazing given how many people were rerouted. We collected our bags and called Globe who came and got us. Our car was warmed up (HURRAH!!) and off we went. What a long long drive home - we had been up for 36 hours, flown across the country and 3 time zones. I drove most of the way home while David rested and then when I started weaving he took over.. I unpacked and greeted the cats, got stuff going while he went and got the dogs - I fell into bed and slept for a few hours, boy were we a mess! But it was a wonderful trip and it was so nice seeing how well Brandi and the girls are doing. We'll go back out in the spring I think, I can't wait!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Our Trip

We were at Brandi's for over a week, how fast it went! Our friends Kim and Steve had relocated a few years back to Seaside, OR and when they found out we were heading out there - they made plans to hang out with us. I'm realistic, I know part of Kim's motivation was the opportunity to play with not one but TWO babies. They only live four hours away and made it into a mini vacation for them too. Kim and I are lifelong best girlfriends, there no time or distance we cannot conquer together. Brandi had a good time I think, Kim is a hilarious story teller so the afternoon went fast. We talked about when we met - for those interested, I met Kim on a pull out couch at a slumber party thrown by a mutual friend - she was 13, I was 15. 

We ended up going out to dinner at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant I'd found on Yelp which I'm a huge fan of. My cousin John introduced me to it and I use it all the time, especially when traveling as everyone writes reviews. It's easy to sift through the nonsense ones - someone complaining about the color of the walls interests me less than multiple people warning you off. But this place was as promised - the food was amazing and since we were there on a weeknight we were the only customers. The babies loved it, they're at the perfect age where they're not walking yet but old enough to be interested in everything around them. It was a fun visit, but much too short. 

We took the girls out again to a waffle house - they had a cheese sandwich and fries which they pretty much just waved around. Too much going on! We got excellent service because everytime they spotted our waitress they would start smiling at her and then she had to come over of course....  I know as their grandmother I'm probably a bit prejudiced toward them, but they are really excellent babies. It's hard being so far from them. We video chat with them, but it's not the same as being there. We had such a great time - helping with baths, meal time, changing diapers, dressing them. It was great hanging out with my daughter in law too, we marathoned the Twilight Zone and she makes just as many comments as I do! We got to see downtown Whidbey Island - it was pretty cold but sunny. It reminded me a little of the Hamptons, small shops, local stuff, very scenic. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Time To Talk About Our Trip

I usually blog as I go, but I forgot to take my keyboard and I hate typing on the tablet. So, I'm going to be doing entries to cover our trip. We did great leaving this time, dogs were dropped off, I had been packing all along - at least trying. I had bought the girls so many clothes I had to unpack most of them and mail them! We made good time up to the airport - we parked at Globe parking which we will do again. It was half the price and they shuttle you right to your gate. The flight out was not bad, since you're turning the clock back 3 hours it's fairly decent - left at 8am and arrived at 2. Brandi got a little caught in traffic but not a big, at least not for us. The party with the 9 month old twins in the back of the van might disagree! The time change really affects you at bedtime, the clock says 9 pm and your head says MIDNIGHT, arrgh. But we stayed up and toughed it out. The next day we were still a bit floppy but it was so great seeing Brandi again. And the babies! They are growing like weeds, it's amazing the difference 5 months can make. When I saw them last they were super tiny, now they crawl, smile, babble - super fun

Since it's an island there's stores and restaurants, we stayed on the island as everything is a bit far and really, we were there to spend time with our family. We did find one yarn shop and I totally splurged on silk spun yarn - on sale it was over $100 for 3 skeins, Merry Christmas to me! I was a bit on the fence - the shopowner was really pushing it, but I'm sure during the winter things get a bit thin for her. Whatever, it will be fun to knit with.  We took Brandi and the girls shopping for a Christmas tree and stuff, I made two lasangas, one to eat and one for Brandi to have after we left. 

The island itself is impressive, so beautiful. The lakes and mountains, the sea - it's about an hour from Canada and it was wierd seeing signs for that. Jackson and Brandi are in military housing but wow! What a difference from Tennessee! They have a huge four bedroom home with catherdral ceilings and hardwood floors, it's really beautiful. The neighborhood is so nice - when David was putting together one of the cribs the neighbor came over because she heard banging and she wanted to make sure Brandi and the girls were alright. It's hard them being so far, but I'm so glad they landed in such a nice and safe place! More tomorrow.