26 August, 2008

The End of Summer

It's only the 26th of August, but we decided last night that it's official: Summer. Is. Over. Our major summer excursion now being past, we wait with bated breath for a lawn strewn with crispy leaves and a golden harvest moon. We did however, thoroughly enjoy our vacation, spending a lot (but never quite enough, it seems) time with old friends and family we hadn't seen in almost two years.

The trip out to Washington started far too slowly. We drove down to Airport City the night before our flight left which proved to be a stroke of genius because it left us lots of time to do a little shopping, pick up a few things I still needed for cake decorating, and plenty of time in the morning to get to the airport. Except when we got to the airport, early of course like good little passengers, we realized we hadn't though about lunch and then had to spend money on airport food to tide us over until we boarded. Then we boarded and were just settled in our seats when the pilot came over the intercom to tell us that there was bad weather and too many planes in the air over Newark (NJ) so our departure time was being pushed back. After all was said and done, it ended up being pushed back by FOUR hours AND we had to spend money on airport food a second time (although it was tasty, but still!). If that doesn't make for a flight full of cranky passengers, I don't know what does. A lot of people missed (some by just minutes) connecting flights, including us. When we got off the plane, we talked to the first ticketing agent we saw who got us stand-by boarding passes for the next flight to Seattle, stand-by bp's for a flight early the next morning and guaranteed tickets for the same flight the next night. I don't know how many of you have been to the airport in Newark but we arrived in one terminal and had to take a bus over to another terminal for our departure and I always hate that sort of setup because when minutes count, waiting for a bus is a little nerve-wracking. We finally got to the other terminal and they were just calling for stand-by passengers. We got in line and the cranky lady took our passes and focused intently on her computer screen before handing us back a bunch of papers. We weren't sure what was going on until she basically yelled at us and wanted to know why we were still standing there. We were confused but figured out we had gotten on the flight. Joy ensued until we realized that for a six-hour flight with a one-year-old, they had seated us half a plane apart. Ack! Thankfully, the other guy at the counter took pity on us and rearranged things. A flight attendant further rearranged things so we ended up with a row of seats to ourselves. That was awesome because the Little Goat ended up sleeping on the seat between us for most of the ride; she did great! It probably helped that it was already nighttime and her regular bedtime anyway.

Our flight back was not quite as peachy because we didn't have that extra seat and the LG was rather cranky. Then we boarded our connecting flight in NJ and the pilot told us we were 25th in line for take-off so we ended up taking off an hour late. If the flight had been on-time, the LG probably would've been fine. As it was, she was NOT happy and wailed for a good part of the hour and ten minutes. We did learn something with all this flying though: next time, we will either book a day of travel with multiple flights or take a longer flight but book the LG her own seat. I know it costs more, but it just made the trip so much more bearable to have that extra seat.

Anyway, the Saturday morning after we got there, my cousin Tryva and another cousin M came down to Seattle and we met at the Market for lunch. We went to my favourite little place at the market, "Peroshky, Peroshky" and I had a very tasty mushroom-onion peroshky and Mr. J. and I shared a rhubarb peroshky too. Oh......YUM! We had a very short but very fun visit and discovered a coffee shop we hadn't been too before (that was NOT Starbucks - hooray!) where the perfect latte includes latte art in a to-go cup. That is dedication, people. The rest of Saturday was a quick trip to see Mr. J.'s Nana and then back over to the East Side.

Thankfully, the weather on Sunday for our first day back in B, was completely tolerable and not nearly as hot as we were expecting (don't worry, that all changed very quickly). Church on Sunday was good and it was so great to see everybody again. Plus it just so happened that our friend Forrest cut the sermon a little short so people would have a chance to visit with us.

The rest of that week primarily involved doing all things wedding and cake-related, but squeezing in as many visits as possible. Monday, Michelle helped me make all the fillings and icing for her cake. Monday evening was her bridal shower which turned out quite nicely, I think. Tuesday I went over to my very dear friend Christine's first thing. We had lunch and talked and watched our kids and it was just like old times. That night, the couple we were staying with (Forrest & Carole who are like parents to me) hosted a dessert night for all our church friends. We didn't get to visit with everybody nearly long enough, but it was relaxing and fun and just.....good.

Wednesday was cake-baking day. It took all of the morning and most of the afternoon, but I only had one flop and we had a proper cake-tasting with lunch.

The Groom finally arrived on Thursday so we took a trip up to the wedding site so Jim could see where he was going to get married in two days. M&J picked out a spot for the ceremony, Mr. J. and I scoped out locations for pictures, the Mother-of-the-Bride talked details with the site owners, and the LG was hot because yes, by that time, it was hot. Almost 100F hot.

Friday was cake decorating day and let me just say: it took about as long as I thought it would but I forgot how stinking boring it gets after a while. I just wanted it to be over! Thankfully, Grandma Carole watched the LG the whole time so I had minimal interruptions. Hooray! We also had the 'rehearsal' dinner on Friday night although there really was no rehearsal, just dinner. The big deal at dinner was GIGANTIC crab legs that Mark, the Best Man had arranged and that I think had just flown in from Alaska the night before (and the word on the street is that Mark has totally met Sig from Deadliest Catch! So cool!). I hate crustaceans so the legs stayed far away from me, but I hear it was fabulous. It was a fun dinner but down to business! When we left the Bride & Groom were still working on vows. Yikes!

Saturday was FREAKING HOT. It was at least 104F according to an average of several temperatures. Pictures started a little late so we had to finish the family group photos after the ceremony, but the ceremony started exactly on time (at least according to my watch which is the only time-piece I have control over that is NOT fast). The ceremony was super short but it was so hot I don't think anybody minded. Family pictures were okay except the sun was really in the wrong spot so a lot of people are squinting, but at least the pictures got taken. After the pictures were done, I took the LG back into town to stay with some friends for the evening. She was so miserable from the heat and having missed her afternoon nap, but as soon as we got in the car to go to Dean & Kristi's, she perked right up and was happy and jabbering most of the way there. (Thanks again for babysitting, you guys! It was so nice to not have to worry a bit about her during the reception.)

The reception was relaxed and it seemed like everybody had a good time and the food was great. The cake stayed in the air conditioned house on-site until about five minutes before the cake-cutting so my worry about the icing melting off and the flowers wilting was completely assuaged. The cake cutting was a funny affair and I heard lots of good comments about the cake (how it looked AND how it tasted). Grandma declared it was the best wedding cake she'd ever had.

The four days after the wedding were crammed full of visiting with more people, trying to go to the beach (it was actually too cold to swim - boo!), going to the drive-in in Chelan, home of THE BEST hot fudge milkshake you will ever consume in your lifetime, lunch with Grandma and Grandpa J (I ate green beans!), a trip to E-Z's for the second best milkshake you'll ever consume, a trip to the petting farm that turned out to be closed but we fed a goat anyway, and a highlight for me - going out for coffee one evening with Christine with NO CHILDREN! *gasp* Christine's baby shower was on Wednesday, sadly sans bebe since that baby has evidently inherited his/her mother's stubbornness and refuses to come out! Sheesh!

We drove back over to Seattle on Thursday night and stayed at Jim & Michelle's (they were on their honeymoon in Kauai). We got to play Wii and I beat Mr. J. at baseball, of all things. Friday we boarded our flight and were on our way back here.

Two weeks was too short for that trip, but at least they were a full two weeks and even though we were all sick the first week, we managed to cope fairly well with the time difference and see almost everybody we wanted to with a few exceptions. Next time though. Oh, oh - and we even got a slight suntan! Will wonders ever cease? I kept attributing my tiredness and illness to the fact that our bodies were absorbing more Vitamin D in a week than they have for the last two years.

Now we are back here (not "Home," just "here") and as I mentioned, it's cold. It's only about 67F here today and the guy on the radio just told me to break out my long johns because it's supposed to get down to 40F tonight (32F is freezing, my Canadian friends so that should give you some idea....). *sigh* 40F.

I have lots of pictures to post, but I'll get to that later. I am so ridiculously far behind in blog reading. At last check, there were over 100 unreads on my Google Reader list - slow down, people! Please!


A, B & C said...

Loved the pictures... what a beautiful cake and wedding. Glad you had a great trip!

EG said...

Okay, so what's with the "here" and "home"? Y'all are in the midst of a move, right? So are you in Old Town or New Town?

When we flew back from CA this summer

EG said...

I'm stupid. Sorry.

So as I was saying...
When we flew back from CA this summer T. was a row ahead of me on the plane, and we were both in the middle seat. UGH

So as people were boarding Little Man was playing with T's hair, and people were giving me looks. I had to say, "That's my husband" numerous times. And of course nobody wanted to switch with us so we could be together 'cause we both had middle seats.

But LM did so good (on the way out he was grumpy and he bit my chest and I had a visible boob hickey for 10 days) so the separate seats weren't nearly as horrible as they could've been. Glad LG did okay.

bren j. said...

We refer to this place in Maine as "here" because it has never really felt like Home to us despite having born our first child here....When we say "Home" we almost always mean Manitoba where most of my family is. :)

Your flight story sounds awful! What a plane full of jerks. I can't believe nobody would switch with you. How rude!

Shalee said...

Oh, I'm tired just reading about that fast and furious trip. Going from one end of the country to another is such an ordeal, even without the little beauty in tow. Glad you made it back safe and sound, but I was more amazed that you found a non-Starbucks' coffee place. Woo hoo!