Thursday, July 26, 2007

Other news from Seattle...

Since March, I've been on five airplane trips. Shall we review the horrors of post-9/11 airline travel?
  1. Trip 1: Newark-Ft. Myers: the return was cancelled due to snow. We drove home with the girls. A VERY L-O-N-G drive.
  2. Trip 2: JFK to IND: a mechanical delay
  3. Trip 3: Newark to LAX: a lost bag, returned 8 hours later.
  4. Trip 4: JFK to Dayton: a suspicious package had the Dayton airport in lockdown for 2 hours after my arrival there. Fortunately, I found a seat in the bar...
  5. Trip 5: Syracuse to Seattle via O'Hare, without spouse, with children (do not try this at home): thunderstorms in the midwest grounded the flight into O'Hare, leaving me and my daughters (4 1/2 & 15 months for those of you keeping track at home) stuck at the gate for seven hours. Upon landing in Seattle at midnight, we waited an hour for my bag (the teddy bears, onesies, and jeans arrived) before learning that the bag had decided to go to Houston. It arrived 24 hours later.
So, needless to say, this journey, compounded by jet lag, meant that it took us a few days to acclimatize to the glorious (if, then, heat-wave stricken) Pacific Northwest.

Nonetheless, early bedtimes (aided, again, by jet lag), champagne and other delights from my father's cellar, and a really amazing video collection and projection t.v. all soothed the rough edges. Evenings in Seattle are pretty unbeatable--sitting out on the patio, listening to the fountain, munching red pepper and goat cheese, and deciding whether to watch another episode of "Prime Suspect" or maybe "The Bourne Identity" or perhaps old English thriller. (We watched them all eventually, and more.)

My sister, brother-in-law and their two boys (7 and 4) treated us to many of the delights of the city: Matthews Beach, a beaver dam in the city (!), the wonderfully amazing Woodland Park Zoo, the Experience Music Project and Monorail. And two delicious dinners at her place! The older girl was wide-eyed with delight at her time with her beloved cousins.

And, though I found myself reeling under the weight of mothering without my husband or daycare, I also reveled in the ministrations of my mom. She spelled me readily and handily and the girls adore spending time with her.

In the past, a week in Seattle was like a week at a spa. Now, it's a little more like the Italian house that Byron found so congenial--"The place is very well and quiet and the children only scream in a low voice..."


Anne Camille said...

I'll match your travel woes and up it by a few more. I've been traveling to Indy - LaGuardia 2 - 3x month for the last several months, (working, in fact, in your neck of the woods on the Jersey side of the Hudson). On 8 of the last 10 trips I've been: a) delayed considerably, including 4 hrs on the tarmac, b) bumped (we're not overbooked, m'am; we're sold out), c) cancelled, d) lost luggage (including once when I never left LAG), or e) all of the above. Add to that cruddy, mildew-infested hotel rooms, and bad room service food. But all I've had to deal with is foot in walking cast. Come to think of it, you win with two little ones. Your destination sounds wonderful and must make up for all of the travel woes.

genevieve said...

Anne, that quote from Byron is sensational.
My brother has taken his autistic son on plane trips several times now - I don't know how he does it as Connor used to be terrified. They have it sorted now, but there were a few flights where he 'screamed in a low voice', fortunately with some very kind passengers on board.
Thank goodness you had a kind of sabbatical at the other end, anyhow.

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