Adventures in the Pacific NW
Nov. 7, 2011 7:04 pm
Updated: Nov. 10, 2011 8:04 pm
DH & I celebrated our 30th anniversary last month. Around May, I very casually mentioned to the hubs that I wanted to go see "Buford" as our anniversary present to ourselves. Buford is our son, John, who is in the Army at Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA. Buford
is my nickname for him since he was a toddler. So I made the arrangements, cheap RT flight (woohoo!), hotel and car rental, all done in one day. Then my son calls a few days later and says "did you make those reservations?" Uh oh... it looked like he might
be out for field training and we might not even get to see him. Back and forth we went, all the way to mid-October before we actually got confirmation that we actually would be able to get together. Whew! Bags were packed and we were ready to go.
Not being the world traveler and having only been to Chicago O'Hare airport for the Vegas trip, I did not realize you should dutifully check the screen at the gate desk. We arrived at the airport 2-1/2 hours before our flight, eventually watched a plane approach
the gate, pilots and airline attendants getting ready, but still not boarding. Hmmm... went to ask about our flight. Whaaatt???? Our flight's gate had been moved and was just about to take off. The gate was NOT close. We missed our flight by 2 minutes. DH
saw the plane backing out. Between near tears and some colorful language, we did manage to get on a flight 3 hours later. Arrived at Sea-Tac Airport safe and sound, albeit much later than planned.
The next day we made contact with our son and he was able to spend Friday through Monday with us and was able to stay in our hotel room. We also met his girlfriend from Indonesia who is attending college in Tacoma. Very nice, but shy and quiet. Can't blame
her having only met us for the first time.
We were able to take in some of the sights in Seattle - the ferry, Space Needle, the nearby rock & roll/pop culture museum, aquarium, Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe and Pike Street Market. We also enjoyed a couple of very good seafood restaurants. Can I mention
that leaving Seattle by car at 5:00 p.m. is stupid? Rush hour in my town of 250 people is getting behind 2 pickup trucks stuck waiting for a combine.
While of course our primary reason for visiting the Pacific NW was to see our son, he won't be coming home for Christmas, as soon as I made arrangements, I thought there was no way I wasn't going to try to meet up with Candice and Christine, new friends from
the Vegas gathering. I very carefully planned scenarios in my head where I could meet up with them while DH & DS spent a day of male bonding. Thought I could take a morning and meet up with Witchy Woman, and stop by the AR offices and see AR Elizabeth.
Sigh... Best laid plans...
I love my DH. For 30+ years I've loved him. However... God love the man, but you can't get him going in the morning when he's on vacation. He'll make coffee and snack on cookies while either watching TV or cruising ebay listings. Then we go out for breakfast,
usually leaving the room no earlier than 10:00 - 10:30. Needless to say, we don't get free breakfast from the hotel because it's too late and by the time we've gone somewhere to eat, the entire morning is shot. Therefore, all my plans on what we could get
done in a day were waaay too ambitious.
I did have the Sunday set aside for meeting up with Candice & Christine and Avon joined the party too. We met in Portland, which was about halfway in between for all of us. Candice graciously played chauffeur and tour guide and planned a wonderful day for us
to enjoy. See Candice's blog for pics! We absolutely laughed ourselves silly. Meeting Avon was like meeting up with an old friend. No worries about awkward first moments. There aren't enough words to tell you how much I treasured this outing. BTW, I think
one of my STB moments was when we turned down this nice wide one-way street, but you couldn't drive in the train lane, the bus lane or the bike lane. Where the heck are you supposed to drive? Well, STB! I didn't realize my Dad's somewhat earthy phrase would
tickle so many funny bones! Oh, Candice neglected to mention that her car goes in reverse pretty quickly when she turns down a street that is meant only for the trains. Oops!! And the poor thing got a parking ticket because all of us were yapping and none
of us were paying attention to signs.
I missed stopping at the AR office when I was at Pike Street Market. By the time we got out of there, the office would have been closed. Our last day in Tacoma, we planned on heading towards WW's area and then head towards the ocean. We made it as far as
Olympia and then John called and we found out that if we wanted to see him one last time that day, we would have to meet up with him that afternoon. He had been called out for night vision driving training. Rats! So we headed straight to the ocean to say
that we had seen it, stayed for about 20 minutes, and turned right around to make it back to meet up with the kid. We loved the drive through the mountains and I thoroughly enjoyed my drive to Portland and back.
All in all, it was an adventure to remember. We had a wonderful time with our son, and I have some more beautiful memories of my new friends. As always, if you have the opportunity to meet up with some of these great folks, you won't regret it. The Vegas
meet and Midwest Round-ups as well have been something treasured forever.