July 18, 1999
A TicTac Report


Sorry if it seems like I fell off the planet for a while again, Dear Readers. Recovering from the trip to TicTac last week has been a more arduous process than I'd anticipated ... in more ways than one.

When we flew home last Sunday, I brought home a suitcase full of dirty clothes, a stack of unmailed "Sneedle" postcards, a painful cough (four days of air conditioning, second-hand smoke and Seattle pollen) and a raging case of the "Post-Vacation/ I-Miss-The-Tots Blahhhs." It's taken me all week just to feel almost-semi-normal again. (That's ALSO how long it's taken me to unpack. But that's another story for another day.)

Even today -- a full week since our return -- I'm still feeling squeezed and lethargic and weepily *homesick* for TicTac. The painful cough morphed, midweek, into fullblown bronchitis, and that hasn't helped. Factor in my return to the Totem Pole Company, after three blissful Franz-free weeks, and it all adds up to e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-o-n.

I need another vacation, just to recover from my vacation. 

But enough complaining.  How was the trip, you ask? Did we get to spend lots of fun quality time with the Tots? Did my family like David? Exactly how cute IS The World's Cutest Nephew? How was the weather in TicTac? Did we take a ton of photos for the website?

More importantly, Did you ever get that soft taco?

(Even MORE importantly, Where the hell is that POSTCARD you promised to send??)

The trip was wonderful. Yes, we got to spend lots of fun quality time with the Tots, and with other family members, and with assorted mall shoe-store clerks. Yes, my family thought David was great: even Daughter #1, who generally doesn't like any of the men her mother dates. (Especially the men her mother dated whilst she was still married.) The World's Cutest Nephew is even cuter in person than he is via the Internet, if that's possible. (Altho he actually smells a little better via the Internet. Ifyoucatchmydrift.) The weather was cooperative: hot, but not too hot. We took tons of photos for the website, and as soon as someone mails us the camera we accidentally left on my sister's COFFEE TABLE, we'll probably scan and post some of them.  

I had a Taco Time soft taco in my hands approximately forty-eight minutes and eleven seconds after our plane touched down in TicTac.

And your postcard? It's sitting right here next to the 'puter. I'm using it as a coaster this morning. Is that OK?

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One of my favorite moments during the trip occurred shortly after we'd arrived in TicTac. 

We were met at the airport by my mom, Daughter #1 and Daughter #1's long-suffering boyfriend, Jason. The other two Tots -- Son # Only and Daughter #2 -- were unavoidably detained that morning and wouldn't be joining us until later. I was a little disappointed about that, but I understood. After the initial whirlwind of hugs and kisses and "Oh my god what did you do to your HAIR?," we all agreed to rendezvous at the fabulous TicTac Taco Time for that *much-ballyhooed* soft taco.

We'd just settled into a booth with our food -- still enjoying that giggly emotional "reunion high" -- when I looked up and saw (ohmygod) Daughter #2 walking into the restaurant!, beaming at me through a mouthful of new braces. I flew out of my seat and nearly tackled her to the floor of the restaurant.

Ten minutes later I looked up again ... and there was Son # Only!  Once more I was out of my chair and in full-throttle Hugging Mode before he'd even managed to say hello. ("I saw Jason's car in the parking lot," he sputtered.) All three of my Tots, together right there in one spot!  AND a soft taco, on top of everything! It was a moment of pure unadulterated maternal/gastronomic bliss.

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David and I stayed at my mother's condo the first night of our trip. The three of us spent a delightful evening eating deli chicken, looking at family photos and comparing recovery experiences. I fully expected Mom and David to hit it off ... and they did. By 9 p.m. or so I was starting to feel the effects of a full day of travel, so I just curled up on her sofa and listened to the two of them talking, feeling awash in love and admiration for them both.

As we were leaving on Sunday, Mom hugged David and said, "I like you very much." Another one of those Kodak Moments from the trip, which I've tucked away in my heart and memory.

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More about TicTac in the days ahead. A trip this important can't be squished into one journal entry ... especially when I'm feeling as ragged and pukey as I am today. Right now I'm going to spend the rest of my precious Sunday afternoon curled up in bed with a borrowed book ... and bottle of Robitussin.



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