June 27, 2000
One Last Blast [of Vacation Aftermath]


Slowly but slowly creeping my way back to "normal" today. I keep reminding myself that this is the last time I'll have to deal with *vacation aftermath* for a long, looooong time. Like next Christmas, maybe. Or after my honeymoon.

(Whichever comes first.)

As usual I brought  home two big lungsful of crud from our trip to TicTac. I knew I would. I actually stocked up on Contac and Kleenex and Cepacol Sore Throat Spray, at work and at home, before we even got onto the airplane. I knew that five days' worth of hotel air conditioning, secondhand smoke, recycled airplane cabin "air" and Pacific Northwest allergens would play havoc with my delicate little upper respiratories.

By my third day back, I was barking like a Point Año Nuevo elephant seal.

The amazing thing, though, is that it's not as bad as I expected it to be. Yes, I feel crummy. Yes, I was flat on my back in bed all weekend, zoned on cold medicine. (I love the way those Alka Seltzer Plus tablets fizz in my mouth!! I wonder what would happen if you dropped them into water?!?) And yes, today I'm seeing those little twinkly gray stars around the periphery of my vision every time I stand up too fast.

But I was prepared for it to be much, much worse.  

The whole trip was like that. The parts that were supposed to be terrible? Weren't. And the parts that were supposed to be wonderful? Were even better than I'd hoped.

  • For instance: the family stuff. Sometimes when I visit TicTac, especially during the holidays, I feel pulled in a bazillion different directions at once. I have a big family, scattered all over the general TicTac area ... plus I have three Tots ... plus I have an ex-husband with a handful of doctor's bills and report cards he wants to "discuss" ... and I know that all of these nice people require more than a fleeting molecule's worth of my time and attention, once they get me into their collective Zip Code.

    There have been a couple of recent TicTac visits that saw me in tears half the time, because at any given moment somebody, somewhere, was upset with me for not being in four places at once.

    This visit went a lot more smoothly. We arrived in TicTac with two clear objectives: attending Jaymi's high school graduation, and enjoying a little pre-birthday celebration with The World's Cutest Nephew. We got to do both ... and lots more.

    my mom & the world's cutest nephew
    [or the world's cutest mom & my nephew ... depending on how you look at it]

    We took Son #Only to a movie. We had lunch with my mom. We went on a shoe-shopping expedition to the mall with all three Tots. We hung out at my sister's house, watching The WCN toddling around on sturdy one-year-old legs. We took Daughter #1 out to dinner -- twice. (She was a captive -- and mostly-receptive -- audience for our patented "Do as we say/Not as we did at your age" speech.) I stood on the back porch and shot one-handed hoops with my son. We went out for a post-graduation dinner with my sister, my brother-in-law, my mother, my former step-father, The World's Cutest Nephew (everybody, ironically, except for The Graduate herself).

    It was the very best kind of family time: unforced, unhurried and unruffled.

  • We actually had time (and opportunity) to do a little more *touristy* stuff this time, too ... mostly thanks to my brother-in-law, the intrepid "Dr. Tim," who basically kidnapped us after dinner on Monday evening and took us on a driving tour of downtown Seattle, lasting long into the night. I saw parts of my hometown I'd never seen before: the University of Washington campus, for instance, and Gasworks Park. And I saw other parts that I haven't seen in years: the Broadway District, and the areas around Alki Point, and the Admiral Way viewpoint in West Seattle. Plus David and I had a chance to do some exploring on our own, Monday morning before Daughter #1's graduation. We drove to the Pike Place Market, where we investigated some of the shops along the waterfront and had lunch in a funky little downtown café.

  • Speaking of food. We never even set foot inside a Taco Time. Dave's Café? Yes. The Jet City Diner? Yes. Salty's at Alki? Yes. Azteca? Yes and yes.
  • But the rest of the usual TicTac stuff was fun. Mt. Rainier was visible almost every day. The weather was great: shirtsleeves-warm most of the time, and then a couple of brief morning sprinkles just to make me feel at home. Southcenter Mall has been remodelled yet again. I made out like a bandit at Value Village: three huge bagsful of clothes for sixty bucks. We caught most of the "Resurrection Jukebox" on KNDD on Sunday morning ... and we enjoyed a welcome reprieve from chatty subpar Bay Area newspuppets. [Hello, Kathi Goertzen and Dan Lewis! Nice to see you again! PLEASE move to the Bay Area!]

    obligatory website photo of Ю僱êrvØ¡ looking studly & stuff

  • As for the Dave-and-Terri stuff ... what can I tell you?

    We could go on holiday in Cambodia and we'd still have a good time.

    I forgot to bring my St. John's Wort with me. At first I panicked -- how was I going to make it through the graduation ceremony without it?!? -- but by the second day I could tell I wasn't even going to need it. I had David with me. He makes me feel safe and centered, even in the trickiest social/emotional situations. When he and my ex-husband exchanged a firm handshake and thirty seconds' worth of mostly-sincere pleasantries, I exhaled for the first time in a week.

    Ю僱êrvØ¡: don't leave home without him.

Mind you, it wasn't a perfect trip. Southwest Airlines sucks: David accurately describes it as "a cattle car with wings." We had trouble getting the laptop to work in the hotel room. Daughter #1 had occasional problem moments with The Boyfriend. (Let's just say that the course of true/young/sorta-love never runs smoothly.) I probably could have lived without that Hostess "Muffin Loaf" on Tuesday morning.

The hotel shampoo was a HUGE disappointment: the bottle said Jhirmack, but the "lather" said Suave.

But all things taken into account, this was one of the more successful TicTac jaunts in recent memory. And this latest bout of *vacation aftermath* -- while no walk in Volunteer Park -- is coming along more or less according to schedule. I finished up with "weepy and homesick" by the second day back ... knocked "remorseful and apologetic" off the list before the weekend was over ...

... and now as soon as I can get rid of "sneezy, dopey and grumpy," I'll be good as new.

oh my god!
i am sooooo far behind in my journal-reading ... i just this minute read
about karen's happy news!!
heartfelt congratulations to you and pär!
[and don't worry about morning/afternoon/night sickness. we all get it. AND we all live to tell the tale.
in the meantime ... have a nice frosty mug of ragu spaghetti sauce with cracker crumbs sprinkled on top. it'll fix you right up.]

throw a rock