Saturday, January 29, 2005


Let's try this again, shall we?

The idea for a trip out West began some months back at the urging (all right, insistent noodging) of my dear mother in law. She pointed out (correctly) that the Upper West Coast relatives, including the Great-Grandparents, had never met our youngest child. They were not doing terribly well, getting older and all, and MIL felt it would be a good idea for us all to get out there. Now, I really like these relatives quite a bit, but I had three basic problems:

1) We never seem to just go on vacation - we're always travelling to see somebody
2) Flights and hotels are dad-blamed expensive

Discussion ensued, financial assistance worked out, and hence Dark and Early on a January Sunday morning, small children were wakened from their beds at about 4:30 AM and plopped into a minivan for a ride to the airport. Thence by Wing├ęd Conveyance to the Great State of Washington, being completely and almost exactly unlike Washington DC. The flight was not as awful as it might have been, which is to say it was kind of awful. We had taken the last row of the plane, a window & aisle each, in the hope that the flight would be empty & we could have the whole shebang to ourselves. Which turned out to be the case, as a 7AM Sunday flight was, for some inexplicable reason, not so popular.

The constant in & out of car seat by youngest child was not appreciated, but she did eventually fall asleep. The kosher meals consisted of some mad genius' approach to scrambled eggs. I think. It was yellow, anyway. It appeared the "Chef" took some eggs, roasted them over a bic lighter, ran them over with a forklift, and then put them through a shredder. The consistency resembled couscous, and the flavor... I think the straw wrappers were better, personally.

Anyway, we did survive, and hit hitch #1. Aforementioned in-law had planned to meet us at the airport, as she was driving up from Californiay. Where they live. We finally managed to contact her while waiting for our bags, when she told us she was about 80 miles from the airport. Oy. (Incidentally, I thought it was kind of cool that the Aeroflot baggage claim was right next to ours. We're in from NY, Pavel over there is in from Valdivostok. Welcome to America, Old Boy!)

Anyway, cab to the hotel, meet MIL a bit later, no rooms ready, entertain overtired children (who are jumping up & down on the hotel's lobby furniture), and we head off instead to the Children's Museum, which is a neat place. Back to hotel, no rooms, start making threatening noises, and "oh, wait, maybe it's ready after all." Run out to supermarket, buy what passes for kosher food in a non-Jewish neighborhood, collapse.

Thus ends Day 1. (Relax - the rest will be compressed)