The adventures began on Friday afternoon, when I got to the airport with oodles of time to spare. Drove around and around the long term parking and was about to exit for the short term when I spotted a couple coming out into the garage proper.
"Are you leaving?"
"Yes, I am," she said (he was splitting off in another direction), "and I'm right over there on the end."
She backed out. I headed in. Made it through security and upstairs toward the gates. Dashed into the loo, got turned around, and accidentally exited the secured part of the airport. Went through security again. Got a snack at a kiosk. Cooled my heels until boarding time.
Discovered that business preferred on Southwest is not all that different from flying coach, except that I got to board earlier. Made my way to the back, for its proximity to the loo.
First leg was to Sacramento. Massive turbulence just east of Sacto, presumably because of the fires. At one point my seat dropped beneath me and my (closed) snack flew down by my neighbor's feet. I thought I was on the Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags over Texas!
Wasn't scary, just startling. Flight from Sacto to Portland was uneventful. Found the car rental booth, which was outside of the terminal and insufficiently air conditioned. Stood behind a lovely family from the UK as they arranged for 15 days with their car.
When it was my turn, I was tired, hungry, sweaty, and decision-fatigued. I opted for the additional insurance, because I couldn't remember if my auto policy covered me in a rental (it does; I called my agent the next morning), which put me significantly overlimit on my credit card.
Shuttle bus driver was utterly delightful. I was his only passenger, and we had a great conversation about classical music.
Once in the car, I started googling motels. That's when I discovered that an modest but decent room that would cost me $60-85 elsewhere was going to cost $165-225, assuming one was available. I almost cried. Finally I remembered that my cousin lived just across the river, so I chucked my pride and called.
Their guest room was occupied, but they had a blow up bed, and I was more than welcome. Cousin Norm brought out the wok and heated up their leftover Chinese food, which I inhaled gratefully. Then I watched an episode and a half of "Shetland" and tried to wind down enough to sleep.
The bed was very comfortable. Getting out of it was not! After a lovely breakfast and a few more hugs, I drove down to meet Wanda, who has been a blog friend since 2006. I am bringing home a wee rosewood drop spindle for Blessing. Wanda fed me lunch. It's always great when you meet someone you've known from online, and they're even better in person!
From there I drove back up to Portland to meet my cousin Jeff (from my German line) at IKEA. He is a hoot and very much a kindred spirit. He and his wife used to sing professionally. I would love to get them together with my kids and sing sing sing.
He went with me to the rental drop off and was prepared to help me do battle if they gave me any guff about turning the car in early, which they did not. He then took me to the Amtrak station, and my sister and brother in law picked me up in Tacoma.
That was Friday and Saturday. Next time I'll tell you about Sunday and today.
Knit has happened. I may have a finished object for you in the next day or so. I'm also reading Malcolm Gladwell. I'm feeling almost caught up on sleep and hydration.