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2003-01-04 - 1:34 p.m.

Recap

Our last few days in the Far North were also good (in fact, the whole vacation was really excellent). It stayed cold (check out the frozen bolt on the inside of the front door) and we stayed inside mostly.

frozen door bolt

We watched a lot of Band of Brothers (my Dad's Christmas present from the kids and The Scientist was the DVD set and a hardback copy of the book by Stephen Ambrose), Saving Private Ryan (another one of my dad's presents), and Chocolat (my mom's present).

My adolescent UMYF (United Methodist Youth Fellowship) youth minister, R., came over for dinner one night. I hadn't seen her in a couple of years (she jokingly accused us of arranging our travel so we could skip church) and it was great to catch up. She isn't doing youth work anymore at the church, but was still up on all the gossip for the people I knew.

stars

On New Year's Eve we went over to J. & C.'s and had a low-key night hanging out, talking, drinking, and lighting off fireworks.

fireworks
sparklers
The Scientist with a sparkler (me in the foreground holding wine)
stars

We left on New Year's Day to come back home. We slept in and came down for a leisurely breakfast (my dad made French toast and The Scientist cooked sausage). We planned to do some laundry and finish packing during the afternoon and have plenty of time for more lounging before we had to be out at the aiport at 8:45 p.m. Strangely, my mom thought we were leaving at 2 in the afternoon and was getting concerned (at noon) that we wouldn't be ready to go. She was shocked when we told her we weren't leaving until the evening and said, "I guess I need to think of something for dinner!" She made a potato casserole and we ate the Omaha steaks my uncle and aunt had sent up for my parents' Christmas present. We invited J. & C. over for dinner and had fun spending one last night with them.

stars

The trip back was uneventful except for a minor issue with one of our bags. Northwest Airlines recently changed their baggage weight allowances so even though we were fine as far as total weight went, one of our bags was individually too heavy. Quite a bit too heavy as a matter of fact. The allowance is 50 lbs per bag and our bag weighed 74 lbs! I knew that thing was heavy. The ticket person gave us the option of unpacking and redistributing the weight, but there wasn't room in the hanging bag for much more stuff and the other two "bags" were actually boxes with fragile items in them (the kick-ass lamp my brother got us and a framed poster-sized photo, also from my brother). So we sucked it up and paid the $50 fee figuring it was probably as much as shipping and insurance would have been on the lamp and photograph. Live and learn. We will pack better (or at least more evenly) next time.

Once we got to our gate we rented a DVD player and some movies (Black Hawk Down and Reign of Fire) and spent the long plane ride watching them. Our arrival gate at the MSP airport was at the very end of a terminal at one end of the airport. We had to go back to the center of the airport to return the DVD player and then walk to our other gate. Which was at the very end of a terminal at the other end of the airport. Altogether I think we walked for 25 minutes from gate to gate...on moving sidewalks nonetheless. We both slept during the short hop to our home airport. I went to get our bags while The Scientist walked over to where he'd left our car.

As I approached the baggage carousel I saw two of our four checked things already. They were too far away for me to catch before they disappeared, but I got them and the rest on the next go-around. Fastest baggage claim I've ever had.

The Scientist picked me up outside (I had to rent one of those carts and everything just barely fit on it) and said that he left the parking lot without paying because the barriers were up (again? still?) and there was no person. Free airport parking for a week, whee!

When we got home the cats were waiting (and hungry) and everything in the apartment looked fine. We fed them and then went to sleep. I slept away the entire day and got up around 3:30 in the afternoon (The Scientist got up at 2). That seemed to screw up my schedule a lot because I still wasn't back on a normal sleeping pattern by Sunday night. We were both dreading work on Monday, even after four more days off at home doing nothing much. What can I say, I love me a lazy vacation.

 

 

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