The weekend trip was really nice. I jammed a lot into a short amount of time, but it was still pretty relaxing. Well, the travel part was anything but relaxing, but the time in the northwest was great. I left kind of in a messy rush on Thursday afternoon. I think I just wasn't ready to make that drive to Denver again so soon after coming back from Loex, because I was really dreading it. Then finding all the outer lots full and having to park in the more expensive "economy" lot was annoying, as was the endless delays at the baggage check and security. What really burned me was that the lines were very short, but the few airline and TSA folks working that day were unable to complete any transaction without much jackassery.
After a very uncomfortable flight jammed next to two space invaders and in front of a screaming toddler, I arrived in Seattle just before midnight. My parents and the dogs were there to greet me and take me home. I have to say that staying at my parents' house is kind of weird. It's not the place I grew up in, nor the house they lived in for about ten years of my adult life (which had been my grandparents'), so I don't really feel connected to it. But my mom always makes an effort to make it fun and comfortable. She fixes up the spare room really nicely and has Kiehl's stuff in the bathroom. It's sweet.
Mom and I spent half the day on Friday at malls. We found a pretty cute dress at Nordstrom and had it taken in a little to fix some gappage issues. There was another dress I would have loved to have also, but I don't really need a nearly $200 silk tank dress for rambling around Laramie. Another weird but nice thing about going home is the sameness, even as new development goes up all around. We saw my favorite eyebrow/facial technician when we were at lunch, and all my favorite salespeople at the Northgate Nordstrom. We started at the closer, less satisfactory store, but ended up heading back to Northgate. There's something comfortable about shopping at the same department store I've been going to since I was a tiny kid.
It was nice not to have to spend the entire day shopping--I was pretty malled-out by noonish. On Friday evening, we chilled out at home, and Mom gave me a spa-style pedicure and manicure, which was amazing. Seriously, it was the same exact thing I've paid $70 for in the past. She even has a paraffin pot and all the same supplies as the spa.
On Saturday, I got to laze around a bit and then go over to see SJ, Pete, and Strudel! SJ made us an amazing green curry for lunch, and we sat outside and watched the chickens cluck around th yard. It was a nice visit and I was sad I couldn't stay longer. I then headed to Melanie's, where we got all dressed up and ran to Ballard to pick up the cupcakes from Cupcake Royale and take them to the wedding site. The wedding was lovely. I loved how relaxed and really personal and fun the whole thing was. I got to see lots of people I miss and just enjoy seeing my friends get married.
THEN, Mel and I got up on Sunday morning and drove down to Portland. We stopped on the way down for lunch at East West in Tacoma. Since Mel started working in Seattle, I have little reason to hit Tacoma, so it's been a while. The food was lovely and the weather was nice, making the rest of the drive even better. We hit Portland around 3pm, too early to check into the White Eagle. We poked around the neighborhood a bit, finding a cute coffee shop for the next morning, the Ethiopian restaurant for dinner later that evening, and the venue for the Old 97's show. Sadly, as it was Sunday, hardly anything was open.
After checking in, we went over to the Widmer Bros. brewery and tried the beer sampler. Vic met up with us for one more beer before we walked up the hill to dinner at Queen of Sheba, which was great. I had a chicken and mushroom dish that was so good I ate a little too much. Vic was able to score a ticket to the sold-out show, so the three of us were able to have a tiny MPHS class of '92 reunion all evening. The Wonder Ballroom is nice, so it really felt like a theater instead of a nightclub. But it was hot as heck in there, so I felt like my jeans were shrinking as I stood there. It would have been fun to hang out a while after the show, but it was late and Vic had to catch the train back to his hotel. How cool is it that he lives in PDX now!
On Monday, Mel and I hit the cute coffee shop for breakfast before beating feet back to Washington. We stopped in Olympia for lunch at the Spar, which was nostalgic for me. I haven't been there since I was a kid, but my grandpa used to take us there. I didn't realize it was a McMenamin's now, but I'm really happy about it. They've saved some really cool properties that might otherwise be long gone. After lunch, we wandered around the historic downtown a little and did some shopping at Compass Rose, which has a lot of the local indie arts and crafts I like. It was so hard not to buy one of Faryn Davis's pieces, which I've admired for a long time. Mel dropped me at Sea-Tac, which was awesome of her. That place is torn up right now. It was hard saying goodbye knowing she's heading for Oxford soon and I won't see her until we're both back in Seattle in August.
Travel home was just as annoying as it was on the way west. Again, very few lines, but inefficient and unhelpful staff. For some reason, all the security lanes were open, but every other metal detector was closed. So two lines of people had to merge together while their stuff went through different x-ray machines. It was a total c.f. My flight was delayed and I had a somewhat upsetting phone conversation while I waited at the gate. Then the luggage took forever to arrive at baggage claim, and by the time I drove onto the interstate, it was almost 10pm. My arrival in Laramie was pretty late, but I had a surprisingly okay time of it this morning.
I just know that while I'm ready to be back here in town for a good while, I'm really missing home. At the same time, I missed this place and the people here while I was away. I just wish coming back had been easier.