Tyler and I flew out of Taylor Ranch for a two-week vacation on August 7th, along with the last of the students. Walt (the non-molesting pilot) buzzed us around Tyler's old lookout for a few minutes, which was great fun. We got to Cascade, drove UP to McCall (to drop off a package and visit the smokejumper base), and my car had some vapor lock problems. I managed to limp it to the main highway, turned at the red light, and just gunned it. We got to Boise with no further problems, and stayed a couple nights visiting the family, which was great fun.
Aunt Jan was kind enough to pick us up on Saturday and drive us to the airport, and Tyler and I landed in Seattle later that afternoon (after some short delays). Dad picked us up and drove us home. We went out for dinner at Macaroni Grill that night to celebrate Dad's latest weight-loss milestone (Dad liked the bathrooms), and I introduced everybody to Coldstone afterwards.
I spent the rest of that day doing some prep work (ordering balloons, making muffins, etc) to prepare for the next day, which was bluemoonshark's bridal shower. Ilana made fruit salad, Jason made chocolate eclairs, I made muffins and bought quiche, and shawnaduck brought mimosas and cookies. The only thing missing were actual guests, since nobody I invited actually came apart from shawnaduck and the bride herself. Still, we had a good time, and we invited Blue's sister, mom, and grandmother over, so nothing went to waste.
The next day was Monday, and we had plans. Tyler and I borrowed Mom's car and drove all the way over to Port Angeles so Tyler could see his knee surgeon for a checkup. Tyler had had a few scares with his knee earlier in the season, so the relief was unbelievable when Dr. Larson X-rayed his knee, moved stuff around, and said that it was healing beautifully. The graft heals from the outside in, so by this time, the bone plugs are probably healed and the ligament itself is getting replaced with new tissue. YAY.
After that, we just bummed around in PA for a while. We drove out on the jetty and watched the ocean. We drove by our old apartment, the Treehouse (lots of plants in the windows...a good sign). We went to our favorite independent pet store and bought more cat litter. We went to my favorite book store (Port Book and News) and loaded up on books (twice), including some independent stuff we couldn't find on Amazon. We went to my favorite glass shop and I oohed and ahhed at the jewelry I liked. We stopped at the natural foods store and got some groceries we can't get at Taylor Ranch (like seaweed). I tried a lavender mocha and did not like it. We stopped at Tendy's and got take-out Chinese food. It was good times.
The thing I realized that day is that our year in Port Angeles was a good one. Even though it didn't work out for us to live there long-term, we really enjoyed our time there and have good memories of the place. When I'm in Moscow, all I really want to do is leave. But when we were in Port Angeles, I was happy and we were content to dawdle around all day. For some reason, that was an important realization for me to have.
The rest of the week is a bit of a blur. We spent a lot of time hanging out at shrike30 and bluemoonshark's new digs near Greenlake (and with houseresident mattsp), and we had sushi with them one night. We spent a morning helping my parents clean out the attic (and I spent the rest of the day sorting through my old stuff). We both got a haircut, and I got my toenails painted turquoise. We went to REI and got some cold-weather clothes, including a jacket that I really like that I was squirmy about paying so much for. We had one largely unsuccessful trip to Third Place Books, and then a second trip in which I made out like a damn bandit.
We met my Aunt Jodi and Uncle Jeff for dinner one night (Tuesday?), which was fun. We usually go for Thai food, but they changed the routine this time and we walked to a Greek sidewalk cafe instead. It about killed me, since I'd been jonesing for Thai for months, and I don't really care about Greek food. But the good company, good conversation, and the gelato afterwards made it okay.
On Friday night (the night before the wedding) Tyler and I stopped at the Paper Zone and I picked up supplies to make a guest book for the wedding. Then we drove to Greenlake, connected with people, and went to the Ivar's Salmon House for the Rehearsal-Dinner-Without-An-Actual-Rehea
I need a chapter two.