Last Wednesday, June 18, I woke up at 7am Pacific Time, in Seattle. My SLA activities started a bit late; I’d decided not to attend a morning session, and instead, I had a leisurely breakfast in one of the hotel’s restaurants, then took a bus to the Seattle Public Library. After looking around and taking a few pictures – though I forgot to get any of the outside, as I was trying hard not to miss the bus – I got back to the Convention Center in time to have a sandwich and attend a 1215pm session.
After exchanging a couple of voice messages with my taxi-share person, a woman named Alexa who was (like me) taking a late flight out of Seattle/Tacoma, I met her outside the big rooms where they were having the closing general session. I also ran into a new acquaintance named Jennifer, so the three of us sat together. Alexa and I stayed about an hour and fifteen minutes, then decided to leave.
We ended up heading for the water, and taking a one hour harbor tour, which turned out to be really neat. (Yes, although it WAS a bit chilly, I’m glad Alexa talked me into going.) We then had dinner at Ivar’s, and I ordered halibut, which was very good. I’m glad Aunt Anne made that when I was visiting in April, so I’ve added it to my “list of safe things to order in real restaurants.” After dinner, we hoofed it back to the hotel to meet the car and head to the airport. (I NEED to add that I had left my suitcase at the hotel that morning after checking out, but carried my laptop case, stuffed with papers and things I’d collected, around all day. At times it felt a little like weightlifting, even more so when I was walking uphill or climbing stairs.)
All in all, in spite of my heavy laptop, Wednesday was good. At the airport, Alexa and I sat together for about another hour and a half, had some coffee, and I worked on my laptop a little bit while she did some writing. My flight was scheduled to leave at 1140pm, but was already delayed to 1210am when I got to the airport, so I knew I would need some caffeine to keep me going. Alexa and I headed to our separate gates by about 1030pm, as she was leaving around 11. She told me to “say hi to Jeff – I feel like I know him!”
And then, the waiting. I don’t remember now how long that delay ended up being, if it was 1220am or even later. I do know that when I tried to transfer in Dallas, I went to the wrong gate, and though it was only JUST THEN time for my flight to leave (about 625am Central Time – two hours later than Seattle time), the woman at the gate I’d gone to quickly checked and said, “That flight is gone.” She said they’d already scheduled me for the next one, due to leave at 835am. The other thing I know is that I hadn’t slept on that first flight, so had been awake over 20 hours. (I slept on my first flight to Arizona in January 1996, some of the time between Boston and Chicago. That’s the only time I remember definitely sleeping on a plane.)
The flight out of Seattle was late coming back from Dallas because it had encountered bad weather. That’s the same reason my 835am flight didn’t get out of Dallas till somewhere around 1030am. (But that flight I missed – why of course that one got out exactly on time! Dammit to hell.) I made calls to Jeff, and sent him text messages to update him when our calls got cut off – and when I actually had news to share; because of the storms, they couldn’t give us good guesses about when we’d get the hell out of there. Jeff had planned to be late to work, but in the end he took the whole day off. He had the boys with him, and they tried to pass time as best they could – hanging out at the Legends mall, though none of the stores were open; the boys had a good time just running wild all around the place.
I was so happy to land, and to find that Jeff had brought a blanket and pillow so I could stretch out and get some sleep on the way back from the airport. We left KCI around noon, got home at 120pm, and I got to bed as soon as I could. I was up from about 645pm to 830pm, had some cereal, talked to Jeff and the boys, sent a book group e-mail, then went back to bed. It’s still bizarre to think about any of it happening on Thursday. To me, it just seemed like a really way too long Wednesday. A WAY too long, wacky Wednesday, the first half really good, and the rest possessed by demons.