my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vacation, post 1

It's already Friday, and I'd hoped to journal at least every day while we were here. So here goes...

I had set up a ride to the airport from our local limo service, who unfortunately overslept. No matter, as I'd left plenty of time, really, to get there. She arrived 5 mins after my phone call and was adjusting her hijab as she hurried across the street to get the luggage. I'd just remembered to pull G's booster out for the trip and most things were ready to be loaded. G was fascinated by her hijab and kept asking if she was a nun or related to nuns. I said to the gal, "I guess my son has never seen a hijab before!" She seemed a little abashed and muttered that she didn't even have it tied on right, not that either of us would ever know. When we got to the airport, I finally asked her if she was from Iran. I'd gotten the impression, somehow, that the people at the company were from the Middle East. Totally wrong: she said she was from India. I wish I'd asked her in the car, because I'd read a book about conflicting religions in northern India and the creation of Pakistan, and then I wondered if her family had emigrated for religious reasons. Such a tumultuous time.

Check-in was fine but security is always a bit tumultuous with a kid--G started talking about how/why people want to bring things on planes to blow them up, so we had the "never say 'bomb' or 'blow up' in the security line" talk. Then he sat right down in the pathway to put his shoes back on, both of us having worn lace-up shoes, natch. They put my backpack full of all sorts of things, including my small, metal double-pointed knitting needles, through quickly, but examined my shoes in the x-ray for a bit. Sheesh.

The flight was fine and touched down in Portland at least 10 minutes early, which didn't really help us, as I'd told my friend we were getting in at 2 instead of noon, so we weren't expected for a while. We visited a few of the shops on the concourse, enjoyed the sculptures of fish and bridges and the inlaid design of the Columbia from source to sea, and finally wandered through security to get to a place for lunch... whereupon G discovered he was missing his small brown leather bota bag, a prized possession found new at a Salvation Army store for one dollar.

Grief continued through lunch, checking with the outer Powell's books who confirmed that the concourse Powell's didn't find it, and finally wandering down to Baggage Claim to file a claim, being told that they'd swept the plane and hadn't found it, despite my insisting that as it was hung by its thin red cord on the inner arm rest, it would be easily overlooked. We haven't heard, so it is presumably lost, and G has largely recovered now.

The grief did continue all the way until we were in our rental car, when the rental agent said he thought REI sold them and that it could be easily replaced. (I did manage to find one, a bit larger, at Fred Meyer the next day, but by then G wasn't interested in buying a new one.) A friend called me then, hoping to meet up at a yarn store, but having found that the one I'd emailed her about was closed that day. Unfortunate, as I hadn't marked down the one that I had found was open that day. She Googled as I waited, and we found the Naked Sheep together. I set off with my tattered Portland map, and arrived about an hour later than I'd hoped. My friend Duffy was there and greeted me with a huge hug, and showed off her enormous Queen Anne's Lace shawl, which was truly amazing. My Googling friend (from our own Island City, transported to the City of Roses with her husband's work) was also there, and we had a really nice visit, culminating with buying a skein of yarn for a square for a love blanket for the recently widowed spouse of a mutual friend and two others in colors I could not leave there. This got me 3 entries to a raffle they were having (which I assume I didn't win, as I haven't gotten a phone call!), which was kind. I gave one to G, which he liked.

After the visit, I got a message from my host friend that we were not to hurry; that our trip down to the Willamette shores was not for hours, so she helped me figure out how to get to Powell's City of Books, which is something I always like to visit when in Portland. G and I spent a blissful hour and a half there, collecting a number of interesting finds and unwillingly leaving several others.

We finally arrived at my friend's house largely by feel (I think this street looks right), and were greeted so warmly--what a gift! Their dog, who is normally not terribly friendly to others, was initially stand-offish, but later became my fast friend, even casually climbing into my lap in one of the outdoor Adirondack chairs, so slowly as if I wouldn't notice (it's a Lab; I noticed). It's nice to get my dog-fix when I'm away from our sweet Lucy.

Our group packed a somewhat impromptu picnic and headed down for the river, parking not far away (but having been warned by Mimi that we still would not get out right away, as the crush after the fireworks is significant). We settled onto some blankets and chairs and the fireworks finally began. Amazing and seemingly endless, the last cinders dropped into the river, still clearly burning, much later.

I cooked breakfast for at least 10 the next morning, friends of Mimi's triplets having stayed over in various and nearly random places in the house. I made French toast and bacon and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Mimi lets me cook for her and always completely appreciates it, so it works out well. We scurried out of there after 11 to try to meet Mom at the airport at 12, and actually made good time but were cutting it close when she called to say she'd hit a lot of traffic and would be about 15 mins late. It worked out fine.

More later!


Post a Comment

<< Home