July 5th, 2006

crane

We've Landed

After two eight-hour drive days and one four-hour drive day we've arrived, sane and healthy and I finally caught up on sleep after a three-hour nap and a full night's sleep. Two Super 8's, temperatures up to 100.

Jet did great and played the "Are we there yet?" game only a few times, and it was still clearly a game for him. Whew.

Mostly cheese and cracker lunches, and a straight shot up on I-25 and then across on I-90 and we got here to Bellevue at 1pm yesterday. And it's just 50° here in Bellevue. A very nice relief from both Colorado and the drive over. I'm actually working on the last bit of the body for the Sun/Moon sweater and it's comfortable to be under it. *grin*

We stopped in Billings, Montana, and Spokane, Washington, and I managed to visit Paradise Fibers in their warehouse in Spokane. That was wonderful and I now have plenty of spinning stuff for the trip, along with yarn for a few dozen socks after I finish John's sweater. Yes, I wanted it to be a knitting vacation. Luckily, Isabel has a quilt she wants to work on, so the two of us have been socializing nicely with work in our laps. :-)

Jet's happy as a clam, even with the pretty grueling drive. He loved swimming at the second Super 8, and a box of Nerds candies kept him occupied for a good hour and a half. I was impressed. He and I built nearly all of the paper airplanes in the Klutz paper airplane book, and he and I have been flying them at every rest stop for an excuse to run around. Jet loves picking "fingerberries" here, and has been eating like food is going out of style. He actually asked for extra cereal last night after dinner.

I'm actually able to download my pictures from my camera, so I might start posting with pictures when I figure out how to connect my laptop up. I might even just go to the local Tully's to stay up to date. I have complete entries for the two driving days, so they'll be backdated as I get them up.
crane

Running Around

After breakfast, John and I had a little time for us to just putz around in. So we went to The Green Car Company in Kirkland and tried out one of their tiny ForTwo Smart Cars. Yes, the same kind of car that a bus ran into and got stuck on the bumper and the bus carried it a few exits before his dispatcher radioed him to tell him there was a car stuck to his bumper. He thought it was just a speed bump.

They are *tiny*, get about 50mph, and are sold in Europe by Chrystler and only just started getting distributed in the US. They are very cute. They are just a two-seater, and have a pretty good safety cage, air bags, and crash test results eventhough they're so small. The panel construction means that you can get them in nearly any color.

We got to drive a convertable in 50 degree weather. It was noisier because of the cloth top, but the turning radius was astonishingly small, we could do u-turns between the rows of cars in a parking lot. The drive was clumsey and clunky, the electronic transimission was hesitant and rough on the down shift. We also kept bumping shoulders, which was mildly expected. The odd sensation of a car being right ON me from behind was exaserbated by some cars merging nearly on me when they couldn't see me. I would probably pick safety, neon green if I were to get one.

For more money than a Mini, though, I don't see us getting one. Especially since the front passanger seat air bag cannot be disabled (as is automatically done by the Mini) so that Jet could safely sit in the front seat. I was annoyed by that last bit. You'd think for an actual two-seater they would have thought that it might be a parent shuttling a kid around.

So there were just too many negatives to the whole thing for me to really be comfortable, any more, thinking about buying one of those. The surprising thing was finding that the Golf TDI running on biodiesel is considered the greenest car, since they also take into account the battery pollution problems when creating and replacing the batteries of electric cars, plus the pollutents when creating electricity. It's interesting to see how the comparisons were made.

Best thing was making off with a list of biodiesel stations in the area. Next best was hitting a Taco Time for crisp burritos (actually flautas), in typically Americanized Mexican style. I miss their take on them. So we had to have them.
crane

Recuperating Day

I was kind of depressed today. Not because of the weather. It was gray and cloudy and chilly, which is exactly what I wanted.

But I think I'm just tired, today, and we spent a lot of time driving out in the Eastside and saw a ton of houses that... quite frankly, we couldn't afford at all. My eyes suck at the moment, as they're kind of in that in between state where they can't really wear contacts all day and the eyeglasses are making my ears and head ache. Bleh.

Plus I'm worried about a meeting I have to do for work on Friday and it's wearing at me in ways I don't want it to, but it still happens.

Plus, I can't find my Hero 329 and I suspect that I left it back a the last hotel or, even, at the Paradise fiber place and I'm grumpy about not having my favorite fountain pen to do post cards, letters, and other things with. That is making me sad. I might have to order a new one in order to really enjoy the bottle of ink I brought with me for the trip.

Finally, I had a hard time getting contact with any of the people I wanted to meet while we were here in the Northwet and it's really hard to call a lot of people and not get an answer as soon as I want.

The last is something of an introvert thing, I think. I am just finding the problem unbounded, I'm not writing down everything and everybody I want to visit so I'm not seeing the kind of progress I want to make. John pointed that out, so I'm filling in cards, now, just to see things get done.

Other than that things are great. :-) Isabel and George couldn't be better hosts. Jet loves his Miss Spider Uno game that I bought. He's winning a lot and dancing quite happily every time he wins. So he loves it, and it's a lot of fun playing with him now that he's figured out some of the basic strategies.

The meals here have been great, and I got to eat a deep fried bean and beef burrito, no problem. It was very satisfying.

Jet also got to pick raspberries, something he was looking forward to for quite some time, and Isabel and he got to go out and find the raspberries on the plants. Given how much he loved finding the peas on the vines yesterday, I think he'll like doing this. George got pictures of them, quite happily, as they picked.

My bed is comfortable, I have everything I need. Now I just need to settle into the fact that I don't have to get anywhere, and that, pretty soon, I'm going to be completely on vacation... hey! And I'm finally getting into real contact with folks. This will be better than I fear. I'll get less crazy, I hope.