~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Adventures in Spokane

I am such a dork! First I thought the restaurants at GEG were before the security checkpoint, so Ken came to the airport to have lunch with me before I flew out. Nope. We made do with a coffee kiosk that had sandwiches. I wasn’t hungry yet, so I just bought a mocha for now and a sandwich and water for later.

Water. Before the security checkpoint. Doi! Hard to believe I fly an average of once a month. It broke my heart to leave an unopened bottle behind, but what can I do? I firmly believe TSA is getting kickbacks from the bottled water companies for this ridiculousness.

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Other than that, a wonderful weekend! I got to the hotel Thursday and met up with our friends Ernie and Pauline, who plied me with wine in the hotel bar before we went our separate ways. I checked Ken’s SPOT tracker and figured out when he’d be in, then set the alarm for 6. (Ugh.) The three of us were outside in our Team Meese shirts to see him swoop up to the finish/check-in at 6:59 a.m., squeaking in right before the penalty period started. Whoo! Ernie and I both got some good pictures that I’ll upload soon. Some riders arrived looking completely knackered and zombie-like, but Ken had a huge smile on his face.

After he went through his paperwork and got scored, he was ready for a nap, so I settled into the hotel atrium, caught up on e-mail as best I could (the wireless was slooooow), and got some work done. Then it was time for pre-banquet drinks, at which Ken was pulled into a room with nine other riders… So yeah, we knew going in that he’d made the top ten. Just didn’t know where yet.

Our friend Margaret also finished, despite losing two days (!) to a bike problem. She thought she was out, but then she got the bike fixed and she managed to finish. (You have to hit a minimum number of points to finish; it’s not enough to just hit the checkpoints. About 1/3 of the starting riders didn’t officially finish.)

Have I mentioned I’m so proud of Ken! ::beam::

After the banquet I hung out with Ernie and Pauline more while Ken had his picture taken and was congratulated a million times. We were both still exhausted, though, so it was still kind of an early night. Also, he had a 7:30 a.m. appt to be interviewed for the DVD.

I slept in a little longer, then met him and Ernie and Pauline for breakfast. They headed out after that, and Ken and I headed to the nearby Riverfront Park, a lovely large shaded green park along the river. (Hence its name.) This weekend was the big annual Pig Out in the Park frenzy, with about 60 food vendors, some merchants, carnival rides, etc.

We wandered through and found the gondola ride, which took us over the Spokane Falls and back (and gave us some smooching time :-) ). Then we left the park on the other side to visit the historic Davenport Hotel, built in 1914. The Hall of the Doges ballroom, inspired by the Doge’s Palace in Venice, was gorgeous! We had a great time wandering around and looking at all the historic photos, too.

Back in the park, we grabbed some food (soba noodles and fresh veggies for me, a slice of pizza for Ken, and chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick to share), then rode the historic Looff Carousel.

After that, we were wiped—plus it had gotten pretty hot—so after swinging back through the merchants so I could pick up a couple of holiday presents, we headed back to the hotel, changed into our suits, and hit the outdoor pool, which had a fun slide and a waterfall to plash under. We soaked in the indoor jacuzzi (where we ran into other IBR folks) before going back to the room and collapsing for a while. We’d toyed with going back into town and having fondue for dinner, but neither of us had the energy or inclination. So we hit the hotel restaurant, where he had fish and chips (and was a heathen because he put ketchup on them!) and I had an amazing pesto scampi ravioli to die for.

Back in the room, Ken fell asleep at 7:30 and was out for 12 hours. :-) I stayed up for awhile catching up on blogs and Twitter and Facebook, since I simply didn’t have the brain power to write. (I thought about it, though!) I still fell over pretty early (for me), though. It was nice to get a full night’s sleep—haven’t done that in a long time.

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Is it wrong that I just correctly answered a history trivia question on the plane because of a Sting song?


Christine said...

Sounds like a lovely time. So glad you got those smooches in! And yay, Ken!

Anonymous said...

On the bootled water thing...
It's worth mentioning that here in the UK this week 4 men were convicted of plotting to blow up a succession of trans-altantic flights using liquid explosives smuggled aboard in soft drink bottles.

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Were they actually carrying liquids capable of blowing up the plane? Because the thing that started the liquids ban here was a joke - there was no way they could have done any harm on the plane with the liquids they had. TSA and the media just spun the facts to make it sound like it was an actual threat.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the liquids that they tried to get on the plane with would have been able to take out the flight if they had got through security.

Anonymous said...

Many congratulations to Ken!!!!
Marian XXXX