We’re on the plane, headed home. We lucked out: We flew from Boise to SLC, and while we were waiting for our flight to Las Vegas (during a 2.5-hour layover), they asked for a volunteer to give up his/her seat—although that volunteer would get a seat on another flight leaving at the same time. Ken went up and offered to give up both our seats, but apparently there was only one seat available on the other flight. We pondered splitting up, because I’m flying Delta every time I got to Atlanta (which has been every other month since December, with the exception of August—and I’m going out at the end of September), and a free flight would be a nice boon.
But then the gate attendant came back and got our boarding passes and put us in first class…although, he said, hold one, what about a direct flight home? Since we had another 2.5-hour layover in Vegas, we perked up. The result was a direct flight that gets us in at 6 pm instead of nearly 9 pm. So we’ll have more time tonight to unpack, do laundry, sort mail, etc. Oh, and we also got two $10 food vouchers, so we picked up sandwiches for dinner (or perhaps lunch tomorrow, since there’s a scrummy Thai place we like to stop at on our way home from the airport).
Another happy thing today: in Boise, there was a young, pretty wife waiting at our gate for the flight coming in—bringing her husband back from Afghanistan. Her two friends were with her with cameras; she had a big sign. When he came out, she flew into his arms and he picked her right up. We all applauded. Sniffle.
So, let’s see. Yesterday we four went back into downtown Boise in search of tapas, and oh, the tapas we found! Croquetas, meatballs, skewers of cheese/sausage/olives, sandwiches (I had cheese, I forget what kind, and green olive tapanade; Ken’s had ham on it), cold tomato/bread soup, and Ken had the mushroom paté. I did not have fungus smeared on toast, thankyouverymuch. But the rest of it, oh, so good!
We wandered around for a bit—I wanted to check out a bookstore, which was a fantastic little place with both new and used books, and children’s and YA SFF split out into their own sections. Ken and Pauline each bought a book, and I marveled at how many OWNers’ names I saw. At an outdoor-goods store, E&P bought something they needed.
Then we caught a taxi to the nature center, which had these nifty under-stream viewing areas where you could see the fish, etc. Also, there were lots of birds, and inside the building there was an open plastic tub and a handwritten sign explaining that George the snake (who was harmless) had gotten out, and if you find him, please return him to the tub. Heh. Pauline was happy not to encounter George, but I was kinda bummed we didn’t find him.
The nature center borders the riverwalk, and we decided that it was such a beautiful day (sunny, mild, with a breeze that felt soft against my skin) that we’d walk the 3 miles back to the hotel. Along the way we saw ducks and a gorgeous hawk (although, alas, no otters). We pondered stopping at the zoo, but we were all a little too tired for that. We did, however, stop at Joe’s Crab Shack for much-needed margaritas and appetizers. ;-) Frozen margaritas = Slushies for adults. Ahhhh…
Back at the hotel, E&P did laundry and we tidied up for the finish banquet, where we drank wine, Ernie won the award for most helpful tech guy (Ken won it a few years ago), and we learned that next year’s CCR would be held in Duluth, MN. A bunch of folks descended upon our groovy 70s suite to behold its groovitude and hang out drinking and laughing for a while, before we all poured ourselves into our respective beds.
I hadn’t realized until I got to Boise how badly I needed a vacation. I thought I’d have more time to get a little work done (if only attacking the email backlog), but I’m okay that I didn’t. I needed to make “I’m on vacation” the priority on my schedule, and between the river, the friends, the new nifty experiences (like the Penitentiary, which did spark a few story ideas), and just walking barefoot in the grass, I succeeded.
Back to work and “normal life” this week (at least for part of it!), but I’m facing it refreshed and recharged. :-)