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

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Being in the moment: succeeded

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.  :-)

Thursday, September 01, 2011


It cannot be the first of September already. We will not speak of it.

After sleeping in today, we had a light breakfast (split a Mediterranean scramble with a side of fruit)—but then Ernie and Pauline finished the talk they attended and wanted breakfast. So I went to the dealer room and ordered a present for my niece’s wedding, continued to ponder something for myself (wafflewafflewaffle), and then relaxed in our suite for a bit before they and Ken returned.

We caught the hotel shuttle to the Old Idaho Penitentiary and spent a few hours wandering around. I expected it to be a big building with a courtyard in the center; instead, it was a walled enclave with a variety of buildings, the first of which were built in the late 1800s. (It closed as a prison nearly 100 years later, in the 1970s.) It’s unclear whether the place is haunted, but I felt distinctly unwell in one section (death row—but not the hanging chamber), so who knows?

We also got some utterly fantastic mug shots of each other. I went for mean, and ended up with insane. Fear me. Pictures to come once Ernie sends ‘em to me.

After that we caught a taxi downtown, where we ate appetizers at a Basque bar, sitting outside and sipping wine and enjoying the mellow weather. Idaho had a big Basque settlement, so there’s a whole district in the city. Ernie and Pauline went to the Basque museum while Ken and I went to a women’s running store so I could try on workout bras. I did indeed buy one, because they were having a First Thursday sale. We wandered back and ended up chatting with the Scottish lady running the Basque Museum about Scotland and Britain and the US and differences and traveling and…well, she liked to chat. And we like to chat about eloping in Gretna Green and riding the bike to Orkney and all that.

Back at the hotel, we went to the group dinner, billed as a luau. The food was mediocre, plus we were still full of Basque appetizers, so we nibbled a bit and then put our bids in at the silent auction. Pauline and I came back to our suite to kick back for a bit, then wandered back down in time to see our friend John propose onstage to his girlfriend. She said yes. Sniffle.

Relaxing with Ken was a perfect way to end the day. Tomorrow, we’re thinking tapas in the Basque district for lunch, a wander through the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, maybe a walk along the river or a workout, and the CCR final banquet.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Best vacation ever

What a lovely, lovely day. We did indeed sleep in, then had brunch (fantastic corned beef hash!) and perused the dealer room (pondering a gift for my niece’s wedding and a purse for me).

Later, I booked my mom’s flight for our trip to Atlanta at the end of September, worked out (20 min elliptical + some floor work), took a walk along the river and molested a bobtailed cat (who molested me right back), saw an otter on the riverbank OMG best vacation ever, and showered.

Then a bunch of us went out to dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack (where we saw an otter swimming in the middle of the river). After a session of tire-kicking, we’ve repaired to our groovy 70s suite (I took some photos today) for wine and relaxation. I’ve also hammered through a bunch of personal email.

Plans for tomorrow: the Old Idaho Penitentiary, the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, lunch at a Basque market, a luau, and more wine. And I really need to hammer through some work email!

I will no doubt also walk along the river again and stalk my otter.  ;-)

Hellllooooo Boise!

Welcome to CCR (Curve Cowboy Reunion), our not-quite-annual trip to hang out with other BMW bike riders somewhere where there are awesome roads to ride on. We chose to fly this year, because even though Ken’s back on the bike (we had a glorious ride on Sunday up the coast, through Ojai and Santa Paula, and back home again), his stamina still isn’t up to par, plus I couldn’t take the extra days off. This year, CCR is in Boise. A new city, wooh!

We flew LAX --> Las Vegas --> SLC --> Boise, which was the cheapest way to go. On the first leg I wasn’t able to book us seats together, so when we got to the airport I batted my eyelashes and asked if it were possible, and lo! not only was it possible, but it was possibly in an exit row. Proving it can’t hurt to ask.

Also, in SLC, we split a pesto chicken panini, omnomnom.

A biker friend picked us up at the airport; his wife had driven up with another wife while the husbands road here, so thus a car was available. Our friends Ernie & Pauline, with whom we’re sharing a suite, had arrived about an hour and a half earlier, and ensured there was wine waiting. Well, Pauline had already started on the wine….

Somehow we managed to score this totally groovy 70s-themed suite. The main room has a bar with fridge, sofas, desk, chair and tables, and TV, along with posters of Charlie’s Angels, Farrah, and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The master bedroom has zebra-print bedding and an en suite bathroom. Ernie & Pauline chose this room because although the other bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub, it appeared to them that it didn’t have a toilet.

The toilet is behind the door. And our bathroom has a KISS shower curtain on the Jacuzzi tub! Hah!

Also, our bedroom has a Star Wars poster. They have only Evel Knievel. Hah!

So after some wine and catching up, we wandered out to the welcome reception, which was being held in the garden with its 50 varieties of roses. Ken of course is something of a minor celebrity, so I hung around being bemused as he chatted with people. We did steal away to peek down at the river and smooch under a big willow tree (not a Whomping Willow, thankfully).

After a hot day of travel, it was exquisite to take off my shoes and wander around in the soft, cool, damp grass, smelling the roses and listening to the frogs in the river.

Today is going to be nice and lazy. Ken is giving his IBR talk at 3, and that’s all we’ve got scheduled. I’m going to get a workout in, lounge by the pool, and generally be decadent. I will probably answer a bunch of email, because that’s the way my brain works. There will be food, and more wine, and a ramble along the river.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tomorrow’s Goals

  • sleep in
  • work out
  • lounge by pool
  • answer some emails
  • take pictures of groovy 70s hotel room
  • wander along the river walk
  • smooch Ken beneath the big weeping willow. Again.

I love vacations.  :-)

(Also, not a goal, but a “I’m opening myself to this”: Start reclaiming my lost creativity.)

Things to Do Before We Fly to Boise Tomorrow: An Ongoing List

Home Stuff
  • receipts into Quicken/pay bills/clean off desk
  • call sisters (oh. crap.)
  • scoop cat litter/clean out fridge/take out trash (Ken, bless him)
  • sort pills and protein shakes
  • laundry: darks, lights, delicates (Ken has started a second darks load)
  • wrap presents/seal boxes
  • copy some Slings and Arrows to iPad?
  • email, email, email
  • change hair appointment
  • call newspaper
  • copy files to laptop
  • shower
  • pack…

  • bootcamp
  • refill water jugs
  • library (Ken, bless him)
  • Post Office (Ken, bless him)
  • cat füd for both cats + pills for Eostre