Giving (lots of) Thanks

November 30, 2011


Travel Day - It's Fun!

November 22, 2011
Our mutinous fellow passengers at the fabulous Spokane Int'l Airport. Oh, what a crowd.
I'm currently perched on a high top table in Portland's very clean but dreary airport, watching all the travelers go by and every few minutes renewing my thanks that I'm not actually outside in Portland, as it looks like a swampy mess of torrential downpour.

I have been up since 3:30am this morning, and if everything had gone according to plan, we'd just be arriving at my Aunt's warm house in CA. We'd have landed in SF, taken the train to the rental car desk, received our car, and driven the 1.5 hours to Cameron Park. Matthew would have slept, I would have driven, we would have been listening to Christmas music.

But alas, that would have been just too perfect. This morning we arrived at the airport with ample time, checked in, avoided serious feeling up through security and boarded our flight. Just as we were taking off, like the plane was pointed towards the sky, the engines shut off and we proceed to land, hard. "Uh, this is your co-captain...we've received an error message and we're heading back to the gate.....we'll let you know what's going on when we find out....thankyouforyourpatience."We were all kicked off the plane and forced to race our fellow passengers to the ticket counter to see who would actually be getting on a plane today. After a long process (United reps are arrogant and condescending, Southwest reps were nice and had suckers) we got our flights - with a delay, and an arrival in another city. Not what we would have preferred, but as I'm trying to embody the spirit of Thanksgiving - I'm thankful we got a flight!

Two hours later Southwest shuffled us on to a new plane, one that I not-so-secretly hoped to be working.
The weather wasn't great, so I was a little nervous about the "Chop" - a term our pilot lovingly used about 100 times. "There's going to be a bit of Chop on the way up, and we may have some chop during, and be prepared for some Chop on the way down into Portland...The flight attendants won't be able to leave their special harnessed seats to serve you as the Chop is going to be a problem. On a completely unrelated note, please make sure to review the safety card located in the seat pocket in front of you in case this plane is shaken so badly that it falls from the sky."

I have to say, MAJOR props to those of you who live in Portland. Especially those of you who fly in and out of Portland. This is my third time here, and each time the flight has been terrifying. Today's flight did not disappoint! And don't just assume I'm a total wimp - when big burly manly men scream out in fright as the plane shudders and jolts, you know it's bad.

So we're here. Portland isn't really where we'd like to be, but I really am thankful that 1.) We did not crash and die and 2.) That we were able to get flights out, when a lot of people couldn't. Silver lining: when I'm crazy nervous I knit about 5 times faster. This infinity scarf will be done by days end!

All crankiness aside - have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your travel plans go smoothly and that wherever you end up that you're surrounded by good friends, loving family and yummy food. :)


SF Love

November 20, 2011


Goodbye, Hello

November 18, 2011

This past week when we were in San Francisco my family kept apologizing for the one day of horrible weather. You know, like rain and scattered clouds. We couldn't see all of the bay. I caught Kathy wearing long underwear in 50 degree weather. (I am serious.) Needless to say, we suffered.

Matthew and I soaked up the sun and enjoyed the full fledged fall time weather while it lasted. Here in Spokane it started snowing this morning and hasn't stopped since. Our picturesque morning walks along long fiery colored streets have been replaced by white everywhere. No more leaves, no more filtered sunlight - yes, we have officially bid adieu to Fall and been well introduced to Winter.

I'm really okay with it. Is that because we're headed back to sunny California in a few days for Thanksgiving? Perhaps. But truly, this time of year is my favorite. Matthew and I will be celebrating our first Christmas alone (i.e. just us and the pup instead of flying down to our massive family) and I have a feeling that getting our tree, decorating, ice skating, and all Holiday related activities will have new meaning. My mom is famous for hand stitching us big red stockings, and this year I'm trying my hand at making Matthew his very own. We'll see how it goes...depending on what it looks like, his may just read MR. :)

So goodbye Fall - you were beautiful and I loved you very much.

Hello Winter - you are very cold but I'll bundle up so we can spend some time together.

(Sidenote: If you're not listening to She & Him's Christmas Album, you're missing out. I can't stop listening to it.)

We left out hearts in SF

November 15, 2011

Right now I have a furry black pup snoring next to me, a cup of steaming tea and a few snow flurries fluttering around outside. (And the stomach flu, but that's not really worth getting into.) We are back from San Francisco! It was such a great trip. Our main reason for heading south was so that Matthew could attend the American Musicological Society's annual conference, but major bonuses included a whole day with my dear friends Katie and Dante, and of course belatedly celebrating Kathy's 50th birthday!

The sunshine was breathtaking. The bay was beautiful. The botanical gardens, local foodie cuisine, seeing family, going shopping with Katie - all were just what the doctor ordered. (Perhaps that's why I've got the flu now...good thing we're headed back in a week!) We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle in the city - they live at the top of Castro street, just on the edge of Noe Valley in an old Victorian with very steep stairs. Very steep. I'm happy to report that I have not yet broken any bones falling down, down, down those stairs.

My Aunt keeps a botanical wonderland behind their house where their three cats roam and hunt. Every time we visit a new part of the yard has been polished - new brick patio, new benches, new plants - and the ever flourishing worm/compost bin never disappoints. Cat Man, Snowy and Cantaloupe are always a source of entertainment with their antics and food preferences. (Cat Man didn't really want to hang out with me until I fed him a large plate of organic cat food. Yeah, he's particular.)

We made waffles, read Calvin & Hobbes in their big front bay window, went to the SF Botanical Garden plant sale (to add more loveliness to the backyard), cruised Fabrics stores for upholstery fabric (projects about; it's a family trait) and had a few iPad training sessions with Kath. Her siblings got her an iPad to bring her into the current technological era and we played with it all weekend. I made sure to add the essentials (Pinterest App, Instagram App, etc.) but she's already got it down. So proud!

Matthew rocked the conference. He was able to reconnect with professors from his undergrad days, meet a ton of new people and get a better understanding of what he's looking for in a PhD program. It was so cool to see my brilliant husband out there networking with other musicologists from all over the world. While we had originally discounted UCLA as an option, we're now adding back on the list after Matthew had an amazing conversation with a visiting professor. Right now we've applied to Columbia, UW, UC Berkeley, UCSB and UCLA. All should be said and done by April 1st - we are excited about what lies ahead for us!

I took a ton of pictures. The sun was out - I couldn't help myself. But that's for another day. :)

Now it's time to crush the stomach flu in my mind vise a la Jack Donaghy.