Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vacation Recap: Day One - Traveling to Texas

Before we even left home, we had a bit of an adventure here at the house. If I remember correctly, Shrike was in the shower and I was piddling around in the kitchen, when I heard a commotion out in the sunroom.

Went I went to check on it, I saw PerfectPup flying (metaphorically) across the room, toward the door.

Then I realized that something else was flying (literally) just ahead of her.

They both sort of bounced off the wall, next to the door. PerfectPup ran outside and I had just registered that there was a (stunned? dead? wounded?) bird lying on the floor, when she ran back in, grabbed it in her mouth and ran back out.

Oh, that can not be good for the bird.

I did manage to shut the door behind her, before BigGaloot followed her out, which was pretty quick moving on my part.

As I watched, she dropped the bird and started pawing at it, but it was obvious that it wasn't moving.

At times like these, I'm always torn between being sad and distressed that she's killed something, and being relieved that she's actually killed it, rather than only mortally wounding it and leaving me with the responsibility of putting it out of its misery. I've not had to do that yet, but I have no doubt the day will come.

I knew that if I opened the back door, Galoot would be out there doing God knows what to the bird carcass, so I went out the front and around the house, bagged up the former bird, and put it in the outside trash can.

Then I let Galoot out so PerfectPup could tell him all about it.

After that, we did manage to finish packing and get on the road without much further ado, other than the usual me-being-annoying, Shrike-being-grumpy, this-happens-every-time-we-travel demi-drama.

We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, and waited for the plane while watching the cute baby (just learning to crawl) who was getting on the same plane (didn't hear a peep from him during the flight, by the way).

Once we were on board, the pilot gave us a heads-up that there was some nasty weather northeast of Houston that we'd have to go around, but it shouldn't be affecting the airport itself. He expected that we'd get in about twenty minutes behind schedule.

The majority of the flight was uneventful, and we both alternately read and slept.

About the time that we should have been landing, the pilot came back on to say that the weather was now closer to Houston, and we'd have to fly around the city and approach from the other direction.

He also said that if the storm moved, it could shut down the airport, and we'd have to circle until they could start landing planes again.

Then, he went into a long thing about how much "wait time" we had, and how we really didn't have enough fuel to hang around up there very long, so we might have to divert to a different airport (never did say where, though), refuel, then go back to Houston.

It turned out that the weather stayed far enough from the airport that they were able to keep bringing the planes in, but we were about an hour late landing.

As soon as we were allowed to use cell phones, I called my brother and his wife, who were in route to pick us up. Luckily, they had checked the flight status and knew about the delay.

As it turns out, they were driving through some of the worst of the weather, and had actually had to pull over for a while until the rain let up. The weren't too far from the airport by then though, and we ended up only waiting for a few minutes before they picked us up.

From there, we headed to my parents' house (about two hours away). By the time we arrived, several family members, and a couple of friends, were already there for the "open house" that my parents were hosting for out-of-town guests.

The crowd included my immediate family (mom, dad, sister (LadyKay), niece, nephew, brother, sister-in-law), my aunt (mom's sister) and her daughter, mom's cousin and his wife, and a couple of friends of the family, who had moved out of town several years ago.

We had dinner, then watched the slide show that my brother and sister-in-law had assembled from a ton of photos that my mom gave them.

They included several photos from my parents' wedding, plus others, spanning from their childhoods through my brother's wedding a couple of years ago.

After everyone but the immediate family had left, we handed out birthday, mother's day and father's day gifts from us, and then gave my parents the scrapbook that we (the kids and grandkids) had put together for the event.

In it, we'd put messages from each of us, plus a few that other people had sent. We also had lots of room for other things that people brought to the party on Saturday (we included a note in the invitation, asking them to do so) and the ton of cards that they got.

It took a lot of sneaking to surprise them with that, but we pulled it off, and I'm pretty proud of that :-)

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