Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The trip

My aunt's service was lovely and perfect and awful and difficult and important and final.  Everything from the food to the company was amazing and aside from the heart wrenching 45 minute service, we had a very nice time being together and had lots of laughs.  My brother Brandon and cousin David did an incredible job of speaking at the service, the nicest tribute Aunt Debbie ever could have received. 

While in D.C. we sat around a lot and just visited.  No televisions, no computers, just family, friends, and laughs.  It really was a great time.

The Gabriel/Dillon family was in D.C. on Sunday visiting a museum so we met with them for brunch.  What fun that was, especially to meet Brandon's nephew, sweet little Jack.

Glen, Jack, Teni, Sara, David, Uncle Dennis, Mom, Brandon, me

L'Herault, party of 3

It was unfortunate that it was Africa hot while we were there because although we were busy much of the time, we did have periods of down time when we could have gone exploring.  It was just too hot to venture out, though.  Like 98*-plus-humidity hot.  Mom and I did walk down to the local coffee shop a couple times and we did walk to Union Station but we didn't walk the city like we'd wanted.  On the last night, it was just mom, Uncle Dennis, and me.  We went out to dinner and then walked to the White House.  We drove by the Supreme Court and the Capitol, too.  Here are a couple pics:

The White House

Uncle Dennis and mom

The Capitol

The Supreme Court

My Nana made this - Walker is in bold and all the family is the rest.  I love it.

The trip home was an adventure.  We left Uncle Dennis's house at 5:00am.  Mom and I had flights departing at the same time but she was off to Dallas while I was off to Chicago.  We said goodbye and got on our respective planes.  My flight was 80% empty so I sprawled out, read, and napped a little bit.  We got to Chicago 45 minutes early which meant I had 2 hours until my flight from Chicago to San Francisco.  I got some breakfast, went to my gate, sat down and read.  Our plane was at our gate, right outside the big glass windows where I was sitting.  It should have been time to board and people were lining up but nothing was happening.  The United person finally said, "The airplane needs to be serviced so we have about a 20 minute delay.  We'll be boarding about 9:45am."  I'm not a terribly nervous flyer but I didn't like that.  I convinced myself that "serviced" meant "needs to be filled with fuel" and was ok with that.  Then the United person said, "We're still not quite ready to board.  Our boarding time now is 10:15am.  The plane is still being serviced."  I looked out and saw this.

Can you see him there?  The maintenence guy in the cockpit window?  Underneath the wires that are hanging down?  He's looking up at it like I would be.  His expression said, "Wow, there are a lot of wires up there."  That's when I decided, HELL to the NO am I getting on that plane.  I got my numb ass off the seat, packed away the book I'd nearly finished, and went to the counter to be booked on a different flight.  Thankfully there was another one.  It wasn't for another 2 hours but I'd already been there for 4, what was another 2?  I received my new ticket on my new airplane that I knew wouldn't crash and I was happy.  I bought another book because I knew I'd finish the one I was reading and I went to explore O'Hare airport. 

Finally, nearly 6 hours after arriving in Chicago, I got on my plane to San Francisco.  There were two 16 month old twins on the flight who were more exhausted than I was.  They hooted and screamed quite a bit.  I'm so numb to baby and kid noises that it didn't bother me at all BUT the old crochety lady next to me was having none of it.  She was so dramatic and so rude.  Everytime one of the babies would yelp she just about fell out of her seat and would sigh so heavily, just to be sure all around her could hear her displeasure.  The mother of the twins came to the front of the plane (did I mention I was in the exit row at the front of the plane?  Woot, woot!) where she had room to put the little girl down.  The little girl hooted and the old lady was ready to stroke out.  Her next tactic was to stare down the mother.  That poor mother with the screaming baby.  I was so fed up with the drama granny and I turned to her and said, "You need to be more kind."  She promptly turned to me and said, "You don't need to tell ME how to be."  I respect the elderly but she was a bitch.  She was too close for me to take a picture of her face but I thought I'd get a picture of her fashionable footwear.

Purty, right?

I read three books on my trip to and from.  What a lovely thing that was, just to sit and read!  I would recommend all the books I read if you like short chapters, strong characters, and good thrillers.

I was sad to leave, it was so good to be there.  I'm happy to be home, though, and look forward to see all the Browns (minus Teni) in November.

Thanks to Chris for being Super dad and doing more with the kids while I was gone than I ever would have done.  And thanks to the Peters for coming and hanging with the kids on Saturday while Chris was teaching all day. 



  1. I missed you and I briefly considered driving up to see you but I decided that you would be too kind to say no and I didn't want to intrude on such an important family time.

    Next time you're in DC I'll drag my troop up.

  2. So sorry about your aunt. Sounds like it was a good time of connecting with everyone. Love your blog and all that you share.

  3. Very sorry to hear about your aunt. I lost an aunt earlier this year. It was the first death in the family in quite a while. But I'm afraid that trend will be ending fairly soon. I've got some grandparents that are getting up there and their health is beginning to fail. I'm not looking forward to this.

    Coincidentally, you're the second person in as many weeks to recommend James Patterson. I keep seeing him on the shelves, but so far I've passed him up. I may have to give one a shot.


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