Category "Family Matters"

Category "Other cities"

April 13, 2009

Back in the cities again

So, we're back in the cities after a very wonderful trip to the NW for nine days. Baby S traveled very well, even if her parents didn't do so well on the way out there. Let's just say that sleep deprivation and a VERY VERY cranky gate attendant are a very bad combo. Unfortunately pretty much everyone on the flight out thought bad things about us! Oh well! The way back was much better.

Baby S is an excellent traveler. Except for one challenging night when she didn't want to sleep very much (it's a little stressful in a hotel room!), she was a real trooper! Unfortunately, she came back with a cold, and the travel turned it into an ear infection, but she's got antibiotics now, and it's all under control.

We got to see lots of friends in Portland, and I was truly struck by how our friends have all had kids! J had so many new buddies to get to know, and he had a really good time there. It's nice to go to a place where you feel like you can always pick up where you left off.

Posted by chri1010 at 4:06 PM | Comments (2692) | Family Matters | Other cities

Category "Family Matters"

Category "Other cities"

April 1, 2009

Have Family, Will Travel

The other day, we packed up this little family of ours and flew to the Pacific NW for a little visit. Truth be told, we're here in Seattle right now for a conference, but before that, we took a little side trip to Portland for a visit with friends. I'm not sure I'm enjoying the rain and the cold so much right now, but overall we're having a really good time. Here's five things I've learned while on this journey:

1. Baby S travels really, really well. She's stayed on her fantastic sleep schedule (did I mention that this baby knows how to sleep at night?!), and she's not been crying too much in the hotel room (yay!).

2. J knows how to swim. Somehow that one escaped me, but he's taking to our hotel pool like a fish. It's really fun to watch.

3. A hubby with a yet-untreated chronic condition (more on that sometime soon) doesn't mix too well with an NWA flight attendant having a bad day. Wow. A whole planeload of people thing he's a total asshole, when in fact the opposite is true. The more I think about the whole thing, the more I can't believe it, but at least they didn't kick him off the flight. They only threatened to.

4. Old friends only get better. I've got some terrific friends in Portland, and I had the best time with them this weekend. It was pretty fun to realize that we've all got kids of one age or another, and they were all playing together and having a good time.

5. My home is in Minneapolis. This one has taken awhile in coming, but I really do feel settled there now. I felt like a visitor to Portland. It's not my Safeway anymore. I miss it all, but I'm glad for what I've got, even if it does include a big ol' pile of snow.

Posted by chri1010 at 11:16 PM | Comments (3943) | Family Matters | Other cities

Category "Other cities"

June 23, 2008

Some things I like about Orlando, and some things I don't

So, I was in Orlando for about 9 days. At the end of 6 days, I was TOTALLY ready to come home. Of course, it probably had more to do with the fact that I was constantly nauseated, and the food choices were not all that great (although not horrible, either). I felt way too busy, given my current situation. But anyway, I took in a few things other than work, and even though I offer no pictures (yet again--by now you're probably used to it), I'll share my thoughts on Orlando.

I LOVED the Peabody ducks! If you ever get to Orlando (or Memphis, where there's also a Peabody), I recommend staying at the Peabody, and watching the duck parade every day at 11am and 5pm. Duckmaster Dave certainly loves those ducks, and they are very well-taken care of--they spend most of their time in a duck palace with a rather elaborate marble fountain. C and I got to be honorary duckmasters--it was the highlight of the trip!

I also thought the little lizards that live in the grass and the landscaping were pretty cute. Of course, Minnesota is not a climate that supports those little creatures, so it was more about the novelty than anything else.

It was interesting to learn that Florida is the lightning capital of the United States. It makes sense, what with fronts blowing in from both directions. The intense thunderstorms nearly every afternoon were pretty fun.

Everything I didn't like about Florida was pretty much theme-park related. Way too overgrown with theme parks and theme-park related things. We went to Epcot, and it was okay, but not great. I'm just not really into the whole idea of the rides that purport to teach you something, but all you do is ride by some mechanical, moving animals that make noise in the midst of a bunch of dry ice. The only thing good about it is that it's a few minutes out of the Florida sun.

Someone else told me they went to SeaWorld and saw a show called Shamu Rocks. She also said she felt really bad for Shamu. I'm still trying to understand the educational value of a whale jumping out of the water in time to rock music.

Florida is a serious driving place. The roads were HUGE, the traffic jams long. I was glad I didn't have to drive anywhere while I was there. The whole time I was there, I never, ever, saw any residential housing. None. The commercial areas I was in had loads of employees, so that means either a long bus ride or a big gas bill.

Maybe my feelings of Florida were partly shaped by my shuttle ride in. After having to wait an incredibly long time for the shuttle, I finally ended up on one that wasn't very full. A dad and his pre-teen son were sitting behind me, and it was pretty clear that this was part of summer visitation. The dad was trying so hard to win his son's affection, with promises of buffet lunches, trips to Universal Studios, and maybe dinner at Denny's. I don't even know what to say about that except that I feel sad when I think about that moment on the shuttle. I'm sure they had a good time. I just don't ever want my relationship with my child to come down to a promise of a buffet lunch and an afternoon at Seaworld.

Posted by chri1010 at 3:53 PM | Comments (2461) | Other cities

Category "Other cities"

April 5, 2008

Some things I like about Boston and some things I don't

In less than 12 hours, I will be at Logan Airport, waiting impatiently for my flight home. Impatiently because I miss the fam, but not because I haven't enjoyed Boston. I've enjoyed Boston very much, and I know I would love to live here (if I weren't pretty firmly rooted in the Twin Cities).

I took a bunch of dorky, bad pictures while I've been here, and right now I'm too tired to post very many. Maybe I will when I get home and have a chance to rest up a bit. I think Boston would be prettier in another month or so. Right now, it's a little grey and muddy. The public garden and Boston Common are both pretty leafless right now, and all of the ponds have been drained for winter. I'd love to see them in the summer.

Boston is a city of signs. The public parks have the rules posted. Shaw's grocery store has a patio, which has rules (the two I remember: don't feed the birds, and no dogs. Tell that to the guy sitting there with his dog. He was probably feeding the birds, too, but I didn't see that part.). The mall has signs that tell you to keep your purse under control. I would've taken a picture, but I got stopped by security for taking a picture. Apparently I didn't see the sign (I don't think there was one).

Here's a little guy who doesn't mind the sign either:

March 2008 015 (2).JPG

And as for feeding the birds, they have a sign for that, too:

do not feed the birds.JPG

Boston is a very environmentally-conscious city, in my observation, and I can appreciate that too.

Two of my favorite things about Boston are wacky crustaceans and ducks:

March 2008 020.JPG

March 2008 026.JPG
Where else can you get a lobster claw harmonica?! (Where else would you need one?)

I've had a great time here in Boston, and this post doesn't really capture enough of my experiences this last week, nor does it really capture the complexity of this wonderful city that has historic sites and new buildings right smooshed together. I hope I get to come back again someday, but right now, it's time to go home.

Posted by chri1010 at 9:27 PM | Comments (3590) | Other cities