30 January 2009

Last Day in the States

Had a busy day:
  We got up early to quickly meet up with my friend and former roommate, Kimber.
  Drove to Seattle for Stephanie to go to the dentist, we had an awesome lunch at the Greek restaurant Kimber works at on Capital Hill, dropped Stephanie off at baby playtime, and then killed an hour driving through Queen Anne and ended up at Magnolia Park with a fabulous view of Seattle and the Sound.
  Riley, Mackenzie, and I napped on the way home, picked up Dan, and went to visit my cousin Maryanne for dinner.
  We will be calling it an early night and will spend tomorrow preparing to travel on our last day in the states.  We fly back to SFO for a few hours and will meet up with my sister, Julye, and her partner Jennie, for a bite and then fly out around midnight.  phew.
  Yes.  We are excited.  I am eager to start experiencing all that we have been talking about and preparing for over the past several months.
  I believe my next post will be from Delhi, Rajasthan, India!!!!  

29 January 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

We are on day two of our trip, staying with my brother Dan and his girlfriend, Stephanie in Renton (outside of Seattle, WA)...currently, we are babysitting my niece, 6 month old, Mackenzie. She is a great baby...haven't heard her cry once, but Riley and I have little, to no experience with infants. Stephanie seems to trust that we will be okay.
This morning, I was sitting with Mackenzie when Stephanie said, "I'm going to take a shower now...would you get her dressed? Oh, and change her too?" It turned out fine, with Riley's help, we got Mackenzie ready to go in about 10 minutes.
After that we took a trip to Fred Meyer (grocery store the size of Costco), I got to wear Mackenzie in the baby harness while Riley ran around looking for organics.
We arrived home and made quesadillas for lunch and Stephanie left for her dentist appointment. My brother, Mitch, was the scheduled babysitter, but he is stuck in Seattle and we are the fall back.
Mackenzie has now got Riley trapped on the couch while she sleeps soundly on his chest.

Here's the Fed. story from yesterday:
After we boarded the plane and were waiting to leave the gate, one of the flight attendance came to me and said, "Excuse me, I need to talk to you at the front of the plane." As I followed him, I wondered if I had won a prize? Did they find the vitamins in my bag suspicious? Is my family okay? He pointed me to a man standing just outside the plane and said, "That man would like to talk to you."
I had seen this man sitting in first class as I made my way onto the plane. He was over six ft. tall, blond, in his early thirties, in a black hooded sweatshirt, with a baseball hat. My first thought when I saw him was, "Whoa, man, I'm with somebody." Just as I wondered how the airline could safely pull me off the plan for some guy to ask for my number, I saw his badge.
He said, "I'm a Federal Air Marshall and I noticed you have something hidden around your waist, may I see it please?"
A wave of relief flowed over me as I told him that I was wearing a money belt. He excused himself and thanked me for my co-operation and then said, "Please don't alert anyone that we are on the plane." I turned back to board the plane there was another young man behind me, who I had not noticed...I guess he was there to restrain me if I got violent?
I went back to my seat and tried to figure out how to discreetly tell Riley what had happened and why they had wanted to see me. I wrote it down...it felt like a movie..."There are two Federal Air Marshalls on the plane...they saw my money belt and got suspicious."
After that, the lady sitting next to me informed us that she would be moving seats...coincidence? I don't know.
Riley and I enjoyed the flight making sarcastic comments about what a terrorist I am and me realizing what a good lesson it was for how NOT to wear my money belt.
When we arrived in Seattle, we exited the plane in the usual fashion with the attendants saying, "Goodbye. Thank you. Thank you. Goodbye." When we reached them, one of them shoved $40 worth of coupons for McCormicks & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants in my hand and said, "Sorry 'bout the mix up!"
A pretty exciting start.
I'm glad I didn't get arrested. =)

28 January 2009

Starting Out

We left San Francisco this morning at 9.30 to head to Seattle to visit my twin brother and to meet my adorable niece Mackenzie. All is good so far except for almost getting arrested by the Feds. I'll explain later...