Last summer I blithely blogged all about our trip to England without giving a second thought to the fact that some unsavoury character might be reading my blog, notice that we were out of town, and see this as a wonderful opportunity to break into our house. This year, someone pointed out that danger to me, and I had to weigh the disadvantages of letting the world know we were out of town with the advantages of letting family and friends know about our adventures.
Fortunately, my worries were put to rest by the fact that in our absence our house is being lived in by our friends Guido and Luigi and their team of highly trained attack Dobermans. Unsavoury characters, beware!!
So now I am able to relax and tell you that we are in Seattle, where Jason’s niece Kim is getting married on Saturday and Emma is going to be a flowergirl — a prospect which excites Emma as much as if it were her own wedding, or her first flight in space, or whatever. We are going shortly for her dress fitting and I am sure she will be ecstatic.
Yesterday we spent the whole day getting here. I had made very sensible flight bookings, leaving St. John’s at a reasonable time and getting into Seattle at a reasonable time. Shortly after making those arrangements, Air Canada emailed me to say they’d changed our flight times. They now had us leaving St. John’s at 5:20 a.m. and stopping for a TEN HOUR layover in Toronto.
Jason and I decided to make the best of it by planning a visit down to the CN Tower so at least the kids will have seen one great Toronto site. We woke them at 4:00 yesterday morning and caught our flight to Toronto. The kids were too excited to sleep on the plan and were still pretty perky by the time we arrived in Toronto. We made it up the CN Tower and were appropriately awed at the view. The kids liked the glass floor the best, and I found I was a little braver about it than I was on my last visit 14 years ago, when all I could do was put my big toe out onto the glass!
We then wandered around the streets of Toronto a little bit, down to Harbourfront, found a playground to play in and got some take-out for lunch. The kids were starting to show signs of weariness by then — they really are troopers for travel, but they had been awake a long time and still had quite a ways to go, so we headed back to the airport nice and early. A good thing too, as we had to stand in a very long Customs line-up. That was the point at which everyone’s tempers really started to fray a bit (parents too!) and we devoted most of our energies to keeping the kids separated and keeping Emma from falling asleep in a sitting position on the floor.
One of the nicest things that happened all day was that when we finally got through that interminable line-up, we were served by a very friendly US Customs Officer, a nice older man with an Italian name and accent, who smiled and said that “Christopher” was his favourite name and explained that it meant “Christ-bearer,” or one who represents Christ to the world. (I guess this wouldn’t have made people so happy if the Christopher he met had been part of an atheist or Buddhist family, but we liked it). It made me reflect on how a tiny bit of pleasant human contact from a service person can lift your mood even at the most stressful of times. It costs so little to smile and make a few pleasant remarks and it makes such a difference. We were in much better spirits after we left Mr. Fettucine’s* station, cleared to enter the US for two weeks. *(Not his real name, because I can’t remember his real name!)
After another five hours in the air — the kids still not napping, until Emma fell asleep during landing — we made it to Seattle where Janice and Walter met us and whisked us off to their house where we all fell asleep almost as soon as our heads hit the pillows. Thanks to Emma’s liveliness, we didn’t sleep as late as we would have liked to in the morning (when Emma’s awake, everyone’s awake) but we did get a peaceful night’s sleep and showers in the morning, and we’re now feeling much less sleepless in Seattle, and ready to start our day’s adventures.
I’ve added a picture of Chris at the CN Tower, and we have a bunch more trip photos on Flickr.