Los Altos, California

I flew in Friday evening feeling marginal. Not wholly recovered from my recent bout with whatever cold/flu virus is traveling around, I nonetheless did not anticipate a full-fledged return to Sickville. Alas.

Erin’s Aunt Nancy, sister Christine, and our nephew Jared joined the Lillys and me for dinner. They’d been out with Uncle Guy and cousin Shannon looking at UC Santa Cruz, Christine’s alma mater, as a potential college for Shannon. While Guy and Shannon continued south to UC Santa Barbara, the rest were returning home and made the Lilly’s rest stop and dinning area on the way. I enjoyed catching up.

Despite an iffy lower back, I managed to drive the Lilly’s Acura up to Santa Rosa by radically adjusting the driver’s seat. Leaned way back as I was, I must have looked mighty odd to anyone who noticed. In Santa Rosa, I met with Erin’s brother Joe and his girlfriend Helen, a very good time which made me quite glad I’d made the trip.

After my return Saturday evening, the Lillys and I visited Mark, Christine and Jared’s place in Redwood City for dinner. Mark’s done a lot of around the house fix-ups recently and since he’s a general contractor by trade they looked spectacular, as you can imagine. Dinner was delightful.

Now the ostensible reason for my trip came Sunday. That is the wedding of our friend Jennie Smith to her beau Jon Morton. By necessity, I was medicated fairly heavily by this time, but it didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying a most excellent wedding and reception. At the reception in particular, I was able to catch up with many old friends, make some new acquaintances, and generally have a terrific time. Erin, now in trimester number three, was unable to make the flight down, which was a real shame as I know she would have loved seeing everyone. Nonetheless, a marvelous time and our best wishes certainly to the bride and groom!

The following day I lunched with our friend Shan and Heather and their young son Marcus. They have a nifty new Toyota Prius and gave me my first ride in the same. A very intriguing car! I can see why they’re selling like hotcakes. Catching up with Shan and Heather (and making happy faces with Marcus) provided one last highlight on trip that, other than having to medicate like mad, proved quite enjoyable. Many thanks also Heather and Marcus for dropping me at the airport.

At the Alaska Airlines counter I discovered that my flight was effectively cancelled and that I would be rebooked. They put me in first class on a flight to Seattle then, after a 30 minute layover, a Horizon prop down to Portland. This Seattle flight despite my first class experience proved to be horrific as my “12-hour decongestant” proved to be more of the 8 or 9 hour variety and wore off mid-flight. Landing is Seattle was the closest my head has felt to exploding since, well, the last time this happened. It was not a happy trip.

In the 30 minute layover I bought and popped some Actifed. I’m not sure if it was that or the lower altitude flown by the prop plane, but the Seattle-Portland flight was much easer on the noggin. My Dad picked me up at the airport, and thankfully drove the stretch back to Salem. Good—maybe even great—weekend, but I can tell you now that it was the start of a very tough week.