Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Returning Home

Paris was beautiful. We had cold days, snow, rain and sun. The blizzard at the Eiffel Tower was interesting. We were trying to meet up with the Kamiak High School band because Kaley's best friends are in band. Yea, I know, it sounds so....like something we never got to do. Lucas and the orchestra went to Vienna and Prague when he was in Kamiak and Kaley with the choir went to Montreal a while back. So this year the band picked Paris at Christmas time and it had nothing to do with our trip but we thought we'd hook up with them. We had their itinerary so we planned to surprise them. Or so we thought until there was a blizzard.

We came up from the Metro at Trocadero to walk from there across the river to the Eiffel Tower---only we couldn't. The wind was driving the snow directly into our faces and the steps and plaza area were impossibly slippery. So we stood there wondering what to do when Dave noticed a bus that said "Kamiak" on the front. I started waving and jumping up and down thinking this would be a dead give away that I was Kaley's Mom. But, out of context, in Paris with my hair dripping wet, the kids on the bus just looked at me like I was stark raving mad. A blizzard--who would have thought??

Anyway, returning home is a process and makes me wonder why I like to travel. But then I think back to Paris and it is worth it. The morning we were to leave, Kaley was vomiting. My poor petite child who normally consumes Asian food simply could not handle the multi-course rich French New Year's Eve dining experience. At the airport, the security lines were excruciating for her and I was worried we'd get turned away because of all of the Avian flu symptom signs. In Detroit, they lost half of our luggage and naturally, it was Kaley's. She was panicky that she'd put her retainer in her checked bags and thought she'd never see it again.

After getting home, I could not get ahold of my Mom at first and it turned out her flight from Minneapolis to Helena had been canceled so her trip took an extra day. She arived safely late yesterday. Dave was sick last night with a fever and he threw up once; the airplane air gave me asthma; and Kaley was still upset about not having her retainer. We decided our digital camera is dead---that seems to be what "error #45" means. Finally, we picked up Apolo all groomed and clean from the kennel sporting a Christmas bandana. He seems to have a little diarrhea but is otherwise ok. Kaley and I hit one of our local Asian eateries to regulate our systems and we brought some home for Dave and the white sticky rice for Apolo's diarrhea. Kaley's bags were delivered at 9:30 last night and her retainer was just fine. Our house wasn't flooded or robbed though the wind messed up my poinsettias on the front porch.

I have checked my e-mails and favorite blogs and I guess our church had a good turn out on Christmas. This was my personal goal. I went to the Post Office to retrieve our mail; our neighbor brought us our newspapers. While in line at the Post Office just a little while ago, I read Chuck's column in the Mukilteo Beacon which I'd missed last week and it was a good one about his musical wife and daughter. My daughter doesn't know this yet, but she has been accepted into the University of Washington even though she will probably go to school at some far away place. An e-mail from Lucas indicates he is "dreadfully ill" and he feels like "dying". Oh great! And he didn't call and I can't call him so I do not know if he is throwing up, has diarrhea, or asthma or a bad cold and just when I was ready to let him go emotionally because he seems to be doing so well in France. He has no easy access to Asian food or milkshakes or me.

I guess it is good to be home but Paris--ah, seductive Paris--was so--not Mukilteo!!

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Christmas Lights in Paris