Thursday, August 19, 2010

KC is getting better and better

I’m not totally happy this morning. I’m waiting for men who fix things to arrive. I hate having men who fix things here. But figured it was necessary because if I happen to touch my stove and refrigerator at the same time I get an electric shock. My stove and refrigerator face each other in a very small U-shaped kitchen. It’s amazing touching both of them doesn’t happen to me more often but lucky so far (it usually happens when I have my head stuck in the frig looking for a snack and my heinie touches the handle on the stove). Since my stove is 20+ years old, I figured it was the culprit but the other day the men tracked the problem to the refrigerator’s plug in socket. So today they will cap that socket, and add a new circuit. They should be here at 9 a.m. Who knows when they will leave. My only comfort is that they probably want to leave as much as I want them to leave. One will have to enter the crawlspace to run the new circuit to the power box—I hope the stray cats who live down there won’t attack him. I also hope that they don’t find any other problems while they are down there. Or make any new problems while he’s down there.

My vacation was pretty nice, considering we were in Kansas City which was enduring a heat wave at the time. Hard to understand because if it’s not winter, KC is always enduring unpleasantly hot weather. But we were troopers and went to the water park one day, where even the water was above body temperature and hardly refreshing. We stayed until the park closed, just curious to see if the children would ever, on their own, decide they were tired. They never reached that point, and continued to swim at the motel, until IT’s pool also closed at 10 p.m. The kids were a little hard to get moving the next day . . .

I booked the entire trip through one of those services who bundle everything, flight, hotel and rental car. It went surprisingly well. In my congenital cheapness I had booked a compact car and when we all showed up to claim the car, he said no, that won’t work (we are not tiny people, and there were three adults and three children). So I upgraded to a midsize, and they gave (uh NOT--several dollars were involved) us an Infinity SUV with GPS. My son was going to be the driver cause I figured he’d have a better chance than me of finding things, but he had never used GPS, and my daughter wanted to drive cause she’s used to driving a huge Expedition, and knew how to work the GPS. Now I am trying not to buy an Infinity—but that urge is fading and hopefully will go away entirely. But GPS rocks!

After the water park day, we spent the next two days visiting the Union Station in KC, which had a dinosaur exhibit, and the WWI museum which was AMAZING—interesting, heartbreaking, but impossible to see all of it in one visit. Even the kids found fascinating things to do there.

I love old train terminals—I want to see Grand Central Station sometime. Tacoma’s is excellently restored, and so is KC’s. So beautiful with all the big windows, chandeliers, marble floors. I love old buildings. Even those in ruins.

As I mentioned, it was a thousand degrees. As we were walking to the WWI museum, we saw a pair of preying mantises perched on the side of a concrete column, doing the dirty. These bugs are nearly 6” long. We watched them for awhile to see if she would eat his head like we’ve seen on TV but they weren’t at that point yet and the heat was killing us so we couldn’t wait around. We started to continue to the building but on the other side of the column, there were three people watching a single preying mantis perched there. Before I could stop myself, I told them there was a pair mating on the other side, and “you know, she’ll eat his head afterward.” A young man with them instantly gave me a high five, with a completely deadpan “Awesome.” Then I realized there was a young lady in the group so I said “Oh, sorry—but that’s what they do.” They seemed to think that was funny and we all laughed. I surprised myself—I seldom talk to strangers because although it starts out as fun sometimes, at some point my shyness takes over and I can hardly finish the conversation. Luckily I had my kids to drag me away from that one.

I always expect the worst when flying anywhere—not a plane crash, but surly service by plane and airport personnel. However, it was not that way at all. This was a day or so after the Delta flight attendant had his tantrum, telling off the passengers on the loudspeaker and opening the plane door which deployed the slide, so it seemed that everyone we encountered was super polite to everyone else. My daughter misplaced her boarding pass as she went through security taking off shoes, laying out cosmetics, etc. By the time we pulled ourselves together after that, and went to the boarding area, someone had found it and turned it in there so she only had to show her ID, rather than ask the desk personnel to print her a new one.

We ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel one morning, and some “elderly gentleman” paid our tab of more than $60 (and left the restaurant before we knew about this). Sweet, if a little bit spooky.

We just kept running into and experiencing nice things. So I was a little apprehensive about flying home on Friday the 13th, but that was also uneventful and not unpleasant in anyway. On vacations, for the only time in the year, I allow myself to eat French toast. I love it so much, but it seems so WRONG to ruin one’s diet at the very beginning of the day. I’m much more used to ruining it at the end of the day when there’s nobody around to see. It was helpful that the walking and sweating actually seemed to work off all the calories but now that I’m home, I’m missing my French toast.

Well the men who fix things are gone—having taken a pretty sizable chunk of my money with them. I got some yard work done though, while they were in the house, and thinned out some plantings in the scarey snakey part of the yard. Somehow I felt less afraid with these guys nearby.

I have to go back to work on Monday. Torn between regret and knowing I’ve had about as much leisure as I can stand (weight-wise, I mean. It just always seems to be time to eat). But it was a great time off.


ColleenQ said...

Yay, you! I almost want to go to KC, too. I loved reading about your trip, and always hate that feeling of having to go back to work afterwards. Ugh.

I should really send this link to my son, too, who told me that WE are the only two people in the world without GPS. Au contraire!

Well, I'm off to look for a praying mantis - I saw one out there yesterday. :)

DavidShag said...

Wow Flooz - When i saw your 'phallic' entry, I noticed the KC entry, but because I didn't realize the pics on the right side of your blog are independent of the text on the left, I assumed this entry was the one I had read about the sparkly shoe pins. So belatedly, I am catching up.

I have flown rather a lot and I have yet to encounter the surly airline folks everyone else says are all over the place. I never expect surliness and I have so far not gotten it. I think maybe people approach them either expecting bad service or else people expect that everybody in the whole wide world should recognize their specialness and depart from established policies - often those about safety, about which they would be the first to sue when things go awry - just for them. Your trip sounds really nice. What is creepy about elderly gents paying for your meal? It isn't like they hung around trying to get a date (which wouldn't be creepy either, if they didn't push it). Sometimes I feel good and just want to spread the joy (although they were not me in KC). Use this example as a reason to stop worrying about how shy you are and start noticing how awesome most people are. As to the errant flight attendant: although I think he had issues and was not wholly in the right, I wish the airlines would back him and other attendants when they try to make passengers follow safety guidelines. I am so sick of folks who think they are above rules about staying seated or turning off cellphones. These things almost never cause accidents, but then failure to follow guidelines almost never causes oil drillers to have huge spills in the Gulf. A tiny inconvenience is so little and the rare bad result is so very big. And I think your six inch bugs were not praying mantisi, I think they were the bugs called 'walking sticks'. And congrats on finding Georgette Heyer - one of my two favorite 'light' authors. You have a raft of fun ahead of you...