travel

Nov. 30th, 2010 11:22 pm
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
Air travel this past weekend was surprisingly painless. We got to the airport three hours early for our departure, only to discover that the check-in counter and the security line weren't open yet. So, the joke was on us, but at least we were in the front of the queue. I've been at the same airport on days when I was three hours early and still barely made it onto my flight.

I got picked for the scanner line, but they weren't patting or scanning everyone who went through. It was like it always has been -- most people go straight through the metal detector and aren't bothered unless they beep, a few people are 'randomly' singled out. I seem to get singled out a lot. I used to think I was suspicious-looking because I was a woman traveling alone a lot of the time, but I got sent through the scanner this time even though I was obviously with a partner. I don't know, maybe I'm just suspicious-looking. They do say that it's the quiet ones you've got to watch...

I got scanned, Matt didn't beep, and we went on our way. Flying back yesterday, the airport was quiet and neither of us got a second glance. We walked through the metal detector and were waved on, as always.

The trip itself was really nice. I got lots of quality time with my dad, I got to hang out with my brother and meet his girlfriend, and I got to meet Matt's new niece. I guess I'm an aunt now, which is strange. When you're an only child till you're 14, you think of yourself as an only child, and it wasn't until Matt's whole family were calling us aunt and uncle that it really clicked that she's effectively my niece as well as his. I mean, obviously, but it was the first time I'd ever been "Aunt Lapis." I kind of liked the way it sounded.

Going back to the area where I lived my formative years definitely feels like coming home. That's a little strange, too. But, again, I kind of liked it.

We got to see a few good friends. Different friends than I'd seen last time I was back, which is probably a good thing, taking turns and all that, but it really wasn't planned that way. It was a function of who was around and free, and where, and when, and just some happy accidents of timing. Still, very good, even though there were a few who were definitely missed. On sunday, we went to a meetup of my colleagues/clients and their extended local circle. About 25 people showed up, many there to meet me. That was kind of a neat feeling. Like when people show up to your birthday party and you know they're there to hang out with each other and eat cake, but you also know they're all there for you. I haven't felt that in a very long time, and I thought it would make me uncomfortable -- I usually try to deflect attention I can't control, rather than attract it -- but it was fun. It was a good time. It was extremely flattering.

Most of the trip belonged to family, though. I was marveling to myself that we hadn't really had a spare moment for anything -- not sightseeing, or driving around without a distinct purpose, or even hanging out around the house and doing leisurely things -- the entire trip. But the lack of downtime was probably good for me. I felt less stressed and anxious than I've been in a long time. Maybe that was due to the schedule, or maybe it was just good to be around friends and family for a while.
lapis_lazuli022: (qow - zzzzz)
...the day before international travel is not the time to move the passport from "that place where it's rested safely for the past eight months" to "a really good place where I'll be sure to see it."

And with that, I'm off to Canada for the weekend. Don't do anything I wouldn't do.

um.. mew?

Mar. 31st, 2009 06:11 am
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
"Last week we reported on an abandoned puppy that was left in a box, and this week it's a kitten."

[...that's been left abandoned in a box, presumably.]

CP24, the Canadian news channel, is too much fun.

vroom.

Mar. 30th, 2009 08:12 pm
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
Greater Toronto Area is abbreviated GTA. So there are all these news tickers about "such and such in GTA" and I keep thinking "Who cares so much about grand theft auto??"
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
The front page of yahoo.ca this morning has a story about which fast food breakfasts are the worst for you. It's followed instantly by a link to "make your own bacon donuts".

o.O

Are they trying to help us avoid the unhealthy food, or find it?

...

Jan. 5th, 2006 10:18 am
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
Doing some cubicle cleanup today.

Matt, you won't believe this... I just found the box of salmiakki you brought me from your Finland trip.

Does that stuff go bad?

If so... how can you tell?
lapis_lazuli022: (flower)
and a REALLY bad place to lose your keys. )

Monday, we rented a car and took the scenic route up north. Wow, was it scenic! The kind of scenery that makes you want to take up photography so that you can capture the moment forever. The sun set while we drove through the mountains, and it was dark by the time snow started to spot the ground. We stopped north of Sedona at a scenic overlook, and it was beautiful even just by the light of the full moon - the mountains were backlit stark black against the dark blue sky, the stars bright and twinkling. Just wow. But, also brr, so we got back in the car, kept going, and got to Flagstaff in time to find dinner at the restaurant of a cozy, historic hotel, and collapse in our non-historic hotel.

Tuesday, we had planned to visit Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered, but their hours were 12-5, and we didn't want to wait around till noon, so we just took some touristy type photos at the entrance with the observatory sign, and headed on our way to the Grand Canyon.

The Big Hole In The Ground is a pretty nifty thing to see, and if you're going to make the trip, I highly recommend saving up and doing the helicopter tour as well. It's really quite amazing, and something that you can't see for yourself any other way. (IMAX doesn't count.)

The hotel room was supposed to have high speed internet access, but it didn't. When I asked at the desk, they said that the room we were in hadn't actually been wired for it yet, and they were willing to either take a discount off our bill, or switch us to another room. I decided I could live without the 'net for one more day, and went for the discount.

Wednesday, we headed out in the other direction, for Meteor Crater (the smaller hole in the ground). It was also a darned impressive hole, and the visitor's center and museum there are nice. They have a fairly good exhibit on what meteors are and where they've hit, and had a computer simulation where you could select a heavenly body of your preferred size/density/angle to see what kind of impact it would make. [livejournal.com profile] cowboy_r had fun repeatedly blowing up the earth. :)

From there, we drove through the Navajo Reservation, through Ganado. It was the long way (and I mean the looonnngg way, but I'm *not* complaining!) back around. More of the kind of scenery that makes you want to take up photography, and a whole lot of nothin', as well. We made it to Phoenix in time for a very pleasant dinner with [livejournal.com profile] dezertsky, and got back to Tucson in time to fall over.

Yesterday, having been thwarted by the observatory up north, we drove out to Kitt Peak, and visited the observatory there. It's home to several telescopes, including the world's largest solar telescope. The drive there was gorgeous, as was the drive home through the mountains.

Today we met up with [livejournal.com profile] hamner and saw Master and Commander, which was just as good the second time around. After we dropped him off, we went to the mall and browsed around for the kind of indian souvenir that's too expensive to actually buy on an indian reservation, but is cheap at the knock-off stand in the mall. Not sure what we're doing tonight, except that in a few minutes, we'll start thinking about finding dinner.
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
I'm always so resistant to time zones, but the cold seems to be a great motivator to help me sleep in and readjust more quickly. I'm usually up at 6 at home, which is mumble-early-o'clock here, but this trip, for a change, I'm sleeping in.

It's 11:30 in the morning back home, and I'm still waking up. [livejournal.com profile] cowboy_r is awake and up and in the shower, but here I am still snuggled warmly under the blankets, not wanting to move. I need to get going -- we have a lot ahead of us today, including a Big Drive, but it's just so comfy under the covers! Five more minutes, mom? :)

I've been having a great time so far. Saturday night we went to a drive-in movie -- I'd never been to one before, and it was fun. We saw Cheaper by the Dozen which was kinda cute.

Yesterday we got a late start, but watched Silent Running, a sci-fi classic, had Mexican for lunch, and later on we went to [livejournal.com profile] sundaygames, which was great. I hadn't played tabletop RPGs in a very long time (we're talking 15 years or more) and last night I got to play two! I hope I get another chance to sit in with the group sometime. They were all really welcoming and encouraging. I started out rather uncertainly at first, but got into the groove of things and ended up doing more than my share of damage, and had a blast (ha ha).

The Cowboy's back from the shower now, and looking at me like he expects me to actually get moving or something. The nerve, I tell you! :P
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
...and absolutely no inclination to write.

One of the highlights of the weekend was an exhibit of Robert Turner's landscape photography. The small scale in the online gallery doesn't do his work justice.

Balboa park was beautiful. Many museums were seen, and many photos were taken. Basically, aside from 'doing' Balboa Park, we mostly drove around and explored. The tiny beach towns north of La Jolla were a favorite area to return to.

There's something soothing about being at the coast, even when the water is on the wrong side. ;)

We came home to learn that our close friend F. had passed away yesterday morning. He was 35. It wasn't unexpected - he's been battling cancer, and then treatment complications, for nearly a year, and had taken a recent turn for the worse - but, still... My feelings on the matter are complicated and mixed, and not ready to be written.

Pruned a few people off my friends list today, all cases where there appeared to be mutual lack of interest in each other's journals, or at least mutual lack of anything useful to say to each other, or other similar reasons. If you have something to say about it, you know where to email me.
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)

Seeing Red...

I re-dyed my hair last night. I'm enamored with this hair dye (the line is "Live" [by Schwarzkopf], and the color is Red Planet). It figures that I finally find the perfect shade of red, and it's not available in the US. I have one more box of it, but you can expect me to start asking around in the next couple of months for some kind soul in the UK who wouldn't mind doing a package exchange.

...and Purple.

Today is NYU's graduation. At 7:30 this morning, there were already purple-robed people milling about on the street. It's going to be a busy day in the neighborhood. Note to self: avoid the crowds, stay in for lunch.

But it's a dry heat!

I'm off to Arizona tomorrow morning, to visit Cowboy_R. I've been following the weather out there for the last few weeks, and though it's been holding steady in the high 90's (F) for a while, this weekend's temperatures are threatening to hit three digits. I'm a little intimidated by that, I admit, but I think I'm mostly just curious to see how well I handle it. I'm not worried about it, though -- if it turns out to be too much for me, we can always postpone our plans to take the walking tour around Tombstone until a cooler season, and spend more time indoors instead.

Must remember to grab my sunglasses from the car tomorrow. Must not break my sunglasses in the airport on the way to Arizona, like I did last time. :)

Expiration Date?

It hardly seems like it's been three years since we bought our car, but in just a couple months we'll be making our last payment, and it'll be well and truly ours. As if to remind us of this, the passenger-side door has decided to refuse to open. Matt will be getting the lock assembly replaced in the next couple of days -- there's a dealership conveniently near his office. For long trips, I've been climbing over the driver's seat, but for shorter hops, I've just been sitting in the back. It's uncomfortable to be so far from him, and to feel chauffered. The novelty and the "Home, James" jokes wore off after a couple of minutes. We're taking an extended car trip next weekend, so I think we're both glad it will be repaired by then.

The toys that make the noise

This morning, various people in my office can't stop playing with:

* a stuffed dog that plays "Lullaby"
* a "My Private Journal - Keep Out" blank book that makes a siren sound when opened
* some other item, unidentified but oinking loudly

Do the rest of you have to deal with this sort of thing too?

The Ring Cycle

I am acutely aware of my piercings today. It's an uncomfortable feeling, but not a painful one. Which is good, because there's not much I can do about it.

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