The flight I take out to Seattle is the last one Southwest flies that day. Which means that any delay on any flight of any passenger connecting to that flight impacts it, since they can't bump the person to a later flight. Flight Tracker, an awesome little website that gives you all kinds of info on a flight, lists on-time departure ratings on a scale of 0-5. I checked before heading to the airport. It had a 0.6 rating. (It is now down to 0.2)
First, we had to wait for a crew change. Then we had to wait for delayed connections. Then we had to wait for de-icing. (I was more than fine with that.) I did make good use of my time sitting on the plane. I went to the Sky Mall. But that's a different post. I did make it out to Seattle while it was still technically my birthday, so I could spend a few minutes of it with my new wife.
Cora's mom has a great 3 BR apartment right by where we got married, (and like 3 blocks from ~E's house), and that was our base of operations while we were out there.
On the 23rd, Cora and I headed downtown to the Science Center (next to the Space Needle) to see the exhibit of Harry Potter props. For those of you scoring at home, this is the THIRD time I have seen this exhibit. I took Cora on her first visit to Chicago in May of '09 and went back when Gwen visited in August of '09. It was mostly the same, but with a few bits from the recent movie in there. The tickets were our Christmas gift from Cora's dad & step mom.
And just like at Disney, when you exit, you exit thru the gift shop. And we did a little shopping. Besides a T-shirt, we also got replicas of Snape's, Dumbledore's & Voldemort's wands. So watch it if you come hexing.
Later that day, we went out to eat for my birthday, since we couldn't do it on my birthday. We went to Marie Callender's. I know what you're thinking, "They server you microwave meals?" No, it's a real restaurant, not just frozen meals. Who would have thought? Well, besides Left-coasters. To me, you might as well be taking me to the Lean Cuisine Cafe.
The food was pretty darn tasty. I had the country fried steak and potatoes, followed by a piece of cheese cake with blueberries. (Cheese cake with cherries is my traditional birthday dessert.)
I mean Cora. The cheesecake wasn't too bad, either.
On Christmas Eve Day, we went over to Callista & Mad Dog's house for a bit. It's a charming ranch house, or if that's not what it's called out there, it's what it's called here. We hung out, had appetizers and desserts, chatted a fair bit, and I got to check out their collections:
M.D. has amazing Star Wars collection with a lot of cool Lego helmets and custom stormtrooper helmets. And a healthy collection of "steampunk" paraphernalia, too.
Callista, hiding behind some live bamboo growing out of her Vern Yip inspired coffee table, is a real charming hostess, with an extensive "Alice in Wonderland" collection of her own.
But let's face facts. We all knew who we were REALLY there to see. Moose, the wonder dog. Dashing in his smart looking sweater and green eyes, Moose and I became fast friends. I think he thought I would be a "soft touch" and feed him from my plate while no one was looking. He was mistaken.
Eventually, we made it back to base, and hung out with Cora's mom, bother, and his girlfriend, who were also staying there. While I have no photographic evidence to support this claim, Cora's bother did an impressive job assembling a massive pink doll house. While I have little experience with doll houses, this is the first one I ever saw with a toilet. My calls to put a Tootsie Roll in it as a floater went unheeded. I guess a 3.5 year old wouldn't find the humor anyway.
Christmas Day – Actually is a blur. Cora's sister, husband, and their 3 kids were over, making it for 10 souls. 12 if your count Kermit & Trevor, Gwen's frogs. I know that we opened a ton of presents, and ate a ton of food, and had a great time.
Boxing day. Two big things were happening that day. Make that 2 big things, and 2 other bits.
1 – Cora, her brother, his girlfriend and I went up to Belleview to see Tron: Legacy.
2 – We had to head to Cora's ex's and pick up Gwen!
3 – Oh, and we picked up a big bucket of KFC.
4 – Oh, and I saw a cool Dale Chihuly piece.
But not in that order. It went Tron, Chihuly, KFC, then Gwen.
It was sure good to get her back. Cora and I sure missed that little gal.
To be continued…