So, after the Ohio trip, we had just a short 10 days or so before the girls had to hop a plane for 5 weeks out in the Pacific Northwest. No one was really looking forward to this trip. Cora was going to be spending it with her mom & sister while hammering out the final details of the new parenting plan. The Daughter was going to spend about half of it with the other side of her family. And I was going to be reliving my bachelor days of peeing with the door open.
We all know that the first rule of fight club is that you don't talk about fight club. That's kind of written into our parenting plan too. So what I will tell you is that the new parenting plan that covers the next 792 days, 9 hours, 12 minutes, and 33 seconds (as I write this, the current count down is on the sidebar over there –> ) has been signed off by both parties, filed with the court, and there will not be a trial. Now we all have to live with & up to the conditions in it. That's all I have to say about that.
While the girls were gone the first 2 weeks, I was lost. I just kind of moped (better than "mo-pedding", I guess) around. I didn't sleep well, ate soup for dinner a lot, and called my gal every night to chat. Yes, I mean Cora!
After about 2 weeks of this, I'd had enough and jumped on a plane to the Pacific Northwest to see the two of them! Okay, so that was actually part of the plan. For me to join them for 10 days. But there was some serious stuff going on.
Kicking off 4 birthday celebrations in 10 days, my two young nieces out there turned 2 and 5. A princess bouncy house was called for.
I know what you're thinking, "Did you get in it?". Well, no, I didn't. The same cannot be said for my wife and her sister. While the sister-in-law escaped without photo-jurassic evidence, the same cannot be said for my wife and The Daughter.
What else did we do? We didn't spend the whole day sitting on our @$$, that's for sure!
We went to the Renton River Days parade.
|There were pirates galore!||And as an Illinois resident, a truly offensive representation of President Lincoln.|
|There was a cute little dancer, trying to keep up with the big girls.||And one little niece not able to keep up at all.|
And then there's Buzz Lightyear, checking out my wife's chest…
And probably changing his name to "Woody".
After the parade, Cora and I had planned to have a "date night" that evening. We were all sitting out in the yard, and her mom turns to us and says, "So I suppose the two of you are going to be going on your date soon." We look at each other. We'd both forgotten!
We hopped in the car and drove off to try and find some pizza.
Chicago style pizza.
The place we ended up (Flying Pie in Issaquah), claimed on their menu to have Chicago style pizza, but when the guy taking our order didn't know what it was, I figured that didn't bode well. The pizza turned out to be pretty good. Not remotely Chicago style, but still a tasty pie.
Afterwards, Cora and I strolled back along a sculpture walk along some old railroad tracks.
|There was this amazing eagle statue…||in more detail.|
|There was also this really cool whirligig with a mix of metal and colored glass.||And salmon. Of course, we are in the Pacific Northwest. You have to have salmon. It's like, a law or something.|
The next day was Sunday, the day of the Ducky Derby (and the last full day I had out there). We bought our tickets and watched as the duckies readied themselves for their race down the Cedar River.
I am routinely amazed at how CLEAN the urban waterways are around there. In Chicago, the Chicago River might as well be called the "Green River". This water was so clean that people were out wading in it. In Chicago, you touch river water, and you seriously think about a trip to the ER.
|I think these two lost little duckies were ours, wandering far away from the flock. And the finish line.||And look at that cutie pie…|
But on our walk back, we saw this van parked down by the river. I half expected to see a "Free Candy" sign on the side of it!
And that ended my portion of the trip. I was back on one of Southwest's new 737-800's. I like the aircraft. On the old 737-300's that they're retiring, there is only one "pimp daddy" seat (an exit row seat where the seat in from of you is missing, giving you maximum leg room). The new 800's have 2 "pimp daddy" seats. And I got one each direction. The flight is only 4 hours, but add airport time and the lost 2 hours, and I was tired by the time I got to Midway. (Named after "The Battle of…" from WWII).
The next two weeks, I had big plans of big projects I wanted to tackle. And then I came down with a harsh case of the Death. My throat was so sore that I couldn't swallow without grimacing and my voice was totally destroyed. And only a few of the big plans got done. But I did clean the joint up, and wash all the sheets in time for…
And all was right again.