Thursday, May 08, 2008

DAY 1: Arrived!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Up early, early, early, off to the Tucson Airport via taxi service. I say, “taxi” when I really mean, “the big burly guy who’d been up for 38 hours (and had another ten to go) who drove up to my house in a Giant White Suburban."

Think "Moby Dick of the Car World".

It was 5:22 a.m. and my husband had given me the phone number to call this guy. I had zero time to go check with him to see if this was real. I also had zero intention of waking him up more than I did when I kissed him goodbye.

I got my (heavy) luggage loaded in and skeedaddled into the back of the behemoth for our (touch and go) ride to the airport. With only a few weird moments of drifting off the road I got to the airport, got my bags loaded onto the scale and read my fate: 99.5 lbs. I was half a pound away from doom (actually, half a pound and a couple of months since United changed their bag policy shortly after I made my reservation).

I left the bags with check-in and vandled to the gate. No one was there. Too early. I bought a NYTimes (whoo hoo) and looked for articles by Anahad (there weren’t any). I got something that resembled breakfast at the bar (!), boarded my flight, and sat next to a super nice MSW/weight lifter from Tucson.

It looked like we were going to be on the same flight to Seattle, but I had to go work for a bit before taking off and we didn’t make contact after that. Got my work done, boarded the next flight and got to Seattle without much trouble. However, recovering bags at SeaTac turned out to be more time consuming than I anticipated. I also expected to only have to schlep my bags a bit to get to a bus...instead of the entire length of the Seattle/Tacoma airport.

But, you know, whatever.

After waiting FOR EVER for the bus driver to not tell us how to load baggage or board the bus (and after watching him cruelly leave at least 45 people more confused and unlucky than I on the curbside) I rode into Seattle at the back of the bus (a place I’d come to love on this journey) with a very nice Seattleite (Seattlean?) and a guy from Valencia, CA. Nice time. Pretty city. No worries.

It took quite a chunk of time to wend our way to the Downtown Sheraton, but wend I did, then I checked into my room in the Tower (floor 18), texted Syne, found out that she, Brenda, and Tonia, were already on Bainbridge Island. I half expected SeaSocks information with my check-in materials.

But, you know, whatever.

Hotel. Seattle.

I needed to recharge my phone, dug around for my cord, realized I hadn’t packed it, and got information from the Concierge for a Verizon store. I trotted over there, then caught a cab down to the ferry terminal to Bainbridge to get some quiet, beat the hordes, and, you know, since I didn’t know if/when I was supposed to meet up with the Sea Socks group, why not go find Brenda, Tonia, and Syne early on. Right?

I realized immediately upon getting my ticket that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was after 4pm, so I grabbed a pint and some AMAzing tomato-ravioli soup at a pub in the ferry terminal, read a little March, warned Syne I was on my way, then stood in line for the ferry. I wanted to get a good seat up front so I could see where I was going.

I did.

It’s lovely.

Try it sometime.

I got off the ferry and started walking. 

Lovely. Bainbridge is LOVEly.

I called and hooked up with the crew. Meeting Brenda, Tonia, and Syne, was exactly like meeting old friends. Suddenly I realized that I’d been corresponding with Brenda for over two years, Tonia about the same, Syne for about a year. That’s a lotta letter writing.

We chatted, shared scarves and laughs, and headed over to Churchmouse, a yarn store on Bainbridge. Lovely. Lovely little store with lovely lovely yarn. While there, Amy appeared with the larger group—very VERY nice to see her again. After buying some yarn and tea (whoo hoo) at Churchmouse Yarns, we tried to find out where the Sea Socks crew was supposed to meet for dinner.

But, you know, whatever.

So a small skein of us (get it? Skein of knitters?!) wandered (lonely as a cloud, which honestly, was really, really great) and found a super expensive, SUPER good restaurant. Nice time. Good people. Great food. 

We wandered back to the ferry, got back to the hotel, had a nightcap, passed out and planned to phone in the morning to coordinate something resembling breakfast. 


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