Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Food and Family: The End of Our Trip

A rainy day after a restful weekend feels like the right time to finish up this story!

When I last left you, we were heading away from the concert... but what were we heading towards, at 10:30 PM with a full tank of gas? My parents house in Pennsylvania, of course!

Our final big surprise of the trip was going to see my mom and dad... but it would only be a surprise for mom. Right before the trip, dad sent me an entertaining email about his latest weaponry purchase - as if he knew we planned to bang on the door at midnight in a matter of days or something! In addition to the growing arsenal, mom and dad also acquired a new dog that week - a ferocious beast named "Casey" - a bloodthirsty cocker spaniel of doom. Deciding it isn't smart to sneak up on the retired Army guy and his flesh-rending attack dog, we gave dad a heads-up as to our arrival but insisted he didn't tell mom.

After the concert, we made good time, stopping only once to get Burger King kids meals at 11:45 at night because...well, because we COULD. Still driving, we polished off our burgers, though we ignored the soggy fries and lame Pokemon toys. At 12:07 exactly we pulled up in front of the house and approached the front door, hoping dad was still awake - he was. He let us in and we hid in the kitchen while he went to wake up mom, telling her she had to come downstairs.

Walking down the stairs in the middle of the night, I think she probably feared that the dog had just had one of those new-dog-explosions that only women can clean up, but I digress...

So, we're hiding in the kitchen as mom come shuffling in, all bundled up in her robe. We popped our heads around the corner and she looked at us, blinked a couple times, and just started laughing. Our surprise was a success - she had no idea! She swooped at us with great big hugs and all our laughter apparently excited the attack dog, who proceeded to liberally drench my fantastic new Dansko sandals in puppy piddle - sigh.

Soon enough my shoes were cleaned back up and we were all gathered around the bar in the kitchen, sipping beers and iced tea and eating chips and salsa while mom tried to come to terms with the fact that we were really really there. We all stayed up until almost two in the morning at which point we were all near collapse. At some point, Mr K and my dad had graciously dragged all our luggage in from the car and all I had to do was collapse in bed.

My mom said the next morning she woke up three or four times in the night, convinced it was a dream. She would then get out of bed and peek out her door to see if the guest room door really was closed, signifying guests inside. So cute!

The next day we got up and had breakfast. Mom and I dropped the dog off for a long overdue haircut and fang-sharpening, as his prettiness hadn't been properly attended to at the pound. From the dog salon, we headed to the airport to pick up Mr K and dad, who had been returning the parents' rental car. All together once more, we headed to the mall to run some errands and stopped at Olive Garden for a brief, but really surprisingly tasty lunch. Oh, the big salad. Mmmmmm.

By the time we finished with errands, it was time to head home - we had to get the dog and some groceries. At the grocery store, I grabbed all the ingredients I needed for the meal I planned to cook for mom and dad, all the while giggling over the variety of breakfast cereal and relative cheapness of meat. For dinner, I cooked two Indian dishes - a spicy cilantro and onion chicken and also curried chickpeas. We ate a late dinner around 8:45 PM and all settled back to watch what may be the greatest TV show ever created - "Wipeout".

Soon it was bedtime as we were flying out the next day. It was sad that our visit was so short, but on the other hand, it was beyond wonderful to get to visit at all and to surprise my mom!

The next morning we got up, had breakfast, packed our stuff in to the car and headed to Baltimore. Our flight was delayed by an hour but soon we were in Newark and boarding our flight back to Geneva. We had two of the three seats in a middle row and we watched in trepidation as each person boarded, hoping silently that they wouldn't join our row. This worked out, except we forgot to also hope the woman with the two crazed children with overly-active kicking legs wouldn't be seated in the row behind us. Or that the couple with the crying toddler wouldn't sit in the row next to ours. As we sat, waiting for our delayed takeoff, the kid behind Mr K entertained himself by slamming the tray table up and down as his delightful mother read Cosmo. Fortunately for all involved, as soon as the plane took off, both kids promptly passed out and stayed that way until we landed. Not so for the crying-kid-couple. The father spent the whole flight asleep as the mother walked up and down the aisles with the poor little girl. As long as her mom walked, she was quiet, but the minute they stopped, she screamed and screamed... which meant the mom spent five straight hours just walking the plane.

Soon enough we landed in Geneva, grabbed our luggage, zipped through the "nothing to declare" line and caught our train back home. We arrived to an only slightly disheveled house (the cats like to knock the dining room chairs all over the place) and two very happy kitties.

As I close this adventure, I'm going to leave you with a couple highlights from the trip that didn't seem to fit anywhere else:
  • Great quote #1: Two girls in line in Newark compare passports. One points out her Italy stamp. the other frowns and asks when their tour went through Italy. Girl one responds, "On the train from London to France, remember?"
  • Great quote #2: As we pass a group of college age kids, one girls loudly proclaims, "I got a ham sammich, if you want it!"
  • Great quote #3: At the end of the agricultural scan, we're waiting for our baggage as a rude woman on her cell phone ignores her approaching bag, stating, "I'm having a doozy of a time getting to my kids." After you've slept 4 hours in twenty, "doozy" is seriously about the funniest word ever.
  • Leaving the airport, we pass a guy in a concert tee shirt with long hair. He's dragging a couple pieces of bright pink little girl luggage. Just as I point him out to Mr K, he notices us and see Mr K's tee shirt and shouts out "MISFITS!" while making funny hand horns. We were still giggling about "doozy" at this point and that completely sent us over the edge.
And that's it!


Kristin Rushing said...

That was a fun read! You write very well :P

Katie said...

glad the trip was a success and everyone made it home safe and sound!!