Seattle, Outline Style:

Woke up morning of flight 90 minutes later than I wanted to. However, since I stayed up until 2:00 the night before in a frenzy of OCD-style packing, we really only missed out on showers and breakfast. And the latter was amply provided for at the airport, after Jo dropped us off (hero!).

Babysitter A flew up with us. I don't think she'd ever seen the logistics of travelling with three small children first hand. She was a very good sport.

Paid $25 because our main bag was overweight because one of Scabby's parting gifts was pissing all over our smaller alternate bag. I anticipated the charge and so wasn't too irritated--until that same bag failed to show up at our destination.

The bag still wasn't located after an hour of investigation, so we carried on to Seymour's folks home.

Dinner at Nishin0's in Madis0n Park. Mmmmm.

Back home, still no bag. I slept in my clothes.

Woke up next morning, still no bag. Babysitter A and I threw all three kids in the car, I borrowed her socks, went commando, bade Seymour a hearty farewell, and drove up to Vancouver.

Met my baby cousin Machete at my 96-year-old Auntie Diamond's apartment. Auntie D was not in the greatest of spirits, though she was happy to see us. In the 18 months since we saw her last, her eyesight has plonked (she couldn't read 18 pt. type), her hearing has gone fuzzy, her balance has fizzled (she now uses a walker) and her hands have gone too stiff to hold a pen or utensil. Leelo lasted about 90 minutes in her very small quarters before he started being uncontainable, and we had to leave. Felt horrible about the short visit, Auntie D was visibly disappointed.

Remembered that everything in Vancouver is always twice as far (distance and time) as I think it is. I thought we could fit in the visit to Auntie D (eastern Burnaby), Roots Outlet (eastern Vancouver), the Aquarium (north of Downtown), the Naam (Kitsilano, I think), and a visit to Machete's big sister Andie and her two-week-old baby Audrey II (Richmond) during a day trip to Canada. Ha! We lost the Roots and Naam legs and did just fine. Plus I managed to feel like a drug seeker in asking for literally over-the-counter codeine for an anonymous friend ("How many do you want?" "Uh, how many can I have?"). And Audrey II is a sweet little bug who already has the Anglo-Slavic family nose, in the cutest possible baby way.

Leelo and Babysitter continued held themselves together, trooper-like as we started home. However Mali, halfway through our drive back to Seattle, decided that she really didn't like her newly forward-facing car seat, and commenced screaming. She would only stop if we stopped and then I took her out of the chair and nursed.

...and there was a lot else that happened, mostly that Leelo was on the warpath and visibily unhappy to be there, even almost toppled his Grandmother in a fit of wanting to play with her but not knowing how to ask, and scared the shit out of her. So the inlaws (granparents as well as sister and brother-in-law) now have a clear sense of how difficult it is for us to travel with the boy, and what sort of effort it takes simply to be his parent.

But there were nice parts. Got to meet Elsewhere of Travels in Booland, and eat a lot of really good food. Everyone went all-out to help us despite the craziness of a Rosenberg Xmas (Seymour's brother and Dad basically staged Iron Chef Amerika in several nights--weren't we the lucky tasting audience). Everyone, especially my sister-in-law Bree, was so thoughtful about Leelo and our having hit and then left behind the bandwidth wall.

Short version: we won't be traveling with Leelo again any time soon, at least not to any place wihtout a pool. But we enjoyed the family parts.

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