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Archive for July 22nd, 2008

Hi All.  First Installment, Vacation 2008.

We started out last Thursday night. The idea was that we would do things in a logical order…

  1. “Pink Juice” the cat
  2. Pack up stuff into the car
  3. Drive to the hotel next to the airport, stay overnight, dump off vehicle
  4. Get up early, get on plane
  5. Endure agony with two freaked out hyperactive ping-pong ball children
  6. Arrive Portland, get rental, have meltdown
  7. End up in Prosser, Washington – take Lithium and Prozac cocktail

Reality bites 50% of the time.

We gave Silver d’Cat his last meal of tuna juice and lots of bittersweet scritches.  The long and short of it was that the vet came by and was the epitome of the benevolent angel (of Death, certainly, but angel is the operative word).  He went peacefully and quietly and surrounded by folks that cared about him and him alone in those moments.

I took the box we wanted to put him in, added his kitty pad and he was laid on it, then covered him with catnip fronds.  The plot was underneath some shady trees smack in the middle of one of his favorite catnip patches and was capped with a heavy flat-topped pyramid stone – it looks good, really.  Lastly I put catnip on his stone.    Why do all this for a cat?  Well, because even the vet remarked on how kind and good-natured of a kitty he was – he was gentle, having only bitten anyone only a handful of times, in great pain, every time.  Times when he *should* have bitten the kids, he did not do so.

Packing the car and picking up the kids worked out well.  Driving to the airport went well.  Getting in the room was lengthy but uneventful.  Dropping off the car was hell.  Apparently our desk clerk at the hotel cannot distinguish between “Michigan Left” and “Left” in giving directions.  So in looking for the parking lot, what should have ended me up 1-1/2 blocks from my hotel put me all the way at the ass-end of Middlebelt Road.  You’re thinking “Oh Lemur King, you are such a whiny-assed pansy”.  Maybe, maybe not.  Middlebelt is not the best place in the world to drive around for an hour, and as I was looking at street addresses and road names, I nearly ran over an idiot who was (1) riding his bike at night, (2) was wearing dark clothes, and (3) had only reflectors on the heels of his shoes.  This is one case where “riding while black” is a distinct advantage.  I honestly could not see the guy because he was all but invisible.   So finally we got it out of the clerk that she meant “Michigan Left”.  I found the place and scrambled out of there to the hotel.  It was a hot and sticky night.  The Surface of Venus was a more hospitable place that night.

The flight went uneventfully.  This is nothing short of a miracle.  We got “our” rental car, but due to my driver’s license expiring on the second-to-the-last day of the lease period, I was unable to be included as a driver.  Get that?  They trust me to not drive the entire period as a non-driver, but they could not trust me to drive up until the day where my license expired and then stop.  NANNY STATE.  I’m still pissed.  $700 for a car rental and I can’t even drive the $*^&#@ thing.

On Our Way, Camera Out – Up the Gorge (I-84)

Through the Tunnel on the Columbia River (I-84)

So, we get on the road and I start taking pictures.  Around Hood River (going up I-84 along the Columbia Gorge), I got the camera out.  I was taking pictures on the fly and through a window, so bear with the reflections and smudges.

Not Too Far from Biggs Jct., Oregon – Home of the World’s Best Cheap Corndogs

Just After Biggs Jct. – Washington Side of the Gorge, to Tri Cities/Prosser, WA

More later…

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