...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

For the next few weeks, we'll be seeing magnets from Ned & Marta's refrigerator door.

Ned & Marta's cat, Ernie and their dog Bert (both of whom are now buried in our back yard)

Household Hints


A Medieval Home Companion:
Housekeeping in the 14th Century

taking a hiatus until we get home from Boston on Wednesday night.

Here are some of my theatre reviews, if you're interested.

Updated 3/10/01


In a Sunburned Country
by Bill Bryson



That's it for today!



8 April 2001

IIs it just me, or is the décor style for every airport in the country "scaffolding"? I swear I haven't been to an airport in years that wasn't "under construction." In Boston it's worse because the airport construction runs into "The Big Dig," the multi-million dollar, multi-year project to move all of Boston's traffic underground. The Big Dig had been around for many years when we were here in October of 1999 and from what we saw of it today, it hasn't progressed much. It seems as if all of downtown Boston is accessible only by climbing over, under, and through scaffolding.

Yes, we are here in Boston. I'm typing this on the laptop, saving to disk, and with any luck, I'll post it tomorrow morning when we go over to Jeri's house.

There's only one thing you can say about travel days. They're like childbirth--a painful experience that you have to go through if you're going to have the pleasurable experience at the end. And once you've gone through it, you forget how awful it is until the next time.

We started in Sacramento, where our flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30. Naturally it was delayed half an hour. It looked like a peaceful demonstration at the United counter, there were so many people milling around waiting to be called. We had no choice. If we wanted to board a plane, we had to see the nice people behind the desk. Waiting with us were many, many, many school kids with teachers and chaperons, all wearing "Washington, DC" shirts. At least we knew they wouldn't be on our plane (which was going to Denver, where we were changing planes for Boston).

The first leg of the flight would have been relatively uneventful except that at some point my nose decided to bleed. I've had nosebleeds before, but this was a doozy. It just wouldn't stop. Fortunately, I had a handkerchief in my purse and I was able to keep from bleeding all over myself, but the bleeding continued, off and on, through most of the 3 hour flight.

Because of our late departure out of Sacramento, the leisurely hour we had planned in Denver ended up being a rushed 20 minutes. Denver is one of those airports which has kept the passenger in mind when putting in lots of moving walkways and wide aisles to help you get from gate to gate, but you still can't get past the fact that it's a huge airport and everything is far away from everything else.

When we got to the proper gate, they had already boarded most of the passengers. Our seat was nearly to the back and I probably hit dozens of people with either the camera or the computer bag. But we got settled and the plane took off, soaring up into the sky where we could get a view of the magnificent snow-capped Rockies. I almost didn't mind that this was one of the most turbulent takeoffs I've experienced in a long time.

I'm so used to flying Southwest Airlines, where a bag of peanuts is considered a luxury that it is amazing to think that we had not one, but two meals throughout the day. Yeah, it was airplane food, but heck, it beats a bag of peanuts.

Not only that, but we had a free in-flight movie that was even decent. I hadn't seen Finding Forester before and it was a wonderful movie. All the better since we didn't have to pay for the headphones.

We landed in Boston on time and promptly lost both Grandma and the luggage. An efficient clerk decided Walt's mother would get around better in a wheelchair and whisked her off to godknowswhere while we lumbered behind, dragging our carry-ons. When we got to baggage claim, there was no Grandma. We were convinced she'd been abducted, but we were too concerned about the fact that everyone on the plane but us seemed to have their luggage to worry about possible abduction at that point

Eventually, however, Grandma and the luggage were all found and we were free to move on to the next adventure: renting a car. That went more or less without incident, except that the first car we were assigned was a 2-door and both grandmas balked at having to climb into the back. So we got a 4-door which almost but not quite holds all the luggage. I still found myself wedged in front under small bags.

Alamo's rental car lot displays the warning "NO PRIVATE CARS ALLOWED; POLICE TAKE NOTE." The stern tone of the sign was in stark contrast to the friendly guy behind the desk who gave us directions, in a thick Boston accent.

We are told that getting around Boston by car is tricky even for natives. For tourists, after dark, it gets even trickier. There were a lot of "omigawd" panicky moments as we merged with bazillions of cars that all knew where they were going and wanted to get there quickly. As we got onto one freeway, just after a sharp intake of breath from Walt as a big truck lumbered past us at high speed, we passed a sign that warned motorists that this was an area where trucks tended to tip over. Swell. Just what I needed to hear!

But with only one stop to get off the main road and check the map, Walt got us here. He pretty much has an unerring sense of direction.

We are staying at a place with the cozy sounding name of Susse Chalet. However, while it is very utilitarian, it has all the warmth of a military barracks. This is not a room which screams "come in and relax." Even the facial tissues have the texture of butcher paper. The TV is small, the remote is bolted to the furniture, and the room seems to have two temperatures: hot and cold. There is no in-room coffee and "room service" is the vending machine on the first floor (if you're into Snickers for breakfast). But it's next door to a Barnes and Noble so we can forgive a lot of other missing niceties.

We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory in the nearby mall. The portions were huge. My mother and I shared "Thai lettuce roll-ups" (kind of Thai fajitas, with lettuce instead of tortillas), which was listed as an appetizer, and even sharing the portion it was more than enough for "dinner" for the two of us (tho we did break down and also share a piece of chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake for dessert).

I write this at 4 a.m., having awaked with stabbing pains in my back and a repeat bloody nose. I'm sure the day will go uphill from here.

One Year Ago:
Decanting Detergent

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 4/4/01 by Bev Sykes