2015, a very very late recap

I started this post back in 2016, and finally got around to adding the photos 2 years later. So here you go a recap from my year as it occurred 3 years ago. It sure was a good one!

January

Due to my job, I got rather invested in the Seahawks and their fight to the Superbowl. Mainly because the longer they played the more opportunity my nonprofit had to fundraise.
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Alex and I went out to eat (probably for brunch, probably where there was coffee).
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We enjoyed the chance to babysit the youngest of our friends’ daughters. It was great fun to get some solo time with her and see Alex show off his future father skills.
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At some point this was my grocery list, I don’t know what I was planning on making, but I am sure it was tasty.
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February

Spent two evenings creating the adventures of Seda, a half-ling ranger, and her wolf, Akela. With the help of a cleric and a warrior, we successfully found, stole, and destroyed the crown of the long dead Lich-king.
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Reached level 7 of Ingress.
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Got to cuddle this ridiculous puppy thanks to my former co-worker Erin.
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March

Ate brunch with Alex at Volunteer Park Cafe and then walked around the Arboretum to look at signs of spring.
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Went to Olympia to tell lawmakers to fund emergency food programs. Also spent time looking at the cherry blossoms.
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Alex purchased a long-a-waited desktop computer. He was very happy about it.
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Went to the Pacific Science Center with Alex to escape a dreary weekend, mainly hung out in the butterfly garden.
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April

Got a new iPhone 6, giant computing power that fits in my pocket. Main use? Taking pictures.
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Went on a weekend getaway with Alex to Ocean Shores. Walked along cold beaches, made food that didn’t require an oven and lived in a tiny cabin 10 ft away from a hot tub = fun weekend. The more time I spend with Alex, the more I am convinced that I married an amazing person.
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Lindsay and I’s office amarylis bloomed!
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Alex and I went to hear Neil Gaimen speak at the University of Washington. Gaimen speaks as intelligently as he writes, or in other words quite well.
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Jenn, Katie and I made pretty smelling spa things. One out of three was very successful, but mostly I liked the time spent with these fun women.
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May

Seattle attempted to demonstrate just how many colors it could jam into one season
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My family came to visit!
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My friends came to visit!
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David and Sarah got married (While the highlight is truly the lovely ceremony that reflected their deep appreciating for community based activism, the main thing people talk about is the llamas).
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I went on a hike with family and one adorable dog.
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I started a tiny porch garden.
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June

I went strawberry picking with Katie, Jenn and kids. It was hot, but very delicious.
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I ate a burger at Miller’s Guild that will be included in my top ten list of things ever eaten.
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Alex and I joined up with Hedgehog friends from across the country and spent a long weekend in Cape Cod. The house was delightfully old, the beach was fantastically close, and the weather was mostly perfection. Side note: My friends seem to have only very adorable children.
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Celebrated various birthdays with the Peterson family women by eating and drinking our way through a lavish high tea.
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July

The sad departure of a friend at work brought about Bacon Hor-d’oeves day which was salty, fatty and completely delicious.
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I took the bus down to Portland to visit Meryl. Portland was in a heatwave, so we spent most of our time chatting, drinking iced coffee and seeking out air conditioning.
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We also spent one day hanging out and swimming in the nearby river – a completely lovely day.
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I reached level 8 of Ingress.
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Jenn and I hosted a baby shower for Katie and Bryan, for which we mainly focused on creating a spread of very tasty food. Highlights include the various tea sandwiches, Jenn’s Tres Dulce cake and my lavender creme brûlée.
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My amazing former co-worker Zan helped me get my very own signed photo of the Chef from Battlestar Galactica. #Nerdpoints
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August

Alex and I got very into making delicious protein salads like this one.
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I finally finished my contribution to a group knitting project – a Tardis themed baby blanket for Katie and Bryan’s baby.
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I ate homemade s’mores with my co-workers.
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I was offered a long awaited dream job – librarian and after much discussion with Alex made plans to move back to the Midwest. (No photo)

I baked a blueberry peach pie.
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I discovered an old macro cover for my iPhone and proceeded to take lots of extreme close-up photos around the apartment.
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Katie, Jenn and I enjoyed a celebratory (and final (for a while!)) ladies night by having dinner at a fancy waterfront restaurant.
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Alex and I “got sick” so we could spend the day savoring one last ferry ride around Seattle.
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We indulged in one giant weekend of RPG, trying to make up for the fact that we didn’t know when we would be able to play again. Battles were fought, Akela died a noble death, experience was gained, and so much fun was had.
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I reached level 9 of Ingress.
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September

I harvested the tiny red fruits of my porch plant labor and my spider plant decided to have lots of babies.
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Meryl came up for a visit and we talked, ate, laughed, Ingressed, talked, walked and laughed some more. Meryl is such a gem, I miss her lots.
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I went to my first ever Steampunk Tea and Painting Garden Party in costume and painted an owl. Somehow during my three years at my last job, many of my co-workers became dear friends.
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A baby was born! It was truly incredible to see such a tiny new life, only 24 hours old and to see two of my favorite people step up and become outstanding parents.
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David and Sarah treated us to an incredible meal at a fancy restaurant. We caught up on life and ate lots of tiny amazing food. This was dessert.
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While packing for our move, I found some outstanding old newspaper clippings that attest to both my extreme neediness and my brother’s early start to activism.
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As part of our farewell (for now) tour of Seattle, we spent the day at the zoo with our friends and their amazing daughters. It is very true that zoos are more fun with children along.
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After a feverish week of goodbyes, packing and much hecticness, Alex and I hooked up rented Uhaul and trailer and started our 5 day journey across the country.
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After a 16 hour first day, we took it a bit easier and traveled through Yellowstone on Alex’s birthday.
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Alex indulged my childhood love of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and we spent one night and part of a day exploring the tiny town of De Smet, South Dakota.
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We finally arrived in Goshen, tired and ready to say goodbye to our Uhaul. My parents welcomed us with open arms and plenty of help with the process of unloading.
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Being back in the Midwest means getting to see several of dearest girl friends more regularly. This makes me very happy.
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October

On Oct. 1, I fulfilled a dream I first started to have back in 2006 and got my first full-fledged librarian job. While changing careers is always hard, I am excited to say this job continues to inspire me and make me excited to grow in new ways.
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After our arrival in town, my parents promptly left on a week long vacation, so Alex and I took care of their chickens for the week.
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Another favorite of my fall was getting to see my younger brother Jonathan more regularly and get to meet his really awesome girlfriend.
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While Seattle will always win in terms of mountains and water, the Midwest really takes the cake in autumn.
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A quick weekend trip up to Evanston brought with it fun city adventures and more time with Jess, who is always incredible to hang out with. This also brought about my first visit back to the Chicago Botanic Garden is probably over 5 years. It was as lovely as I remembered.
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November

Part of the advantage of living closer to the middle of the country is that one can easily take a day off of work and make a quick trip east to attend a cousin’s wedding. So good (if all to brief) to see family. (No photo)

The Midwest delivered a spectacular first snow of the year. 6 or so fluffy white inches and one very gleeful Norwegian husband.
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Another highlight was the indulgent Saturday spent with girlfriends watching all of the previous three Hunger Games movies in anticipation of the release of the final one. Fun was had by all. (No Photo)

Thanks to our interest in cooking and disinterest in choosing only one kind of cranberry sauce, Thanksgiving was an expansive feast including three different red (or pink) dishes.
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I reached level 10 on Ingress.
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Family fun also included a game of disc golf, whereupon the four non-Jonathan members of the family attempted to beat the frisbee king at his own game by playing together on one team. We were unsuccessful.
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Jonathan’s dog Mathilde is the cutest.
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December

I love living closer to more of my family. Now all that we need to do is find a way to bring Tim and Charlotte a bit closer to this part of the country.
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My growing appreciation for my new co-workers reached new heights with Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.
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Winter means seeing a lot more sunrises, this is not always a bad thing.
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We decorated the christmas tree with my parents.
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My co-workers are intelligent, dedicated and also incredibly goofy.
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Alex and traveled for the week of Christmas to Seattle where babies were cooed over, dear friends were hugged, coffee was imbibed, chats were had, food was eaten, presents were opened, family was enjoyed, and then we flew back to Goshen to celebrate Christmas in Goshen.
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Bagels were baked, sweaters were knit, games (oh so many games) were played, food was cooked, presents were exchanged and lots of laughter.
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We finished up our time together with a day trip to Chicago on the train.
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It has already come to this

Thankfully in this daily blogging attempt, I have the 7 months of radio silence that I can rely on when the idea of attempting a real topic seems too difficult for words. So here I bring you a clip from our family’s vacation in August. For the first time since my West Coast Migration, my whole family came out and visited me and to celebrate we spent 5 days on the Olympic Peninsula.

This video mostly speaks for itself, but in case you aren’t familiar with my family the first figure with the determined attempt to wildly swing his favored seaweed tube is my older brother Tim. The graceful interloper is my younger brother Jonathan, who has always been known as the athlete in the family. This was taken on the second evening of our trip at our final stop for the day – Rialto Beach.

Leavenworth: There and back again

Today, Alex and I met up with his friend Matt and his girlfriend Jenica to head east over the mountains for the day. Matt and Jenica had wine to pick up and Alex and I just wanted to get out of town for the day. Other than our desired hike location being closed unexpectedly, it was a lovely day full of driving, conversation, German food and beautiful fall/winter scenery.

Leavenworth day trip
This is where you go to see snow during the Pacific Northwest winter, the mountains.

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Alex and I had a very mini-snowball fight, because, why not!

Leavenworth day trip
This is the state park we didn’t get to hike around in cause it closed Nov 1st. Maybe it heard NaBloPoMo was starting…

Leavenworth day trip
Leavenworth may be all about the tourists, but it sure is purty.

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We ended up finding a nice walk down by the river in Leavenworth that Matt and Jenica remembered from a previous visit.

Leavenworth day trip
On our way back, we ran into a snowstorm over the pass and were reminded why you start hauling around tire chains if you plan on driving over the mountains during the winter.

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But the day ended with a beautiful sunset and then a delicious dinner over at Alex’s parents house.

Further flashbacks

So Alex wants to be a history / english teacher of little middle school students some day, so he is in grad school. Most of the time that means writing papers, studying and generally being a bit too busy. However other times it means you get to go on a day long field trip to see 5 major historical spots in Washington and Oregon and spend 11 hours in the car with your boyfriend! This is the story of how Alex and I spent a Saturday back in July, enjoy!

Itinerary for epic one day road trip

The original itinerary, however due to things taking longer than we planned (and being harder to find!) we ended up skipping Powell’s Books. So of course, now I HAVE to get back to Portland some time soon 🙂

First stop

Our first stop was harder to find than we thought, but this little park sure was purty.

Alex examines the evidence

Alex examines the info about the Monticello Convention

Halfway through Alex and I's epic 11 hour road trip of historic sites in Washington and Oregon.

Road trips have a high minimum level of required goofiness.

Fort Clatsop

We finally made it to our western most point, Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark spent their first winter after reaching the Pacific ocean.

Examining the inside

Alex examines the history

Replicas

The history shows of its impecable lighting

Re-enacting history

Someone re-enacts history

Portland has a few bridges

Driving through Portland on our way to Fort Vancouver

Layout of the fort

Fort Vancouver

Posin'

Posing under the arbor

Yeah, I don't like making my bed either

Yeah, I don’t like making my bed either

I had almost forgotten they actually do have trains in the Pacific Northwest

I had almost forgotten they actually do have trains in the Pacific Northwest

We survived an 11 hour road trip together!

We survived an 11 hour road trip together!

Flashback to the happy summer days

Thanks to the whole not-blogging for six months, I have a large back-log of photo posts up my sleeve. So as I celebrate the President’s re-election by constantly refreshing the New York Times website, let’s harken back to the balmy days of June in the Pacific Northwest.

This brilliant idea originated with Katie (as many ideas are prone to do) and involved one beach house, an assorted group of college friends, two small children, countless board games, mojitos, a hot tub and long walks along a blustery Pacific ocean. Here are the results:

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Small child one

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Small child two

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The beach

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Baby-related shenanigans

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How the beach looked for most of the weekend

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How the beach looked as I was getting ready to leave on Sunday afternoon.

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A young photographer gets some pointers from her aunt.

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And a child shall lead them…

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Silhouetted

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Katie investigates a starfish

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The beach house crew

Wine, Washington and excellent company

Apologies for my short and as of yet unexplained blog post from yesterday. As for the hint about Katie’s blog, you will have to go ask herself about that one. But as for why I was posting at 11:50pm, much of that has to do with having a spectacularly full day yesterday. Doing what, you might ask? Well wine-tasting in Eastern Washington with friends from book club. And since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, here’s a glimpse into what the lovely day.

On the way to wine-tasting in Wenatchee, good way to spend a Saturday!

Grapes waiting to be pressed

Processing grapes

The barrel room

Wine-tasting ladies

Happiness in my mouth

The prefect getaway car

Liz and Michelle just found the perfect get-a-way vehicle!

Me an the fall scenary

Obligatory pumpkin

Team Snaggletooth

Fall colors

Day 29 – Long Travel Day

Today has all revolved around travel, which makes sense because when you calculate my departure time from Goshen to my arrival time to dear ole Hedgehog in Seattle, it is a 14 hour trip. Granted that involved around 2 hours of wandering around downtown Chicago, between the train and the plane, but still a very long day. While I am partially tempted to write about all the annoyances of travel (CTA delays that gave David and I the privilege of waiting 30 minutes in the cold and twice running up and down a flight of stairs carrying my 54lb suitcase, the dehydrating nature of planes, how tired one gets after sitting for so long) in the end I am indeed sitting in a chair in a metal tube flying thousands of feet above the air and this 14 hour “grueling trip” would have taken many times as long only 100 or so short years ago.

My trip home (interestingly enough Chicago, Goshen and even Seattle all feel, to some degree, like they fit that description) was wonderful, all too short, relaxing, tiring, full of furious catch-up sessions with friends and definitely something I feel rather reluctant to return from. While I will get to see Becca and Jess in just a few weeks over New Year’s Day, my plans to see family again aren’t currently set and I won’t be able to get home for Christmas this year. Already I am feeling the pinch of both vacation days (by January I will only have 3.5 to get me through the end of August) and money and other than a possible trip in March don’t know when I will get to see my family again. That makes me sad, but I guess it is also part of the big adventure of moving to the West Coast and that is an adventure I am still excited about.

Day 6 – Photo Sunday

I think Photo Sunday will probably be my favorite part of NaBloPoMo (with the exception of Thursdays, my day off thanks to all my awesome guest posts), first because who doesn’t like getting to just post a photo instead of coming up with substantive words and second, I get a kick out of looking through old photos.  But for this inagural Photo Sunday post I thought I would put in a little more effort and make you all an animated gif!  This is from my parents’ awesome 2 week visit in early October.  I never really got around to writing up a proper re-cap post, but my favorite part was a our 3 day weekend trip to the San Juan Islands.  We drove around the islands, hiked a lot and ate really good food.  This photo is from the top of Mount Young and contains my favorite self-portrait in a long time, in which I use my self-levitation skills to attempt to get into place before the timer went off.  Enjoy!

What I would have tweeted during my 4 hour “lay-over” at Chicago O’Hare Airport if I had wanted to buy wi-fi access

6:45am Board flight to Fort Lauderdale, and finally allow myself to look through beautiful photo/journal book that Becca and Jess made for me

6:50am Get rather sentimental, although I cheer up after reading the hilarious note written by my cat Lina (translated by my housemate Anne)

7:45am After relaxing 60 minute wait at the gate, the flight is officially canceled due to fuel imbalance mechanical issues

8:30am Good: Lovely re-booking woman gets me the only available flight to Fort Lauderdale still leaving today Bad: Flight doesn’t leave till 12:55pm and takes me through Dallas

8:31am Pretty sure I will never truly understand flight re-routing, previous trip involved Chicago-Kansas City-Albuquerque-Seattle, so Chicago-Dallas-Fort Lauderdale = not too bad

8:45am Call lots of people, get airport shuttle arranged, so far customer service is 4 for 4 in the pleasant and helpful category

9:15am Decide to take the coffee route, despite only 5 hours of sleep, due to inherently uncomfortable airplane seating

9:27am Find new gate and pull out iPod, listen to the awesome mix Becca made for me, am reminded how much I love Peter Paul and Mary

9:41am Play mix still great, however I discover that I am pretty horrible at most non-crossword related puzzles

9:45am Decide to get pictures from the weekend off my card and edit on my laptop.

9:55am After repeatedly wrestling with new but quite cheap carry-on I am successful – photos!

10:15am Editing and reviewing – I have a lot of gorgeous friends and Chicago is a beautiful city

10:40am Out of coffee

11:23am Done editing photos, kind of want a nap, but instead will go wander the terminal for a while

12:05am Finally I get to board a plane and hopefully this time take off!

I did indeed finally make it to Fort Lauderdale and only 12 hours after I boarded that original plane at O’Hare.  Plus in additional American Airlines fun, my new co-workers and I missed our return connection out of Dallas yesterday due to a delayed flight out of Fort Lauderdale.  Fortunately we were able to catch another flight only 2 hours later and they only lost one of my pieces of luggage along the way (which they just delivered to my new address(!!!) this morning).