Whew, what a long day!
We got up at 6 AM, so we could say good-bye to Ros before she left for school, and Aunt Bea got up around that time, too. Our flight was out of L.A. at 12:10, and considering the traffic you can run into around there, we left around 7:15. (We had to return the rental car, too.) Amazingly enough, the traffic moved along quite nicely, and we never came to a complete standstill, the way we have in the past. We ended up with some time to kill in the airport, so we had breakfast at a Route 66 themed place. Way cool! As for the traffic, I have to say that we never really had any problem on this trip. It was all fairly smooth sailing, and with the top down, we both managed to get quite a nice suntan! Even Ros noticed, after we came back after a week, that we both looked brown, like we'd "been on vacation." Ha ha!
We were both so wiped out (a restless night for both of us...you know how it is when you know you need to get up early) that we both fell asleep even before we took off from L.A.! I suppose the Bloody Marys at the restaurant might have had something to do with that, too. <grin> Whatever the reason, it felt really good to sleep so soundly. I only slept for an hour, but Ken slept almost the entire three-hour flight.
We had a fairly long layover in Minneapolis, so we hung out and watched Olympic boxing. A couple of guys sat by us, and they were both really into the Olympics, too, so we talked about the American win in the 400m relay in swimming and how exciting it was. Turns out one of the guys is a Sociology professor at Notre Dame, and on our flight! Small world!
I have to say one thing about the Minneapolis airport. It's been years since I flew through there--I think the last time was probably when I lived in North Dakota--but I was reminded all over again of how poorly it is laid out. Both coming and going, we had to walk from one end of the airport to another, and believe me, it is not a "concentrated" area. Neither of us mind walking, because we enjoy the exercise, but I feel bad for anyone who isn't able to walk long distances, because it's just a really stupid layout. (No offense intended to anyone to absolutely loves the airport. It's really a fine place with lots of shops and neat places to eat...but it's just a crummy layout!) One thing I was really impressed with, though, was the vending machines that had pictures of fish on them. What other airport in the country has fish vending machines?! Those Land o' Lakers are hardcore, I tell ya! Eh?
We were pretty late getting home tonight, partly because of a three-hour time difference, but my folks are in a different time zone (an hour earlier), so I called to let them know we'd made it home okay. After we unpacked (I highly recommend doing it when you get home...it's such a relief to have it done and not have to worry about it the next day!), we went through the mail, and when I fired up the computer and signed on, Cousin Shane was online and sent me an IM before I could send him an email that we were home safe. He took great care of Sheeba, who was very happy to see us! He was all over us for a while, but is now getting a little fired up and running around a bit. (Sheeba, I mean, not Cousin Shane!)
Tomorrow we'll do the typical post-vacation things: I'll do laundry and grocery-shopping, while Ken mows the lawn (which really isn't too bad, since we didn't get a lot of rain while we were gone). We had a wonderful time, but it's always good to get back home and appreciate what we have here. It was wonderful to see everyone, and thanks to those who put us up, and/or put up with us! (I'm old school, so genuine thank-you notes will be going out shortly!) Thanks also to all my J-Land friends who not only put up with my lack of reading journals, but continued to read about our adventures! I will be getting caught up this week, so bear with me a little longer. I hope you enjoyed reading about our travels as much as I enjoyed writing about them. There is just so much out there to do and to see, whether it's across the country or in your hometown, and even what you think might be incredibly mundane can turn out to be a great adventure and a new discovery. My wish for you all is that you never lose that sense of adventure, the thought that your next great experience might be just down the road. One never knows...does one?