Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pre-Adventures with Teh Bear

There was this one time..  that I was afraid that I wasn't going to get to go on my very much planned out and long awaited vacation.  That one time.. was at the end of October.  I'm 100% certain that at least 75% of the zits that popped up on my face within the last week and a half of the month were due to Hurricane Sandy stress.

I wasn't worried about my power going out, I wasn't worried about getting wet, I wasn't worried about Phil, I wasn't even worried about starving (I didn't go to the Commissary until 2 days after we knew a hurricane was pulling in)...  No, I was worried beyond all measures of sanity about not getting to go on leave.

All my plans of Denver, the Grand Canyon, hand-holding with Teh Bear, Renn Faire, Biltmore... all those plane tickets and admission tickets that I'd already paid hundreds of dollars for.. GONE.  I was beyond worried, ya'll.

On the other hand, I did get to spend some quality time with Teh Humanitarian and Teh Coast Guardian and Teh Korean and Teh Flying Metal-Mouth.  Since we were out of work on Monday and Tuesday we banded together against the storm.

Honestly, Hurricane Sandy didn't really affect Pax River that much.  We got lots of rain and wind probably some flooding in some areas.  But, Phil wasn't even deterred by Sandy.  I donned my Goretex pants and coat (thanks GTMO) and put Phil in his fleece jacket and we braved the storm for morning and afternoon potty walks.  Our walks weren't as long as normal, but I learned the hard way after not taking Phil on his walk on Sunday evening, that Phil's walks are an integral part of Phil being a less needy dog.

Teh Phil had the aft watch!
After some tangles in the pre-hurricane plans (as in, leaving a day later than I had planned), I went into work on Halloween and was released early.  I packed up the car in a tizzy, leaving Phil as much room as possible, which was a lot more than he got on the way back to MD, and headed to NC.

Upon arriving in NC, I dropped Phil off with Teh Dad and Teh BFF and I went out to get Yurtle inspected before the mechanic shops started to close.  My original goal was to have arrived in Lenoir the night prior so I could take care of all Yurtle's stuff in one day, but that didn't work out.. so I saved the taxes/tag stuff for the next day.
Also:  HAPPY ONE YEAR IN TEH MEGAN'S OWNERSHIP, YURTLE!!!!  Yurtle was at 16,500ish miles at the one year mark.  She's so good!

After Yurtle passed inspection, Teh BFF and I headed to Not-Quite-Podunk, NC to go to Dick's Sporting Goods for some hiking socks for me and then to Target to browse and then we made the worst decision we've made as shopping adults...  We went to the mall on Halloween.  The safest place in the entire mall was the lingerie store.  It was like a conga line of dressed up children and disparaged teenagers and mostly tortured parents.... that went the entire length of the entire mall.  /wrist.

We then made an equally bad choice to go to Wal-Mart on a Friday night.  Since being a freak is perfectly acceptable on Halloween, there were plenty of flags a' flyin'.  Teh BFF and I had our nails did.  I even did fingernail polish for the first time since before I left Bahrain (when painting my fingernails was part of my costume).

After all the excitement, it was my bedtime.  The next day was the official start of vacation since I was getting to Raleigh that evening to fly out on Friday morning.

After a haircut with Teh BFF, it was time to get Yurtle all squared away.  Which meant a stop at the tax office where I learned that my car taxes had been due 3ish months after buying the car... Meaning, last March.  Somehow, North Carolina had found and used my Bahrain mailing address, so the bills never reached me (surprise).  I paid the bill with only a mild dose of bitterness, then we were off to the tag place where I ordered my NC State vanity plate.  Woo!

After all the errands were accomplished, it was time to re-pack my stuff in the car and start headed to Raleigh so I could beat rush hour.  Teh Advising Sister had offered to let me stay with her for the night since my flight left in the morning, saving me from the 3 hour drive to Raleigh the morning of my flight.  We caught up for a little bit then headed out to dinner at a place called Tra'li which was described as an Irish Pub.  The food felt very English, so I agreed with their theme and there were choirs of angels rejoicing when I realized that Sticky Toffee Pudding was an option on the menu.  I ordered it and was pretty disappointed, but I was still excited to even see it as an option in the US.

We watched a movie that I can't even remember the name of anymore it was so bad then it was bedtime.  Teh Advising Sister got up the next morning to attend her bootcamp workout class and I got up and showered and packed up Yurtle.  I was waiting on her to get home so I could thank her for letting me crash at her house and to say bye and she was very confused when I explained that I had already loaded my stuff in the car.  She then said to me, "But I thought I was bringing you to the airport!"  I explained that she didn't have to do that, but she insisted, because she's awesome.  She said that parking at the airport was stupid and expensive and Yurtle was fine at her house (which is in a gated community) and that she was planning on picking Teh Bear and I up when we returned.

Speechless, I accepted her offer and I reloaded all of my stuff into her car.  She dropped me off at the airport and I went to check-in where I learned that I needed to drop 12 pounds from my luggage... or be charged $90.  Seriously?  I had to call Teh Advising Sister back and ask her to come take some stuff.  Very patiently, she came back for me and took some stuff with her.  Remember when I said she's awesome?  She is.

It wasn't actually snowing.. it was just chilly.  :(

Good-bye RDU, I'll see you in a week!

Teh Bear huntin'.

After a very long 2 hour flight, we finally landed in Minneapolis.  I practically walk-sprinted to my next gate, all the while keeping an eye out for my scheduled surprise.  I looked all around at the next departing gate and couldn't find my personally planned surprise, so I decided to go bear hunting.

I didn't get far before I found Teh Bear!!!  His plane had landed a concourse away so he'd had to hike to our departing concourse/gate.  After hugs and bathroom breaks, we headed to the gate to wait on our flight to Denver..  WOoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

I found a Teh Bear!!!!!!!!  Woooo!

Vacation Recap Map:

Pre-vacation    (this blog)
Being in Denver for the weekend, part 1  
Being in Denver for the weekend, part 2
Being in AZ for half the week, part 1
Being in AZ for half the week, part 2
Being in AZ for half the week, part 3
Being in NC for an extended weekend
-Carolina Renn Faire (photos)
-Biltmore Flowers (photos)
Being in MD for the remainder of vacation

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