We had a very smooth travel day on Friday. We caught the bus at 9-ish (running on a slightly later schedule than Google Maps said, but hey, better that than the other way around) and had our luggage checked in within 7 minutes of arriving at the airport. We had plenty of time to get to Concourse C and even buy lunch to go at Root Down.
We flew Southwest, because they were by far the easiest to arrange our itinerary with (both of us flying from Denver to Seattle on Friday, me flying back from Portland on Tuesday, Jerry flying back on Friday from Seattle) and I kinda feel like they do things in a way that is more straightforward than the standard airline way of doing things that feels a little weird but ends up being more civilized.
Once in Seattle, the rental car place upgraded us to a Prius (which is nice, although the center console digs into my leg while I'm driving and there are a lot of blind spots), and we drove in the HOV lanes past lots of traffic to Troy & Ron's place in Kenmore.
Troy and Ron are excellent hosts and it was wonderful to see them again. Friday night we had great burgers for dinner at an old Junior High School complex that's been converted into a hotel and a bunch of buildings. We played a couple rounds of Citadels and overall had a lovely and delightful time with our hosts.
Saturday they made us an awesome late breakfast, and in the early afternoon the four of us went off to the Seattle Japanese Garden to meet up with Ted W. and wander around in the rain. The garden is super-picturesque and very pleasant. There was a heron! (I took a picture, and forgot to take pics of anything else.) And it was great to meet Ted in person finally. Afterwards, we all went and got tea at Remedy Tea and hung out chatting for a couple hours. (I don't drink tea because caffeine is not my friend, and just generally am not a big fan of warm beverages, but I had an herbal tea (#128: ginkgo, coriander, licorice, fennel, mint) that I liked, and if I lived in a cool and rainy climate like Seattle (which is never gonna happen because I would DIE of no sun) I would probably drink a lot more of it.)
We went back home to feed the cats, then over to Edmonds to meet up with James R. and his hubby Ben for dinner at Sushi Moto. The sushi was excellent, as was the company. I always like meeting online friends in person -- especially ones I've known for years and years like James & Ted -- and I'm looking forward to the next time we can get together.
Yesterday -- Sunday -- we went out to brunch with Troy & Ron at Cactus, a southwestern place, then got ourselves packed up and made the drive down to Astoria. It's been quiet here. Jerry's mom made us dinner last night, and tonight we took her out to Dooger's and had good seafood. We poked about downtown around lunchtime, failed to get Jerry a haircut (barber shops are closed on Monday) and pickup a Kate Beaton book at the bookstore. I made figures for my AGU talk and determined that, in fact, science has happened and I will have something to talk about, woo!
I'm supposed to fly home from Portland tomorrow afternoon, but it's blizzarding in Denver and there's a high wind warning here that could block roads with downed trees, so I'm going to check the weather reports and travel advisories in the morning and we'll see. I may delay by a day and fly home Wednesday...
P.S.: Apologies to the many folks we didn't get a chance to see this trip; hopefully next time!