Sunday, July 29, 2007

You Can't Outrun Homer, Man

The parents'visit was short, folks. They got here on Friday morning, and they left on Sunday morning. Really, not very long to do too much, but it was nice to see them and spend some time with them.

Their flight arrived on time in Omaha on Friday. We made our way back to Lincoln, doing a few drive-bys on our way ("On your left, Memorial Stadium, the location of the third largest semi-connected collection of humanity in Nebraska on football Saturdays. On your right, the State Capitol, its majestic tower topped with the metaphorical statue 'The Sower.' Please keep your hands inside the vehicle, Dad.").

We spent some time catching up at the house (after a quick tour and general initial house inspection--I think we passed), before heading out for lunch and some pie. This meal set the tone for the weekend, as I consumed a pretty big breakfast platter (chicken fried steak with eggs and hash browns) followed by a large piece of French silk pie. It was pretty freaking good, but I was Thanksgiving Day-full after that. We did some more drive-bys and talked about what we could do during the visit. We wound up coming back to the house and talking some more.

My mom and dad were pretty spent, so they relaxed a bit--maybe even napped. We were going to see a movie, but we couldn't decide what to see. I thought the choice was totally obvious, since The Simpsons opened on Friday, but my mom was not really into that. We had a nice dinner (didn't we just eat?) and went down to the Haymarket for some ice cream and to capture some of that downtown Friday night feel.

We had to make a quick exit from the Haymarket, after my dad saw a young child standing in a window in the fourth floor of one of the buildings. He said it "made him nervous." I figured the glass would keep the kid from taking a dive, but you have to be willing to adjust your attitude to accommodate your guests. Plus, it was getting a bit late.

Saturday dawned overcast and muggy. We breakfasted again and then (after my mom printed off boarding passes for the next day's flight) we headed down to Pioneers Park to see some bison and golfers. We also took a short nature walk (which actually took quite some time, since my dad is about to have a hip replaced, and he ain't walking so fast, even with the cane--but he didn't say no to the walk). Everyone seemed to enjoy that. I know I did. We then went back home, having walked our way right out of a visit to the Mueller Planetarium (last Saturday show 3pm (it is now 3:30), and, after a bit of a respite, proceeded to dinner.

Again, dinner was great and big--no ice cream today, thank you. We were going to stop by the Hyde Observatory, here (a community-built, -staffed, and -supported observatory, mind you), but the clouds were not parting. So, we went home and watched Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher in The Guardian--just so you know, I am predicting that The Simpsons will be much better.

This morning, however (bear with me, I know this is getting long), the adventure began in earnest. After stopping at Lamar's for coffee and donuts (the Simpsons theme continues?), we headed east to Omaha, so the 'rents could catch a 12:15 flight. We were eastbound proper by 9:40. My parents had only carry on luggage. What could go wrong?

Well, about thirty miles outside of Omaha, we ran into a massive back up--really, an honest-to-goodness, miles and miles, East-Coast-style back up. Don't know if it was an accident or construction (I think it was construction), but after forty-five minutes on I-80, going five miles per at best, we were all diverted off the interstate, onto a state highway. Onward we sped, time beginning to get precious. Eleven AM came and went, as we snaked south and east behind a parade of semis and cars. About seven miles into our back road odyssey, traffic again came to a halt (just outside of South Bend, NE). More time was wasted as traffic (and a bunch of it) slowly moved through a stop sign, where the road we were on ended at a T with another state highway.

We made the left,but now it was 11:30. I was beginning to despair. My mother was beginning to have a panic attack, Monkey and my dad tried to keep her calm. We sped north, back toward the interstate, eventually passing through the town of, you guessed it, Springfield, NE (which vied for the premier of The Simpsons, but they were hindered by their lack of an actually movie theater).

Time ticked away, as we jumped back on the interstate at about 11:40. I didn't think we could make it, but we got to the airport, after some pretty fast driving by me, I must say (which I really don't like to do much, my past run ins with Columbia's and Lake Ozark's finest notwithstanding), at 12:05 PM. My parents sprung from the car, rushed/hobbled into the terminal, and, according to a phone call we received as we waited at a nearby gas station, made it through security and onto their 12:15 flight!

At 4:00 they called us to tell us the weather in Baltimore was delaying their connection. They were stranded in Chicago. Duh'Oh!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great picture of you all! And Reda I must say that your hair looks spectacular. Very different than the mohawk-turned-shaved look from the spring.

A clear indicator of a good visit is when there's lots of eating, hanging out, and some napping. And then there was that adrenaline-punch of drama right at the end. Wow! I hope the folks arrived back home safely and not too late.

I haven't yet seen the Simpsons movie, but I'd like to go soon. It may be the last movie we can actually go out to enjoy for a while. (This is also how we're justifying going out to eat and such as often as possible this summer!)