Post Part the First - The Trip:
We got back last night from a five day trip to grad school city - the Dutchman had a conference to attend there and we combined it will the opportunity to see all our old friends (saw JB, who agreed to let me indulge one of my fern bar vices!). We had an amazingly wonderful time! We saw all the new babies, consumed a startling amount of food and alcohol, laughed until we were hoarse - I told the Dutchman at one point that it was like swimming in friendship. And that's exactly how it felt - to be with all of them again on various days at various meals really drove home how much I miss them and miss grad school city - even after two years of living elsewhere.
I'm sorry I've been terribly remiss in updating my blog from the road (or in keeping up with others), but the computer at the hotel was right in the middle of the lobby. Not only was there a perpetually long line to use the thing - making me realize that I could only check email and put out the two dozen student-involved fires - but that anyone and everyone who was checking into the hotel, would read your email over your shoulder. However, the hotel WAS FREE because the Dutchman's conference paid for the whole thing - we only had a $44 tab to clear up when we left and that was because I ordered room service and a pay per view movie one day (Deja Vu - pretty good thriller!).
Post Part the Second - How We Got Back:
Some of you might have noticed that the entire eastern seaboard got hammered by a nor'easter on Sunday and Monday. We got caught in that. For various reasons, the local airport had to close the next day (Monday) and our flight out was canceled. They bumped us to Wednesday morning, which was the earliest we would have been able to get back. WELL, I have exams to write and continue to put out student fires - that won't do! So, the Dutchman and I rented a car and drove it the whole long way back (about 11 hours given the weather) - we drove through the nasty part of the storm that was still happily clinging to the Northeast - a blizzard in between two major cities that you've heard of - going 40 miles an hour on the highway (while the trucks go 80) at night! But we're now safely home and it's back to work for us both today. In the end, we're getting our plane tickets partially refunded and that will more than pay for the cost of renting a car, so we'll save a few bucks when all is said and done.
One thing I was particularly happy about was that the car we rented had Sirius satellite radio (which meant all 80s all the time), but it also had NPR all the time - we were able to keep updated about the horrible Virginia Tech shooting. My cousin goes to school there and we heard from his mom that he was safe, but in lockdown in his dormroom. I don't know if he knew anyone who was hurt or killed in the shooting...
I will post more on individual loveliness with friends, etc. as soon as I finish these piles of grading and write these stinkin' exams! It'll all be over by Sunday!