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Logan Family

Started: 2006-11-24 19:59:04

Submitted: 2006-11-24 21:18:43

Visibility: World-readable

Yesterday morning, on Thanksgiving Day, Kiesa and I got to see exactly how well airports run on Thanksgiving. The news consensus was that flying on Tuesday or Wednesday were likely to be mayhem, since airports would be mobbed with non-seasoned travelers who don't pay attention to the latest confusing TSA carry-on rules. They seemed to think that Thursday might be better. My parents decided to fly in to Sacramento on Thanksgiving for the biannual Logan family reunion (featuring the descendants of my great-grandfather Logan), and that day seemed to have the best ticket prices (for definitions of "best" that include "lowest", not "reasonably priced") for flights from Denver.

Our flight (United 331) was scheduled to leave Denver at 1120 MST. Kiesa was paranoid and wanted about two hours at the airport before departure, so we left home a bit after 0830 (after trying and mostly succeeding to rip an audio book on CD so Kiesa didn't have to lug the CDs -- and a CD player -- around) and arrived at Mount Elbert middle-of-nowhere shuttle parking about forty-five minutes later. We had checked in online, so all we had to do in the terminal was find the online bag check kiosk (which didn't want to scan my online boarding pass) to check our bags, then head straight for security. There were a non-zero number of people in line, but it moved quickly, and no one seemed to be entirely ignorant of the latest security regime.

We had more than enough time before our plane left (especially since the monitors said it would be delayed a few minutes), so we stopped in Concourse A to visit the Colorado Artists exhibit that featured two works of photography from a coworker's wife. (She has a gallery opening in Denver next week that I may show up for.) The exhibit was ... fascinating, and usually bizarre.

Our flight finally departed about an hour late; the pilot mumbled something about being late out of Austin, where the aircraft was prior to flying into Denver. We flew an A320; I had seat 18F, a window seat on the right side of the plane, right behind the wing. We flew west and a bit north from DIA; we flew directly over Bear Peak, giving me a great view down the Flatirons; we also flew over Arapahoe Glacier, giving me a unique view of the Brainard Lake area, including Lake Isobel and Mount Audubon. After I stopped recognizing landmarks, I amused myself by watching The Simpsons and finishing my long, boring slide show from London. I ended up with 51 slides, which I hope to inflict upon my unsuspecting family this weekend. (Each slide includes presenter's notes; I hope to publish it in some form on my webpage, probably using new, not-yet-developed features of my photo archive.) After all that, we were still in Nevada airspace, so I plugged into channel 9 and listened to the air traffic control chatter as we crossed Lake Tahoe. As we approached Sacramento, the tower asked our pilot for a traffic report; he saw cars backed up on one Interstate, but wasn't sufficiently familiar with Sacramento to know exactly what he was looking at.

We landed around 1330, purchased snacks, and waited for my parents to show up at 1345 from Dallas. They arrived, we rented a car, and headed south-east to Placerville, the turned off to Somerset, turned just before Grizzly Flats, and finally found Leoni Meadows, somewhere just west of the middle of nowhere. We arrived at 1600, the designated time for Thanksgiving dinner. We saw lots of family, and generally managed to enjoy ourselves.

This morning, I realized I had forgotten one critical thing: Caffeine. The greater Logan family is generally Adventist, which means no coffee is provided at breakfast. Normally I handle this by bringing a few cans of Mountain Dew in my suitcase, but I completely forgot this time. (It may also help that I'm significantly curtailing my soda consumption, since each can I don't drink is a few hundred calories I don't consume. This means I don't have any soda stockpile in my cabinets to draw from in times of need.) After breakfast, Kiesa and I hijacked Willy's 1997 Civic, Penelope (faithful to the point of prudishness, according to Willy), and drove in search of my favorite organic chemical. We found what I was looking for about half an hour away, in Somerset, the intersection of two winding two-lane roads, which features a post office, a surprisingly bobo coffee shop, a convenience store (stocked mostly with alcohol and tobacco), and a few other establishments whose identities I couldn't quite discern. (No gas station, as far as I could tell.) I caffeinated in the coffee shop and Kiesa tried the chai; she reported it was good. I acquired two twenty-ounce bottles of Mountain Dew in the convenience store for tomorrow and Sunday, and we headed back to camp.

We celebrated Bethany's twenty-fourth birthday and rode the narrow-gage train around the meadow and into the woods. Rumors told of Internet access in the meeting room, so Kiesa and I went to investigate. I was able to see the access point but couldn't associate. Bethany and Josh soon arrived (with their Dell computers rounding out the product line) and had the same trouble. We eventually found the access point in a locked closet that opened when we pulled the double doors open (oops); I power-cycled it and all was well. As well as one-second ping times to Yahoo can be, but it was still much better than nothing. Bethany thought about doing useful school work but spent most of her time getting her new green 4GB iPod Nano to work. I converted a bunch of my music library on Darnassus to mp3 so she could download it to her iPod. Once again, VMware came through for me -- I transcoded the oggs without leaving Windows.

The family reunion continues. Should be fun.