I slept in until 8:30. I was content in the knowledge that we'd already decided to punt. Twelve hours of sleep felt very, very good. I got up and found John on the couch in front of the TV. His fever broke around midnight, and he got up so he wouldn't keep me awake. He finished sleeping out there, and now every muscle was aching, especially his back. So I spent a good half-hour rubbing him down all over. The rubbing seem to help him relax, and pushed a lot of the fever aches out of his muscles. He went off to take a shower, and I started cooking soupy rice, which is just really watered down, cooked to mush rice, which is very easy to digest and seemed to be exactly what he wanted to eat.
After his shower and getting some of the simple food into himself he suddenly disappeared into the bedroom with the phone. John came out saying, "There's a flight at 11:45, we might make it. There are other flights in the afternoon, but if we want to make Bob's party it's probably that noon flight or nothing."
I fell over laughing.
As he got better, I had started to wonder if there were other flights in the afternoon we could catch. United is pretty good about allowing late fliers to go standby on unfilled flights. It turned out that the noon flight was nearly empty, so they had no problems with us switching.
We called everyone, dropped Fezzik off at Ray's, and then zoomed to the airport. We went standby, got on the nearly empty 777, and then the wind conditions at DIA changed and we were delayed an entire hour on the ground. Isabel and George were there when we actually got there, and we stopped at their house long enough to change into party clothes. We went straight to Bob's from there. The time was around 3, when we left, which was when the party was supposed to start; but we thought it wouldn't be too bad if we were a little late.
We pulled up and parked on a street crowded with cars. Big party, we thought, as we walked up the front steps. Jamie, Bob's daughter, open the front door and we stepped in and there was this shriek. Mei wasn't expecting us at all. We told Bob's sisters but asked them to keep the secret from Mei, so she was completely surprised and delighted. That was very cool. It also turned out that most of the house full of waiting people were also surprised by our arrival. Many of the people John and I used to work with and whom had worked with Bob over the years were all there. So people we hadn't seen since before we'd moved were all there! I haven't been hugged that many times since we've moved.
Quite a while ago John and I realized that one of the many things we missed about Seattle was simply the sheer number of friends we'd had that we could solidly hug. Perhaps an odd thing to miss, very, very real.
We ate, talked, drank and talked some more, catching up, trading cards, and finding out how lives were going with all the people that we cared for here. It was so good to connect so solidly again with so many. There are so many years of good things to remember and laugh over. We also met a number of Bob's friends we didn't know and there seems to be good potential for more friends in the future, including one other second generation American born Chinese that should be really fun to know.
By six most of the guests had left. Bob's sisters, John, Christina, and I were all that were left along with the wreckage of the half Chinese and half American buffet. We were all full, and we contentedly lounged about as the two sisters related quite a few marvelous tales about Bob and their family and neighbors. That conversation came with us as we all headed to the Holiday Room in Redmond to meet up with Dave, our old marketing manager for the software group back at Data I/O.
The Holiday Room is a smoky dive of a bar, crowded, tiny, and dressed in 70's splendor with old music on the jukebox and high, uncomfortable stools. We staked out a table, bought drinks, and continued with the trade of stories and laughter until 11. For us poor mountain-time folks it's well after midnight, and John was still recovering from his bout with food poisoning, so we left then, with Christina, as the rest of the party kept going.
After all that we were very glad we'd taken the chance. Very glad, as we now had experiences, stories, and so much fun that we couldn't have gotten without the push to get here. It was so good to get back in contact with so many people. We were nearly as glad as we were to get back to Isabel and George's to a hot shower to wash off the smoke before collapsing into warm beds.
Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.