Similar to our day getting to the west coast, our day coming home was long. Chad’s mom drove us the almost 4 hours to Portland Friday night to do a little shopping before our flight in the morning. On the way, we received an unnerving recorded phone call from Southwest saying that there was some bad weather anticipated for our route and we may want to reroute/reschedule. We quickly got on the phone only to hear that our options were slim to none. No matter how we cut it, we had to fly into Chicago. If our flight out of Chicago got canceled, the next flight to Norfolk wasn’t until Monday. If you’ve been keeping up with the weather news, you’re probably aware of the blizzard blowing through that entire area. We were totally bummed, and according to the forecast, it looked like our chances were 50/50 at best.
We attempted to drown our sorrows in shopping at Portland’s mall…and it worked. We checked the weather in Chicago constantly, and went to bed with our fingers crossed. We woke up Saturday morning with both of our flights scheduled to be on time, so we headed to the airport. I personally held my breath the entire time as we cruised to Chicago in record time (3 hours 15 minutes!) and waited out our 3 hour layover. We sat in ear’s reach of the help desk and overheard countless people having to reschedule for Monday after their Minneapolis flight had been canceled. Thankfully, this was not what we had to endure, and we landed safe and sound in Norfolk a mere 15 minutes late. My mom and my brother greeted us with our little girls, Sheba and Gabby! I was beyond ecstatic to see all of them, and they slept in my lap the whole way home.
To recap our trip, Seattle began foggy and cold and didn’t change much. The sun did peak out a couple times, but we were in the shade of the buildings. Chad and I walked around our familiar spots and places that are memorable to us. We ate the mini donuts at the market and shopped at Nordstrom Rack. We waited for his mom before exploring more. I can’t really say exactly where we went because Chad led and we followed, but I can say that we probably walked a good 5 miles on the second day. It was fun, but my shins were killing me the next day.
After Seattle, we began the 6 hour drive to the coast. As I have already blogged, we stopped at a beautiful waterfall on the way. When we arrived, we were greeted by Chad’s mom’s 10 year old Yorkie:
Noel helped ease my already gripping puppy-withdraw homesickness.
I think this surprised no one but me, but this is the closest I’ve ever been to a deer. She was munching in the yard and could care less that Chad was snapping her portrait.
Chad and I took a drive up the coast one day, but unfortunately it was raining. Chad did jump out to get a couple shots of a west coast seagull and some HUGE waves.
I wish this photo did those waves justice. The forecast said 12-14 feet.
We ate clam chowder at Gracie’s in Newport and headed home. We ventured out for a few more day trips here and there, but mostly just took in the family time. We ate dinner with Chad’s grandparents as they celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary. MAN, that’s something to respect. Chad and I realized that we met exactly 9 years ago this December, and I thought that was an eternity. Chad’s mom cooked us meal after meal, all of which were excellent. We watched Shutter Island for the first time, and re-watched Inception. We also visited the antique jewelry shop where Chad got my engagement ring the last time we were in Florence. I may have fallen in love with another antique ring, and he may have surprised me with it. I’ll say more after Christmas.
All in all, it was a great trip. I am thankful to be welcomed into Chad’s family each time we visit, and I love the feeling of having more and more connections. For bad weather or good, it is our second home.