Seattle Trip

Because Kevin was being deployed to Iraq, Loretta and I decided to take a quick trip to Seattle to see him before he went. We both pray that he’ll be ok and away from most of the fighting, but you never know when in a war zone.

This was, of course, the day after her 40th birthday party and we’re both tired. Add an early morning departure to that, and we’re just happy we haven’t killed the perky flight attendants or anyone else.

The out-bound flight is uneventful. We land and then have to figure out how to get to our hotel. We try the bus, but it’s taking WAY too long to get there. So, we opt for a cab.

The hotel is small, but nice. Half of Kevin’s platoon is in the lobby area, hanging out until they have to go back to base at 8 p.m. We check in, get Kevin, and head up to the room. It has a great view of the space needle (which I requested specifically. What’s the point of being in a hotel in downtown Seattle if you don’t have a view of the needle?).

View of Space Needle

In Our Room

We go have some tasty crab and sangria, then go see the aquarium. They’re feeding the octopus when we get there, so we have to see it. Those things are fast and tentacley. But it isn’t interested in eating, just racing around and looking preditorial.

Feeding the Octopus

We look around, take pictures, and head back to the hotel for drinks. We chat about politics, family and listen to stories from his unit mates about Kevin’s ability to push people’s buttons. No change there!

In the Bar

Then it’s time for him to go back to base, which we both hate. I really don’t like this. I tell his unit people that he’s not allowed to dive in front of them or to go without his body armor. I really hate this. I tell him to take care, dying is not an option. Neither is maiming, unless it’s the other side. And while I feel like crying, I don’t. I watch the limo drive off (yeah, at least they get limo service back to the base) and Retta and I wander back into the bar for a few more drinks.

Did I mention that I really hate this war? I wasn’t in favor of it before, and now, it really sucks. I hope it ends soon. Be safe, little brother. And don’t poke sticks at strange objects.

Loretta’s Flamin’ 40

Loretta turned 40 this year. To celebrate this milestone, we threw her a big party with a luau theme. I ordered decorations (which others helped put up), got Retta to pick a menu, cooked and organized the event and hoped to god that everyone would have fun (which they did).

Retta & Alice



As an added bonus, Retta and I did our first public fire-eating performance, which was really the highlight of the night for both of us. We performed pretty early in the evening, since you can’t drink before fire-eating.

Me Eating Fire

Retta Eating Fire

Retta & Me Eating Fire

Retta was happily smug about her performance. And I must say she did outshine me in the flair department (mostly because I still get stage-fright and was concentrating on not trembling or accidentally breathing in the fire). But we did have a lot of fun and impress our friends.

By the end of the night, we were exhausted, pleased with ourselves, and still had to pack for our trip to Seattle in the morning.