Or to be more precise, Bainbridge Island.
Rob and I are on Bainbridge Island, just across the water from Seattle, visiting my mom in her new home for Christmas. The house is fantastic -- it's a cottage in the woods and only a short walk from the beach.
The weather has been very rainy. But yesterday we saw the sun. So we wandered down to the beach to explore a bit. After a ton of walking, we headed to downtown Bainbridge to see National Treasure 2, which was surprisingly entertaining. Today we even got some snow!
We arrived on Friday after a looong journey from Chicago. True to form, I was working quite a bit last week. Silly me thinking the end of trial means the end of a case! Thursday evening I finally put my projects to bed and headed home to do laundry, clean, put the final touches on (i.e. finish purchasing) Resa and Nick's presents (they were coming over to exchange gifts) and pack. By 2am, Rob and I were finally ready to go to bed.
Unfortunately for us, the alarm went off at 2:45am because Resa was picking us up to go to the airport at 3:30am. Seriously. We had a 5am flight to Phoenix with just 30 minutes to connect to our Seattle flight. The 5am flight was about $200 cheaper per person, so we couldn't pass it up, but 45 minutes of sleep following the last two months of craziness at work was not easy. (Major sister bonus points, though, to Resa for driving us to the airport at 3:30am!)
Not surprisingly for O'Hare, even though our flight could have left on time -- weather was fine, crew was there, bags were loaded, passengers were chomping at the bit to get on the plane -- we boarded just a few minutes before our scheduled departure time and then took off about 30 minutes late. A few minutes before we landed in Phoenix, we knew our only hope was a delay on our connecting flight as well.
Rob and I mapped out a strategy. Rob was responsible for our carry-ons so that the moment the "fasten seatbelt" sign turned off, I could race off the plane to our connection in the hopes that I could somehow keep the plane on the ground long enough for Rob to catch up. Well the first part of the plan worked. I was the first person off the plane... and thus, the first person in line to get ourselves rebooked on a later connection to Seattle. This turned out to be particularly fortuitous because others on our Chicago flight were also bound to Seattle and didn't make the 2:30pm connection we eventually got on. (Our original connection departed at 8:30am.)
I got a nice nap in at the Phoenix airport until about 11am when we learned we weren't going to make it off the standby list for the first flight to Seattle after our scheduled flight. So we enjoyed some Pizza Hut pizza for lunch and read the latest US Weekly as we waited for the 2:30 flight. We finally made it to Seattle around 5:30pm. We were thrilled to find that our bags were already there!! We were sure they'd be lost for days.
Through some other bizarre miracle, my Blackberry worked through Friday night, long enough for me to get the emails that our final court filings had been received, but then shut down its data retrieval capabilities. The result has left me entirely disconnected from work, which I actually really needed.
I am so glad for the break. I am not surprisingly fighting my way through a cold. I think my body had been trying to get sick for the past 6 weeks, but my mind kept talking my body out of it for the sake of my sanity. Especially last week when the end was in sight even when sleep was not. So on Saturday it finally caught up with me. Sleeping in four days in a row has been amazing though. Sick or not.
We've had a great Christmas so far. I bought Rob a Wii off of eBay (which is what happens when you start Christmas shopping on December 18th-ish). The Wii successfully arrived at my mom's on the 24th with the original store receipt attached just in case -- nice! The Guitar Hero III, however, did not arrive on the 24th. But Rob is having a blast with the Madden 2008 game my mom bought for him. Meanwhile I'm enjoying my gorgeous necklace and earrings from Rob. I've never had such a glamorous present!
Anyway, it's been a nice and relaxing Christmas for us. I even finished reading a book today. Atonement, which I am not sure I liked. I tried to read it a couple years ago, but got bored. I want to see the movie though, so I had to finish the book! I loved the style and the writing. It was brilliant. But still I got bored at times, frustrated at others. I didn't ever get sucked in.
Post-reading, tonight was capped off with a fantastic turkey dinner. Even better... I have just a tiny bit of work to do between now and New Year's. So this week I will really truly be catching up on the emails I probably owe everyone who is reading this! Phone calls too. :)
In the mean time, thank you for all the Christmas cards. I'm beyond impressed with those of you who manage to fit those in your hectic lives! They are all hanging on our kitchen wall at home and we LOVE all the adorable photographs of the kids. I am always overwhelmed when I have a calm moment to reflect and realize just how lucky we are to be connected to so many amazing people scattered around the globe. I love that Christmas is a reminder of that.
So to everyone out there, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!! We love you!
P.S. The best part about my new job is that when all the holiday solicitations from nonprofits come in the mail, I can write a check to as many as I want. Here are a few I have written (or still plan to write) checks to, just in case you are looking for some additional worthy causes: Lakeview Pantry, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Off the Street Club, Planned Parenthood Chicago (who has a donor matching donations dollar for dollar through the New Year!!), Teach for America, Teb's Troops.