I recently wandered up to Seattle for a short visit with my family. I tend to travel through Denver, Phoenix, or Dallas on the way. This time, my route took me through Denver. That was rather interesting to say the least.
I got to the airport at a decent time and got through security fairly quickly. Oklahoma City is better than Seattle when it comes to time spent in lines at the security checkpoint. Of course, it is a smaller airport, but I was not complaining.
Before I even made it to the gate, I learned my connecting flight in Denver was delayed. I had not been paying attention to weather conditions most of the day, mostly because I spent the day at work before catching a ride to the airport. Apparently, there were some rather nasty thunderstorms rolling through the Denver area. I made note that there were evidently some in Dallas, too, judging by all the delayed departures and arrivals.
My flight to Denver was half an hour late taking off. It was an uneventful flight. Once in Denver, however, my hopes of misreading the delay on my connecting flight were quickly squashed. My arrival in Seattle was delayed three hours. At one point, I stopped checking the departure board because I was tired of reading the updated delay. The only hope I really had at that point was that the plane I would be boarding had taken off and was en route from Philadelphia. A fellow passenger was amazed I had been able to get that information from the airline worker. It was not hard. I simply asked how likely it was that I would be able to make it home sometime that night.
I was one of the lucky ones. I kept hearing horror stories in both Oklahoma City and Denver of how people had been stuck at the airport since early that morning. There was one couple trying to get to a wedding in Portland, Oregon. They missed their first flight and had been trying for hours to get on another flight. I am not sure if they made it onto my flight or not. If not, I sincerely hope they made it to the wedding on time.
I arrived in Seattle just before two in the morning. My youngest brother, Nathan, joked about it. "I've heard of being fashionably late, but this is ridiculous!"
My original plan when I decided to visit this month was to fly home on a Friday and make it home by early afternoon. I am glad I decided to fly home Thursday night instead. I would not have wanted that three hour delay on that Friday afternoon. It would have made things really interesting considering stuff that was going on.
The primary reason behind my visit this time around was to attend the Taekwondo testing. My mother was testing for a black belt, and I had not seen one of her testings in years due to my military service. The testing took place over two days, Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Friday afternoon was the written tests and the endurance tests (three mile run, followed by push-ups, sit-ups, etc).
My mother aced both parts of the written, with much teasing from me because she'd been fretting about it so much. Most of the others testing also did pretty well. There were two who did not, though. I had little sympathy for them. The instructors make it no secret what is on the tests. Those tests are practically spoon fed to the students.
The head instructor at the school was quite happy to see me. I was the first of my family to join the school, so I get a warm welcome every time I visit.
After my mom finished the written part, we wandered to the nearby high school so she could do her run. I assisted the other instructor by counting out the push-ups, sit-ups, etc after people finished running. We had several children testing, so there was a little concern some of them may try to cheat. It was amusing at one point while we were watching everyone run. It started to get a little chilly outside, so the instructor handed the clipboard she was using to keep track of everyone's laps to me and ran to her car to get a jacket. I planned on marking down any runners who passed while she was busy and looked down at the clipboard to see where different people were at. The instructor is from Korea, so I was not too surprised to see all the names written in Korean. I got a good chuckle out of it. Thankfully, no one completed a lap while she was away, so I did not have to worry about it.
Once my mom was finished with the second part that evening, we went back to the school and invited Nathan over for dinner. He works at the school as an instructor. He and another instructor had just finished cleaning up for the night and were getting ready to leave, so our timing was pretty good.
Saturday morning was the part I really wanted to see. That is where everyone does their forms, sparring, and board breaks to show the two master instructors that they have earned the black belt. My mother's parents attended this part of the testing. I did not mind that for the most part, but I made a point to avoid my grandmother at times, because she had a habit of making odd comments. I took this opportunity to do some photography and took a ridiculous amount of pictures. The head instructor later joked that I must have watched the testing through my camera. He was not far from the truth.
Sunday was the family gathering at my parents' house. I met my new cousin and saw another cousin for the first time in nearly a decade. I had not realized it had been that long until my mother mentioned it. The joys of military service, right? It was fairly cool that day, but still warm enough to enjoy the deck in the backyard. I was amazed of how well my parents' cats, Stealth and Tuxedo, dealt with all the company, especially a hyper four-year-old. I eventually closed them in one part of the house after my grandmother kept leaving the front door open. My parents have made it clear these two cats are indoor only, but she did not seem to remember that. I tried to remind her every time she opened that door, but she would shrug it off. It annoyed me a little. Another annoyance was that she would go off on random tangents during conversations. I recall one topic she discussed was cigarettes and nicotine, but I have no idea how she got there. At one point, my mother mentioned something about possibly traveling to Korea in the future, and my grandmother started talking about what North Korea has been doing, which was completely unrelated to the conversation. Other than that, it was a fairly enjoyable occasion.
Monday, I attended Taekwondo class with Nathan and Mom. The instructors were delighted at my presence again. I amazed myself by keeping up with everyone else for the most part. I am a bit rusty and my footwork is not nearly as good as it used to be. I definitely intend to get back into it.
Tuesday, I returned to Oklahoma. There were no problems going through Denver on the way back, thankfully. My cats were happy to see me. I left them in the good hands of a friend who lives nearby. I would have chosen Rob if he was still in the area. I have used the help of another friend when Rob has been unavailable in the past, but that was not an option this time.
People at work on Wednesday asked how my mini-vacation was. I replied, "Not long enough." Indeed, I think I miss Seattle more than ever now.
The rest of this week has been spent mostly at work, or trying to catch up on sleep. I have not been sleeping well for whatever reason. I partly blame the heat. I never sleep all that well when it is hot outside. The kitties being more active during the night recently certainly has not helped, either.