Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm sometimes a bit impetuous. I chalk this up to my alter-ego, "Smoky." Smoky is the kind of guy who, after a couple of beers says, "Hey! You know what would be a good idea? Let's fly to Vegas! Better yet, let's buy tickets for some friends and we'll all go fly stand-by! It won't seem to take very long if we never sober up!"
Occasionally, however, Smoky has a good idea. Take, for example, the fact that I flew this last weekend to Heidelberg to visit my wife. Total time away from home: 72 hours. Total time in transit: 28 hours. Total time spent with Argotnaut: priceless.
Granted, I didn't just go fly stand-by. I was able to get an extraordinary deal from studentuniverse.com, which made the trip fiscally possible. Then I had to take Buddy to the Howliday Inn Doggie Day Care center here in Portland (which is really wonderful and with which Buddy is already familiar) so the little dog had a good place to crash for three days. And then I negotiated with a neighbor, Greg, to look in on the kitties while I was away. Actually, no negotiation was necessary, as he was happy to do it -- plus he was rewarded with a big bottle of pilsner beer, some cognac-filled chocolates direct from Deutschland and, of course, the company of our very entertaining pussycats.
I didn't mention the trip in this space before now because I didn't want to advertise on the web when I'd be away from home. Call me paranoid. Go ahead. Everybody does.
So for those of you who bugged me for an update, well, first things first -- I was pretty busy getting everything in order for the trip. I won't provide particulars of the visit itself because this is a family site and if I went into detail then I'd have to charge folks to view its content. HOWEVER. I can say that Argotnaut and I enjoyed a lovely romantic weekend, including dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant across a cobblestone street from a church that looks like this:
One would think I'd be pretty exhausted by the time I dragged my sorry ass on the plane for the trip home. One would be correct. But I was feeling better than the young man sitting in the row in front of me. He was illin' and covered himself with a Lufthansa blanket as if sealing himself in a body bag. He looked like this:
Buddy, of course, was gratifyingly happy to see his daddy and ran around the perimeter of Howliday Inn's office area for five minutes after I got there, tossing his stuffed hedgehog toy in the air the whole time. After he got home, he looked like this:
However, the cats remained in an enviable state of grace, serene upon their pedestals like Egyptian monuments guarding the tombs of kings...or in this case, guarding the counter by the stove where I open their cat food cans.
Without a doubt, the trip was worth the trouble. But I'll tell you one thing. I'm never spending this much time away from my wife again. As a matter of fact, I think I'll visit studentuniverse.com again right now...