Okay, I'm a bad example because I said I'd post while I was on my trip and I didn't! So, after the fact - my trip went well. I made it to the train station in time, had an uneventful trip down, even got into Portland early! I got to catch up with my two sisters and brother and mom over some lovely soup - even though it was stinkin' hot in Portland! Every fan in the house was on. I missed my nice cool Seattle.
I was very happy that my mom had finally finished my college graduation present - a quilt. And my sister, visiting from North Carolina, had brought the set of ceramic salad bowls she'd made for me for Christmas. They are great!
Saturday my Grandpa and my aunt and family friend Joe came up and we had lunch and chatted. It was a regular family reunion! I had to leave at 5 but before I left we started up an old family favorite - Uno. I won the very first round! Then my next sister won, then the other sister, then my brother - in descending age order! It was very weird. My mom joined in and we assured her that after we all won, it would be her turn, since she had joined in late. But after each of us had won, I won the fifth round, and my next sister won the next! My mom was out of the loop. =)
The train trip home was uneventful again. We arrived about 15 minutes late and I was prepared for my ride to be waiting outside the station for me. I was glad I'd arranged for a ride since I was carrying this huge quilt and big heavy set of salad bowls. As I neared the station exit, something seemed wrong. I had heard sirens going which seemed strange. The first thing I noticed when I exited was that there were hardly any taxis. Usually there are dozens of taxis lined up for train arrivals; this time there were only a couple. There were only a few cars too. Then the noise caught my attention and I looked up. The next block over there was a parade going through! The parking lot next to the station was the ending point for this parade and it was filled with floats and clowns, high school marching bands, vendors selling all sorts of things. I took one look at the troop of acrobats dressed in karate garb, jumping through the air to pop balloons with their feet - and I turned around and went straight back to the station. I used my only two quarters to call Greg, my ride. The cell phone was off. I knew he was out there somewhere in this late night parade (it was after 10:30pm!) and I might as well enjoy the parade. I went out to the sidelines and watched a huge dance troop and marching band go by, a bunch of people dressed like cowboys, lots of old fire engines, then lots of tow trucks, including the Lincoln "Toe" Truck, which is painted pink and has a set of five giant toes stuck to the top of it. That was actually the end of the parade. It took some time for all the clowns, horses, high school bands, groups of musicians in Korean garb, vendors and more to clear the streets - but eventually traffic started moving and my ride found me.
A perfectly wacky ending to a rather wacky weekend with my siblings.