Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We were ABANDONED! (Well, maybe not...)

You may have noticed that we had fallen off the face of the earth haven't been around much the last week or so.  It's because We Were ABANDONED!

Or Mom went to North Carolina to visit our Granny and Grandpa and our aunts and uncles and our cousins while we stayed home with Dad.  But that doesn't sound as good.

Okay, so Mom explained to us that she was going to visit our Granny and Grandpa, and since they send us Drs. Foster and Smith gift certificates for our birthdays, we couldn't really tell Mom she couldn't go.  And apparently this last weekend was also our Granny's birthday AND Father's Day, so Mom was able to be there for multiple holidays in one trip.  So, we gave her our okay.

But... Did Mom fly AirFiona?!?

NO!  In spite of our flexible flying schedule (NetJets has nothing on us!), direct routes, uncrowded flights and all possible amenities (heck, we would have even given Mom priority boarding for free), Mom elected to fly some FAA-approved airline.

And where did that get her?  Delayed leaving Salt Lake City, which resulted in Mom having to elbow herself off the plane in Atlanta so she could make her connection to Raleigh.  And on the return flight, her plane landed in Atlanta in the middle of a thunderstorm so bad they couldn't pull the plane into the gate because the lightning was too bad to risk allowing ground crew onto the tarmac.  The storm was so bad they apparently closed the airport for a bit.  So Mom sat on the tarmac, 20 yards from the gate for 25 minutes.  But that was okay, because her flight from Atlanta to Salt Lake was then delayed because their plane couldn't land while the airport was closed.  So she got to Salt Lake about 30 minutes late, and then because of a car accident at the airport entrance, Mom had to wait while Dad sat in backed up traffic.

None of that would have happened if she had flown AirFiona.  Assuming, of course, that AirFiona wasn't trampled by moose before takeoff.

Anyhoo... Mom made it to Chapel Hill, and we were all set to Skype with her when Chapel Hill and surrounding areas were hit with a huge thunderstorm that produced big winds which knocked down trees.  One of which took out the power line that brought power to our Granny and Grandpa's house.  Luckily, Granny and Grandpa have a generator which kept some of the lights on, provided some air conditioning, kept the fridge running, and allowed them to watch DVDs of 'Allo 'Allo.  Basically, life carried on almost like normal but for the lack of internet, so we couldn't Skype with Mom.

And Grandpa got to spend a lot of time cleaning up downed tree branches.  (Not the greatest picture, as Mom had the wrong setting on her phone camera.)

Grandpa, having fun!

Luckily they got power back about 24 hours later, and Mom could Skype us again.  (Although we were a little miffed at having been abandoned, so we elected not to come to the computer so she could see us.  We sure showed her!)

One of the funballs things Mom was looking forward to in North Carolina was going on a bye-sickle ride with her brothers.  We still aren't quite sure what this bye-sickle thing entails, although this particular ride seemed to involve a lot of pre-trip emails and over-thinking planning.  But, on Saturday morning, Mom, her brothers and various family members went to some place in Research Triangle Park for a ride to raise funds to help fight MS.  While only Mom and her brothers were the only family members riding, there was a lot of family support.

Mom with our Granny (in red), her brother Ralph (the guy with the bike), Ralph's daughter Hannah (and thus our cousin), and Ralph's wife (and our aunt) Carey.

Pre-ride, Mom next to her brother Martin, and everyone else from the above photo.
Mom with her rented bicycle (the source of many emails and planning)

Mom, Martin and Ralph went on a 33 mile ride while the rest of the family went off for breakfast.  Two hours later, Mom and her brothers finished the ride.

Mom and her brothers, 33 miles later.
Apparently a good time was had by all.

If you are really interested in the nerdy stuff that can be collected by bike computers, here is Mom's Garmin data. There are a few glitches, as we don't think Mom really burned that many calories on her ride, but it gives you an idea of their ride. Mom also wants to point out that their average moving speed was 15.1 mph, and her Garmin factored in the time they were stopped at the rest stop. Picky, picky!

Apparently if Mom and her brothers had ridden their bicycles another 300 miles west on 40, they could have gone to visit our friends the Thundering Herd.  We don't know why she didn't take the chance to go visit some bloggie friends.  I mean, it's ONLY 300 miles.  Each way....  Heehee!

After the ride there was ice cream and socializing.

Mom really enjoyed the ride, and kept talking about how much fun it was, and how much she enjoyed being able to do something she really enjoys (bye-sickle-ing) with her brothers.

One of the other highlights of the trip was a brunch on Sunday to celebrate both Father's Day and Granny's birthday.   Mom doesn't have a lot of photos of this, as she took most of the photos using Grandpa's camera, and he hadn't had a chance to get her copies before she left.

But during this grand family get-together, there were two events of particular note.  First was the "Christmas photo."  You might realize that it's not exactly Christmas-time.  But 500 years ago when Mom was a kid, her family would take a family photo every year at Christmas.  Now these photos are taken when they get a chance to get a majority of the family together, and is still called the Christmas photo, no matter what time of year it actually is.

When we saw this family photo, we felt this photo was dramatically incomplete, so we've enhanced it a bit.

Because how could you have a family photo without US in it?!?
That photo is most of Mom's immediate family - obviously Dad isn't there, and Uncle Martin's daughter wasn't there (she's in France), but it was a pretty good showing!

The other element of note was that Mom was seen cavorting With Another Dog.  We are going to give Mom the benefit of the doubt and assume that she was suffering 'doodle withdrawal.  But still...

At least the dog in question is our cousin Galen, a labradoodle.  If Mom needs a 'dog fix' at least she's getting it from another doodle, and one who is family.

Truthfully, we're rather impressed with Galen's tongue.  She's apparently not as big as either of us, but she's got a GINORMOUS tongue.  Seriously.  Look at that thing!

Kinda reminds me a little of Abby!

Anyway, Mom is now home.  We're glad she had a good time with Granny and Grandpa and her brothers and their families.  But we missed her, and we're glad she's home now.  Because while Dad took Very Good care of us while Mom was in North Carolina, we're ready to get back to summer funballs times!

Like this...

 And this...

I'm on Moose Patrol.

Watch and learn, young Hippobottomus!
Welcome home, Mom!

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus


The Thundering Herd said...

You think you are miffed? Your mom was actually in our state and only a mere 300 miles away and she had a bicycle and everything. You would think that she would have visited us and all.

But glad she made it back safe and sound. Our hu-dad says that Atlanta airport has been known to trap lost travelers for days in its train system that yells at you if you block the door.

Lorenza said...

Sure your mom had an interesting trip!
Glad she enjoyed it with her family!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

We are glad that your mom had a good time and that she is now home safe and sound... BUTT we'll bet that NEXT time she books with Air Fiona!!

Dexter said...

Clearly Air Fiona would have been the better choice. Sitting within sight of the gate must have made your mom coo coo mental fits. Like break a window nutty.

The family photo is well done. Nobody will ever know that you weren't there.

I wonder why mom didn't point her bicycle north and visit me? Seems like if she just ate a couple of energy bars she would have been able to expend the 87,000,000 calories required to get here. Just lazy, I suppose.

Glad the trip went well and all has returned to normal. Well, doodle normal anyway.


Mitch and Molly said...

It looks like your mom had a fun trip! You got treats, right?
We bet next time she decides to take AireFiona!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Jeanne Pursell said...

It sure looks like your Mom had a great time on her trip...albeit with a few mishaps along the way...shoulda booked AireFiona!! That is one REALLY long bike ride!! Hope she brought you two pressies!! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello fiona and abby its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow i had no ideea yore mama wuz so lazy as to not ride that three hunnerd miles to see the thundering herd!!! i bet i cud run that far in like haff an howr!!! on the other hand dadas bike has not moovd frum the garadj sinse the danse stoodyo opend up neerby five yeerz ago so i am yoozd to lazy hyoomans arownd heer!!! ha ha ok bye

Kari in Alaska said...

Pfffft if you think that is abandonment then you should see whats going on at our house.....

Stop on by for a visit!