Day 1 – PDX TO LAX

Day 1 = March 12, 2012

All three of us were up bright and early on the 12th, cooking breakfast, loading the car, and getting last-minute things together. We got a send-off phone call from Nancy, snapped a “Before” photo, said our goodbyes to Greg, and headed for… Kaiser.

Why was Kaiser Sunnyside the first stop on our trip? Last Thursday, my friend Cindy mentioned that I might get questioned about the sheer amount of medication I was carrying unless I had a letter from my doctor explaining why I needed so much with me. I called Kaiser on Friday, and they were able to produce such a letter, but not until so late in the afternoon that we could not pick it up. We had to wait until the Neurology department re-opened on Monday morning. Thankfully, it opened earlier than we had to fly, and Sunnyside isn’t too far out of the way between our house and the airport.

We got to the airport in plenty of time. We got goodbye hugs from Danny, Heidi and Kaitlin, then marched ourselves in to the ticket counters, armed with two bags each, one to check and one carry-on. Yes, this is far more luggage than we anticipated bringing. We knew we would need a big rolling suitcase for medical equipment (CPAP, cooling vest, blood pressure monitor… we sound like retirees going to Europe!) and for school books for Quinland. We had one carry-on bag stuffed completely with medications and about one carry-on-bag’s worth of electronics.

We have never been on a trip with electronics before. I can now appreciate why David had suggested we do this trip “off the grid.” It doesn’t feel excessive in theory – laptop, Kindle, iPod touch, DS, cell phones, pocket-sized camera, new-to-us DSLR camera – but you put all that stuff together with each device’s cords and chargers and you have a good-sized load. (And still we were all chomping at the bit when we got in last night, as everyone wanted to update and/or check their respective blog, Facebook account and email.) Once our clothes and toiletries were added in – the only things we took with us on previous trips! – we had a ton o’ bags. My carry-on, which had all the medications and the laptop, was outrageously heavy. The pills are apparently made of heavy metals. By the time we reached the gate in Portland, I was already cursing the darn thing and contemplating what I could possibly ditch along the way.

I have no memory of the flight to LAX. I slept while Quinland and David worked on “The Lady and the Tiger” puzzles, inspired by the song by They Might Be Giants. We got there safe and sound, and marched off to catch our Air France flight to Paris.

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