I ducked out of work a couple minutes early Wednesday, in order that I could drive up to Newark Airport. bunny_hugger graciously accepted my invitation to spend half her Spring Break with me, and we looked eagerly forward to some time with nothing big going on, just time to relax and be together. There was one big thing planned, but that would just be one day. Surely the rest would be tranquil. This was a fine idea, and we didn't yet have any inkling of my mother's troubles.
Her plane just just about exactly on time, and I got to the airport just about at the right moment to pick her up. I'd have done better except I got stuck at the Turnpike exit behind a truck driven by someone who apparently has never handled toll roads, toll tickets, money, or objects before, and who needed fifteen minutes to get this whole paying thing sorted out. Normally I like being behind a truck in the toll lane; they're generally not difficult. What happened here I'll never know.
bunny_hugger was a bit worn out, though. Her flights not only required she start obscenely early and deal with a layover in Chicago, and to have not enough sleep the night before, but on top of that both legs were extremely turbulent, making for physical and emotional exhaustion.
She was hungry, though, and I was too, so we stopped about halfway between airport and home to eat at a diner we haven't visited before. The diner had several interesting signs, one of them about a forthcoming One Man Star Wars show that I kind of think I've heard about somewhere but can't say just where. Another pointed out that Tuesday nights were cartoon character night, with kids entertained for hours by somebody in a cartoon mascot suit. That week's cartoon had been Elmo, for some reason, who is not quite technically a cartoon but I can't imagine any kids complaining. We ate lightly, and enjoyed it, and wondered which was the worse item on the kiddie menu: that the ``Nemo'' special was flounder, or that the ``Ariel'' special wasn't.
We got home late enough I expected my mother to be just barely staying up so she could say hello, but she was already asleep. My father was in bed too, so, with a quick wave we retreated to the living room until we ourselves went to bed. bunny_hugger had endured a long, tiring day after a crushingly hard week-plus of work. I had, ridiculously enough, an early day Thursday.
Trivia: In an international space conference held in Athens, Greece, following Gemini 5, astronauts Gordon Cooper, Pete Conrad, and Deke Slayton met cosmonauts Pavel Belyayev and Alexei Leonov. Slayton toasted Leonov with the idea of their sharing a drink in orbit someday. Source: Deke!, Donald K Slayton, Michael Cassutt. (I hope I don't sound mean-spirited for wanting to see contemporary evidence of this toast, but the story is one of those infamous too-good-to-check items.)
Currently Reading: Steel Pier, Atlantic City: Showplace of the Nation, Steve Liebowitz. The writing is better than I expected for a coffee-table book about an amusement center, although it's more listing-of-events than history, if you take my meaning. But the parts that are essentially oral history are great. Plus it makes me think of bunny_hugger, too. But can amusement-history books please get citations? (Eg, the claim that the very first carousel in the United States, by Gustav Dentzel, debuted on the first ``true'' amusement pier in Atlantic City, well, that's neat, but, is it correct? Just the question of what is ``first'' is almost unanswerable without deliberate consideration.) The field is too full of legends and myths to take anyone's unsupported word however believable it is.