My mother had to leave before bunny_hugger and I woke our last day, when we'd be flying back. She wished us well the night before, as we wrapped up presents for the family members who wouldn't be down for the holidays. (My father promised to mail them out; we fit them into flat-rate priority mail packages.) But we were up just in time for my father to wish us well as he went off to work. We packed up everything, stopped at Wawa for coffee (or tea, in my case), and headed up to return the rental car (I learned at the gas station island I didn't know which side the gas tank was on, because I'd misread the dashboard arrow pointing which way it was going; look, it was a complicated arrow, OK?), and wait for Southwest to fly us home.
Because it is against FAA policy for any airline to fly you from where you are to where you want to go directly, we had a trip that took us through, not Chicago Midway this time, but Baltimore-Washington International. I haven't been there before, that I remembered. It seems like a friendly field, if I may joke in a way nobody will get. They warned of turbulence on the way there, but it didn't seem anything like what they feared.
The lone moment of terror came after we'd been sitting at our new gate for nearly an hour, ready for them to start loading passengers on, when I realized we were at the wrong gate. Somehow we'd ended up at gate B-3 instead of B-4, or an equivalent little glitch. Fortunately loading passengers takes long enough that we weren't at risk of missing anything. Plus it was just a couple seconds walking we had to do, although we were looking the wrong way to notice the people lining up.
Also the Skeptic magazine bunny_hugger picked up had several articles in which scientists tried to explain philosophy subjects, without bothering to learn any philosophy, so she was getting all stabby. The retro computer game magazine made for much smoother reading.
We arrived at Detroit and had no trouble getting our suitcase or getting to the Michigan Flyer's pickup location. We even got there in enough time we could stand indoors waiting for the bus to arrive rather than race anywhere or have to wait in the cold. There were two buses this time, too, one for Ann Arbor passengers and one for East Lansing passengers. They were careful to separate the Ann Arbor and the East Lansing passengers onto separate buses, which produced a couple curious side effects.
The first is that as our bus started came an announcement that this was the bus for Ann Arbor, are all passengers going to Ann Arbor? Since we were on the East Lansing bus, this was a bit of a shock. The bus driver explained that because this bus and the other were so near together they were picking up the other's overhead announcements. Also apparently now it's worth it to use a radio to go from the bus driver to the bus speakers.
The second is that we didn't therefore get a nice speedy ride direct back to East Lansing. The bus went to Ann Arbor, both stops, just as if they hadn't bothered separating out the passengers. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.
On arrival at East Lansing I just wasn't up to tromping over to the bus stop and waiting for the ride back to a block and change away from home, so we got a taxi instead, and waited in a nicely warm hotel lobby for it to arrive. Once home, we turned up the thermostat from its we're-away-for-a-week-so-just-keep-the-h
Trivia: No drawing of the London Bridge from its first three hundred years of existence is known have been made or to have survived. Source: Old London Bridge: The Story Of the Longest Inhabited Bridge In Europe, Patricia Pierce.
Currently Reading: Great North Road, Peter E Hamilton. I think the thing I find hardest to buy in this story of stargate-linked worlds and megacorporate intrigue and space-monster murder investigations is the idea that the hugely ambitious clone-sons of a fanatically obsessive man would keep to the same (convenient for the reader) naming scheme for their clone-offspring for three to four generations.