It seems that the end of vacation is always hectic -- in the few days before I had to return to campus again, D and I crammed in eye appointments, our will signing, and rumba lessons(!). Fortunately, all had good outcomes.
The eye appointment for me was important as we don't know how long I've been prediabetic, so getting my retinas looked at was something we didn't want to put off until spring break. (That's when I get to meet my new endocrinologist; for now, my regular doctor is going to keep tabs on me.) As for the will signing, that was something we'd had planned -- we finally got the draft process underway during my Thanksgiving break, after much delay -- so it was good to cross that one off our to-do list as well. And the rumba lessons? Impromptu and entirely for fun. We haven't done any ballroom dancing since our wedding, and the inexpensive group lessons we found at a club downtown looked like an easy way to get started again (they do cha-cha, salsa, foxtrot, waltz, and several other types of dance too). We may do it again next time I'm in town.
The one thing that was truly unplanned during vacation happened the night before I had to leave. For some reason, the fire alarm in our apartment building went off in the middle of the evening and had to be shut off by the fire department. No explanation as to what set it off -- normally, someone's smoke detector within a single unit has to be tripped before the building-wide system goes into effect.
D and I had no idea whether there was actually a fire or not, so we grabbed the most important things we had -- largely, irreplaceable data stored on our laptops and backup CDs! Oh, the embarrassing value on (and faith in) technology we have. Here we are, waiting for the all-clear signal from the firemen in the parking lot. You can see D's shadow next to mine, which is the one holding the camera up.
The trip back was uneventful. The sky was clear as we headed for the airport -- unusual for this time of year -- which gave me a glimpse of the moon before sunrise over the foothills we live in. They mark the gateway to the larger mountain ranges east of us.
I also got a full shot of Mount Rainier from the airport at dawn -- also unusual for this time of year since its peak is usually wreathed in mist.
And once we were in the air, just before I fell asleep for the rest of the flight, I took a picture of the Cascades below us. I can't wait to be heading in the opposite direction over them again (less than two weeks until the next trip!).
Speaking of countdowns, I am now officially through my first week of the spring semester, which means there are fifteen left until the much-anticipated end (for the foreseeable future) of long-distancing. Oh yes, we're definitely marking off the days. Not because I don't like teaching -- I was actually way more excited about what I was going to do with my students on the first day of the semester than I was about my own classes. I'm just very much ready to be moved out of here, for obvious reasons, and also to be done with regular coursework. I haven't been able to focus on the bigger picture of the thesis because of all the nitty-gritty hoops I've had to jump through in these last three semesters. I think getting away from all the distractions will help a lot. If I can just nail down that prospectus ...
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