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We woke up early and had a leisurely breakfast before packing up the car and waiting for Grandpa Art to come over to say good-bye. This time, I told him to be good. (:

We made great time on the drive to Ontario, so I had an hour to kill after checking in and the security line looked to have no wait. Laurel looked very sad as I went up the escalator without her, but I heard later that she perked up after getting back on the road.

I had a quiet wait eating lunch and reading more of The Mind & The Brain (like Infinite Jest, it starts out slow and then gets compelling about 200 pages in), then napped on the flight into PHX.

I called to check up on Laurel while waiting for my connecting flight. They had lunch at the In 'n Out in Victorville and she proudly told me she ordered her burger without onions and had a shake, then asked me to buy her a postcard, so I did that after getting off the phone with her and filled it out while waiting at the gate.

I read for most of the flight into DFW, where I sat next to the oldest Guatemalan woman I have ever seen and offered to share my pan dulce with her. She declined and instead ate what looked and smelled like my Aunt Dora's fruit tamale filling out of a zip-lock bag with her fingers. (I tried not to stare, honest.)

The flight arrived early, so I called Vogon after retrieving my baggage to find out where to meet him and was surprised that he was still on the road. Couldn't hear him worth a darn with the background noise from his end, so I told him to call back when he was close and parked myself on a bench outside.

By then the minor throat tickle I'd felt in Ontario was a full-blown cough and I had a raging headache, so I don't think I even showed Vogon the pretty outfit I wore home for him. He was hungry, so we stopped at Spring Creek Barbeque and ordered something before coming home, where I sacked out during Little Ice Age: Big Chill on The History Channel.

Somewhere between home and sleep, I got a call from the family in Las Vegas, where Laurel had a ball on the kiddie rides at Circus Circus and told me she got another pair of sandals and a t-shirt at the Old Navy outlet on the drive in.


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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