Well, the vacation's been over for a couple weeks now, and I'm starting to get used to not having to make tea first thing in the morning again. For those of you not in the know, zachriel
(aka Nilli) and blunaowl
(aka Sazza) flew allll the way over here to spend a few weeks with yours truly, and those weeks shall hereafter be known as the "BEST. VACATION. EVAR.
My memory's crap and it's been a little while, so the details are a bit sketchy, but here's a rundown of how things pretty much went down:
Nilli got here first, and she was greeted in the airport by a redneck holding a big poster version of her SuperSwede alter ego
. I'd heard she had a preference for a certain carbonated beverage, so I made sure when we got home she was also greeted by a fridge full of Coke
My vacation hadn't started yet, so she got to spend a day settling in whilst I was at work. Luckily she had Spock
to keep her company. (Speak of the devil, Spock just climbed in my lap and I am now trying to type around a big ball of purring black fur
I had been compiling something of a list of things to do, or rather things to make the Swede do, like try my kickawesome cooking and watch silly shows and movies she's never seen before
We steered clear of things we thought Sazza might enjoy, saving them for when she joined us, and Nilli'd picked up something on her flight over, so the first week or so mostly involved her on the futon and me running 'round fetching her foods and tea.
I let her steal one of my laptops, and it wasn't uncommon for me to hear a barely perceptible giggle from the futon, followed by an incoming google talk message on my phone saying something like "teaplz"
When she wasn't futon-bound, we also worked a bit
on a Sazza version
of the poster and I taught her how to do a little chainmaille
Luckily she was feeling better when Sazza arrived, and this time we got some reaction shots
to the emote poster board.
Fortunately I'd just finished cleaning up the room Sazza would be staying in ('twas full of boxes and things I never bothered unpacking when I moved
) but I hadn't yet picked up a bedspread or anything so we dashed to a nearby Wal-Mart where she got to pick 'em out for herself. Spock approved
We took the next few days pretty slow, as Nilli was still recovering a bit from her illness and Sarah from her 26-hour trip, so more chainmaille and movies ensued, peppered with frequent trips to Wal-Mart
for various foods and snacks and drinks.
After a few days we decided it was high time I set foot in an IKEA for the first time, so I rented a truck and we set a course for Frisco, TX
, which is where the nearest IKEA is located.
It was a lengthy trip, taking closer to 7 hours than the 5 and a half that Google Maps predicted, but quite fun. Nilli made the observation that road kill is much more common a sight in the US than in Sweden, and decided to keep a tally of how many we saw
, as well as a few other things
I'd like to say that the drive down was mostly uneventful, but about halfway through Oklahoma a cop decided I didn't slow down fast enough when the speed limit suddenly dropped from 70 to 45, so I got pulled over
Apparently it's suspicious to be driving a rental truck across state lines, so he asked me to step out of the truck so he could pat me down and ask whether or not I was a drug runner. During the pat-down he found a sharpie in my right pocket and asked what it was for.
That's right, I had to explain the purpose of a Sharpie in my pocket to a cop
I also told him I had a Swede in the truck and she and her British accomplice were forcing me to drive to Texas against my will and pleaded with him to call for backup to help me, but he just laughed and told me he'd let me off with a warning and sent me on my way
It was pretty late when we crossed the state line into Texas, so we decided to find a hotel and a place to eat. I spotted a place called "Stonebridge" or something and thought "ooo, sounds fancy, I bet they'll have food and
Boy, was I ever wrong
When we got to our rooms they were being cleaned, so we decided to go to the lobby area which was supposed to be a sort of restaurant/recreation room and kill some time. Except when we got in there the place was pretty much closed, half of it looking like it'd been torn down or otherwise vandalized. Fortunately there were a couple of free to play pool tables available, and we played a few rounds on those. Sazza kicked our arses
At the desk we were told the rooms had ethernet connections, but when we got to our rooms we discovered that two out of three of our rooms had no ethernet cable. So we go to the front desk and ask if they have any extras and they say they don't, so we ask where the nearest place to buy some would be. We're told there's a Wal-Mart a few miles north, back the way we came, so we decide to go fetch some. The Wal-Mart was hard to spot from the road, so I passed it the first time, but a quick u-turn and we were in business. We decided to actually stop at a Best Buy, which was closer to the exit and near a Taco Bell/KFC (those "merged" places are a tad odd) because Nilli was craving tacos.
Let me just say now that Best Buy's selection of ethernet cables is by far the worst I've ever seen. All they carry is needlessly expensive CAT-6, the cheapest of which was 15 bucks
But I got a couple of 'em, because we likes us our interwebs, and we drove across the parking lot to the KFBell or TacoFC or whatever they wanna call it anymore. Sazza decided seatbelts (and indeed, even seats) were for chumps, and hopped in the back
for the short drive.
Taco Bell now has super-sized quesadillas, which kick 583465 distinct forms of ass
After the foods we headed back to the hotel, where we played Munchkin
into the wee hours of the evening.
Afterward we retired to our rooms, where we discovered that Nilli's room's modem had no power so I loaned her mine. Unfortunately that did no good, as the hotel's proxy blocked damn near everything (even Google!) making it frustratingly difficult to use. Since I had no internets and knew we'd have a long day of IKEA and driving ahead of us the next day, I decided it'd be best if I just showered and went to bed. Unfortunately the hotel had no hot water, so I had to choose between forcing Nilli and Sarah to spend all day with a smelly redneck and taking a cold shower. Fortunately for them I chose the cold shower.
The next morning I woke up quite late, because the alarm clock next to my bed turned out to be 12 hours ahead.
By that point I was quite livid, and rather wishing I'd kept driving 'til I found a different hotel
I considered demanding a refund at the front desk, but we still had an hour's drive to IKEA and I didn't much want to start the day with an argument and/or shouting match.
Luckily the hour passed quickly, and before we knew it we were at IKEA