Our post-con trip to Ohio was fun and uneventful. atara is posting considerably more details (easy for her since she has a proper keyboard - I can't wait to finally have a working desktop computer again). We saw everybody who we were hoping to visit, and still had time to take in chicken wings and hockey. We opted to stay in a hotel when we were visiting the folks. For the second time on our trip we got a room with a jacuzzi-style tub - though this time it was a free upgrade. I am beginning to wonder if we are a bit unusual for tipping the housekeeping staff. Every day we left a modest tip with a thank you note, and every day the housekeeper left a thank you note of her own in reply...
...and another bar of soap. Since we are not ones to use a bar of soap once and throw it away, the bars began to accumulate. If the housekeeper had not thrown out a couple of the opened bars when we were not looking then we could have created an impressive stack of soap before we checked out. As it was, we felt compelled to bring 3-4 bars home with us.
The trip home was largely uneventful. We had the expected delays getting through Chicago (it should have a warning label on the map that says, "waste two hours crossing this little stretch of your route"), and the usual regrettable experiences that come with visiting rest stops in Indiana; screaming kids, unpalatably greasy food and questionable washrooms. The weather for the trip was mostly decent until we hit the stretch between Grand Forks and the border. While it was not the same sheet of ice that we encountered a couple of years ago, it was still pretty nasty with high winds and blowing snow. atara did most of the driving while I just sat back and worked on a nice, throbbing muscle-tension headache.
Americans make a surprisingly large fuss over Thanksgiving. It was nice to visit with a large group of people while eating copious quantities of food and watching mediocre football, but I guess something is lost on me along the way. At least one person has explained to me that it is the last holiday that has not been thoroughly exploited by commercialism. That's true, I suppose, if you ignore the large sums of cash that people spend on travel the day before, and the orgy of shopping the day after. Given that they invented the holiday in the first place, I think that gives them the right to celebrate it in any manner that they choose. To be honest, I prefer that to the rather tepid handling it gets up here. "Oh, hey, this is a long weekend coming up, isn't it? Cool."