Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Vancouver Diary, Pt. VII - The Final Chapter

January 1st - Meet the Seattleites!

A fine start to the new year, but sadly it was time to pack up and leave Vancouver. Since I had an early-morning flight from SeaTac on the 2nd, Gail and I booked an airport hotel for the night and traveled to Seattle to meet some of the Seattle area Orkut crowd; Karl, Eric, Krisanne, and Francesca. (Clockwise from my left in the picture.) My big opportunity to meet everyone and put voices with faces - too bad I couldn't afford them the same chance, with my laryngitis! Hot coffee and beer made it possible for me to converse, though.

I had been long looking forward to this meetup; I've had a lot of fun online with the Seattleites. (Most of whom come from somewhere else, not unusual in that sprawling place). We met them at a coffee shop and lit out to find a restaurant in Krisanne's neighborhood. After rejecting a few closed and crowded places, we found a good grille in which to sit, feast and chat. I passed around Gail's engagement ring and the wedding ring, to show how they fit together. Everyone was as friendly and fun as they are online, and we managed to communicate without the use of emoticons.

Back at Krisanne's nice walkup apartment, we continued the chat and engaged in Orkut gossip (which I'm forever behind on.) Nowhere near the tech level of the Albany meetup, but with the essential geekiness intact; Krisanne brought out her laptop so that we could laugh at some video clips online. (A revealing social experiment; we watched a clip which substituted the SuperFriends from the old animated series for the guys in the Budweiser "Whassup" advert. The Americans: all ringing with laughter. Canada, represented by Gail: no reaction. As with beer, apparently it takes stronger stuff to amuse the wry Canuck.)

We were all hanging on Krisanne's skydiving stories, too. She showed us a video of her last jump; she's learning fast, and has been seriously bit by the bug. I know a lot of the crowd down at Hazleton and up at Sky Haven, the guys and gals that jump year-round in any weather they can - it's obviously a potent rush. I know I will try 'diving someday, but I still think my next step up adrenaline-wise will be aerobatics. I was powerfully drawn to the muscular little Pitts stunt biplane over at Sussex on Sunday, and I can get dual instruction there or a few other places.

We got samples of Lee's chocolate, and took one back for Heather M. - I got to meet Lee in Albany, but I didn't get to sample her craft until now. And we posed for the must-have blog pics, with Karl and Krisanne. I look forward to seeing them all again, at the West Coast Reception, if not sooner.

Especially Karl, since he's one of my six regular readers. Hi Karl! :^)