Because I'm not at all familiar with the city, my brother-in-law very nicely walked over from his office yesterday evening and met me at the Starbucks that's nestled in the corner of the building where our Seattle office is located. I settled myself onto an outdoor table and pulled out my latest sock project (because what else does the obsessed knitter bring on a business trip but socks?), just as a horse (carrying a policeman and waiting for the crossing sign to change) relieved itself on the sidewalk. The policeman looked around, saw the mess, and then, with a weary smile, rummaged around until he pulled out an extremely large pooper scooper, with which he dispatched the still steaming pile of horse poop before anyone could step in it. The entire thing was done in complete silence, while the horse stood there patiently the whole time, seemingly not even aware that it had created the mess in the first place.
I had a wonderful visit with my little sister and her family. My brother-in-law and I took the train out to Tukwila and met my little sister and my niece there (since it was a good halfway point for all of us, and then we all piled into the car and went to dinner. My niece started kindergarten this year, and she looked every inch the school girl ("I'm five now!" she reminded me, when I commented how much she has grown). In the car after dinner she sang me her collection of color and spelling songs, and when it was time to go she gave me a huge hug. My little sister drove me back to my hotel in Seattle, with a detour for lattes and chai on the way because we were both tired and in need of something a little sweet. She's in her last semester at school, and just recently started a new job, so she's stressed and too busy and I won't get to see them again until Christmas, which seems impossibly far away. So it was lovely to get this unexpected chance to visit with them, even for only a few hours.
The hotel room was large and comfortable, and had free high-speed internet. I didn't sleep well, but then I rarely do in strange places, especially when I have an early morning meeting the next day and am paranoid that the wake up call will not come through, or the alarm clock will not work. A coworker from the Seattle office picked us up this morning and we arrived on the University of Washington campus just as the sun started to rise. As we unloaded the car and walked toward the building where the meeting was to be held I could smell rain and autumn and pine.
The flight home was uneventful. I amused myself by flipping through the Skymall catalog and looking for things that I surely could not live without (and the number of iPod accessories now available is mind boggling. Did you know, for example, that you can get a full sized massaging, reclining *chair* that comes complete with speakers and a charging station for your iPod?), and tried very hard to convince my sinuses not to implode. By the time we landed it was dark outside, and I felt as if that is how I spent the past two days, going to and from places in the dark, and only catches glimpses of daylight through windows in offices and taxis and cars.