Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friends, Field Trips, Phones and Flights

Two of our favorite people to eat, laugh and catch up with are Nolan and Margaret Archibald.  We met each other in Boston.  Margaret and I were teaching school and “Arch” and Rick were at Harvard Business School. Talking about Motherhood with Margaret is such fun because she is an extraordinary one and we are both passionate about that primary careers. They had seven boys and then finally a darling little girl who is one year younger than Charity.  Our paths have crossed over the years many times since we went our separate ways in from flying across the pristine snow under the Tetons on snowmobiles to joining us for fun at Bear Lake before we even had walls in our little cabin to many dinners and kids’ weddings.  What fun they are! I can count on my cheeks aching from laughing when we get together.

On Monday we met them for lunch across the street from the Capitol. Catching up with them (which really isn’t possible) is always fun and stimulating. Both guys are avid basketball players and they always argue about who is the tallest. I didn’t quite catch the feet but I’m quite sure that Dad/Rick is standing on his tiptoes in the picture below.

 

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From there we walked straight (492 feet according to our phones) across the street to a really fun meeting at a huge well-known law firm with some enthusiastic entrepreneurs in the Washington D.C. area where we talked about what to do when kids are caught in The Entitlement Trap!  It was especially fun because this was such a pro-active and stellar group of leaders from all over the world who have located their many businesses in the D.C. area and  who really want to create an exciting family culture at home. And the best part was that we had Eli and Julie there to add the leaven and the spice to our presentation!  They were terrific!

 

After the presentation we had some scrumptious appetizers with the whole group and then went to dinner with some members of their board.  As Eli and Julie can attest, getting to know people afterward is the most interesting part for us because there are so many wildly creative people there who have accomplished amazing things!  E & J got some pretty awesome connections with people who live in the area. 

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Field trips to the museums with Eli is even better than a picnic in the park with George! First, while Dad and Eli played tennis I wandered around the mall and loved seeing an exhibit at the National Archives Building about Ben Franklin and sucked in the positively incredible sculpture, flowers and museums on the mall.

 

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Wish I’d had time to see this IMAX at the Natural History Museum:

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Soon Eli came running up dripping with sweat from his tennis match to show me through his favorite museum which I had never seen.  The Hirshhorn.  It was a fantastical trip through light!

 

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And literally walking through an exhibit:

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It was a museum trip never to be forgotten. Eli introduces me to so many good things (including how to get out of messes on my computer). 

As for the phones and the flights….First, you will all be relieved to hear that after 24 hours in the rice, Julie’s phone kicked in and has been working perfectly…so far. We were all elated!

Then after our quick romp through the museum.Eli took us to Dulles airport early so dad could finagle some legroom for our long flight to Poland at 7 p.m. We were packed in like Sardines on our jumbo jet, Dad in the back with the leg room and I in the front with a cute young man who was on his way to climb Kilimanjaro, had a girlfriend who graduated from the Kennedy School and then lived in Mozambique for two years on a humanitarian project while he got his PHD at Cambridge, England. We had a lot to chat about for about a half an hour when the pilot came on the intercom and announced “some not so happy news.”  There was a fire in one of the engines and we were headed back to DC for inspection. He kept assuring us that everything was just fine, but we were greeted by several fire engines.  After about an hour of them trying to figure out what to do and us getting hotter and hotter as the plane’s air conditioning wasn’t working, they had us exit the plane and said there wasn’t another flight leaving until the next night.  A little card was handed to everyone to call if we needed help. Which we did. And a lot of it.

Of course Dad, being who he is not only didn’t take “no you can’t get there” for an answer but couldn’t take no for an answer. If we had waited until the next AirFrance/KLM flight out the next night we would miss our day long workshop with our YPO group in Poland. We had two 2 !//2 hour sessions to do with this group who were coming from all over Poland. There was no way to cancel.

SO we kept trying new avenues to get there until we found a British Airways flight that was leaving in two hours at 11:30 p.m. After going through several people who said there was not way we could get on that flight, Dad found a wonderful manager on the phone named Chris who became our new best friend. He arranged for the swap and even though one person had told us that the plane was full, there were only about 75 people on the entire jumbo flight.  Whew!  Thanks to dad and Chris we dodged a bullet on that one! 

HOWEVER, I decided I’d better call Eli and Julie to tell them that they almost had house guests for another might and couldn’t find my phone.  After completely emptying my all my bags twice I realized that it must have fallen out of my computer bag which wasn’t zipped when it fell over under my feet. I’m absolutely sure I put it in there and it was absolutely gone!  SO we have another crisis on our hands!  We called the lost and found and left an address and phone number but we’ve been on planes ever since and who knows if I will ever see my IPhone AGAIN!

Some days are just like that!  BUT, in balance that’s a small thing in the big picture and we are excited to be touching down in Poland in about 30 minutes to meet our hosts, get a little rest tonight and be ready for those workshops in the morning. More on that soon!

3 comments:

charity said...

mom, you;re the best ever. crazy plane story. dad would make that happen to get on a flight in time. you guys are my favorite. love you.

Jonah and Aja said...

oh my heck! that is chaos for sure. i'm glad the engine fire wasn't worse... but then to lose your phone! that is a crazy night. glad you made it to poland.
keep us updated. hope your phone turns up. do you have "find my iphone"? i used it yesterday to find jonah's phone that i dropped outside when i went to fill something up with the hose at 10 pm. oops.

can't wait to see photos of your european adventures!
-aja

shawni said...

Wow that's quite an adventure! I'm SO glad you worked it all out. Sure love you, be safe!