Sunday, September 14, 2008


The good news: My mom and I are back home, safe and sound.

The eye-rolling news: I've got about 400 pictures to download, re-size, crop, tweak, and upload. Then I will share them with you. Of couse.

The thank-goodness news: It will take at least a few days before I have time for that, so consider yourself warned. Maybe take a vacation yourself, to avoid it.

The "I need a vacation to recover from my vacation" news: In fact, I probably won't even blog again until I get unpacked, tackle the mountain of dirty laundry still in my suitcase, go grocery shopping, and dive right back into the piano-soccer-choir-homework-housework routine. Blaine did an awesome job while I was gone but my gosh, LIFE just never stops, even for Alaska, does it?

The "you probably don't care but I'm going to vent about it anyway" news: You. United Airline. Consider yourself warned. In fact, ALL airlines can consider themselves warned. Unless it is logistically impossible to do so, I will be driving on all vacations from now on. Flights have been scaled back to cut costs, so every single flight is always over-booked. Which means there aren't even enough seats in the freaking waiting areas at the airport --- not to count the traffic and congestion in the airports themselves. Then you start charging for checked luggage, so everyone decides to carry on everything they can. Then you act surprised that we can't fit nine thousand pieces of carry-on luggage in the overheads. So we're forced to cram it under our feet, then some fat guy named Bubba plops himself in the seat in front of us and jerks his seat back so far that I've got my own knees up around my ears and shocker! It's not comfortable! Then you charge me three dollars for a bag of granola. All in all, NOT a way to end a vacation after I was waited on hand and foot for seven days. The least you could have done was put my cheap cocktail napkin in my lap. Oh, wait. You couldn't SEE my lap because of Mr. Let's-Lean-Back-As-Far-As-Our-Chair-Can-Go in front of me. So trust me. Once I get back from my Girls-Scrapbook-Weekend-Away in Chicago next month, it will be Route 66 and stopping to see the World's Biggest Ball of Twine for the Escoe Family from here on out.

The in case of emergency news: There is one fast food restaurant, on the 4th floor, of the shopping mall in Anchorage, Alaska, that sells DDP out of their fountain --- God bless Arbys.

The "Holy cow, did you just SEE that??" news: Not exactly a news flash, but has anyone besides me noticed how rank the commercials on the "N" channel are? My kids were watching "Drake and Josh" earlier today, a show that I think is perfectly acceptable, and that is rated Y-7, meaning ok for anyone over the age of 7. But in the course of ONE SET of commercials, we saw two teenage girls kissing, one teenage girl taking off her shirt, undoing the belt in boy's pants, and two girls in a bathroom stall where a vibrator falls on the floor. Um ..... I don't think so. Channel 154 is no longer allowed in the Escoe house.

The "Oh, yes, back to reality" news: I was home exactly seven hours before the kids started fighting over whose turn it was to play on my new laptop and then arguing over what tv show to watch and then interrupting me every six seconds I was on the phone and I knew I was solidly back in the land of normalcy.


KD said...

First of all, welcome back. I'm sure it was fabulous (except for the flight!)

However, I forgot everything you said once you got to the commercials on the "N" channel!! What channel are you talking about? You can't be talking about Nickelodeon? Please explain...need more info to protect children please!!

Haley said...

Welcome back to the continental states!

And...YOU ARE COMING TO CHICAGO?! You mean that we will once again be in the same state - the same county? If you need any help planning your trip, let me know. I'd be more than happy to help out!

RSMDianne said...

Um yeah, The N...while it has some Nick shows on it (Drake and Josh, Zoey 101) , it's definitely a teen - like high school at least- not preteen, channel. Have you ever seen Degrassi or South of Nowhere? Now Degrassi had opened up some communication between me and my daughter, but she just graduated from high school.

And in the future...when flying United, it can be totally worth it to spring for Economy Plus, for a few extra bucks a flight. You can do it for as little as $14, depending on where you are flying.

Anonymous said...

Umm yeah. I was watching something with my 7 year old son and a commercial came on where a girl went to the store and bought condoms. Thank goodness he had to take a bathroom break during the commercials. I'm with you on banning that channel! I'm 34 years old and I've never gone in and bought condoms! I sure don't want to answer questions about them just yet either!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!!! Doesn't flying nowdays make you HAPPY to get home and back to whatever drama is going on at your house????
When you come up to MN to see the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine, stop by to see me. You've gotta drive right through Waconia to get to it.
Susan in MN

René S said...

I'm with kd. Once I got to the "N" channel info, it was all I could think about. I thought you were referring to Nick. I'm glad to know it's not Nick (thanks rsmdianne) and that I should not allow that N channel. Going right now to find out if we even have it here. Yikes!

The Running Girl said...

Welcome back. Can't wait to see the pictures, but I know how "real life" gets in the way.

freckles said...

welcome home!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Pardon me for being naive, but I need somebody to spell this out for me. Is everybody speaking in code? Is there really an N Channel or are we talking about N-i-c-k-e-?-?-?-e-o-n? (How do you like my broken up word? eh?) Because seriously, my jaw dropped when you talked about the commercials. Our oldest son is 14 and I can tell you that some of the PG-13 stuff isn't even appropriate for ME, let alone him!!! I'm appalled...and apparently a prude, too!

Claire in Indiana

Pam Doughty said...

Welcome back! You just reaffirmed my decision not to fly unless absolutely necessary (and finding out that train engineers are texting teen-age boys while they're supposed to be keeping the train on the right track just took away my desire to take a train trip! And gas shot up ALL out of proportion to what happened in Texas, so I guess we'll just be sitting up in the treehouse pretending that we're on a spaceship or something!). Thanks for the heads-up about the N channel; don't know if we have it here, but I'll be on the lookout from here on out.
and Blaine.. you rock, as always.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Hope you can overlook the yuck flight and still say you had a great time! Can't wait to see some pics (which should be really good because of the photography class, right?!?!)


mom25in5 said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the "N" channel - we rarely watch commercials because we have a PVR, but now I'll be sure that I'm in control of the remote to fast-forward through them.

Glad you had an amazing trip! Welcome home!


RSMDianne said...

Claire, Yes, there is another channel called "The N." It's NOT Nick. It usually is part of the another tier of cable packages, not part of basic cable which comes with Disney and Nick, unless you have satellite and I don't know how that works. The website is

Renee said...

Welcome home!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, rsmdianne. My sons like Drake & Josh and I even watch those shows with them (juvenile, but yes they're funny) and I was afraid I just had my head in the sand. In any event, that's just wrong. Thanks for the clarification. that I can breathe again, let's get back to this amazing cruise. Kristie, if I could, I'd be doing your laundry (because I'm sick like that and LOVE to do laundry) and you'd be guzzling the a styrofoam cup over pellet ice. So relax, regroup, and fill us in when you get time. And did you EVER see a whale for yourself? Oh, I hope so.

Claire in Indiana

lizinsumner said...

I just have one question from your being in Alaska: can you really see Russia from your bedroom window??? (In case you missed SNL's opening skit last Saturday, I'm sure it's on Youtube by now)!!!!

Anonymous said...

So when you come to MN to see Susan, I will drive you to the world's largest ball of twine. I've been there (hm, maybe I need to get a life!) and our family Christmas picture was taken there a few years ago. Hey, it was better there than the one of the kids on the hood of the cop car in Duluth! Can't wait for cruise pictures!
Sheila in MN

Anonymous said...

WHOOOOHOOOOOO!!! Twilight Series! I loved them, hope you do too!


Care said...

Welcome back! It's funny, my Mom was in Alaska while you were there - from the description of the flight - you could well have been on the same plane. She wasn't too happy either.

And OMG on the "N" channel commercials. We just got C*ox hooked up a few weeks ago (after having a "safe" family package through a satellite co for years) and while I'm careful about the shows they watch, I hadn't thought about the commercials.

Note to self: learn how to block channels pronto!

Carolyn in OKC

Regina and Madie said...

Kristie, welcome back from your trip! I really hope you had a great time!
p.s....we DO NOT (I REPEAT....DO NOT)watch the "N" channel at our house either. We stopped watching it about four years ago. There is just way too much violence on it.
We also don't watch the Cartoon Network for that very reason.
Our channels now are "ABC Family", "Disney", "Food Network", "HGTV", "Animal Planet" and sometimes "TLC". Sometimes I just wish we could just turn the whole thing off! (but that would bring mutiny in my house!)
Don't get too overwhelmed with the laundry! Hugs and love!....Ice Girls

Mrs. Who said...

OK, the next time you go on a cruise, you MUST stay in a large suite. Just tell your travel agent you would like one and to call you if one becomes available. The suites on our Holland America ship were normally $1000 more per person and, a couple of weeks before the trip, she called us and we moved into a FABULOUS, huge suite for only $200 more person.

One of the coolest things? THEY DO YOUR LAUNDRY FOR YOU. No lie. They bring it back in little baskets, all folded with tissue paper. I almost died, it was that fabulous.

And did you know you can actually take your own drinks on the ship? They don't care, as long as it's not liquor. We have taken six-packs of our favorite pop with us several times. We just remove what is in the little fridge and put ours in. Just a suggestion for a DDP addict!!

Mama Bear said...

Welcome back and thanks for the heads up on Nick! I work with special needs children who absolutely adore Nick. Their parents use it as a reward for good behavior. Maybe I should pass your info along, since I'm sure parents are not sitting and watching with my students.

Sage said...

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your time in Alaska. I Love Alaska, and can't wait for next summer when we are driving up again, for the third time. We've flown up many times too, but we do love the drive. We have a son living there, so that's probably part of the reason for our obsession! And we've had one too many of the flights you described, hence our love of driving up!