Amidst all the crazy of the last week, there was also this thing called GISHWHES (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen) that ended up being THE EXACT SAME WEEK. I kind of gave up all hope on it as soon as I realized how it overlapped everything else, but I've always hated giving up on something before I even got out of the gate, especially when I had signed up ages ago and was already assigned to a 15 person team.
So, 12:30 am on Tuesday night, I skimmed through the 150 or so scavenger hunt item list that had been posted, and ticked off the (very tiny) handful that I could conceivably either do myself or arrange with someone else in like the 3 hours I had free for the remaining week. And then I started making a minute-by-minute schedule. (Omg I made all the schedules D:)
Buckle your seat belts ladies and gents, it's gonna be a bumpy ride ...
MST 1:30 am - figure out how long it takes to get to airport with traffic, add in time to pick up breakfast, figure out to the minute when I have to set my alarm clock for, go to bed
MST 8:45 am - wake up, shower, pack up, check out
MST 9:30 am - leave hotel for airport
MST 10:00 am - driver misses the airport exit
MST 10:10 am - driver ends up making two detours D:
MST 10:30 am - finally arrive at airport, fling checked bags at the ticket counters, run through three terminals with 40 pounds of photo and electronic equipment, to arrive sweaty and out of breath after running a mile at a mile-high city and sad-so-sad about missing out on using my coveted A 01 Southwest boarding pass but grateful I still made it in time to snag the one bulkhead seat left
MST 11:00 am - I'm tearing through two bags of fruit snacks when a flight attendant taps my shoulder and asks, "Would you mind moving to another seat? There's a lady whose dog is way too big to fit into the other seat rows." Oooookay.
MST 11:05 am - After three tries they find me another seat, squeezed into a row with a young couple and their adorable little baby girl. (And in front of another baby who, I will find out later, has a VERY healthy set of lungs. Q_Q )
MST 11:10 am - flight departs Denver
MST 11:40 am - flight attendant asks if I would like a complimentary drink. I splurge on a cranberry club soda and ask for five bags of peanuts. Dig my earplugs out.
PST 12:30 pm - land in Orange County
PST 1:00 pm - get picked up and FINALLY A PROPER MEAL <33333
PST 1:45 pm - make it home, throw everything down on the spot, run upstairs and fling my clothes off (and put some new ones on - kinda >.>)
Exhibit #1: And what is more California than beach-wear and shopping? (My one regret is that I forgot the ginormous sunglasses :( Also I had no time to explain to my dad all of what GISHWHES is and ended up just shoving my phone at him so he could take the picture and saying "It's for a joke!" Close enuf)
PST 2:00 pm - try to find my bag of dragon plushies. I have a bag of dragon plushies. I SWEAR I DO D: But I don't find anything except a little dragon beanie baby that isn't anywhere near cute enough for my purposes but it's all I have so I drive over to Mailboxes to ship it. Except that I look at it again after I park and I just couldn't settle for it and end up frantically scrolling through Amazon Prime's stuffed dragon toys for 10 mins and shipping one of those instead (you'll all find out why later)
PST 2:15 pm - buy the baby sunflower arrangement from the local market [Exhibit #2]
PST 2:30 pm - drive to the nearest retirement home
GISHWHES item attempt #2: Go to a retirement or assisted living home and take a picture with one of the residents. But you have to be dressed as a pirate. And you have to put at least one piratey item on the resident too. You may want to bring a present for them of cookies or flowers or a game for the common area.
I was initially very nervous about this because I didn't quite know how community offices would take a random pirate walking up and asking to accost one of their residents. But I girded myself with my best piratey air, parked
... and discovered an elderly pair of ladies just a few feet from me on the curb.
[Exhibit #3] The bonny lass Harriet (let's just call her Harriet) was tiny and curled over with a squeaky little walker, while her companion was a comparatively statuesque woman (taller than me) who was equally gray haired but still years younger. I went up to them with my offering, explained my quest, and extended the flowers with the proposition, "I am willing to exchange GOLD for the privilege of a photograph taken with one of you!"
(And the second life lesson is perhaps we should all try to act a bit older! When you are young, you feel like you still have dignity to lose and peers to save face for. When you are old, you know there is nothing to lose and nothing to save.)
PST 3:00 pm - get home. Do emergency laundry. Test that all the prototypes still work and everything's charged. Re-pack everything. Take care of the errands my mom can't in her current state.
PST 6:00 pm - Get to Taekwondo (early cuz I'm taking over some of the technological and marketing needs of the studio and need to get a handle on the accounts before I left again)
PST 6:30 pm - take my last Taekwondo class (since 2 weeks ago) before the black belt exam
PST 7:35 pm - pick up dinner for the family
PST 7:45 pm - get a text from Southwest that the flight is delayed D: (For those who don't know John Wayne airport, it has a curfew. If the flight doesn't take off by a certain time, it doesn't take off at all)
PST 7:50 pm - get home, shower, repack one bag, drive to the airport (while trying to think of backup plans if my flight doesn't take off - Plan A, drive to LAX and hope there's a late night or red-eye I can take. Plan B, just drive all the way up to San Jose D: ... )
PST 8:05 pm - park, drag four cases into the airport, refuse to give them up to luggage check until they could give me assurances the plane will take off
PST 12:00 am - finally make it to the apartment. End up working till 12:45 am on the presentations for next day's meeting before complaining I'm still on mountain time
PST 9:30 am - meetings. Meetings. More meetings. Lots of post-meetings debrief-meetings. Lunch happens somewhere I know this cuz I'm not hungry when I head to the airport.
PST 4:35 pm - land back in Orange County in time to help with dinner. Nearly face plant in dinner. Sleep at the ungodly hour of 10:30 pm.
The black belt test! :D (More on that later if you made it this far ... ^_^)