Monday, November 2, 2009

Back to Reality

Back to reality. Our trip to Seattle ended with a day at the Experiential Music Project and Science Fiction Musuem (Jimi Hendrix rocks on!), the Science Museum, the Planetarium, "Where the Wild Things Are" in IMAX, and a fancy dinner atop the Space Needle. I was reminded how much 60's Rock I listened too, how everything was "Groovy," and how much Science Fiction I read. The highlight of the Science Museum was the butterfly exhibit, and having a couple of shows where we could sit felt great after days of relentless walking on tours.

The next day we divided forces. I went to the Boeing Museum of Flight and the non-aviation losers went to the Zoo. For my aviation friends (fellow cult members), this was a really good museum. I walked through a Concorde, through Air Force One, under an SR71, and past perfect examples of warbirds from WWI and WWII. I caught up with my Southwest Airlines pilot friends Ed and Mike at the Museum, and the five of us had dinner at Pike Market. After dinner we participated in the Pike Market Ghost tour, which was mostly cold and lame. We walked around town a little Sunday morning while waiting for our limo to the airport. The trip home was uneventful but late, and our limo dropped us off at our cold and dark home at 12:30 last night. We are getting used to this limo thing--but reality is so uncaring.

We picked a great week to be gone. About 15% of the high school was out with flu last week, and now it's over two weeks since Emily's H1N1 vaccine, so she is probably immune. We had a woman coughing and snorting right behind Emily last night on the plane. Emily put on a mask and breathed shallowly.

When Emily first proposed this trip, and we found out we were going to Seattle at the end of October, I was skeptical. After all, she just caught up with school from last year, during which she missed 88 days of school. It would be unpaid leave for Deb and I, and it was to investigate a computer game that will probably go the way of Myst in a few years?

Once again, Emily's judgment was right on the mark. I really understand now how Guild Wars provided a much-needed escape for her last year, when normal activities kept getting taken away from her. I also saw a creative, fast-thinking, team-playing side of her that I don't get to see from the outside. I am soooo thankful that her mitochondrial disease "only" destroyed her heart and didn't touch her wonderful brain.

The response of the people at ArenaNet was unexpected. They seemed to get a lot out of seeing that their incredibly hard efforts at producing the best possible fantasy role-playing game could so touch an otherwise normal kid. Emily was worried going in that they wouldn't like her because she wasn't the best gamer. In fact her level of play is their perfect audience and she stole their hearts (sorry for the pun). Their smiles were as satisfying to see as Emily's. In addition to enjoying the reactions of Emily and the ArenaNet team, it was way cool to see how all the pieces of a complex project come together. Those people should take over NASA--we'd have somebody on Mars in two years ("Shipping, it's an Important Feature"), it would be on budget, it would work, and it would capture the hearts and minds of the world.

It was a wonderful trip, a great way to celebrate 9 months post-transplant, and to mark the end of heart disease and the beginning of Emily's long future. Many thanks to the wonderful folks at ArenaNet who really extended themselves for Emily and to Make A Wish who truly made a wish come true.

1 comment:

Hummels said...

Oh my gosh it sounds like it was a super trip, but how was the zoo?