Tuesday, April 29

Back in L.A.

We made it back to L.A. around 7 p.m. yesterday evening, tired but happy because we enjoyed the trip. Thankfully the journey back was uneventful. In fact, once we put the new set of tires on, the Saturn ran admirably. It’s only a little four cylinder engine, so the fact that it managed all of those mountain curves and hills is pretty impressive. And really, when it comes to the tires, we’re lucky we made it as far as we did. While we waited at Sears for the tires to be changed, we talked about it and figured out that the tires were the original ones that came with the car. It’s a ’95, so mainly they were just old. After the tire adventure, I enjoyed the drive. It really is a pretty part of the country to drive through. Through certain parts of northern California I was surprised at how much it reminded me of home—flat, wide open spaces, farms, and much better drivers than you find in L.A. Maybe that’s my problem—I’m living at the wrong end of California!

The worst part of coming home after a trip is unpacking. So I usually don’t do it—not right away, anyhow. Besides, last night I was mostly concerned with a) getting some dinner and b) getting to bed. We did stop for a night’s rest on the way back, but while we were at the conference it was early mornings and late nights, so I had some rest to catch up on. As tiring as the trip was, it was a really good time. I know I was enjoying myself because for long stretches I forgot all about work, bills, and all of those other daily stresses. The best part was meeting up with some friends from Egypt I hadn’t seen in a very long time. One friend in particular, Mohsen, I was completely surprised and very pleased to see. He’s an archaeologist and busy as ever, but I was happy to see him doing so well.

There were some blah moments, though. The second night of the conference there was a reception at the Seattle Museum of Art. ARCE usually always has some sort of reception at a museum in order to give members an opportunity to view local antiquities collections. The only problem was that SAM doesn’t really have an ancient Egyptian art collection—all they have at the moment is a show of ancient Roman art from the Louvre. To offer an exhibition on ancient Roman art to Egyptologists is like serving dog food to someone who is expecting a thick, juicy steak. I’d say if the museum doesn’t have an Egyptian art collection, save the money and let us do what we did later that night—go out to dinner and visit, then go back to the hotel and crowd into someone’s room and drink and talk into the early hours of the morning. Actually, technically speaking I had dinner, then I spent a good hour or so soaking and playing in the absolutely HUGE and wonderful bath tub in the hotel room. I think that was the first time since I was a kid that I spent so much time in the bath that my fingers got all pruny.

My overall assessment? That time in the bath was worth the whole trip.

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