Once we landed (actually a few minutes early) I met my Mom and we went to see my sister at her new part-time job. She works at a chain store called "Things Remembered", which has no paperweights. The one across the way, on the other hand... Well, this one I found there was huge (larger than a softball), oddly-shaped (like a rock), and had a gorgeous dichroic core. You can see its smaller sibling at the creator's site, under the heading "Exotic Rocks".
Since people kept coming up to Pamela wanting to do silly things like buy merchandise, Mom and I left and went to the paperweight store. I also found something infuriatingly close to the boots I've been unable to find anywhere in the past several years. They're suede or nubuck, mid-calf, no ties (and since airport security was making everyone take off their shoes today, tie-shoes have suddenly become a liability), and no heel to speak of but a nice thick rubber sole. The infuriating part was that the store only had up to size 8 in that style, and my shoe size is closer to 10. We did get the name of the manufacturer and I found them on the web, but they do not have anything resembling that particular pair. I may see if I can go back to the mall and get the style/name, or if not, if I can explain where it is well enough for Pamela to find it.
Then we went home, stopping on the way for pizza (for her), Chinese (for me), and groceries. I'll get to see Pamela for CJ's christening on Sunday, but I'm glad I got to see her today. Mom hasn't made any comments about my cough yet, though they were much milder today than I expected.
One funny thing which occurred when I called Andy to tell him I'd arrived safely: Mom uses calling cards, and we've become used to her calls showing up from just about anywhere except New York. Once Andy heard my voice he sounded very concerned, then asked if I was really still in Raleigh, since that's where the calling card was identifying itself as coming from. I could also hear Foo meowing all the way from NC.
As usual when I come to Rome I miss Andy something fierce; I miss Thena and Gail almost as much as I miss Andy, and I miss not being on a dialup. It looks like tomorrow we'll be going to some craft shows, then to Wal-Mart so I can show Mom the bears she got us for Christmas, then to visit Grandpa. She says he looks and sounds much better, so I'm not dreading it as much this time.
When I get home I need to remember to write a thank-you note to the admin at spundreams.com. Mom accidentally sent an e-mail telling me about the results of Grandpa's most recent checkup (all good news, else she'd have called) to there instead of spundreams.net, and got a really nice note saying that her e-mail looked like it was important so she should know it went to the wrong place. I know, given the tricks spammers will use to confirm addresses as live, that s/he was taking a risk by replying. I'm extremely grateful that s/he did so.