Home

After nearly a year, it was the warmest-most-wonderful-feeling, ever, to see Peter and I was pretty sure I didn’t want the visit to end, ever. I really felt like I could just move to Ann Arbor. Not to be with him at every moment, but to be around, so that when he had a moment, or time for lunch, or something, we could meet. I could go with him on one of those long walks he’s been taking during this entire pandemic. Anything.. just hang out, whenever, or not, but just be close. Seemed like a perfect idea to me.

I didn’t bring it up, though.

Because, on the other hand, man.. he’s living his life and it’s pretty damn great. He’s handling the details of his world, his work, his new people, his new city.. and it’s good and I would never interfere. Obviously. This I know: it’s unfolding as it should. I couldn’t write a better story. So.. I’m happy. Crushed to say goodbye again, but crazy happy for him.

We met — Lisa, Peter, Jim and I — at Argus, for coffee.. so nice.

Then Lisa took off — it was a regular work day for her — and J, P and I headed to the main campus.. just a few blocks away.

Peter led us on a quickie tour which was nice. This is the heart of the campus, the old part, the part on the edge of and surrounded by the town. The North campus, where Peter is, is where the formidable engineering department is, plus some of the arts, theater, architecture.. and maybe a few other things. It’s about 1.5-2 miles north. It’s too bad they’re not together, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re an urban campus and you grow. (Or maybe they always planned to put those nerdy engineers out in the boons.)

Here’s a shot walking through the law school, Peter pointing at something or another.

What we were really doing on campus this Monday morning, though, was searching for the key office. This was HUGE: after almost a year, Peter is finally going to be able to walk into the Mechanical Engineering building, into his grad student office, and work. His group will be sharing the large office space with another group and they’ve developed an alternating schedule to ensure that there are no more than three students in the office at any given time — a Covid precaution — but at last… he’ll be able to leave his little room in the coop and 1) work on campus, 2) work together with other folks in his lab. This was a very significant day. See? Happy Peter.

(By the way, did I mention he cut his hair the morning that he picked us up from the airport? He may not have cleaned out his car, but he did cut his hair. I thought that was pretty sweet.)

After this happy moment, we walked back to the Burnt Toast and had that unhappy/happy moment: the goodbye. (Unhappy to leave, happy our boy’s in a good place.)

Sigh.

Jim and I had an hour to sit in the large front yard garden (out of view, but to the left of the house) and wait for our Uber driver to show up. We talked with a neighbor who’d found her lost dog. That was a nice little tale. Then… off to the Detroit airport.

Nothing to report about the rest of that long travel day, just another uneventful flight, but this time we had a stopover in Las Vegas. Nothing exciting about that except they had a place called the Shake Shack, or something like that, where I had this (and holy god… it was fantastic.. chocolate shake, crinkle fries and a cheeseburger.. so good I took a pic):

And that’s the end of our post-pandemic, first-flight, see-kiddo-after-a-year, first-midwest-Peter-visit family trip.

And it was just the absolute best from start to finish.