One of the advantages of having a blog is that sooner or later you get work in phrases you've saved up but never had the opportunity to use. Nevermind that my recent no-show on the Quest was for reasons neither strange nor particularly mysterious. When you write about cleaning and organizing day in and day out, you have to find ways to inject a little drama on occasion.
Anyway. I went to Seattle. The idea was to surprise my Dad with a visit, which was actually a decoy for the real surprise, which was a surprise birthday party for his 80th birthday several days later. My sister in-law and my sister did all the planning, with my sister coming up with the guest list, designing and sending invitations, following up with RSVPs, deciding and buying the decorations, ordering and paying for a custom cake, buying and storing all the beverages, cleaning and picking up, buying and manning the balloon-blowing machine, putting up decorations, and washing the dishes afterwards, while my sister-in-law planned the menu, shopped for and bought the highest quality ingredients, cooked for dozens, offered up her home as the decoy-party venue for which she planned, bought, stored, and cooked the food in addition to all the attendant cleaning and straightening that goes with having a dinner party, then cleaned, picked up, and decorated my father's house for the big party alongside my sister, which she and my sister co-hostessed. Meanwhile, my biggest responsibility was to crouch behind the bar, the better to surprise my Dad, and to not annoy anyone by licking my icecream bowl, a temptation that I successfully and valiantly resisted.
While I can't write much about organizing and planning a party, since, well, I didn't do any of it, the trip generated many fresh ideas for the Quest, which I'll be rolling out this week.