He left me in the office parking lot to rearrange the weight in our bags while he went inside for his meeting. As he gave me a kiss goodbye he lovingly whispered, “That bag better not weigh more than 50 pounds.”
And an hour later as I heaved my giant bag onto the airport scale, the little red electronic numbers read 49.8. Boo-yah!
Upon touchdown in LA, whatever kerfuffles, tiffs, riffs, or spats we might have had when we left the Heartland had all evaporated into the pressurized cabin air. It was 100 miles from LA to my home town of Goleta, and 90 miles beyond that, was my cousin Mary and her husband Phil, waiting with dinner and 30 years of stories to share – if I remembered her right – over several glasses of wine. We’d be there in 3, maybe 3 and a half hours – right around 7pm.
IF LAX weren’t under a complete renovation, allowing us the opportunity to walk the ENTIRE length of the airport just to retrieve our bags.
And IF it there weren’t a bazillion people renting cars at the same place and time as we were.
And IF there were no cars on Northbound 405 at 4:57p.m. Seriously. At what point in time are there EVER no cars on the 405? Good God! I grew up here. What was I thinking?!
So, we basically parked with a couple million of our closest friends for a couple of hours, while motorcycles zig-zagged in between us, then drove for three hours, arriving at in SLO around 10pm.
And here, I will get a little sappy. After not having seen or spoken for 30 odd years, it was like no time at all had passed between Phil and Mary and me. And true to form, Downtown Dad fit in like he’d known them all his life. They immediately became, as DD said later, his new favorite people. Something they have always been for me.
We drank too much wine for having been up for 12 hours, traversed a time zone, and having done battle with LA traffic. Never mind that we had to be up and gone early the next morning to drive the 90 miles back down to Goleta for the next chapter in our adventure.
That is 9 AM on the clock behind us… just enough time for us to arrive at tomorrow’s chapter…