Return to Lalaland, briefly? 14 Sept 22

Yes, yes, of course I am like a sparrow, I do return to the place of my birth. But why, oh why, for goddess’s sake would I do this, you may ask. Or not. I will tell you, anyway.

I love the many reasons, though some may call them excuses and if I might be a little woo woo, whatever they were they were probably most divinely ordained, as all things seemed to fit into place when I first made calls, emails and texts to the varied people I planned to visit when I escaped the heat of texas.

If you are slightly intrigued I will expand on this. If not, please go about your day and forget you ever opened up this page because I believe I am not one to waste people’s time intentionally. I am first and foremost writing this drivel for me as an exercise of self expression. Keeping some of this stuff rattling about in my brain is cumbersome at best – it’s better to get it out to make room for more, maybe equally important or better thoughts.

So here I am. I arrived in Southern California two days ago. I flew Southwest Airlines. Word to those who have the dough, who wish not to feel like an actual Texas longhorn or packed like a California sardine, fly a more civilized airline. The whole choose your own seat bs is nuts, though whatever company you may select, you still might find yourself sandwiched between a linebacker for the human Texas Longhorns on your left and a foot tapping Gen Z’er playing a combat game on his computer on your right. Let’s just say I was immensely relieved to deplane in Long Beach after the two hour and forty minute plus flight. Yes, I’m thankful the ordeal was not longer.

Once in the privacy of the airport women’s restroom stall, I shook myself off like a wet dog – or a tomato from the middle of a hastily deconstructed sky high roast beef sandwich (you can pick whichever helps you picture me most accurately). I put myself back together the best I could, grabbed my backpack and purse and headed for baggage claim.

The airport at Long Beach, from what I could see is a great place to fly into. It’s still got that small town feel, though it looks like it ain’t for long as there is a bunch of construction and signs that tell another “watch us grow” story. I rushed past those signs, stood about eleven minutes to dodge others and claimed my bag to venture forth to avis where I was told I’d have to Uber or taxi off to the other avis, off airport. My attempts to economize (airline and car) I was learning quickly, had some drawbacks. Did you know that gas in California is over five friggin bucks a gallon?

I went on both my Uber and Lyft apps to see how much to go three miles to the avis location.

Both told me $36. I only briefly, in my cheapskate mode, considered schlepping my suitcase, backpack and purse the miles, then opted for a taxi after being quoted twenty bucks. Such a deal.

On the way to the car rental I gave a college try to engage my driver in conversation, alas he was too intent on figuring out where Long Beach boulevard was. At the possibility of driving around with a lost taxi drive felt my internal mcGiver kick in. I called up my Apple Maps, gave the poor fool directions and crossed my fingers.

I must stop here to say, I believe there ARE angels in our midst (or is it mists?) why? I’ll tell you.

As the taxi was eventually pulling into the driveway I wished quietly that I’d prefer a Prius to rent (because of the gas prices, cause I guess I am cheap and I’m also familiar with the way they drive.) Well, wouldn’t ya know the angels must’ve heard me, liked me and granted my wish. The avis attendant asked if I’d like a complimentary Prius upgrade! I ain’t no ungrateful fool.

I am also not shy. (Big surprise) I reached over the counter and gleefully grabbed the guy’s hand and shook it while I said, “Thank you so much”. I just as quickly let his hand go, signed the contract, we headed out the door to inspect my weeklong hybrid wheels and soon I was heading to Buena Park to meet up with my dear friend Katherine, violinist extraordinaire, at my hotel.

I won’t go into detail about our wondrous but too brief shmooze fest cause it ain’t nobody’s business. I do have my secrets, believe it or not. Too soon she left to rehearse for her October big performance and I went up to my room to figure out how to get to knotts berry farm so I could get a jar of boysenberry jam, some fried chicken and boysenberry pie. Yes I like those berries and ya can’t get ‘em in texas. And fried chicken? Yeah I like it. By the way the hotel I selected was specifically chosen because of its location – close to both boysenberry procurement, a good deal-four star inn, and my appointment in the morning. Clever and cheap I am. Think Jewish Yoda.

With purse and keys in hand my goal was clear. Drive to chicken restaurant, eat, purchase jam, return to hotel, sleep, get up in morning, got to appointment. The best laid plans. I arrived at Knotts, parked, and strolled to the restaurant to find it was a thirty minute wait for more food than I could possibly manage to consume without a bromo, so I decided to go next door, buy a smaller togo dinner, piece of pie, and jar of jam and eat back at the hotel. Not too bad I thought.

In the car the smell of crispy and delicious fried chicken threatened me to tear open the box but I was strong and had the foresight that greasy chicken smell does not dissipate from car interiors even with the dangling air refresher.

I drove, hotel bound as quickly and safely as possible, parked. exited the vehicle, rushed through the lobby, hopped on the conveniently waiting elevator, pushed the button, smelled the chicken, again shook my head not yet to the temptation, exited said elevator, ran the short steps to my room, opened the door, threw my purse on the bed and finally tore open the box of chicken, biscuits with boysenberry (you cannot have too much) jam, corn and mashed potatoes with gravy. Grabbing the leg I took a ravenous bite, then another. Soon that leg was history as was the empty cavern within. No no, my appestat had not kicked in, but my reptilian brain was no longer fighty or flighty. I could now enjoy my meal with nary a care in my world. Or so I thought.

I had managed to nosh on a spoonful of corn, finish the entire but too tiny, delicious portion of mashed potatoes, nibbled then chomped one berry smothered biscuit (yum) and was just having my third bite of breast when I found that I was something’s dinner. Bed bugs or fleas? No!!! Yuck!

Yes, my hands and feet were being munched upon. Oh shit! I yelled this as I hurriedly packed up my belongings, called the front desk to demand another room, grabbed the as yet uneaten boysenberry pie portion in its own box and my suitcase, backpack, purse, exited the infested room, stomped down the hall to the elevator, pushed the button, exited the elevator to then stomp louder to the front desk to pick up the key to a new, hopefully uninhabited room. All this after kvetching and showing my bitten body parts. I have no shame.

Fast forward. I slept. I woke. I showered. I dressed. I grabbed a banana at the “you call this breakfast?” Lobby cafe. At the front desk I mentioned I’d like a refund. Got the refund. Exited hotel and drove, without mishap (thank God, Goddess and angels) to my appointment.

My appointment was absolutely wonderful, with everyone exited to be working together. I will not elaborate further because I have signed an NDA with my angels. Woo woo.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I lied about the brevity. I’m here for a week. More later. Have a fun week.

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