Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dispatch from Marina del Rey

Since I could not see Viggo at the Panida this weekend, I brought him and the Sandpoint Reader along with me to Marina del Rey. 

Well, we are in warm Southern California.  So far, we haven't experienced much of the local color 'cept for a maze of hallways.  

Somewhere within that maze, Annie and I are living in our temporary  quarters---a nice condo with two bedrooms, two baths, a coffee pot that works and a simple but classy, ultra-modern feel.

We've dined on Pizza Hut pizza, which was delivered to the lobby, and watched some TV.  
And, to my dear friend Eirica: we still haven't seen George Strait looking for the love he left behind here.  The trip is young!

Twas a bit dramatic and challenging getting here, but I ended up doing it in style.  

I arrived at Spokane Airport yesterday morning  with plenty of time for check-in and to chalk up hundreds of steps on my Fitbit.  

About half an hour before my flight to Seattle was set to take off, I walked to the boarding area only to learn the flight would be taking off late.  Twasn't a big concern until we learned it would be even later, cutting the time for me to meet Annie and board the flight for Los Angeles.

For a time, the lady at the counter thought she should rebook me for a flight leaving Seattle three hours later for Los Angeles----meaning that Annie would leave on the scheduled flight and then have to wait around for another three hours.

I finally decided to take a chance on the original flight working out, and in Seattle Annie said she would tell the gate people her mom was coming.

When we touched down in Seattle, I received a text from Annie saying our flight had two other passengers trying to connect with the Los Angeles flight, so some good news.

I raced indoors, followed the signs to the N gate, which also would mean boarding a train.  As I boarded the train, Annie texted that they were still boarding the LA flight.

"That's good," I thought, knowing I still had to hoof it.  I arrived at the gate, gave the lady my name, only to have her tell me she didn't have a Marianne Love listed.  I showed her my boarding pass, which, indeed, indicated I should be on that flight.

"You were rebooked," she said.

"I told the lady NOT to rebook me," I said.

"We'll take care of it," she said, while dealing with some other passengers.  Then, she hurriedly prepared another boarding pass.

"You are in seat 4," she said, motioning me to get going.

Well, lucky me-----first class!  And, the last person on the plane!  I had time to wave at Annie in the coach section and sat down. Almost immediately, I received a text.

"How'd you get first class?" Annie had written. I did not want to tell her that my status had been earned the hard way and did not want to tip off my seat partner, Rob, the bridge engineer, that I was a newbie at this first-class stuff.

So, I just suggested it was the seat they gave me. Later, a flight attendant came by, called me by my first name and told me about Annie concerns about her mom making the plane.  

Turns out I did not have to feign longtime sophistication with my seat mate cuz he admitted he was kind of a newbie too.  Nonetheless, he had had enough experience to tell me where the heck they'd hidden my dining tray when the tortellini and salad came. 

I kinda liked that experience and really enjoyed Rob.  He was a Class of 1987 high school grad from Sacramento, so he earned points right away as I recalled how much my students in the Class of 1987 had helped me make it through our house fire when they were sophomores.  

Over the past 30-plus years, I've always maintained that school, at the time, provided a sense of stability in an otherwise chaotic life, and those students made the difference. Rob felt assured that he had passed the test for the ol' school marm sitting next to him.

We never stopped talking all the way to LA, and I think it turned out to be a mutual enjoyment, just as it had been with my seatmate on the first flight to Seattle.

John is an American Airlines pilot living in Spirit Lake, and since we both know Larry Isenberg, the forester guiding him with his property and because his son is a University of Idaho student earning his Master's in Architecture (my brother Jim has a U of I architecture degree), we became good friends.  

Common ground always makes for good conversation and positive connections.  Maybe some of our national leaders ought to concentrate on a little common ground and build up some friendships before duking it out on our country's policies. 

Anyway, we did not experience another "first" before our day ended.  Yes, first class on a flight was a first for me, and Annie has already arranged a second such experience on my flight back. I'll take it. 

Annie, however, had been dealing with a migraine headache, so we simply picked up our rental car, searched and eventually found our condo and hunkered in for the night. 

Big day ahead with the first adventure occurring at Santa Anita Park, where, if we're lucky and enter the gate as part of the first 4,000,  I may get a poster of California Chrome and even meet Victor Espinosa, the most recent Triple Crown winning jockey. 

Later, we'll meet one of Annie's geocaching friends for an early dinner and then attend a hockey match at Staples Center.  I have already confessed to my trusted angel that I will NOT be with my family stuffing my mouth and yelling for the ZAGS vs. St. Mary's tonight. 

He told me to get the app on my phone and watch the game in between flying hockey pucks.  And, if a puck hits me in the head, I'll probably deserve it. 

GO, ZAGS.  I'll be saying my "Hail Mary's" at Staples Center and hoping for another historic ZAG victory. 

And, soon we'll head outside to see if we can track down George. Happy Saturday.

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