February 6, 2009
All went very, very well with the return trip. The taxi driver came right on time. It was raining & still dark at 6:30 a.m. We talked story the whole way & the traffic was light. By the time we arrived at LAX I felt I had made a friend. He heaved my heavy bags onto the cart to wheel inside & we hugged each other farewell.
At the Alaska baggage check in they said that First Class was all full, so they could not upgrade me, but I could ask again at the boarding gate. The agent had mercy on my for having to charge me $25 for the 2nd bag, $100 for the 3rd so even though he should have charged another $50 for the 1 overweight bag he did not. I wanted to hand carry the auto pilot parts because they are so essential. At the checked bag screening area, I asked the TSA lady if she thought my hunks of metal would be ok in my carry on. She said just to take them out of my suitcase, reveal them, ask to be checked & then I should have no problem. She was right. I zippety doo-dahed right through. They did hand check me but were so nice about it & I was in & through security still 3 hours ahead of my plane.
I sat by a nice looking gentleman on his way to Santa Rosa & we chatted about an hour before he boarded his plane. Then I had milk & a warm bear claw. Then I chatted with a couple going to Z-town for the 3rd time then got yogurt with granola AND oatmeal at Starbucks. I did not starve.
The boarding gate said all the First Class people for my flight had checked in so no luck with upgrading, but they put me in a window seat in the exit row so had PLENTY of leg room. The couple seated next to me were very nice. She is a retired Occupational Therapist who used to teach at Loma Linda of all things (where I went to PT school). She worked at the university after I graduated, but nonetheless we had plenty to chat about the entire 4 hour flight. So the time just flew as we flew.
Since I was in the middle of the plane, although they exited from front & back doors, I was just about the last person off. This put me as almost the last person to get through the immigration line. Poor Scott was out in the waiting area apoplectic! – did I miss the plane? Did they confiscate our bags? Worry worry… Me, I had more time to chit chat with everyone in line. Everyone was in a great mood, at the beginning of a vacation, how wonderful.
All 3 of my bags were there. A cute Mexican porter scooped them up in his cart & off we went to face CUSTOMS. The young bilingual gal only asked to see the packing list of the cardboard box. I showed her (my handwritten note) on the packing slip with the value of $93.32 for \”repairs\” of the boat trampoline. She then asked me to push the button & GREEN LIGHT!! Happy Days, here again. Hugs to the big guy waiting like an expectant father. He sends me out to the curb with my baggage handler while he finished paperwork to rent a car. Just as cheap as 2 cab rides. So we stopped at the Mega market & although an older one than some other cities, it certainly has everything I need. Although no walnuts, cranberries, flaxseed meal, decaf earl grey tea or good quality chocolate, so glad I brought those! We grabbed 24 bottles of wine to stow under the bed before we made it up with clean sheets. Got to get your provisioning priorities straight.
All is semi put away. Happy & tired Captain & First Mate off to shower & get in my clean sheets.
Although I missed seeing my No Cal special people, it was FAB FAB FAB for me to just stay in LA. And as happy as I am to be here with my sweetie & Home Sweet Boat I will most certainly be ready to jet back to beloved LAX (& next time No Cal too!) in about 6 weeks time!
More real grocery shopping tomorrow via rental car. Unfortunately even sailors cannot live on just wine!
Scott & Cindy
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