Monday, May 20, 2013

LOFT LIFE: Connections

I should have known complications were on my itinerary when my son-in-law questioned my wisdom in booking three connections from Windsor Locks, CT to Burbank, CA. 

“I’m trying to fly into a closer airport so you don’t have to drive to LAX,” I defended.

On a previous trip he had requested I do this. But, I think he believed I could do it in no more than two airplane connections. And, that was before he had spent three years getting used to California freeways. You do get used to the freeway crawl, believe it or not.

Anyway, the trip out found me delayed in Newark, which added three hours to an already long ten hour day in flight and in airports. That meant I got to Burbank at 8:30pm, instead of 5:30pm. Oh well.

After a lovely five-day visit with my daughters, including a Culver City lunch patio lunch at Tender Greens, with all three, 

 and some wonderful excursions with my youngest,
which included good old California cuisine, Japanese boba tea (or as the newbies would call it, bubble tea), a cheese shop in Topanga Canyon
where celebrity sightings have been known to happen, a macaroon shop in Beverly Hills,
we made a trip to the gym to celebrate my youngest’s new membership. We skipped the cold pressed smoothie-juice bars. You know while Southern Californians are deciding on which type of smoothie shop to visit, we in New England are trying to find somewhere that actually makes healthful smoothies. The pickings are slim, as they say.

I also had a wonderful Mother's Day Sunday starting at Bel Air Presbyterian Church where the memorable guest preacher was Carlo Campo, President of Regent University in Virginia,
and followed later by a fantastic dinner at Fleming's, of lamb chops and a berries and cream dessert.  

Anyhoo, back to airplanes, it was on my plan for a red eye back home where I began to agree with son-in-law. Maybe it was my daughter’s scolding on the way to leg one of three, at Burbank, “Mom, don’t ever do this again. We will drive to L.A.”

I was early for my 6:00 pm flight from Burbank to San Francisco. Finally, we boarded at 5:30 pm, sat on the tarmac, apparently waiting for something or someone. About fifteen minutes after boarding the pilot came on the P.A. “Not good news,” he said.

So there are two “pins” in the cabin door, and one of them was missing. The pilot called to see if we could fly with one, and, I guess, was told that “the airplane has many parts, and we need all of them to fly.” I pictured the cabin door bursting open mid-flight, kind of like when the Muppets made their fly-through-the-air landing, and figured that being delayed would be a better option.

So we all deplaned from the regional jet, and stood in line to be re-booked, just in case, right!, they couldn’t get the part quickly.  They couldn’t. I ended up on the shuttle to LAX to try to get my second connection,the red eye, to Newark.

Amazingly, even with a 10 pm flight from LAX to Newark, instead of a 6 pm one, from Burbank to San Fran, I DID make the connection. So this only made my 10 hours into fourteen hours. This is the house of cards result of my elaborate three connections.

But had this not happened, I would not have met John Fortune, a jazz-blues musician, originally from Haiti. I went to John’s website, and was delighted to listen to previews of his albums. I love Blues Jam from his Hand in Hand album. Check it out. 

I was concerned about not making my Newark connection, but the shuttle driver assured me I would. He told me to relax. I asked his name, and he said it was Chris, but I pushed and got his real name, Hacheek. He was an Armenian Christian, and we had a lovely chat about Armenia and the faith there. He continued to tell me to relax, and I did make it on time, as he said I would, even with the extra stop to drop off John at his home.

All in all, I agree with Hacheek. It is best to just relax and enjoy the journey and all its serendipities, which really can be fun if you look at it that way.