Monday, March 31, 2008

Good Monday Morning...!

... and I'm guessing y'all can't wait to hear the gruesome details of our return journey to Southern California. Am I right? Right or wrong, here goes...

We had been sitting in the bar (no other seats available) over a shared fried green tomato BLT at the famous Poogan's Porch restaurant in downtown--Poogan, by the way, should you be wondering, is the name of a mutt who refused to leave his porch when the last owners of the house sold it to the current restauranteurs--watching the weather station out of the corner of our eyes with growing apprehension of the thunderstorms that were predicted overnight and into the morning. I was imagining the two-hour drive from Charleston back to the Savannah airport through sheets of rain and bolts of lightning striking inches from our rental car; and Ellie, the take-off, with our small plane buffeted by squalls.

Didn't happen. We were up early, though, leaving our inn at six o'clock after a quick cup of coffee and on the road to the airport. Smooth sailing. Nary a drop of rain. Well, a slight drizzle, for a few minutes of the drive, and an easy rental car return. At the airport, we opted found the espresso machine down at Starbucks and opted, instead, for the business class lounge--at Savannah, a tiny room with a do-it-yourself coffee machine that produced, for me, hot milk when I pressed the cappuccino button. Ah well.

Let me explain. United had called, a week before, with a tempting offer. They would upgrade us to first class all the way home in exchange for a change in flight plan--we would have to leave a couple of hours earlier than planned. Sounded fine. Except that "first class" turned out to mean, on the flight from Savannah to Dulles Airport, the front seats on a single-cabin plane--and a free glass of orange juice. From Dulles to Los Angeles, it was first class on Ted, the stripped down version of United: smallish, crawl-over-your-neighbor seats and what used to be served for lunch, in the old days, in economy. None of those little luxuries like your own movie screen and tilt-up leg supports. Still, lest I sound curmudgeonly and ungrateful to United Airlines for their generous offer, it was a lot better than the economy seats on the way out.

Oh, gripe, gripe, gripe. But the truth is, air travel is truly a bit of a nightmare these days.

The real nightmare, though, was saved for our arrival at LAX. The usual wait for luggage at what's joyfully called the "caroussel", and at the curb for a bus to the long-term parking. Then, when we found our beloved little Prius and pressed the button to open up the doors and the trunk--nothing! Not a click, not a beep, nothing. The car remained obstinately closed. We called the triple A (sometimes, yes, you do thank the Almighty for the gift of cell phones) and explained the problem. A Prius, we thought, would present special break-in problems--and how could anyone jump-start a dead hybrid battery. The Toyota service people, of course, we enjoying their Sunday break. No help there. We had visions of spending the night at an airport hotel, calling our daughter for help...

Happily, though, after a wait in unusually cold and blustery weather in the charming confines of LAX C Lot, help arrived in the form of a AAA mechanic, who got us opened up AND started for the trip down to Laguna, where we were reunited, happily, with our George.

I have some final pictures to add to this travel log, and plan to do s o later. In the meantime, thanks for joining me. Back to The Buddha Diaries tomorrow.

4 comments:

robin andrea said...

I hate flying, but I do love reading your account of it. You remind me why I don't ever consider flying as a viable way to travel. Glad you are home.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks, Robin!

roger said...

welcome back. but i must ask which almighty a buddhist thanks.

PeterAtLarge said...

Yes, Roger. But sometimes you just have to invent Someone to thank. Providence? Karma? Good to hear from you...