I scampered through the airport TSA pre-check. It was green lights all the way until I was selected for additional screening. That included a pat down, running the beeping wand over my sillouette, swiping my palms with something on a paper strip, and doing the hokey poky in the infamous X-ray booth. On the upside, there was no body cavity search, and the security lady said, “Happy Birthday, darlin’. You have a blessed day,” when she was done.
Discovered we lost our treasured economy comfort bulkhead seats for the return flight when I requested the wheelchair. Fair enough, since that plane’s bulkhead is also an exit row, an automatic out for the infirm. Dang. Flight to LA not bad at all for me. I read and napped, Robert read a newspaper, went through his vast backlog of emails (7000+! Some going back to 2004!) and took half of a prescribed muscle relaxer. He seemed to do fine. In fact he did better than at home, because he was not as bored and frustrated with his temporary disability.
On arrival, Robert declined assistance – no, no I’m fine – until he walked the length of the jetway from the plane to the concourse, whereupon he cried uncle. I snagged a guy passing by with a wheelchair, and he pushed Robert through the LAX labyrinth of handicap accessible elevators, and wide, empty underground halls. The attendant was a Russian military brat until he was 10 when his parents emigrated to LA. He became a US citizen and just passed a battery of security checks in order to qualify to translate for hospitals and corporations. It was a long walk. I was very glad Robert succumbed and agreed to be helped. “Pain taught me what pride would not let me learn.”
We took the shuttle to Budget Rentacar which was a zoo. Go figure! A line so long it was out of the building and down the sidewalk. Robert secured a car and I ate my first meal in LA – spit temperature water, crumbs in the bottom of a bag of Fritos, and a piece of Vermont chocolate my daughter gave me for my birthday. I was desperate. Car sorted, Robert drove while I navigated via my iPhone Google maps, impersonating a SatNav.
The Little Cottage behind the Garden B&B is just as welcoming as we remembered. Joan’s on 3rd made up for my nasty lunch with some sublime selections for takeaway, including a gorgeous salad made of grilled fresh corn, jicama, red onion, edamame, fresh apple soaked in something, and a touch of cilantro. So so delicious. Robert had egg salad on ciabatta and a cappuccino. I heroically eschewed the ham and brie on a croissant, and went for turkey meatloaf, grilled snow peas, and asparagus, butternut squash salad, grilled heirloom carrots, and that grilled corn salad. Divine. I snagged a tiramisu and a chocolate roulade for desert, which I will eat tonight along with seconds of everything I ate for lunch. I am not made of stone. Yet.
On the walk back I see my first piece of indigenous LA graffiti; ‘Figure With iPhone Posture.’
We are having a little lie down now. Will probably laze around the rest of the evening. Tomorrow Robert drives me to the Getty Villa for the day, and he’ll visit a friend in Malibu and sit on his deck. Good times.