California: Day One

Sometimes, when I get the chance to go on a trip or adventure, I don’t always get the immediate opportunity to reflect on the experience. I find that I’ll put it on the back burner and it is some time before I am able to sit down and sort through all that might have happened. My trip to California late last year is one such occurrence. Recently, though, the whole thing came back to me as I saw a copy of the Columbus Dispatch. Tabitha and I were walking into a diner to grab a quick bite to eat and we happened to walk by a newspaper stand. The headline read “Skybus Folds”. My first thought was not knowing how I’d be able to get back out to California again (without the aid of such affordable airfare). We bought the paper and while we were eating our wonderfully greasy burgers with fries, we talked about my trip out there and how much I wish I could experience it again. Since then, I have been thinking non-stop of the post that I intended to complete upon my return.

My friend Andy called me sometime in early October 2007. He had the idea that he could fly me out to California and back for a quick weekend later that month because Skybus tickets were still very cheap for those dates. I quickly checked my calendar and agreed. I hadn’t been out to see Andy since before I got married and it was high time for me to spend some much needed time in the sun. By the time we got off the phone, it was decided that I would fly out on a Friday into Burbank, California and come back the following Monday. The amazing thing is that all of this was accomplished for under $150, all thanks to Skybus.

The flight out was non-eventful and before 11am “West Coast Time”, I was getting off the plane and into the car with Andy. The flight had no food service and by this time I was very hungry. We parked the car back at his house in Glendale, I threw my junk inside (except for my camera) and we headed off to a small breakfast diner down the street. We pigged out on bacon and eggs, waffles, toast and hash browns. Nothing makes me hungry like being 30,000 feet off the ground for four hours. After breakfast we took a stroll around his neighborhood. We also went to his local Trader Joe’s (they’re everywhere out there) so we could stock up on provisions for the rest of the weekend.

On the way back to his house, we walked by a building that I failed to notice the first time. On the side of that building was a distressed painting of an American flag. It’s very reminiscent of a Jasper Johns painting of the same subject. It struck me because of the very patriotic statement it makes – it blends in so well with its environment . . . you could almost think of it as a subliminal message.

For the rest of the day, we drove around L.A. and I was shown all of the different movie studios that Andy has worked in, through various jobs that he’s had in the last few years. On this particular part of the trip I kept my camera in my bag most of the time. One, because it was getting late and I was feeling the jet lag take over. Two, because I was afraid of looking like a dopey tourist with my camera attached to my face the whole time. (Sorry, no Star Sightings in this post thank you very much.)