Wednesday, August 11, 2010
L.A.-la land, pt. 1.
About five minutes after we got the save-the-date cards for Jamie's wedding, me & Regina had already booked our plane tickets, lined up the rental car and started making a list of all the touristy crap we wanted to see in Los Angeles. It was a no-brainer; we were going. (Of course, the fact that we got the cards in the dead of winter probably helped spur us along a little. Who doesn't want to daydream about sunshine and palm trees when there's two feet of snow on the ground?)
The end of July finally came, and early one morning I found myself scrunched into the window seat of a plane hurtling from Minneapolis to L.A., an octogenarian on the aisle and a woman who bore a striking resemblance to Frau Farbissina in the middle of the row. I usually like the window seat, because I don't usually need to get up to use the bathroom...but this time, my timing had been thrown off since our plane left almost two hours late. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Unfortunately, Frau Farbissina proved not only a physical obstacle, but a cranky one at that. I purposely waited until Granny on the aisle had gotten up to walk around, and for the Frau to finish her third sandwich of the flight (she was a skinny broad, but holy crap, it was like she raided an Old Country Buffet before she got on the plane, she had so much food in her carry-ons) before I politely asked to be released from my seat. "You window seat people!" she muttered as she stowed her chips in her duffel bag of snacks. "Don't sit there if you have to go to the bathroom." Oh, okay, next time I'll just throw on a pair of Depends so as not to disturb the delicate genius as she takes on a little nourishment. Christ. When I got back two minutes later, she rolled her eyes and made a big show of wiggling out of her seat again to let me back in...like air travel isn't unpleasant enough, right? Just be decent, it's not so hard.
Anyway, after that minor ordeal was over, Regina and I found each other at LAX and almost immediately, we stumbled upon a thick vein of comic gold at the rental car place down the street. As a kindly gentleman was helping me check in, an irate woman stomped through the waiting room behind me. "My car won't be ready for two hours??" she hollered to no one in particular. I turned around to see who was causing all the clamor and you guessed it - it was Frau Farbissina! What are the chances? The Frau launched into an expletive-laced diatribe about the poor state of Alamo Rental Car...at which point the kindly gent who was helping me chimed in, "Ma'am, this is National, Alamo's downstairs." "I KNOW THAT!" she screamed. "Well, we can't help you, ma'am, you'll have to go back downstairs and sort this out with them." Stomp-stomp, scream-scream. It was like a Godzilla movie.
We crashed at the hotel that afternoon, and a little later on, Jamie picked us up and took us out for some lazy sightseeing and eating. Two of our favorite things! First up: Venice Beach.
It wasn't as crazy as I expected it to be (hey, I've seen Mixed Nuts), but we did get a few flashes of nutso.
Oh, California, you and your positive rocks. I would've been a little disappointed if I hadn't seen something this hippy-dippy-trippy on the boardwalk.
When we all lived in Montana, Jamie would wax poetically about the orange trees in her backyard when she was growing up...this always sounded terribly exotic to the rest of us, coming from the land of the ice & snow, so after a stop for tacos Jamie took us to her house to pick some citrus fruit. Our minds were blown.
Then again, my mind was also blown by the fact that speed bumps are referred to as "speed humps" in Jamie's neighborhood, so the bar maybe wasn't set all that high by that point in the day.