The journey gets going
01.05.2014 - 01.05.2014 32 °C
Saturday 3rd May 2014: Best Western Frontier Inn, Lone Pine, CA
It's roasting outside and we have escaped the mayhem of LA traffic, ending up for a night at the motel we last stayed at in 1981. It's the same as it was, even down to the dead wasps floating in the pool. It seems so familiar and after all that time. Amazing.
Anyway we were still in Miami when last we were with you, so it's a long way from there to here. Better get on with it whilst Bob is doing the laundry.... Why do I get all the rotten jobs?
Up before breakfast to join some American Airlines pilots in the shuttle bus to Miami airport. No, they are not flying us to Los Angeles. Simple check in and through security quite quickly with a full body scan, "arms up, face this way", for the first time. It even showed up John's hankie and passport which he was told in no certain terms should have gone through the scanner. For some reason Bob's boarding pass showed he was "TSA Prechecked" which meant he could have whisked through a special channel without checks. But he stuck with John so that we did not get separated.
Soon into the AA lounge wich was quite old and, as a result, very comfortable and cosy with big leather arm chairs. Food selection in domestic lounges is very restricted with a few pastries, nuts and cookies on offer. Unlimited coffee and soft drinks and one stronger drink if wished. Knowing we would get breakfast on the plane, we settled for a sticky pastry and coffee.
American Airlines (bankrupt) has recently merged with US Airways (not bankrupt) but the combined airlines will be called American and adopt the new livery. We like the old one with the polished metal!
Byebye Miami. We'll be back!
We'd already chosen our breakfast entrees (it gets madder). Bob the oatmeal which he said was delicious and John the salmon. Very nice but not much salmon. Bagel, cream cheese and jam all went down a treat.
The Mango Sorbet was absolutely yummy as can be seen.......
Soon aftern we left Miami the cloud thickened and we could see nothing of the terrible floods that had killed a number of people round Pensacola, Florida. However, it cleared after a while and the thrill of seeing nature at work started.
Bob has at last embraced some modern technology and was reading a book on his phone!
Before arrival, and to save us from starving, we were served a sugar or a chocolate chip cookie. We had one of each. Delicious too.......
One of the highlights of these trips is the flight across the interior of America. It always makes us wonder at the spirit of the pioneers who made it across so much of it which is so inhospitable and full of enormous barriers. We also think "we have to drive through that, somehow." Sometimes it does not seem that it could be possible.
We spotted some bright lights in the very distance. At first it looked as if they could be reflections but they went on too long for that. So it was etiher wildfires or UFOs. So much of the desert is given up to military testing and experiments that it was most likely the latter.
As we came in to land, another jet was taking off on a parallel runway, right by us. John managed to video it. It was somewhat odd to experience and quite exciting.
We then had to wait a while for a gate whilst another 777 pushed off, so there waa an opportunity to snap some planes for any friends who may be plane freaks, IanT!
There was some hassle collecting our car. John's name was not up on the board (first time this has happened) and we had to queue in the office. Then, despite booking it about 9 months ago, they did not have the car we had ordered. The problem is that we are going to drop if off in Montana and they do not want their own cars to not be returned to them. Which is daft as if all depots did that then no drop offs would be possible.
They eventually found an SUV with Colorado plates. A bit battered and not very clean but we took it rather than have to wait for an unknown time before something else came in. An Email has gone off to Hertz!
Actually it's not as bad as we thought and has a roaring V8 engine. Here is the beast, having arrived at the hotel car park. The beast not being the one with the checked shirt.
A nice cosy hotel, the Doubletree in Culver City, home of MGM, Columbia and now Sony pictures.
The hotel was full of delegates for a conference of members of the National Association of Post Office Supervisors. These were mostly elderly black ladies with grey hair from the Deep South who were absolutely wonderful. The place was full of laughter and Southern drawl. As Postal Supervisors we imagined them to be tough and bloody minded but charming with it. Which reminded us of someone else we know and love but could not quite put a finger on who that could be!
For dinner we took the easy option and drove the short distance to the Culver City Denny's which we knew from our previous visit. Getting used to driving in this place takes a while. It goes from initial terror to, after a couple of hours' driving to quite enjoying the battle to survive.
Denny's meals have improved enormously and are now good value and pretty darned delicious.
Bob had a Bourbon Chicken Skillet
and John the Seniors Chicken Fried Steak (for the over 55s). I'm not proud. A slightly smaller portion and cheaper too!
Right. Bob has finished the laundry and is doing a bit of ironing. This is small town America and places close early. We know that from bitter experience. So we'd better go eat....
The next Blog will be a gardeners' delight. hopefully.