Friday, May 4, 2012

I have an idea, I should go to Cali

What's the most resilient parasite? An Idea

The power of words…Random conversations here and there, thoughts dropped and popped in and out of my mind and by Friday, I was convinced that it would be a great idea to go to Los Angeles for the weekend. Despite the fact that it is a six hour flight each way in one measly weekend, I don’t know anyone there and since I hadn’t even purchased tickets, I’d be traveling on standby which meant that I could get left back in LA, that parasite continued to grow in my mind.

A coworker and fellow football (soccer) lover handed me the MLS Red Bulls Soccer schedule. I highlighted a few games I wanted to attend including the May 5th game against LA Galaxy. I took that information as a sign I was supposed to go to LA. Around 3PM, I booked round-trip tickets to LA.

Getting to the airport

At 5PM, I left work, raced home to catch the 8:51PM last flight of the day! I threw some items in a suitcase and got to the bus stop two minutes before the bus arrived. While on the airport bus, I called for hotel and car reservations. I rushed off the bus after 8PM and ran up the escalators to the AirTran to get to the next terminal. As soon as I reached the top of the stairs, the train came with barely enough time to figure out what direction I needed to go. I guess I had a “damsel in distress” look on my face because a gentleman offered assistance and leaded me to the right direction.


I headed to JetBlue’s counter and there was no one inline! Thank you Jesus!

I checked my bag and rushed over to the security gate. There were about 15 people ahead of me. I watched the time elapse and at this point I have 20 minutes to get to my plane and I still don’t have a seat assignment. A gentleman approached me and asked me to follow him; he walked me over to the VIP/crewmember line so now I am number 3 on line. Favor! The lady in front of me is taking way too long to take her shoes off so I waited patiently (I was actually quite proud of myself). Eventually the airport security agent, told me to go ahead of her. For the first time in a long time I was not “randomly selected” or have a random hair pin or metal on my bra strap! As I exit the security area, JetBlue’s final boarding call announcements start to echo. Out of breath, I get to the departure gate and there are no passengers lingering around; the gate agent proceeded to ask me “are you willing and able to help in the case of an emer…” and I responded “absolutely” – thinking emergency exit row means more leg room and I just need a seat since I arrived at the departure gate with ten minutes to spare!
At 12:30am on Saturday, I arrived LAX airport
The Saga continues

My neighbor was actually on the same flight with me, we chatted as we waited at the carousel for our luggage and he offered me a ride to my hotel. I told him that I needed to pick up my rental car, seconds later, the rental car shuttle arrived which I realized was a huge blessing because the couple beside me were waiting for 40 minutes! Ten minutes later, I walk up to the rental car counter and produce my driver’s license, bank card and confirmation number. After confirming all the details, I am told that my card declined! I called my bank and they advised me that there were no blocks and it should be fine for the amount I was trying to use. I asked if I could pay cash but the policy was that the company had to hold enough money on my card. As if it weren’t enough drama just getting to the airport, it’s 1am, I am in LA with no car to get to my hotel and I find this quite laughable. (You see I have been having issues with HSBC bank, what should be considered excellent fraud protection has become the greatest nuisance to me. The week before HSBC declined my Groupon purchase of $10 for a Central Park voucher! ) But I digress. I walked across the street and checked into a really nice garden hotel, HSBC declined my card as well BUT I was allowed to pay cash so sweet sleep awaited me on a King sized bed.


This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the hotel happened to be 15 minutes away from the Home Depot Stadium, 2 minutes away from my satellite church and a mere 10 minutes back to the airport! Additionally, the shuttle bus took me everywhere I needed to go and there were local buses one block away.

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