As with any great adventure it all begins and revolves around a girl, a hair brained idea, and maybe a bit of spontaneity. Let me bring you up to speed. Here are the facts...
- I have a crush on this girl.
- She's dating someone else. (insert the booing here)
- We have a week off work due to a scheduled hiatus.
- I have friends in LA.
These were the main ingredients for the trip. When I say crush I mean SUPER crush. It had gotten to the point that I couldn't stop thinking about her. When I first asked her out she was single and there's a whole story behind that so I won't get into it and focus more on what's been happening recently.
The nice thing about working is that I've been able to focus on something other than the girl, doing actual work in the fear of getting fired for not doing my job. Still work can only do so much and eventually while on my way home thoughts of the girl seep back in.
Logic would dictate that longing for someone in a relationship is unrealistic and perhaps even unhealthy. I get it. Knowing this didn't make me think of her less. It's because of this obsession that I knew that during hiatus with nothing else to do I would succumb to the thoughts of the girl permeating my brain. I needed to think about other things, do things to take the girl out of my primary thoughts. That's when the idea of travelling came to mind.
Okay, so why Los Angeles? Part of the decision was that Rollercon in Las Vegas had just ended and I didn't go. I could have gone had I taken two days off of work but a props person told me I should not give up the two days of work seeing as we're going to be done the season soon. While I ended up earning the money for those two days, in the back of my mind I regretted not going to Vegas. After all there were a lot of friends (skaters) that went and they showed up from all around the globe. It would have been good to see everyone in one fell swoop.
Photos started to appear on facebook. The bouts, the hijinks, the black and blue ball and a bunch of other fun rollercon stuff. Someone even posted something about eating at an IN N OUT burger. A burger place I missed going to during the last four visits. I could still travel to Vegas but it wouldn't be the same without all the skaters and people I knew.
The travel seed was planted though. West Coast visiting and for some reason the IN N OUT burger. I had to have a burger from that place. I had asked the guys that worked on R.I.P.D. what they were doing that week not really knowing at the time how everything would gel together.
As it turned out Chau had a couch waiting for me. I bought tickets for the week and off I went.
It should be noted that I didn't know I was being photo bombed at the time. The guys behind me are awesome.
18:18 Eastern standard time
No idea where we are. I'm on a Westjet boeing 737-800 plane somewhere in the air between Toronto and Calgary. I've got an aisle seat. Traveling in economy class. Walking on the plane I knew there would be trouble as I counted six baby strollers in a pile before getting to the plane entrance. Add to that the flight booking computer put me in seat B. seat A is next to a window, seat C next to the aisle. It meant I would be sitting in between two people.
As it turns out the two people weren't cute single women and luckily were not two fat smelly people either. I was seated between two parents. They picked A and C in the hopes that if the plane wasn't full seat B could be used to hold their little girl. A small baby. I would think she's around two (but she could be older, I'm no baby expert).
At one point in the flight, 18:00, the other babies decided to start crying in turns. It was like a crying smack down where one baby would stop and tag the next baby to start. I don't think more than two babies were going at once. But there was one baby who just outdid them all. Not so much the loudness, all the babies cried at about the same volume. No with this kid it was duration and the number of family members it took to quiet the kid down. I counted four family members. Mother, grandmother, father, aunt (I'm guessing at the relation of these people). I inwardly laughed thinking that this family would have a mamma's boy in about ten years.
It was more of a nervous laugh. Another dependent adult in the world that can't think for themselves probably sucking the energy from everyone around them.
Getting back to the parents I was sandwiched between. The dad offered to switch seats so I was in seat C next tot the aisle. Their girl almost started to cry when offered some apple juice but quickly started drinking and remained silent. This prompted the dad to give her a thumbs up. "Yeah kid, don't give into peer pressure.", I thought.
If I ever have the luck to snag a girl and become a parent I would want a kid like this.
Mamma's boy is activated. I'm not sure if someone stubbed the kid's toe or accidentally sat on him but he's wailing and going for the record for the decibel levels of a piglet under duress (which is louder than a jet engine by the way).
20:49 EST (16:49 Calgary time)
Traveler tip: allocate enough time at Calgary airport if you're doing a connecting flight and need to go through US customs. You will have to pick up your bag from the carousel (located on the way to customs/US connecting flights).
It didn't seem very good that a guy before me from a flight from Edmonton had been waiting an hour and a half for his luggage to appear. Eventually it did and he made his flight. One of the workers told me it takes an average of 20 minutes for the luggage to make it's way from the plane to the carousel. That would give me 25 minutes to go through US customs, the x-ray machine, and find my departure gate.
Traveler tip: check the departure gates (usually there is a screen with all the departing flights) when you arrive at the airport. Even though you may get a boarding pass with a gate number on it (in my case gate C32 issued in Toronto) the gate number may change while you're on your way. My gate changed to C33.
19:15 EST (17:15 Calgary time)
Now on a Boeing 737-600/700. "Let's get this Boeing going!" one of the flight attendants bellows.
Hey! It's Chau! And she has a luggage cart. She said she didn't have to pay for one and I joked that there was an old lady wandering around looking for the cart she "misplaced".
IN And OUT burgers. I ordered (actually Chau did the ordering) a double double (double patty and double slices of cheese) and a chocolate milkshake. It was quite yummy and pretty reasonably priced.