Greetings from Orange County, CA. From where I'm sitting, it don't look like much, let me tell you.
This has been one.marathon.day. The beginning of school, necessitating an earlier-than-usual exit from bed, was followed by JR#2's Junior Kindergarten teacher interview, which chewed up lots of time and was a bit of a fiasco. The poor little bunny (who turned 4 today, hence we had to get up even earlier for presents) was really not amused. Next, a busy few hours at work (when I eventually got there), cut short by rushing off to a memorial ceremony, which I will discuss later.
The airport cab showed up bang on time and delivered me, through rush hour traffic, to Lester B. Pearson International in... half an hour. That's nearly record speed. Result - Ricardipus arrives at about twenty to six, for a flight that won't start boarding until, oh, five to eight. Yet another error overwhelmingly on the side of caution, and another fun evening at LBP Terminal 2, which has exactly this much good stuff in it: nothing. Of course, I had been standing in line, not realizing that my earlier brilliant gambit of checking in online the previous night meant that I could have just walked through. Ah well, at least I didn't have to spend the additional time I would have saved in the departure lounge.
On the plane (late) and off we go... I haven't told you yet that I am tanked up on Advil and Amoxicillin, fighting a vicious throat/ear/sinus/URT infection that comes with a special fever sauce on top. Did I buy decongestant for the flight? No. Foolish, foolish Ricardipus.
I have never, ever, felt worse on a plane. My lower back is killing me from sleeping badly for several days with this fever, and did not respond well to a five hour flight. I was forced to buy a Swiss Chalet/Air Canada sandwich (cold) for an exorbitant amount, because they don't.give.you.free.food on Air Canada anymore. Remember when we used to laugh at budget airlines that did that?
Still starving, we began our descent, and I experienced the worst pain I have ever had in certain parts of my head. My ears, and the region directly behind them, felt like they were going to rupture, my neck had pains through it from sitting, and a nice sinus headache piggybacked along with it all. When we landed, I could hear very, very little. Both ears, almost completely blocked. And my voice was shot from coughing, the throat thing, and not getting enough water from the Air Canada stinge-meisters (come on, it's water, for goodness' sake).
LAX is a tedious place. 'Nuff said.
Bright spot - the car rental place did not have a cheapest-thing-to-rent compact car (which is what I had asked for) and I am now driving a mean looking black Dodge Charger. Some negotiation with another customer in the lot was required, which went a bit like this:
Me: Are you looking at the Charger?
Me: The Charger. Are you taking this car?
Him: The car?
Me: Do you mind if I take this one?
Him: Don't matter to me.
The above conversation may have had something to do with the facts that a) I could barely hear what I was saying, and b) I sounded like a very small frog that had swallowed a bottle of drain cleaner, lost its voice and subsequently been run over by a bus. They eventually settled for a white Dodge Magnum, which is also pretty spiffy, and which I spotted in the hotel parking lot when I got here. Well, I suspect it's the same one, anyway. Probably people I have to meet with tomorrow.
[EDIT: I just saw the guy at breakfast. We both wanted to use the toaster at the same time. I suspect that the Charger and the Magnum will end up wrapped around each other when we both try to occupy the same parking spot when we're returning the cars.]
By the way, the car company shuttle bus comes to the Purple Tram Stop. Why they call it a Tram Stop, I will never know. There are no trams running through the middle of this airport.
Anyway, 45 minutes or so down the San Diego freeway, which is an extremely tedious piece of road, and here I am. I was very impressed with the quietness of the ride in the Charger, until I realized that I still couldn't hear anything much. Perhaps I should write to the good folks at Dodge and suggest this as a marketing point: "Exceptionally quiet to hearing-impaired people".
The hotel is so-so, but has free hi-speed so I suppose I shouldn't complain. Much. More. A bottle of 'Cactus Cooler' (any resemblance to any other repulsive orange/pineapple soda-type drink is probably not at all coincidental), and off, finally, to bed.
Bed to bed time: 19 hours. That's not including the three hour time difference.