Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the Road: Goodbye LA 2013

Every trip I take to California is different and I try to accomplish a new task on each one. This is my thirteenth trip to Los Angeles. Two of the trips were taken many years ago, but the other eleven have been done since 2004. Sometimes I do the tourist thing and see the standard famous places. Other times I do the resident thing and see how I would feel if I lived here.

This trip ranks as one of the best I have ever taken. It has been relatively stress free and I have not had to deal with any strange incidents this time. I was able to see everyone I wanted to see and I met many new people. Originally I planned to spend two months in California, but I decided to double that time since I was having so much fun. Only one month of this period was spent in a hotel. The rest of the time I have been apartment-sitting for my daughter while she is away for work. This year's task was to see how I would handle living in a residential area in a private apartment and not a hotel. It was great!!

I am used to seeing my daughter's smiling face when I arrive in Los Angeles, so to have her gone was rather jarring. However, she did fly in for the holidays and I stayed in a hotel during that time so she could enjoy her apartment. Since the girls in the hotel room next to me were noisy, I was able to get only a few hours of sleep a night. I was happy to leave that property. Now that I am back at my daughter's place I have been getting a full night's sleep each night and I feel rested and healthy.

Each trip has a different focus in regard to things I want to find. Last year it was jeans. The year before that was charms and a digital camera. This year has been boots and I will be going home with four new pairs. Since I have maintained my weight loss, I have needed new clothes and have purchased many new tops.

The car is ready to go. I am really diligent about making sure the car is in excellent shape for the trip, so I have the oil changed in Akron and in Los Angeles. This year the mechanic had some bad news. The water pump was leaking and the car would never successfully make the trip home. I was not happy since the pump had been changed less than three years ago when I had the timing belt done, but the work was necessary. Fortunately, I have my mechanic in Burbank who quickly got the car repaired. That is the blessing of having someone I trust who will handle all aspects of my car and who cares about my safety.

I have been in the mode of watching the Weather Channel Weekly Planner reports to see what day I will depart. Unfortunately, multiple blizzards have prevented any serious plans to leave here. I have also spent time sitting on the stairs looking down at the pile of my luggage and wondering if it will all fit inside the car. Soon I will pull the car into the parking garage and pack the trunk. On the morning of my departure I will load the rest of the bags into the back seat of the car and get on the road.

This has been the best trip ever, but it is time to go home. Before I can enjoy my house, I have to complete the final leg of my journey - the trip home. Here's hoping it is a safe, but boring one!!!

(Photos taken in 2012 and 2008)
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