Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Planes, trains and automobiles, though not in that order

My Mum flew into LA last week, visiting for Granny's birthday. I took Friday off work and drove to LAX straight after work on Thursday. After 3 hours of driving directly into the low evening sun my seared eyeballs and I rolled up at the airport at 8.01, a minute before her plane was scheduled to land. I called Matt, so he could check the flight status online for me. It read "diverted". Visions of having to drive to Arizona (or Idaho, or Canada...) to rescue my mother from a night in a motel quickly developed into wondering if "diverted" meant "hijacked". I swiftly parked and went to find an airline employee before my imagination completely took over.

Blah blah storm in Midwest delayed incoming plane blah blah takeoff 4 hours late blah blah low on fuel (umm...low on fuel?) blah blah stopping in Phoenix to gas up...will land at half past midnight. Maybe. The good part being that she was still going to be landing at the right airport, and I didn't have to hang about for half-hourly updates; the bad part being 4-5 hour delay, landing after midnight, followed by a 3 hour drive back to San Diego. I decided to go see a movie, just to kill the time, because 4-5 hours of knitting and reading a magazine in horrible airport air and fluorescent light would have left me in bad shape for the drive back. Finding a cinema involved using Matt, and Matt's laptop (back at home) as a makeshift GPS, where I drove up Sepulveda Blvd, calling out the cross streets and he tried to find me on Google Maps, then find a cinema we could be reasonably certain was a mainstream one, not a sketchy adult movie house. I ended up at the Pacific Theater in Culver City, in a very charming little entertainment zone with stylish people dining al fresco, a few shops selling very designed looking furniture, and a fountain outside the cinema. I was very glad that my jaunt didn't take me to a bad neighborhood, as I left the movie at midnight to go back to LAX.

Mum landed, tired but fairly chipper, and had no checked luggage, so we could go straight out to the car and get on the road. Some ibuprofen helped me make the drive back without a splitting headache at the end of it, and we got home at 3.30am. Ugh. The next morning we were all up at about 7, as Matt was working that day, and we had hair appointments. The weekend got much better from then. Ending with putting Mum on a train for LA, where she is now visiting with her sister.

I saw (most of) Iron Man by the way, did not expect to enjoy it, but it was really good.


Stace said...

phew, what a saga! Is there no San Diego airport she could have flown to instead? Oh well, at least you got your mother, safe and sound!

K said...

How sensible you are. I think I'd have hit an airport bookshop and then sat around drinking too much expensive coffee, with predictably bad results.

Ah, "sketchy". I'm intrigued to see you use the word in the sense of "seedy" since I've only come across it used that way by one other person, and had decided from this representative sample that it must be a Southern US thing. (I'd use it, if ever, to mean "vague" or "slapdash".)

Rosemary Grace said...

This terminal was very bare and chopped up into segments, not like Heathrow or Edinburgh, and I didn't see a bookshop or coffee shop around, otherwise I'd probably have parked myself in Starbucks and finished knitting a hat. As it was, I got to be "that woman" in a movie theatre alone at 10pm on a Thursday, KNITTING while waiting for the show to start.

Isabelle said...

Oh, your lovely Mum! I'm sure she was worth waiting for, though!

Rosemary Grace said...

Oh, there is an airport in San Diego, but it's a smaller international hub, it's generally much cheaper to fly through LAX, Matt and I did it the first time we went to visit my family together.