October 16, 2011

Picture to follow

Robert, Robert and Lee.  Robbie, Robert and Lee.  Shoo, Bobert and Lee. Shoo, Robert and Lee.  When you have two friends for 44plus years and you have consistently been in contact, things like turning 50 are important.  Tina tried to get Robert and Shoo to come for my fiftieth.  Robert, unfortunately couldn't make it. I jumped at the chance to surprise Robert this weekend.  Robert has arranged with Shoo to surprise him on Shoo's 50th.

I got the call from Andrew, Roberts eldest, about the event.  We have an airline that does commuter hops to LAX from Medford. They do not fly on Friday, so I got Thursday flight out at 2:30PM with a Return from LAX flying out at 5:30AM.

Tina drove me to my Pops house on Wednesday after work.  We visited and ate, Pop is learning to play electric Organ.  I followed him around with his routine, Walking, Sherries restaurant etc., then a ride to the airport.

The flight was uncomfortable as I chose my seat poorly.  The flight dropped me at the maze of LAX and the walk to the street and Budget rent-a-car shuttle was a long one, augmented by the scaffolds and partitions set up for a re-modelling.  The car was rented, GPS was set and I was driving in that mystically fairy land known as  El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula.

Traffic is horrid and my trusty Garmin tried its best to avoid numerous freeway blockages by shunting me to various freeways then, surface streets.  I got to tour Norwalk and Compton on my surface street route to Brea.  I got quickly disgusted with the sheer amount of commercials on the Radio broadcast (really, twenty minutes of each hour?)  So the XM came in handy, once I eliminated bulk of the stations down.

Two hours and thirty minutes later I was so happy I live in Oregon and badly in need of head ache meds.  My sis-in-law was gracious enough to give me food and medication.  We chatted, walked the dog, watched some tube and I slept soundly.  Next morning was some small bagels, then another treat of So-Cal traffix.  This time I was Garmin'd to the toll freeways.  This was really cool.  Not only do you drive over 10 mph, but you get a better sense of the sheer amount of undeveloped land.  I made good time and soon arrived at Shoo's domicile.

Due to the painters not finishing last Wednesday most of his houses furnishings where piled into the living room. It only added to the fun that only a chaotic atmosphere can bring.  Shoo took me on a tour of Laguna and then Costa Mesa where we snapped pictures of my old neighborhood and my old house.  It was unoccupied and the construction guys there let me inside for a few pictures.

We had a nosh at Togo's, played some WOW and relaxed in the jacuzzi prior to heading out for family dinner at a Vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant.  Shoo was not feeling all that great so he bowed out early.  Leaving his daughter Val and I the opportunity to watch the Ducks blank the Sharks.

Next morning, Saturday, was Roberts surprise.  I had a few hours to kill so I headed to Irvine Spectrum and looked at the sights.  Then headed off to the local Costco to spy on them.

Robert's daughter Hailey, had me hide in various spots as she enjoyed her Dad NOT seeing me.  Finally I got to step out from the shadows.  Robert was surprised and happy to see me.  We went to a favorite family restaurant, joked and got back in time for the festivities.  Andrew had set up linked X-boxes and we did some Halo followed by poker, then more Halo.

Just a pretty good set of downtime with Pizza and spaghetti.  As midnight approached I was more and more worried that if I slept I might miss my wake up call and not make my flight.  Seeing as I was open seating getting to the airport early was paramount.

So I headed straight there and waiting for the employees to arrive.  The flight back was much shorter, due to my sleeping through most of it.

What a whirlwind!  It is good to be home.  

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