Los Angeles, CA
It’s our last day in Canada. It’s Saturday, the sun is shining and the day promises to be hot again. Our flight isn’t until late afternoon so we haven’t actually started packing yet – plenty of time for that later. David and I have a couple of “man jobs” to do. A side effect of all that recent shelf and flat pack construction has been yet another accumulation of boxes and packaging so it’s off to our trusty waste station one last time. We also want to drop in at David’s parents’ house to talk to the guy who is installing new television cabling. Kirsty gives us that look that says, “Do you really have to do that this morning?” and then reminds us we have agreed to go to the shops with the ladies later. How could we have possibly forgotten that?
We dump the rubbish, talk to cable guy and arrive home in what we believe to be pretty quick time. Just to be safe, we also bring offerings of coffee and donuts in case our idea of “quick” is not universally shared in the household. All is well, and soon everyone is back in the Dodge for one last trip to that most hallowed of institutions – Walmart. The ladies look for things for the coming baby, David occupies Kai in the toy section, and I pass time just watching the famous “people of Walmart” going about their lives. Finally, it’s back home, lunch, pack, scratch heads about why there seems to be so much more stuff on the return journey, repack and off to the airport.
We’re transiting through Los Angeles so we must go through the strange process of flying from Vancouver to the US. We front up to the check-in counter in the section of the airport reserved for US flights. OK, that’s normal. But – the check-in guy doesn’t take our bags. He gives us the boarding passes and points to a spot about five metres away. “You have to take your bags over there and give them to that lady.” I’m thinking it would be just as simple to have his desk over there too, but these guys control your comfort for the next twenty hours so just smile and nod. Bags gone, it’s off to immigration. There’s a big sign saying “Welcome to the USA”. Huh? Did I miss something? No – once we get past the guy in the little booth, we’re officially in the US, in Canada.
Smile, chat, stamp, stamp and we’re through. We have a little time before the flight boards so we cruise the “US” shops, that look surprisingly like Canadian airport shops, and then spot the Holy Grail – the last Tim Horton’s we’ll see for three months. We didn’t know there were any Timmies in “the US”, so this is a welcome find. Our flight is soon ready and we’re off to the city of angels. It seems a bit incongruous to be flying Alaska Airlines from Vancouver to LA, but the service is good and they even gave us little pretzel thingies with our complementary cup of tea. Now – for the nightmare that is LAX.