The beginning of a looooong day...

Trip Start Dec 11, 2004
Trip End Jan 11, 2005

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, December 11, 2004

2:30 PM(ish)
Jim and I, as usual, are practicing just in time(tm) packing. Seriously, I'm still drying laundry 10 minutes before I hope to start the drive to LA. Our flight, out of LAX, is scheduled for 9:45 PM. This is generally a reasonable time to catch a plane. You get to sleep late. You get to pack slow. However, we're in San Diego and have optimistic intentions of having dinner with Jim's Mom in LA (to make up for the fact that Jim will be missing Christmas this year). I'll do my penance when we return.

As I pack I'm keeping an ear out for traffic reports, just in case.

Jim and I are both running late and of course traffic is heavy. A quick check of the essentials (cash, passport, credit cards and an MP3 player) and we are finally on the road.

Screaming up I-5 we make it all the way to... Del Mar. Not exactly gridlock but at 20-30 mph, we quckly deduce "dinner on the town" will be dialed back to pizza at a neighborhood pizzeria. Two hours later we scale this back to home delivery. Our plan is to park the car at Jim's childhood home for the month and have Jim's Mom drop us at the airport. International flights request arrival two hours prior to departure (usually unnecessary, but you never know). We're bumping up against the clock pretty quickly. I'm driving and trying not to get snarky. I vent my stress at drivers and tell myself "You're stressing over nothing. It builds character to miss a flight once in a while".

We arrive at the Ward home. I don't know who feels worse. Jim, for having to give his Mom an abbreviated dinner in place of a dinner that was to replace an aborted Christmas; or me for having to watch Jim's discomfort while realizing what an ass I am because I can't keep myself from focusing on the clock so much. Jim either felt me stressing about time or he was stressing too. We both quickly wolf down a couple of slices of pizza while trying to be greatful, relaxed, and rushed all at the same time. Inside of 15 minutes we were on our way to LAX. Again hoping traffic would be light.
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