Monthly Archives: October 2005

Jen’s wedding

I was up early because I’m still on east coast time and because I had an idea for a last minute change in the toast I was to give in the wedding later on in the evening. So I rewrote the entire toast (about 650 words) in 39 minutes and I felt it was much better. I then set about trying to memorize the changes in time for the wedding. When I went outside, there were perhaps half a dozen hot air balloons flying overhead. As I discovered, these balloons seem to only fly early in the morning, although I never discovered why that is.

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I went over to the winery restaurant for breakfast. There, we met with Jared, Peter, and eventually, Jim and Joan. Mom and Dad came by later but had to leave for their 4 hours at the spa with the bridesmaids. Jason came by too, eventually. The breakfast itself was great. I had the pancakes with fruit and whipped cream.

We killed time in the morning by sitting out on our private porch areas, talking and taking pictures. We also drove into town to do a little shopping and so that Rachel could get some Starbucks. Jason announced that he and Jared and a few other people were going to get some lunch and when I found out they were going to In N Out, I had them pick me up a Double-Double combo, which I wolfed down as soon as it arrived.

I spent a little while in Gail’s villa talking with Gail and Lauren before I had to get ready for the wedding. Then it was back to my place, shower, and then suit up for the event. We had to be at the winery at 3:45 for pictures and we were there with some time to spare.

We did a couple of sets of pictures with the wedding party prior to the wedding. Jen and Jason used the same photographer that Doug and Rachel used in their wedding and she was great. The whole process went quickly. We were then whisked away to a waiting area. In the meantime, the weather was perfect.

The wedding itself was really nice and went off without a hitch. I couldn’t see Jen’s face because I was standing behind and down the steps from her, but from what I could tell, she giggled through much of the ceremony. I could see Jason clearly, however, and I could tell it was pretty emotional for him. After the ceremony was over, and Jen and Jason were pronounced husband and wife, we were once again whisked away, this time to have a bunch of family pictures taken. This also went by pretty quickly (I can only imagine how quick it must have seemed to Jen and Jason) and then we were finally able to join the festivities.

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I were seated at the Bronze table along with Mom and Dad, and Aunt Judy and Uncle Joey. There were a lot of people there and it was good to see all of them: Jon and Hollie, Mitch and Susanna, Elliot and Sydell, Uncle Meyer and Aunt Dottie, Uncle Dick, Vicky, and Brandy. And, of course, the bride and groom, seated at their own private little table.

I was surprised at how quickly it was time to do the toasts. First, Jason’s brother Jared, who was also the Best Man, gave a toast that was pretty funny if you ask me. Then it was my turn, as brother of the bride, then Jim as father of the groom, then Dad as father of the bride. I can’t recall most of what people said (although Jared had some good jokes about Jason’s hair). But I know what I said, and it went like this:

We all love a good story.

Action and adventure stories keep us on the edge of our seats while the hero of the story braves all sorts of dangers. Scary stories, told while sitting around a camp fire thrill us. And, of course, love stories bring tears to the eyes of the ladies while us guys shuffle our feet and clear our throats.

Now, you may not believe this, but Jennifer has a story for each of these scenarios and I can’t help but retelling a few of them now. Keep in mind, that these stories were passed on to me directly from my little sister and so they must be completely and utterly true stories. I did not embellish these stories in the least.

First, the adventure story. Once upon a time, while flying across the country, the door to the airplane suddenly burst open and Jennifer nearly fell out of the plane. There she was, hanging out of the doorway of the airplane, and it was only her brute strength that she was able to pull herself back into the plane, return to her seat, and go back to sleep. She told me this story when she woke up from the flight, and while I didn’t remember any of it (maybe I was sleeping too), she insisted it really happened.

Next, we have the scary story. It was a dark and stormy night. Storm clouds had formed up above the community pool where we used to go swimming in Spring Valley, New York. The life guards started blowing their whistles for everyone to get out of the pool, as they always did when thunder and lightening ripped through the sky. Everyone had made their way out of the pool. Everyone, that is, but Jennifer. She was on the ladder of the pool, pulling herself out of the water. A loud clap of thunder exploded above. She had two more steps to go. The thunder blasted, the lightening flashed. One more step. There was a loud crash of thunder and bright flash of lightening and just as Jennifer pulled her toes out of the water, the lightening struck the pool and she survived to swim another day.

This was fortunate, because if she had been struck by that lightening, the third story might never have taken place. That third story, of course, is a love story. Most of you know the details of this story, some of you probably know more details than you’d like. I don’t have to repeat this story because it’s a story that we’re actually living in, and passing through. It’s unfolding before our eyes, with one chapter closing today and a new chapter opening. It’s the kind of story that always ends with the words, “and they lived happily ever after.”

My own story with Jen has been an interesting one, with an unexpected character arc. See, while Jen started out as my little sister, she has become one of my best friends. My story with Jason has taken almost the opposite course. While Jason started out as a friend, he has become like a brother to me.

So I would like you all to join me in raising your glasses, while I propose four toasts, to Jen and Jason:

First, to the most fortunate “once upon a time” when Jen and Jason met, and the happiness it has brought them thus far.

Second, to the “dark and stormy” nights that have come and gone, and will come and go, and that ultimately strengthen every relationship.

Third, to the “happily ever after” that begins tonight and disappears over the horizon with the setting sun.

And finally, to Jen and Jason, like I said at the beginning, everyone love a good story. May yours be a truly great love story.

Jen and Jason’s first dance was to the song “A Kiss To Build a Dream On” by Louis Armstrong. The Father/Daughter dance was to the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Instead of the traditional wedding cake, there were wedding cupcakes, which I thought was really cool. All-in-all, it was a great evening, it went off perfectly, everything cooperated and at the end of the night, I headed back to my villa feeling completely wiped out.

Doug waits for the wedding to start
Doug waits for the wedding to start
Jen and Jason Ashlock
Jen and Jason Ashlock
Jon pretends he's in the Secret Service
Jon pretends he’s in the Secret Service
Doug, Rachel and Ruby on the dance floor
Doug, Rachel and Ruby on the dance floor

Comments: (Add a comment)

Jen’s wedding

I was up early because I’m still on east coast time and because I had an idea for a last minute change in the toast I was to give in the wedding later on in the evening. So I rewrote the entire toast (about 650 words) in 39 minutes and I felt it was much better. I then set about trying to memorize the changes in time for the wedding. When I went outside, there were perhaps half a dozen hot air balloons flying overhead. As I discovered, these balloons seem to only fly early in the morning, although I never discovered why that is.

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I went over to the winery restaurant for breakfast. There, we met with Jared, Peter, and eventually, Jim and Joan. Mom and Dad came by later but had to leave for their 4 hours at the spa with the bridesmaids. Jason came by too, eventually. The breakfast itself was great. I had the pancakes with fruit and whipped cream.

We killed time in the morning by sitting out on our private porch areas, talking and taking pictures. We also drove into town to do a little shopping and so that Rachel could get some Starbucks. Jason announced that he and Jared and a few other people were going to get some lunch and when I found out they were going to In N Out, I had them pick me up a Double-Double combo, which I wolfed down as soon as it arrived.

I spent a little while in Gail’s villa talking with Gail and Lauren before I had to get ready for the wedding. Then it was back to my place, shower, and then suit up for the event. We had to be at the winery at 3:45 for pictures and we were there with some time to spare.

We did a couple of sets of pictures with the wedding party prior to the wedding. Jen and Jason used the same photographer that Doug and Rachel used in their wedding and she was great. The whole process went quickly. We were then whisked away to a waiting area. In the meantime, the weather was perfect.

The wedding itself was really nice and went off without a hitch. I couldn’t see Jen’s face because I was standing behind and down the steps from her, but from what I could tell, she giggled through much of the ceremony. I could see Jason clearly, however, and I could tell it was pretty emotional for him. After the ceremony was over, and Jen and Jason were pronounced husband and wife, we were once again whisked away, this time to have a bunch of family pictures taken. This also went by pretty quickly (I can only imagine how quick it must have seemed to Jen and Jason) and then we were finally able to join the festivities.

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I were seated at the Bronze table along with Mom and Dad, and Aunt Judy and Uncle Joey. There were a lot of people there and it was good to see all of them: Jon and Hollie, Mitch and Susanna, Elliot and Sydell, Uncle Meyer and Aunt Dottie, Uncle Dick, Vicky, and Brandy. And, of course, the bride and groom, seated at their own private little table.

I was surprised at how quickly it was time to do the toasts. First, Jason’s brother Jared, who was also the Best Man, gave a toast that was pretty funny if you ask me. Then it was my turn, as brother of the bride, then Jim as father of the groom, then Dad as father of the bride. I can’t recall most of what people said (although Jared had some good jokes about Jason’s hair). But I know what I said, and it went like this:

We all love a good story.

Action and adventure stories keep us on the edge of our seats while the hero of the story braves all sorts of dangers. Scary stories, told while sitting around a camp fire thrill us. And, of course, love stories bring tears to the eyes of the ladies while us guys shuffle our feet and clear our throats.

Now, you may not believe this, but Jennifer has a story for each of these scenarios and I can’t help but retelling a few of them now. Keep in mind, that these stories were passed on to me directly from my little sister and so they must be completely and utterly true stories. I did not embellish these stories in the least.

First, the adventure story. Once upon a time, while flying across the country, the door to the airplane suddenly burst open and Jennifer nearly fell out of the plane. There she was, hanging out of the doorway of the airplane, and it was only her brute strength that she was able to pull herself back into the plane, return to her seat, and go back to sleep. She told me this story when she woke up from the flight, and while I didn’t remember any of it (maybe I was sleeping too), she insisted it really happened.

Next, we have the scary story. It was a dark and stormy night. Storm clouds had formed up above the community pool where we used to go swimming in Spring Valley, New York. The life guards started blowing their whistles for everyone to get out of the pool, as they always did when thunder and lightening ripped through the sky. Everyone had made their way out of the pool. Everyone, that is, but Jennifer. She was on the ladder of the pool, pulling herself out of the water. A loud clap of thunder exploded above. She had two more steps to go. The thunder blasted, the lightening flashed. One more step. There was a loud crash of thunder and bright flash of lightening and just as Jennifer pulled her toes out of the water, the lightening struck the pool and she survived to swim another day.

This was fortunate, because if she had been struck by that lightening, the third story might never have taken place. That third story, of course, is a love story. Most of you know the details of this story, some of you probably know more details than you’d like. I don’t have to repeat this story because it’s a story that we’re actually living in, and passing through. It’s unfolding before our eyes, with one chapter closing today and a new chapter opening. It’s the kind of story that always ends with the words, “and they lived happily ever after.”

My own story with Jen has been an interesting one, with an unexpected character arc. See, while Jen started out as my little sister, she has become one of my best friends. My story with Jason has taken almost the opposite course. While Jason started out as a friend, he has become like a brother to me.

So I would like you all to join me in raising your glasses, while I propose four toasts, to Jen and Jason:

First, to the most fortunate “once upon a time” when Jen and Jason met, and the happiness it has brought them thus far.

Second, to the “dark and stormy” nights that have come and gone, and will come and go, and that ultimately strengthen every relationship.

Third, to the “happily ever after” that begins tonight and disappears over the horizon with the setting sun.

And finally, to Jen and Jason, like I said at the beginning, everyone love a good story. May yours be a truly great love story.

Jen and Jason’s first dance was to the song “A Kiss To Build a Dream On” by Louis Armstrong. The Father/Daughter dance was to the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Instead of the traditional wedding cake, there were wedding cupcakes, which I thought was really cool. All-in-all, it was a great evening, it went off perfectly, everything cooperated and at the end of the night, I headed back to my villa feeling completely wiped out.

Doug waits for the wedding to start
Doug waits for the wedding to start
Jen and Jason Ashlock
Jen and Jason Ashlock
Jon pretends he's in the Secret Service
Jon pretends he’s in the Secret Service
Doug, Rachel and Ruby on the dance floor
Doug, Rachel and Ruby on the dance floor

Rehearsal Dinner, Temecula, CA

(Written on Tuesday, November 1)

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I headed down to Temecula from Oxnard at about noon. Dad suggested we take the 210 to the 15 and take that all the way down, and we did that and it was a long drive. It took us almost three hours to go the 170 miles or so. We stopped only once, just before we got down there, to grab some food, and we finally arrived at the winery just before 3 PM. The weather was outstanding and so were the villas that Mom and Dad arranged for us. I took pictures of the villa that I stayed in (#2902) and you can see them below.

Villa at South Coast Winery
Villa at South Coast Winery
A view of the villa that I stayed in while at the South Coast winery where Jen and Jason got married. this is looking from the dining area into the bedroom area.
Villa living room
Villa living room
This is another view, looking from the living area into the dining area.
Villa fireplace and porch
Villa fireplace and porch
A view from the bedroom area into the living area. You can see the fireplace and doors to the porch.
Whirlpool tub in villa
Whirlpool tub in villa
The first time I’ve ever stayed in a room with a whirlpool tub. Pretty cool.
Shower in villa
Shower in villa
The glass shower in the villa. Water shot out from two different directions.
Complimentary wine
Complimentary wine
I don’t drink wine so I gave the bottle to my parents, but I imagine it must be pretty good if it came from a winery.
Vaulted ceilings in villa
Vaulted ceilings in villa
There were vaulted ceilings and all sorts of interesting decorations.


Shortly after we got there, we had to head over to the winery proper for the rehearsal. Somone told me that we needed to be dressed for dinner beforehand, so I showered and dressed. It turned out I was the only one. There was time after the rehearsal for getting ready for dinner.

I think the rehearsal lasted less than an hour from beginning to end. Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal:

Jim, Jason and Joan
Jim, Jason and Joan
Dad, Jen and Mom
Dad, Jen and Mom

After the rehearsal, everyone else got dressed (I was already dressed) and we headed over to Baily’s Fine Dining in downtown Temecula, CA. We had a private room upstairs. I had the steak and it was outstanding. So was the crab bisque soup that they had. And there was a creme brule for dessert. Jim, Eric and Dad all made brief toasts. There were quite a few people there and it seemed like everyone had a really good time.

Jen and Jason handed out gifts to members of the wedding party and Doug and I, as bridesmen, were included in this. I got an 8 DVD set that includes every issue of the New Yorker ever–something like 5000 complete issues. It also came with a cool New Yorker hat.

By the time I got back to the villa, I was beat. I think I fell asleep within a few minutes of getting there. The beds were amazingly comfortable.

Comments: (Add a comment)

Rehearsal Dinner, Temecula, CA

(Written on Tuesday, November 1)

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I headed down to Temecula from Oxnard at about noon. Dad suggested we take the 210 to the 15 and take that all the way down, and we did that and it was a long drive. It took us almost three hours to go the 170 miles or so. We stopped only once, just before we got down there, to grab some food, and we finally arrived at the winery just before 3 PM. The weather was outstanding and so were the villas that Mom and Dad arranged for us. I took pictures of the villa that I stayed in (#2902) and you can see them below.

Villa at South Coast Winery
Villa at South Coast Winery
A view of the villa that I stayed in while at the South Coast winery where Jen and Jason got married. this is looking from the dining area into the bedroom area.
Villa living room
Villa living room
This is another view, looking from the living area into the dining area.
Villa fireplace and porch
Villa fireplace and porch
A view from the bedroom area into the living area. You can see the fireplace and doors to the porch.
Whirlpool tub in villa
Whirlpool tub in villa
The first time I’ve ever stayed in a room with a whirlpool tub. Pretty cool.
Shower in villa
Shower in villa
The glass shower in the villa. Water shot out from two different directions.
Complimentary wine
Complimentary wine
I don’t drink wine so I gave the bottle to my parents, but I imagine it must be pretty good if it came from a winery.
Vaulted ceilings in villa
Vaulted ceilings in villa
There were vaulted ceilings and all sorts of interesting decorations.


Shortly after we got there, we had to head over to the winery proper for the rehearsal. Somone told me that we needed to be dressed for dinner beforehand, so I showered and dressed. It turned out I was the only one. There was time after the rehearsal for getting ready for dinner.

I think the rehearsal lasted less than an hour from beginning to end. Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal:

Jim, Jason and Joan
Jim, Jason and Joan
Dad, Jen and Mom
Dad, Jen and Mom

After the rehearsal, everyone else got dressed (I was already dressed) and we headed over to Baily’s Fine Dining in downtown Temecula, CA. We had a private room upstairs. I had the steak and it was outstanding. So was the crab bisque soup that they had. And there was a creme brule for dessert. Jim, Eric and Dad all made brief toasts. There were quite a few people there and it seemed like everyone had a really good time.

Jen and Jason handed out gifts to members of the wedding party and Doug and I, as bridesmen, were included in this. I got an 8 DVD set that includes every issue of the New Yorker ever–something like 5000 complete issues. It also came with a cool New Yorker hat.

By the time I got back to the villa, I was beat. I think I fell asleep within a few minutes of getting there. The beds were amazingly comfortable.

Disneyland

The plan was for a bunch of people in the wedding party to meet at Disneyland. In all, there ended up being 14 of us, I think.

We headed down to Anahiem at about 9 AM yesterday. My idea was to go the most direct route, but Dad said to take the 118 to the 210 to the 57 to avoid traffic. So Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I ended up following Mom, Dad and Jen from Oxnard, through a fairly circuitous route which ultimately brought us to the 118, the 210, the 57 and finally, to Disneyland. It was something like 110 miles, but we didn’t hit any traffic and arrived at Disneyland just after 11 AM.

This was Ruby’s first time to Disneyland (she’s almost 2 years old). When we got to Disneyland, we met up with Mom, Dad and Jen. Jason and his family was also there. We Jason, Jason’s brother Jared, and his friend Eric met us at the entrance. We made our way to Star Tours to meet the rest of Jason’s family.

The weather was mild, but we all had a great time. We spent about 8 hours at the park. There were almost no lines at all and the only thing that wasn’t open was “It’s a Small World”.

I ate like a king. In fact, here is exactly what I had throughout the day: a churro, a beef skewer (in adventureland), cotton candy (after the Matterhorn), and a corn dog (with some chocolate fudge).

We managed to do all of the major rides. We did Pirates of the Carribean (with Ruby, who was very brave, her first ride ever!) We did the Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, the Haunted House (which had a holiday theme and different program than usual that I didn’t really like). We then did Splash Mountain, which was really run and on which I got soaked. We did Big Thunder mountain. We did Space Mountain, which was probably the best of all. It’s newly re-opened and for some reason, it seemed much faster than I remembered it being. Doug and I sat up front and were screaming the whole way through. They take pictures of you inside now, and the pictures of Doug and I were hysterical. Finally, we did Star Tours, before heading home.

I decided to come back home the more direct route, taking the 5 to the 101. We hit a little bit of traffic but it was much more direct. I think it was something like 87 miles. Ruby slept most of the way but woke up about 10 miles from home and was pretty upset. She screamed and hollared the last ten miles and I felt terrible. I kept searching for the quickest way to get home because Ruby was screaming, “Mama, up! Mama, up!”. We finally got home and Ruby was happy.

I had taped Smallville and the first thing I did upon getting home was to make sure that it taped correctly and it did. I watched it first thing this morning.

Have to go now. Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I have to head down to Temecula (where Jen’s wedding is taking place at the South Coast Winery) at 11 AM. Mom, Dad and Jen already left. The rehearsal is at 3:30 this afternoon. More later.

Comments: (Add a comment)

Disneyland

The plan was for a bunch of people in the wedding party to meet at Disneyland. In all, there ended up being 14 of us, I think.

We headed down to Anahiem at about 9 AM yesterday. My idea was to go the most direct route, but Dad said to take the 118 to the 210 to the 57 to avoid traffic. So Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I ended up following Mom, Dad and Jen from Oxnard, through a fairly circuitous route which ultimately brought us to the 118, the 210, the 57 and finally, to Disneyland. It was something like 110 miles, but we didn’t hit any traffic and arrived at Disneyland just after 11 AM.

This was Ruby’s first time to Disneyland (she’s almost 2 years old). When we got to Disneyland, we met up with Mom, Dad and Jen. Jason and his family was also there. We Jason, Jason’s brother Jared, and his friend Eric met us at the entrance. We made our way to Star Tours to meet the rest of Jason’s family.

The weather was mild, but we all had a great time. We spent about 8 hours at the park. There were almost no lines at all and the only thing that wasn’t open was “It’s a Small World”.

I ate like a king. In fact, here is exactly what I had throughout the day: a churro, a beef skewer (in adventureland), cotton candy (after the Matterhorn), and a corn dog (with some chocolate fudge).

We managed to do all of the major rides. We did Pirates of the Carribean (with Ruby, who was very brave, her first ride ever!) We did the Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, the Haunted House (which had a holiday theme and different program than usual that I didn’t really like). We then did Splash Mountain, which was really run and on which I got soaked. We did Big Thunder mountain. We did Space Mountain, which was probably the best of all. It’s newly re-opened and for some reason, it seemed much faster than I remembered it being. Doug and I sat up front and were screaming the whole way through. They take pictures of you inside now, and the pictures of Doug and I were hysterical. Finally, we did Star Tours, before heading home.

I decided to come back home the more direct route, taking the 5 to the 101. We hit a little bit of traffic but it was much more direct. I think it was something like 87 miles. Ruby slept most of the way but woke up about 10 miles from home and was pretty upset. She screamed and hollared the last ten miles and I felt terrible. I kept searching for the quickest way to get home because Ruby was screaming, “Mama, up! Mama, up!”. We finally got home and Ruby was happy.

I had taped Smallville and the first thing I did upon getting home was to make sure that it taped correctly and it did. I watched it first thing this morning.

Have to go now. Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I have to head down to Temecula (where Jen’s wedding is taking place at the South Coast Winery) at 11 AM. Mom, Dad and Jen already left. The rehearsal is at 3:30 this afternoon. More later.

Dramatis Persona

It occurred to me that not everyone reading this blog will know the names that are referred to, so I thought I’d put together a dramatis persona for the characters that appear more frequently so there is some frame of reference for people.

Doug: My brother. Ruby’s dad. Yes, he’s taller than me.
Rachel: My sister-in-law. Doug’s wife. Ruby’s mom. I think she has some resemblance to Nichole Kidman.
Ruby: My neice. Doug and Rachel’s daughter.
Jen: My sister. She’s getting married in a little more than 24 hours.
Jason: My sister’s fiance. Soon to be my sister’s husband and my brother-in-law. My sister thinks he resembles Jude Law.

Comments: (Add a comment)

Dramatis Persona

It occurred to me that not everyone reading this blog will know the names that are referred to, so I thought I’d put together a dramatis persona for the characters that appear more frequently so there is some frame of reference for people.

Doug: My brother. Ruby’s dad. Yes, he’s taller than me.
Rachel: My sister-in-law. Doug’s wife. Ruby’s mom. I think she has some resemblance to Nichole Kidman.
Ruby: My neice. Doug and Rachel’s daughter.
Jen: My sister. She’s getting married in a little more than 24 hours.
Jason: My sister’s fiance. Soon to be my sister’s husband and my brother-in-law. My sister thinks he resembles Jude Law.

Travel Day

Today was a travel day and travel days always bore the heck out of me. First of all, I woke up at 2:30 AM (ET) and could not get back to sleep. I tossed and turned until 3:30 AM and finally gave up. I got up and finished the last remaining tasks around the house.

The car to the airport picked me up at 6:15 AM and I was at the gate at BWI at 7:00 AM. The lines were non-existent. No line to check in, no line for security. They had changed the equipment for the flight, from an A320 to an A319, which meant my seat changed, but it was nothing dramatic. I got an exit row.

I fell asleep almost as soon as I took my seat, and didn’t wake up until well after takeoff. (Almost an hour after takeoff, I think.) That’s when the utter bordom began. If there is a hell, it is nothing more than a cross-country flight on an A319 that simply never ends. Time slowed down. I played Solitaire for an hour, which usually makes the time roll by but that didn’t work so well today. I listened to a couple of albums on the iPod (Pink Floyd’s “Animals” and the soundtrack from “Garden State”. Nothing. I popped in the Back to the Future II DVD and watched the movie. When it was over I checked the time–there was still more than two hours to go before we landed.

But land we finally (finally!) did and from that point on, things were very efficient. I was one of the first people off the plane and I was the first person to the baggage claim. That normally does not make a difference as my luggage is usually the last luggage off the plane, but fly often enough and things are bound to break your way once and a while. Today, my bags were the first to come out of the mouth of the baggage system. I caught a shuttle to Hertz where Doug, Rachel and Ruby were all waiting for me. We added Doug as an additional driver on the car and then made our way to Oxnard.

Mom and Dad were at Burbank Airport picking up Jen when we got to their house. But we made ourselves at home anyway. I wolfed down my Carl’s Jr. (a luxury that I don’t have in Maryland) and then ran over to the local cleaners to get me and Doug’s suits pressed. We pick up the suits Friday morning.

It is now 3:10 PM (PT). I have been up since 11:30 PM (last night) PT. I can tell this is going to be one of those long days. And tomorrow, we head down to Disneyland. Doug, Rachel and Ruby went out in search of a Starbucks. The house is momentarily quiet. Probably the last time it will be quiet for some time to come.

Comments: (Add a comment)

Travel Day

Today was a travel day and travel days always bore the heck out of me. First of all, I woke up at 2:30 AM (ET) and could not get back to sleep. I tossed and turned until 3:30 AM and finally gave up. I got up and finished the last remaining tasks around the house.

The car to the airport picked me up at 6:15 AM and I was at the gate at BWI at 7:00 AM. The lines were non-existent. No line to check in, no line for security. They had changed the equipment for the flight, from an A320 to an A319, which meant my seat changed, but it was nothing dramatic. I got an exit row.

I fell asleep almost as soon as I took my seat, and didn’t wake up until well after takeoff. (Almost an hour after takeoff, I think.) That’s when the utter bordom began. If there is a hell, it is nothing more than a cross-country flight on an A319 that simply never ends. Time slowed down. I played Solitaire for an hour, which usually makes the time roll by but that didn’t work so well today. I listened to a couple of albums on the iPod (Pink Floyd’s “Animals” and the soundtrack from “Garden State”. Nothing. I popped in the Back to the Future II DVD and watched the movie. When it was over I checked the time–there was still more than two hours to go before we landed.

But land we finally (finally!) did and from that point on, things were very efficient. I was one of the first people off the plane and I was the first person to the baggage claim. That normally does not make a difference as my luggage is usually the last luggage off the plane, but fly often enough and things are bound to break your way once and a while. Today, my bags were the first to come out of the mouth of the baggage system. I caught a shuttle to Hertz where Doug, Rachel and Ruby were all waiting for me. We added Doug as an additional driver on the car and then made our way to Oxnard.

Mom and Dad were at Burbank Airport picking up Jen when we got to their house. But we made ourselves at home anyway. I wolfed down my Carl’s Jr. (a luxury that I don’t have in Maryland) and then ran over to the local cleaners to get me and Doug’s suits pressed. We pick up the suits Friday morning.

It is now 3:10 PM (PT). I have been up since 11:30 PM (last night) PT. I can tell this is going to be one of those long days. And tomorrow, we head down to Disneyland. Doug, Rachel and Ruby went out in search of a Starbucks. The house is momentarily quiet. Probably the last time it will be quiet for some time to come.

A Playlist for Driving in L.A.

The house is cleaned, everything is packed and I’m ready to head out on my trip. I let my neighbors know I’d be gone for two weeks and they are going to keep an eye on the house for me. Talked to Doug and Jen tonight. I’m meeting Doug at Hertz tomorrow. Jen asked if I would wrangle the wedding gifts into my suite after the reception and I agreed to do that.

I made a “Driving in L.A.” to play in the car from LAX to Mom and Dad’s house. It’s about a 70 minute drive, and I put together a 70 minute CD of good L.A. driving songs. For those interested, the songs are:

1. I Love L.A. (Randy Newman)
2. American Girl (Tom Petty)
3. Blinded By the Light (Manfred Mann)
4. Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)
5. Rock N Roll Band (Boston)
6. Fill Her Up (Sting)
7. Mrs. Potters Lullaby (Counting Crows)
8. New Slang (The Shins)
9. Against the Wind (Bob Seger)
10. Rock & Roll (Led Zeppelin)
11. Come Sail Away (Styx)
12. Lithium Sunset (Sting)
13. Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)
14. I’m On My Way (The Shimshaws)
15. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Elvis Costello)
16. Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles)
17. Speed of Sound (Coldplay)

Incidentally, the song I’m On My Way is by a buddy of mine, Todd McCombs, who has a band called The Shimshaws and an album called “Subcutaneous”. You can find the album at the Apple Music store, or check out their website at:

http://www.theshimshaws.com

I put the finishing touches on the toast that I am giving at the wedding while test-driving the newly created playlist.

It’s late now, 11 PM, and the car to the airport will be here at 6:15 AM so I’m going to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a travel day, but hopefully because it’s Wednesday, it won’t be too hectic.

Comments: (Add a comment)

A Playlist for Driving in L.A.

The house is cleaned, everything is packed and I’m ready to head out on my trip. I let my neighbors know I’d be gone for two weeks and they are going to keep an eye on the house for me. Talked to Doug and Jen tonight. I’m meeting Doug at Hertz tomorrow. Jen asked if I would wrangle the wedding gifts into my suite after the reception and I agreed to do that.

I made a “Driving in L.A.” to play in the car from LAX to Mom and Dad’s house. It’s about a 70 minute drive, and I put together a 70 minute CD of good L.A. driving songs. For those interested, the songs are:

1. I Love L.A. (Randy Newman)
2. American Girl (Tom Petty)
3. Blinded By the Light (Manfred Mann)
4. Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)
5. Rock N Roll Band (Boston)
6. Fill Her Up (Sting)
7. Mrs. Potters Lullaby (Counting Crows)
8. New Slang (The Shins)
9. Against the Wind (Bob Seger)
10. Rock & Roll (Led Zeppelin)
11. Come Sail Away (Styx)
12. Lithium Sunset (Sting)
13. Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)
14. I’m On My Way (The Shimshaws)
15. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Elvis Costello)
16. Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles)
17. Speed of Sound (Coldplay)

Incidentally, the song I’m On My Way is by a buddy of mine, Todd McCombs, who has a band called The Shimshaws and an album called “Subcutaneous”. You can find the album at the Apple Music store, or check out their website at:

http://www.theshimshaws.com

I put the finishing touches on the toast that I am giving at the wedding while test-driving the newly created playlist.

It’s late now, 11 PM, and the car to the airport will be here at 6:15 AM so I’m going to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a travel day, but hopefully because it’s Wednesday, it won’t be too hectic.