Santa Monica, Day 1

Today has been a long day. I was up at 4:30am Eastern, which is 1:30am Pacific, the time zone I am in as I write this post. I arrived at Dulles a little after 5am, and made my way through security and to my gate to discover that my flight was less than half full–very unusual for my recent travel experience. In fact, out of 120 seats on the A319 aircraft, only 63 were filled.

We had an on time departure and despite the fact that there was plenty of room on the plane, the flight across the country was interminable. I’ve long since lost count of how many times I’ve flow across the country (I have nearly 300,000 miles traveled on United Airlines alone!) but as I get older, each time feels longer and longer. I worked through much of the flight, and tried to sleep a little. Eventually–thankfully!–we reached Los Angeles. The plane parked at one of the closer gates and I was off the plane and at the baggage claim within a matter of a few minutes.

My bag was the first off the claim and as I pulled it off the conveyor, I saw the limo driver arrive–perfect timing. I managed to get to Santa Monica, checked into the hotel and make it into the office in record time. I was in the office working before 10am Pacific time.

By 3pm, I was pretty wiped out, having already been up for more than 14 hours. I headed back to the hotel and napped for a little over an hour. It was one of those weird naps where it took a little while to fall asleep and when my alarm when off just before 5pm, I was completely out of sorts, awaking from a deep sleep, not certain what time it was, or where I was.

At 5 I headed over to El Cholo with coworkers and friends, Amy, Pam and Cathy where we spent the next two hours drinking good margaritas, some tequila, and eating good Mexican food. When we finally left the restaurant, around 7pm, I decided to walk back to the hotel to get some fresh air.

The toughest part of these trips is being away from the Little Man and from Kelly. The Little Man woke up in the middle of the night last night and I got him out of his crib and brought him into our room. I asked him if he wanted milk. “Yeah,” he said happily. He was so cute. When my alarm went off at 4:30, I quietly kissed Kelly goodbye and the Little Man was sound asleep next to hear. I can’t tell you how difficult it was to leave that room and not just crawl back into bed with them. But I will get to see them on Saturday.

I’m in a training class all day tomorrow, but I am especially looking forward to tomorrow evening when the majority of the old high school gang, still my closest friends will be getting together for dinner in Hollywood. I’ve been friends with these people since I was 15 years old; just about a quarter of a century. Being able to get together with all of them makes the inconvenience of this trip completely worthwhile.