NYE 2001: The End – 1

Working our way backwards this time, this is how we managed to make it home.

So I’m telling our NYE 2001 story from both ends, working my way towards the glorious middle, the amazing meal we had at Cinnabar. This time, our flight home.

We arrive at LAX two and a half hours before our flight, lit like Xmas trees (that’ll be another post), and we breeze through security (except for them finding that third corkscrew, that is). We’re now in the airport with more than two hours to kill.

So we head to the bar.

We spy a little Mexican cantina-style bar, drag our crap in, and take two stools. I’m not quite as drunk as Rochelle, so I want to “catch up” (a whole ‘nother story). I tell Rochelle to order me a shot of tequila and a beer, while I go use the bathroom. Two shots and two beers later we’re $27 poorer. Airport bars suck.

We head to the gate, get in the very long line to get our boarding passes, and meet a really nice woman who, it turns out, works at UC Berkeley, where I used to work, and we know some of the same people. The three of us have a great time talking, and we decide to sit together on the plane.

Except Katherine gets unlucky, is one of those randomly chosen to make an extra pass through the security apparatus, and we disappear onto the plane without her.

We’re boarding late, so the plane is quite full, and we have to go all the way to the back to find a row with three empty seats. There’s lots of people in the aisles, and when Rochelle has a little trouble dragging her suitcase around one group, the flight attendant asks if she is all right. I’m sure it was just the people, and had nothing to do with the amount we’d had to drink. ;-)

We get settled, Katherine rejoins us, and the plane takes off. Probably uneventfully, but none of us would remember it.

When the flight attendant comes around to serve drinks, she proactively asserts that they cannot serve Rochelle alcohol (we were talking pretty loudly while waiting at the gate, I’m sure they knew the score).

That’s fine with Rochelle, she’s got a headache, and is ready to pass out anyway, sparkling water for her. Katherine and I get two white wines. Rochelle eventually wakes up, and the three of us continue talking until we’re in Oakland, quite suddenly it seemed to us.

We get off the plane, make promises to get together again, and say our goodbyes. Rochelle and I make our way home to, well, you already know that one.

NYE 2001: The End

The last story of our trip to LA for NYE2001.

So I’ve already told the beginning of our trip, here’s the ending (don’t worry, the middle parts are coming too, in later posts). Although we were really only gone for two days, and only completely gone for one full day, our cats punished us.

Viciously. If you have cats, you know what I mean here.

Because we were too tired to deal with changing the bed linens, Rochelle and I had to sleep on the opposite side of the bed (our heads at the foot of the bed), cast aside multiple pillows, and even then Rochelle was woken up repeatedly because of the strong odor.

The next day, when I returned from work, I gagged as I came in the door. Besides the bed, Cecil had nailed our central heating vent, which meant the whole house smelled like cat piss. Very Bad News.

New sheets and blankets, some incense, a lot of open windows, and about 40 gallons of Nature’s Miracle later, we were able to breath, and go to bed.

Needless to say, we’re never again leaving Cecil in the house when we go on vacation, even when someone is taking care of the house (as was the case this trip).

NYE 2001, Part 2

We arrive in LA, and immediately head for a bar.

So we’re on our way to LA, on a Southwest flight into Burbank. Our arrival time is scheduled for 9:40am, and we actually get in early. Since we had very low boarding numbers, we were nearly at the front of the plane, and were out of the airport waiting for our friends within 10 minutes of touchdown.

They weren’t there.

Rochelle observed she had been surprised when Edith agreed to pick us up this early in the morning. Since both Edith and Damon have jobs that let them party way into the night, and they do, they are rarely up before noon.

We reach them on their mobile phone after a couple of tries, and sure enough, they crashed at 4am, and overslept. No worries, Edith and Rochelle know exactly what we need to do: head for the airport bar, and wait ’til they get there and call us. Which we do.

So that’s how we ended up drinking beer instead of coffee for our breakfast on a Sunday morning. (Actually, beer was only an appetizer, but more on brunch in another posting.)

NYE 2001

Rochelle and I took an impromptu trip to LA for New Year’s. Much fun and bad behavior ensued.

Rochelle and I took a relatively last-minute trip to LA for New Year’s, to eat at the annual private NYE dinner put on by our friend Damon’s restaurant, Cinnabar, in Glendale.

More on our adventures in upcoming postings. For now, let me just rant about Osama Bin Laden costing me my dot.bomb collector’s item Wine.com waiter’s corkscrew.

Rochelle and I always pack at the last minute, in a hurry, running around the house grabbing all the things we’ve almost forgotten to take. This time I grabbed an old backpack to carry the three bottles of booze we were taking down for dinner.

As we go through airport security, we discover that the backpack, which I haven’t used in months and months, had a waiter’s corkscrew in it, a very nice promo I got from Wine.com, back when they were still in business (we’ve been burned by not being able to open bottles of wine, and carry these corkscrews everywhere). They take that from me, and throw it into a cardboard box in the security station, where we can see the other knives, corkscrews, toenail clippers, and a spoon that have been confiscated for being dangerous weapons.

Another corkscrew, buried somewhere in my suitcase and completely forgotten, keeps me held up at the security checkpoint for another 10 minutes. We dig and dig and dig, taking more stuff out, running the case back through the security scanner, and back to digging. Finally we figure it out, a little Swiss Army knife that’s tucked into one of the small pockets of the case. That one goes into the discard box, too.

Since there’s no way for a person to reclaim these little items, I would imagine that our airport security workers are now completely outfitted with as many knives, corkscrews, toenail clippers, etc., that they could possibly use. So now most of this stuff is probably just going into the garbage.

What’s truly ridiculous is that they only found two of the three corkscrews we were unintentionally carrying. The third one got caught when we went through the security screening for our return flight, buried in the bottom of our insulated wine bag. Oops. Well, at least they found it on the second try…