August 25, 2015
This was a transition day. They don’t seem to get easier. Twelve and a half months in, they are still the toughest days. This day’s travel started with an automobile ride (thanks, Greg) from my brother to the RTD Park-n-Ride at Wagon Road (120th & Huron for you Denver folks). From there we caught Skyride to DIA. ($9, a good deal) Neither of us had ever taken this bus ride, so it was interesting to see another part of Denver from a different perspective. We passed some of the bike paths on which we used to ride and saw some of the areas where the Denver suburbs are still expanding (e.g. Reunion) as we neared the airport. The hotel at DIA looks nearly complete–we later learned it is scheduled to open in November. We were somewhat early to the airport, since buses run only at fairly large intervals and the next one would have been too late. This turned out to be just fine. After efficient check-in, we split up for security since I had been labelled for TSA pre-check and Maureen had not. (We think it was because she had been scheduled to bring Rebbe.) After reuniting–standard security took only 9 minutes more–we boarded the train to the concourses. We decided to get off at B, even though our flight left from C, to visit one of our favorite Denver breakfast/lunch places, Etai’s (formerly known as Udi’s). We were disappointed that the airport outpost does not offer specialty coffees or their yummy chai, and we had to settle for regular coffee. The addition of an egg and cheese sandwich on brioche to share did help ease the disappointment. We then picked up to-go salads for the plane, since Southwest provides snacks and drinks, but no options to purchase real food.
The flight was uneventful, if a little bumpy. We had a nice conversation with the man who shared our row and got the names of some wines and whiskeys to try. I have decided that airplane travel is my least favorite mode of travel (disclaimer: this only includes those modes we’ve used in the last 12 1/2 months–I think I would still prefer airplanes to donkeys or helicopters). Maureen also does not love to fly and her feeling about it hasn’t changed after the past year of travel. The major advantage of airplane travel is that it is over more quickly.
Once at LAX, we made our way to baggage claim, collected our bags, and headed out to find a Parking Lot C shuttle sitting right there. Yay! One loop around the airport (Southwest is Terminal 1 of 6 plus International) and we were off to the parking lot. We reunited with the van and searched for the not obvious exit to the lot. This LAX-owned lot costs *only* $12/day, so I was surprised to see so many available spaces. I would definitely park there again if I can’t avoid using LAX. 😋
The main reason neither of us is interested in living in Los Angeles is the traffic. Today’s was not bad–by LA standards. We definitely noticed the advantage of using the HOV lane. Mass transit would be even better.
We once again opted to stop at Costco for fuel. Somehow, they manage prices that are $0.50/gallon less than surrounding gas stations. This also means that there is always a line. People in these queues, though, are remarkably well-behaved (and patient).
Our next stop was the California storage unit. The fact that we have two storage units is a little disturbing to me, though we closed this one out the next day. We loaded up everything but the bikes, trying unsuccessfully to remember just how we had it in the van on the last leg. We don’t have Rebbe this time, so we could fold both middle passenger seats up, providing a bit more room. If you’re wondering, Rebbe stayed in Boulder this time with his sister Koli (and Maureen’s brother and sister-in-law), so that he could avoid flying (he did not like it) and we could have more freedom in our job and apartment hunts.
We had one more stop to make before we could rest for the night–the grocery store. It was such a treat to actually be able to go into the store with Maureen instead of one of us waiting outside with the dog!
Now we’re nearly ready for the next few days. We have camping reservations for Wednesday and Thursday, which will take us to our next destination and hopefully towards our dreams. Onward!