This is episode #1 of our Thailand Adventure from which we recently returned. We were gone for about 15 days total leaving Bellingham January 23rd on an Allegiant Airlines flight to Los Angles' LAX. Allegiant is a regional airline operating out of smaller markets and taking people to popular locations like Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco but sometimes flying into secondary airports. For example, they fly to Oakland instead of San Francisco. The prices are great, services are simple and they don't fly to any particular city everyday. So we had to fly the day before we actually needed to go and when we returned we had to wait an extra day and a half before flying home. If you can deal with that you can save a lot of money.
We arrived at LAX and had pre-booked a room at an area hotel. They picked us up and we were in our room within an hour of landing. Because we were without an automobile, we had to hoof it to get to a restaurant for dinner. There wasn't much right around our hotel and walking in LA is an experience. We had to cross 8 lanes of traffic at one point to get to the side of the street our restaurant was on. The pedestrian green guy came on and we stepped off the sidewalk, got across two lanes and the light turned red. Yikes! Very car-centric city.
We didn't fare any better when it came to dinner. We spotted an El Torito restaurant, a part of a chain we used to enjoy many years ago when we lived in California. Either we changed or the restaurant has. I rather imagine it was the former. I had their famous taco salad with this enormous tortilla shell that fans out and is great to snap off a piece of to scoop into the salad. Well, it was edible. Let's just leave it at that.
After dinner we walked off a few of those frijoles and chips by wandering through the Ralph's grocery store, a southern California chain that's been around a long time. As I wandered up one aisle I spied packaging on a bakery product that brought back an instant memory from my growing up. Van de Kamps label has a blue windmill on it. They make sweet rolls, donuts and danish. It really isn't that great but back when I would visit my great grandmother, who lived in the LA suburb of Norwalk, we could always expect that she'd have some Van de Kamps danish for breakfast one day. Hadn't seen it in years. Sweet memory. We left them on the shelf and headed
back to our room.
We hustled back across the 8 lanes of traffic nervously expecting to be a windshield ornament any moment but made it safely to the other side. Back at the room we watched a little local news and then turned out the light. We had a big day in store tomorrow.
We head back to LAX where we will board a China Airlines flight to Bangkok, Thailand. It will be a 13 hour flight stopping in Taipei, Taiwan before heading on to Bangkok. Stay with me. It gets way better.