:: Saturday, August 21, 2004 ::
Today, I got up early to finish packing all my stuff. It's always a pain to move out all your possessions, and today was no exception. I had packed lightly for the summer, but somehow I managed to accumulate so much more stuff in the course of just two months. Before noon, I met up with my friend Alex A., and he helped me store some stuff. We then went to the Bombay Club restaurant, which offered a most wonderful Indian cuisine brunch buffet. I tried almost all the items, and it was just a great experience because I'm not too familiar with Indian cuisine and I've only tried chicken curry and nan bread before. I really liked all the spices used in the dishes, and my favorite dish, besides the chicken curry, was the rice pudding, which was pleasantly sweet (though not overpoweringly so) and had added texture from almond slivers and raisins. My friend Alex H. joined us a little bit later for our meal. After eating, I said goodbye to Alex and Alex and got my stuff ready to leave.
I was a bit behind schedule for my flight, so I took a taxi to the airport. The driver was a very friendly guy who came over to the U.S. from Algeria. He told me about some of Algeria's history, including colonization by the French, and about growing up learning English, Arabic, and French. We also talked about some Middle East issues.
I got to the airport on time, but unfortunately an intense storm began right before the flight was to leave, so we faced a very long delay. It rained really hard, and there was thunder and lightning. We finally left a little after 5 in the afternoon.
I was seated next to a young family with a pre-teen son who kept trying to converse with me. He then insisted that I play the card game "War" with him, and the game dragged on forever. "War" is a game that really can go on for hours. We probably played for at least 90 minutes before stopping the game because the in-flight film was beginning. It wasn't until then was I able to finally get some sleep on the flight. Of course, in the tragic tale of my life, it was when I was sleeping that all the babies and young children on the flight decided to start crying as if their mothers had deprived them of the breast milk for which they so desperately long. The insufferable screaming of the infants awakened me repeatedly during my nap, and then the cries miraculously stopped after I had finished my nap. For the rest of the flight, it was as if there were no babies onboard anymore. Sigh.
I finally got into Los Angeles sometime after 8 p.m., but the last flight to San Luis Obispo had already left, so I was stranded in LA for the night. Alas. They put me up in a really nice room at the Embassy Suites near the airport, and they also gave me a $20 voucher for dinner. I dined at the Chili's restaurant in the airport and had a bleu cheese and bacon hamburger, along with soda and a cheesecake for dessert. After waiting forever in the heavy traffic around the airport for the shuttle to the hotel, I finally made my way to the Embassy Suites and checked in. The hotel was absolutely beautiful. It was decorated in a Spanish style, and there was a very large lobby and atrium, complete with a huge pond with giant koi fish, turtles, and the cutest ducks ever! They would swim around the pond and carry about with their ducky ways.
I had to get up early the next morning, so I went to bed early – but not before watching a bit of the Olympics on television. I watched the swimming relay, and the U.S. won, giving Michael Phelps 8 medals at this year's Olympics. Go Michael Phelps!
Quote of the Day: "To me, the Radisson sounds like a vegetable; I would eat it."
:: SL 12:25 PM [+] ::