Tuesday 30th December – L.A. to San Francisco to Chicago

The routing may sound slightly odd here but that’s as my initial round the World ticket was from San Francisco to Chicago and, as you may have gathered, I changed my routing to meet up with Chuck.  I had originally planned to spend some time in San Francisco but half decided to see L.A. properly and do this another time.  Anyway, this meant that I had to get to San Francisco from L.A.

When I go to the airport, which I actually did in alright time for me, (well I say that, it was quite good time, the gate hadn’t even opened) I was wondering if the flight had been cancelled as there were so few people waiting.  One man asked what flight I was waiting for and then went and asked at the gate.  It turned out that the flight was going but that very few people were.  When we got on the plane and the flight attendant checked our tickets instead of telling us how to get to our allocated seats she simply asked us to pick a row!  I’ve never been on such an empty flight and was quite surprised given the time of year.  It was nice to have so much space but I was thinking about the veritable forest that someone should be planting to offset all that carbon.  I guess that’s the current economy in action.

I arrived safely in San Francisco after a relatively short flight and found the gate for my follow on flight which wasn’t anywhere near as empty.  After a longer flight I arrived in Chicago.  I was aware that a combination of Alexandra (my cousin), Renato (her husband) and Al (her father in law) could be picking me up and, having collected my luggage, did the whole staring at people thing to try and figure out if they were any of the people milling around.  After a little while I saw someone who fitted Renato’s description (ish) and was about to go and ask him if he was waiting for me.  I was glad I didn’t as, seconds later, I saw Alexandra and Renato approaching.  Apparently he had spotted me first, before my cousin, which was quite amusing.

After a warm welcome at the airport we found the car (eventually, there seem to be a short debate about where it had been left) and headed out to Elgin where they lived.  It was cold but not as horrendously cold as I had expected and I was pleased to see that there were piles of snow around.  The highways were reassuringly American with what felt like hundreds of lanes which people used to over and undertake at will.  There were also loads of massive advertising billboards lining the roads.

When we got to the house it was lovely, warm and welcoming and I met Al and Betty, Alexandra’s inlaws.  I also found out that Alexandra was pregnant which was a shock, albeit a rather nice one.  In the evening I was asked what I wanted to do and joked about country dancing.  So, Renato, Alexandra and I headed out to a bar where there was a line dancing night.  We all wore the obligatory cowboy hats of course!  It was really funny to see, ‘authentic’ line dancing but, after a while, Alexandra and I were a bit miffed to see how few steps there were which were repeated in different orders for different songs.  It was funny though and there was such a mix of people and ages taking part.  There were a couple of young guys who thought they were it adding ad-lib moves from the Michael Jackson thrusts to almost Michael Flatley-esque flairs.  Then there was the old drunk lady who spun round too quickly all the time, showing us what was under her skirt, looking like she was going to fall over and then being quickly caught by her partner who looked more and more concerned.  After an entertaining night we headed back, partly as we had seen enough line dancing for one night and partly as Renato was working early the following day.

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One Response to “Tuesday 30th December – L.A. to San Francisco to Chicago”

  1. I found your post very interesting.

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