Keeping Busy on the Left Coast

Where I’ve been for the past few days.

On Sunday, May 20, Mike and I climbed aboard Zero-Mike-Lima for a flight to the Los Angeles area. (It was a relatively uneventful flight and, if I find time, I will bore you with the details in another blog post.) We landed at Torrance Airport, where we had business to do, and took a cab to LAX, where we rented a car for the week. Zero-Mike-Lima is sitting at the ramp in Torrance, right in front of the Robinson Helicopter factory, waiting for our flight back to Wickenburg on Sunday.

We came out here primarily to take the Robinson Factory Safety Course, a 3-1/2 day course designed to educate helicopter pilots about how accidents occur — and how they can be prevented. This was my third time at the course and Mike’s first. I’ll probably be writing more about it in another blog post because I really think it’s worth covering in some detail.

We’ve been on the go almost since arriving in the area. In fact, other than sleep at night, the only rest we had was right after checking into our hotel in Torrance on Sunday.

On Sunday night, we went down to the Redondo Beach pier for a seafood dinner.

Monday, we were in class from 8 AM to 4 PM. Then we zipped into Los Angeles for a walk around the Farmer’s Market and Grove shopping center.

Tuesday, class from 8 AM to 4 PM. Then, after a quick walk around a mall to pick up a few things, we headed back into Los Angeles for dinner and some shows at The Magic Castle with my friend (and fellow author) Deb Shadowitz. We got in to our hotel at 1 AM.

Wednesday, class from 8 AM to 4 PM. Then we hopped in the car and headed south along the coast, ending up in San Clemente for a visit with our friend (and fellow helicopter pilot) Jim Wurth.

Thursday, class from 8 AM to 11 AM. Then, after a quick trip to the Verizon Wireless store for some bad news, we headed back to the Robinson factory for lunch and to wait for Mike’s flight. (Mine was on Tuesday, during class.) Then it was back in the car for a drive up the coast, with a quick stop in Venice, to our new hotel in Malibu.

As you can see, we’ve been pretty much on the go since Sunday morning. Actually, it’s been since Saturday morning, when we gave helicopter rides at Yarnell Daze.

So I haven’t had any time to write in my blog.

imageIt’s Friday morning and, as usual, I was up at about 5:30 AM. Our hotel is weird. It was probably an old hotel that was recently gutted and renovated. Our room has nice (fake) hardwood floors, clean white walls, and a king-sized bed. But not much else. Really. There’s no dresser, no chairs (other than on the little balcony), no table, no sofa. There are two night tables and one lamp. No clock. The TV is a 17 or 19 inch flat screen, mounted on the wall. There’s a 3 cubic foot refrigerator and a wire clothes rack on wheels as a closet. The place is trying to be “trendy minimalistic,” and although the effect is pleasant, it isn’t comfortable. We have views of the ocean from our windows, but no access to the beach. And the two lanes (in each direction) of the Pacific Coast Highway run right past the place. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles drive by throughout the day and night.

There’s Internet access via an unsecured network named “default,” but to get connected, you have to stand in a certain place in the room with your computer on the windowsill. I’ll probably use that to publish this entry.

This is the part of the trip I’ve been looking forward to: the part where Mike promised we’d just “take it easy.” We both expected this place to be on the ocean with access to the beach, so we’re very disappointed (to say the least). We’ll probably find another place later today. In my mind, “take it easy” means to relax in a comfortable place, read, write, or just chat. It doesn’t mean hopping in the car and driving all over the place. I know he’s not going to want to hang out here. I probably won’t either. So I’m not sure when I’ll find time to write again.

Stay tuned. More to come.

[composed in a hotel room in Malibu, CA with ecto]

What do you think?