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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

There and back again (part 1)

So.. here I sit broken hearted.. paid a dime and only far---, no no, never mind!

Needless to say I've arrived back from California, wondering if I ever went. Why does time fly? Ah well, guess I can't stop it.

Anyway, for what it's worth I will begin my tale...

Let me begin (way back when) the day before I actually left for the West Coast.

The sewer backed up... nuff said? Well.. no, there's more. After all, this was something I didn't want to deal with! I needed to wash my hair before my flight and now we couldn't fill a tub or flush the toilet! ARGH!

When I was informed of the situation I asked David if he called the water company. He said he had not because it was a weekend and no one would come anyway... I picked up the phone and called. Yes I received an "automated voice" (I hate those!) but one option was "emergency".. I pressed that button!

After getting an "answering machine" they finally sent someone out, but by then I was out with the neighbor doing last minute things for my trip (but David was home). I came home and David said the water man stopped by and said the sewer was fine, it must be a house problem.

(note: this same thing happens at least once a year)

I asked David which man hole he went to.. he didn't know. But I did! Because only one manhole gives us this problem so it was obvious they went to the WRONG manhole!

I called the water company (again). I told them this happens each year, and each year someone checks "the wrong manhole". He said someone would come back out.

When they showed up, it was just luck that i saw them out my window.. and guess what? The fact that I could see them checking a manhole meant : it was the wrong one!

I went outside and walked him to the correct manhole. He opened it and said "this is a dead end" I told him "this is the manhole that gives us and others on the block the problem". He looked at me like i didn't know what i was talking about, then said he would check a map and get back to us.

Five hours later, after I had to ask another neighbor if i could bath and wash my hair at their house (humiliating!) he returned and asks if things work now. Well, duh.. I will check.... it worked. I asked what he did, he said he flushed out the manhole. (the same one he thought I was nuts showing him).

So.. something always needs to go wrong, right? Hopefully.. that was it!

Monday morning I was up by 5 am, had my Cafe Vienna, got dressed and called for the taxi and was out the door as fast as I could go! CALIFORNIA OR BUST!

Newark Airport was bustling when I arrived. I had printed out my ticket from my computer so I didn't have to get into the first very long line. I went right to Terminal C where I had to have my luggage scanned.... which was yet another long line. But I will say that it moved right along.

And.. the plane was on schedule!! woohoo!

By the time I arrived at LAX (Los Angeles) I had a whopping headache. I had forgotten how loud it is in a plane, especially right over the wings... and for 6 hours!

Now, take note of the first photo I took when I arrived in LA... it's a restaurant called Encounter, almost as well known to tourists as the Hollywood sign.

I want you to see this because 2 days after I arrived a one thousand pound piece of stucco from the arch fell off and closed the restaurant.

Although my friend Sue had to work the day I arrived, she picked me up and brought me to her apartment, where I settled in and took some advil for that headache. When she came home at 3 we went food shopping and grabbed a pizza for dinner. By the time I retired that night, due to the time difference, I had been up for 22 hours. Let me state this for the record... after a certain age, staying up for 22 hours is not advised! I was ready to die! And die I did until the next morning... when I woke at 4 (California time)... 7 east coast time.

Since Sue didn't have to get up until 6 for work, I tiptoed around and made my cafe vienna and went back to my room and proceeded to put posted notes on the pages of my books that I would have autographed at the convention.

When Sue finally woke I put on the news only to hear something I didn't want to hear!... they had closed one of the terminals at LAX from a bomb scare! Hello?! Did I need to hear this?

On the other hand, the weather man made me happier. When I left New Jersey it was 20 some degrees, but today in LA it was going to be 76! Now, that's more like it!! heh. Well.. sorta. I had watched to see how to pack for my trip. They had said mid 60's so sweatshirts would be all I needed... now 76 was getting a tad warm for sweatshirts. I was smart enough to toss in a few t-shirts though so, it was ok... I'd suffer such temperatures *grin*

It was Wednesday when my friend Carole came to get me to visit. We went to her house which wasn't too far away. The temps were in the mid 70's and so we went out on her patio for a bit. She had some wonderful plants out there! One was this huge Staghorn Fern! I had to take a picture, it was so beautiful!

While we sat gabbing a bluejay came into a bush near me making a lot of noise. I turned and admired him, he was so close. Before I knew it Carole said that she fed them, but until I saw what she was doing I didn't realize she fed them by hand! All she had to do was to hold up a peanut .. she made some bird noises and sure 'n' heck the blue jay went right to her. This may not be the best photo but I didn't have lighting choices or much of any other choice! I had to snap it fast in order to catch the bird on her hand!

She also had some fantastic other plants including this "cactus" which she can't remember the name of. (Naomi:... I'm sure you can come up with the name!) Carole took a photo of me next to it so that you could see just how big it is! I'm 5'4" and it's bigger then I am. be continued.....


Anonymous Jeff said...

Welcome back! I can't wait to read about the rest of your trip. I always wanted to be able to feed a live bird like that. Blue Jays are about as wild as you can get.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Karmyn said...

I can't wait to read the rest of your adventure!!!

Okay - it did not start out great. Sewer back-up. PEW.

(this is my little nerdy birding spiel: The bird your friend is feeding is a Western Scrub Jay....Actual Bluejays do not go into California and are very rare on this side of the Rockies). I am very impressed she got it to come to her hand. wow!

8:51 PM  
Blogger Melli said...

Ugh! I'm sure the sewer thing was Aggravation Major! - but you got through it and left ON TIME! Wow! And it looks like the first day or two were glorious! Can't beat those blue blue skies! How LONG did it take your friend to get those bluejays to come eat out of her hand? They ARE pretty bold birds -- but I can't imagine how many quiet hours she spent sitting out there to get that to happen! LOL!

7:03 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It is actually not a 'cactus', Pat, it is a Euphorbia....(It has that milky white sticky substance inside....Beautiful plant!!!!
I am enjoying your trip, so far...I look forward to more!

1:56 PM  

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