So! After the flight from hell, we finally arrived in California. At this point, we had been travelling for fifteen hours (drive to Syracuse, flight to JFK, several-hour layover, flight to California) and still had an hour-and-a-half drive to my sister's house. Her two sons graciously drove to the airport to pick us up. And we got to my sister's house, and much grieving ensued. By the time we got ready for bed, it was like 5 a.m. east coast time. And we had started traveling at 10:30 that morning. Whew! On Thanksgiving Day, no less.
We all got up the next morning, more grieving ensued, and we had breakfast. And someone mentioned what I had totally forgotten, namely, that it was my fortieth birthday. Oh yeah. The big 4-0, spent far from home with grieving family members. Good times! One of my sister's friends actually BAKED A CAKE for me, which was so cool, seeing as how we were there for a funeral and all. And some of her friends made us a Thanksgiving dinner, turkey and everything. My sister has some very nice friends.
The weekend was spent doing funeral-type stuff. The memorial service and reception afterward were held in Redondo Beach, right on the ocean, which would have been really neat, except for someone dying and all. (Sorry, I DO NOT mean to make light of my sister's loss. Her companion was a great guy, and they were very much in love.) And my sister lived in Palm Desert, so I got to see a little bit of California driving back and forth. (That's my first and only visit to California, so far. Lovely state. But THE TRAFFIC? Oh dear Mary Mother of God. You would not believe the traffic. ) And it was kind of weird, because there doesn't seem to be much open space. I mean, I know there must be, it's just that I didn't see any. Just city after city after city. Where I live, if you drive five minutes, you're out in the sticks. Oh, and Palm Desert is seriously strange. I mean, you're there, in the middle of the desert, but everything is green and beautiful because they water the holy hell out of it. (Poor use of resources, if you ask me.) And it's hot out. And then you look up, and RIGHT THERE are big old snow-capped mountains. It's kind of freaky, like they took nature and put it in a blender and then dumped it out all mixed up.
Sunday night we had to catch the red-eye back East. Yay! Five hours on a plane that left at 11 p.m.! Packed, again, to the gills, although this time not with Hasidic Jews with screaming children and odd bathroom habits. And thank God for Jet Blue! I cannot sleep on planes, so those little seat-back TVs really come in handy. And I LOVE the channel where they show the little plane on the map, so you can see where you are. Very cool. (I don't get out much - can you tell?)
So we got to JFK, and we had a little layover, and we were all basically zombies at this point, and then it was on to Syracuse. And as the plane lowered for our approach, we could see white. Lots of white. It had snowed while we were gone. Was still snowing. So we had to drive an hour and a half on snow-covered, shitty roads back home. The end. I have never been so glad to be home in my life.
That's my Worst Thanksgiving story. Along with the added bonus of turning 40 during the whole saga. So this Thanksgiving will be very, very enjoyable. I know I'm looking forward to it. Bring on those appetizers! I hope everybody has the Thanksgiving they are hoping for.