Another confession: I much rather arrive early and wait, then to feel rushed.
The taxi was a “no show” having waited 30 minutes. With plenty of time to spare, no panic. The morning desk clerk called a taxi, which arrived a little after 8am. Check-in at the airport went very quickly — no one else had arrived yet for my flight. After going through security, I headed to the airport café for a hot chocolate and blueberry muffin. The two-hour flight passed quickly, and unlike my flight two-weeks ago from Frankfurt to Dresden, the time between today's connection is two hours … allowing me time to walk to my next gate rather than sprint. At the gate an offer was made to upgrade to Business Class. As I was booked for “steerage-plus,” the upgrade cost was just over $200 — a bargain compared to the cost if booked originally. This being the 10 hour leg of my journey home, it was money well spent!
My “seat mate” was a young man originally from Saudi Arabia, who now lives in Los Angeles — apparently with his girlfriend. After settling in, with a glass of champagne (he ordered two mixed drinks), our flight attendant came over to be sure I was OK. Odd, that. A few minutes later, my seat mate called the flight attendant over and asked for another mixed drink. And, a few moments later, the first officer pilot came over and told my seat mate that he couldn’t have any more alcohol. Hm-m-m-m. After he left, my seat mate, again rang for the flight attendant, who brought him another drink. After that, with his hoodie pulled over his face, he fell asleep
… or at least I hoped that he was only asleep! Meanwhile, I flipped through the movie offerings — unfortunately being the same month as when I flew to Germany, the movie selections were the same. I rewatched “The Bookshop” and another movie that I don’t even remember during dinner. Turned on the classical music channel softly and went to sleep.
After waking and freshening up, breakfast was served. My seat-mate was still asleep. We finally woke as the captain alerted us that we would be landing in 40 minutes.
Landing a few minutes early, I whizzed through Immigration and Customs in time to (thankfully) catch — with time to spare — the early shuttle back to the Santa Ynez Valley. Having called my niece Taylor when I caught the early shuttle from LAX, and again when the Shuttle passed through Santa Barbara, she was waiting for me. After a brief catch-up, I was in my bed by 11pm!