The blur that incurred almost a year ago culminated as my flight lifted off at about two minutes after seven yesterday morning. Between the news out of New Orleans involving Hurricane Katrina and a variety of last-minute work tasks, I managed to get packed (toting a 63-pound bag in addition to my carry-on messenger bag) and out the door at 4AM yesterday.
After getting checked in and settled at the gate, we finally boarded at 6:30AM, seated and ready to head West. The plane comprised of two rows of three seats each, but since I got lucky, I had an empty seat next to me, which meant I could keep my bag next to me and stretch my legs out. So by the time we were ready for take-off, I had a small section of plane all my own.
By quarter after seven, I had my seat all the way back -- sans-guilt due to no one sitting behind me -- dialed into my 17-hour iPod playlist, and finishing up my first Anthony Bourdain book, "A Cook's Tour."
By the time the captain's voice interrupted my serenity to advise us we were making our final approach into San Fran, I had enjoyed several hours' worth of iPod rock, wrapped up the final hundred pages of my first Anthony Bourdain book -- excellent and highly recommended, and I'll touch more on it in another post -- and I was ready to see my lady.
As the brown hills magnified through the windows and the plane buffeted against the flowing wind, we touched down; it hit me, as the plane lurched mildly, that this trip, and this moment, was in-the-making since November and before.
By the time I stepped onto the curb and saw Kaia behind the wheel, waiting for me, all I could do through the haze of disoriented airplane sleep, sleep deprivation and excitement was smile.
I like California.