We sleep solidly until our alarms go off at 8:00. We wake quickly but rouse ourselves slowly, if that makes sense.
Yesterday already seems like a strange dream, sometimes wonderful, sometimes not, but not really real. Except we’re in a hotel room in Santa Monica, with that gorgeous ocean view out of our window!
There were squares of Ghirardelli dark chocolate left on our nightstand by housekeeping when we returned last night, but there was no way either of us wanted or needed to eat them then. But now? Sure. So we lounge in our fluffy white bed, the California sun streaming in our windows, eating chocolate. Now this life we could get used to!
There’s not much repacking left to do since we were just here the one night, though we do have to make sure we’re ready to go through security. Hmm, we still have Becky’s unopened can of Sprite from the flight here. That can’t go back through security. She has the choice of drinking it now – warm – or just leaving it in the room. She leaves it. Hopefully since it’s unopened someone will drink it and not just toss it out.
At a few minutes until 9:00 we bid our room goodbye and head back to the lobby. There is a glitch on our checkout – their records show that the Demand Media credit card on file just held the room; they don’t have the authority to charge it. I could stay until we get it worked out, but as wonderful as Demand has been to deal with, I bet they’ll correct it promptly, plus we have a plane to catch, so the hotel charge goes on my Visa. I am a little nervous about that, since our one night at the Huntley cost over $400!
Becky tells me our driver has arrived and loaded our luggage while I was dealing with the front desk – it’s the same driver that picked us up at LAX yesterday. We hop into the car and start off. Our driver asks us about the premiere, and we try to put the experience into words for him.
At the same time, I’m firing off a quick email to my contact at Demand Media, letting him know the hotel situation. He does not disappoint. Before we’ve even reached LAX, he’s contacted the hotel, put the charge onto Demand’s card, and emailed me a receipt showing the charge reversed off of our Visa card. Like I said, they’ve been wonderful to deal with!
Once at LAX, we print our boarding passes at a kiosk and then head through security. They have the blue box type of backscatter machines. I assume the position when it’s my turn – feet spread, arms held overhead – and then mosey out until I’m cleared. The TSA agent at the machine exit sees the Vocal Majority logo on my shirt. She high-fives me and says she loves singers, and that they have a good chorus “here.” I’m thinking of our fellow championship-level Barbershop Harmony Society choruses in the L.A. area like the Masters of Harmony and the Westminster Chorus, and reply, “Oh, yes, some excellent choruses.”
She clarifies, though, that she means that the TSA has their own singing group! She waves me on through and says that I should look them up on YouTube, and I say the same about the VM. Then she calls after me and laughingly says, “On second thought, don’t look us up!” [Sorry, too late. I found a great video of them here. She’s standing just behind the lead singer 23 seconds into the video!]
We enjoy Burger King breakfast croissants and Starbucks mochas at our gate. There’s a Qantas Airbus A380 across the way, that huge double-decker passenger jet. It’s my first time seeing one, and they are big.
Our boarding is delayed a little while the flight crew comes in on another flight, but soon enough we’re on board, and then in the air just a few minutes late. I latch my smartphone to the seatback in front of me again, finishing The Producers and then watching a couple of episodes of Newsradio, and I’m barely through the second episode when we’re descending into Dallas. Wow, that went by fast!
Before we know it, we’re at the gate and deplaning. I smack my head even harder on one of the video monitors on the way out. [The knot on my head and the bruise on my shoulder will be “souvenirs” for more than a week to come.]
We freshen up, and then exit the terminal. It’s gotten chillier here since we left, but it feels great. We’ve texted my dad that our gate is further down the terminal building than when he dropped us off, but we don’t see him anywhere. A few more texts confirm he has gone down to the arrivals level, even though we told him we’d be on the same level since we didn’t have to go through baggage claim.
Once we’re out of the airport, we make a quick call and have our boys and my mom come meet us all at Jason’s Deli. It’ll be almost 5:00 by the time we get there, but we’ve only had breakfast at LAX, so it’ll be like a late lunch & early supper combined for us.
After that, we go home, and then I turn around and head for rehearsal with the VM. It’s not Hollywood, but my own little corner of show biz still goes on!