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California - June 2022 - Day 14

Back home they'll be thinking about us When we are far away

A very leisurely get up, pack up and leave. Annoyingly there were several food items that we had bought and not eaten. I hate the waste of both of the money and the food items but unless I could drink 10 cans of Coke in 3 hours for instance then I had no choice.

As per the checkout instructions, Karen put all the towels in the wash before we left. We packed the car and were soon on our way at 11am. It was about a 35-mile drive to Los Angeles Airport and the closer we got the busier the freeways became.

Our first stop was to fill the car up with petrol before returning it. The garage I was aiming for was shut so I ended up having to do a U turn to get to the very busy one on the other side of the road. Amazingly I guessed correctly that it would take $40 to fill it.

Finding the rental return place was then far trickier than it should have. It was poorly signed and unbeknown to us, Hertz were handling all the returns for Thrifty rentals. We went round several blocks in not the nicest area of LA before we found it. LAX is also one of those annoying airports where you must wait for a shuttle bus to take you to the terminal. This is bad enough without having a wife who cannot lift with one arm at the moment getting the luggage on and off.

The shuttle ride was painfully slow as the traffic around the terminals was very bad. Once off the bus we then couldn’t find our way into the International Terminal itself due to building works.

Using the Premium queue we were soon checked in, although not quick enough according to Karen & Neil who both bemoaned a lack of work ethic from all the check in staff.

Security was not too bad and we made our way to the Amex Centurion Lounge. The food selection was not great but by the time I had had two G&T’s I was happy enough.

Boarding was straight forward and we were soon in our seats. The crew were lovely even though the service was bad. They announced they were flying with 4 less than the minimum crew which meant they had to cut some things out. I was more concerned about the impact of dealing with any incidents.

Food was dreadful in my opinion as ever. Just some plain simple food would suffice rather than the concoctions they dream up. How many people look forward to and enjoy airline food (apart from Barry)?

I was asleep before they even came to collect the trays. I felt I had lots of snoozes rather than one deep sleep and that proved to be correct with the jet lag later.

The time passed and we were soon landing. At Passport Control I got through without a problem, Karen & Neil didn’t. The queue for their manual checks was long and so I signalled I would go and look for our bags which were actually on the carousel and waiting for us. There were no trolleys anywhere and so I just had to gather them together to wait for Karen & Neil to join me.

As ever Sunny was efficient in returning the car and we were soon making our way around the M25. It was about Attleborough that the jet lag started to hit me and not helped by the fact that Karen & Neil were both sound asleep. I slapped my face a few times and carried on home.

We underloaded the car, made a drink and then within about 30 minutes I was asleep in bed. I had a couple of hours and felt revitalised for a while.

I hate jet lag with a vengeance but not yet enough to stop our travels. Despite my reservations before leaving this had been a really good trip and we had done so much. More memories and experiences of a lifetime. My knee problem had slowed us down at times but not to an extent where it had not made it worthwhile. Neil had been very patient and had also been good company.

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