I woke up to what had become an unpleasantly familiar sensation for me in the great state of Washington this summer: fully plugged sinuses and the allergenic feeling of a constant impending sneeze without the relief of it actually happening. Ah Washington, with your majestic mountains and lovely greenery and rampant pollen presence. I love where I’m from but at this point I could not wait to get the hell out. For all the fellow allergy sufferers out there, you know how it feels to be at your wits end and still unable to find anything that does any good against the vicious hay fever. Sunshine, ocean, great weather, crazy people and beautiful sights are all great reasons to visit southern California and don’t get me wrong; they were all reasons of mine as well. The biggest one, however, was the possibility that a change in environment might just kill the allergies.
Bright and early I hop in the car with pops as we make the journey to the south side of Seattle and the giant mechanical bird that will whisk me away to my brother, sunshine and sandy beaches. As is the norm I arrive at the airport about an hour and a half before my flight. As is not the norm, I make it through security and get my boarding pass in record time, resulting in a long wait at the terminal. Well, I guess it’s better than being rushed.
I board the plane, head straight to the back row where I hope the other two seats will remain empty, allowing me some time to catch up on lost sleep without interruption. This proves true on the first leg of the trip; all the way from Seattle to Oakland I am blessed with blissful space and silence. Unfortunately, good luck on the first half leads to bad luck in the second half.
After reaching my connecting flight in Oakland, I once again head straight to the back of the plane and take the empty row in hopes of continuing my attempt to catch up on lost sleep. I am quickly interrupted by the flight attendant informing us that this flight is sold out and every seat will be taken. This is shortly followed the company of a morbidly obese woman sporting a bag of hard boiled eggs (really, hard boiled eggs on a plane?! that’s so bad it’s almost a cliche) and a screaming 7 year old.
Well so much for sleep but at least the allergies have already left the building.
I make it through the haze of yelling and the sulfur smell of eggs all the way to LAX and not a moment too soon.
I race off the plane, try and navigate the disorganized maelstrom that is Los Angeles International Airport, and greet the warm weather and sunshine of Socal with a smile and shades.
After a little bit of confusion I’m able to find my bro and off we go into the familiar LA traffic, where the maniacal driving habits of the populace are encouraged and yet somehow there is a method to the madness that starts to form if you really pay attention.
The rest of this day is mostly a blur of sorts. Weary from lack of sleep and a day of traveling, I tag along with my brother as he goes about a normal southern California day. We eat, we drive, I meet a few hundred people, we eat again, and then we crash.
A full day and a good day.