I landed in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening. To say that I was exhausted is like saying water is wet. I was spent. As I stood at the baggage claim, fingers crossed that I would see both of my bags, a baggage handler walked up next to me with one of my bags. As he started to hoist my heavy bag onto the carousel I said, “Hey, that’s my bag!” I took it from him and asked him why he had it as the bags from my flight hadn’t begun to pour onto the conveyor belt. He told me it came in on the earlier flight. Yes, one of my bags came in on the flight I was unceremoniously told I couldn’t make because I was 5 minutes too late to check my bags. I asked him where my other bag was and he said he didn’t know. On all of my other flights my bags were the first to come off the plane as they were the last to get on the plane due to my stand by status. I stood there and waited and waited as bags tumbled down the belt. No sign of my big apple green bag filled with Dutch cookies and my sweaters. “YAY!” I exclaimed like a child as my bag somersaulted down the ramp towards me. I pulled it onto my, not so smart, Smarte Carte and wheeled my belongings outside to catch a cab.
Why is the Smarte Carte in the LA not smart? Because it doesn’t have a brake. The ones I used in both Amsterdam and in NY had a brake built into the handle. When you aren’t holding the handle down the wheels lock. It makes it much easier to load heavy bags onto a wheeled cart when it can’t roll away from you. Needless to say, as I was trying to load over 100 pounds of luggage plus my heavy carry on onto the cart in LA after travelling for over 24 hours it would have been nice to not have to chase the Smarte Carte around the baggage claim area.
It didn’t make sense for me to have my husband come down to fetch me at the airport. Traffic is crazy. Plus I wasn’t sure what baggage claim would be like etc. I got into the cab with a very funny cab driver. He was older and I am guessing he was Thai. The car smelled of garlic as if he had just eaten a wonderful garlicky feast in the cab before I arrived. We talked about Amsterdam and marijuana. Even though I told him Amsterdam wasn’t where the mermaid was that that was in Copenhagen, Denmark, he kept asking me about Denmark. After correcting him and saying, “Holland” a couple of times I gave up and just answered his questions and chatted. He told me he used to smoke marijuana all the time but now that he has children and has to be more responsible he doesn’t anymore. We talked about legalizing marijuana and about how we need to educate our children. It was a funny half hour and a great way to end my trip.
When I came home John, my husband, had decorated the apartment with streamers and “Welcome Home” signs he printed on his computer. He had gone to Target to buy streamers and a sign but they only had Happy Birthday signs. It was so wonderful to see him! I knew I missed him on the trip but didn’t realize just how much until I saw him. Clearly, I was tired because I welled up when I saw the homemade signs and streamers. Sleeping in my bed (our new king bed we bought a month before I left) with my husband near by was so nice. 15 nights away is a long time.
I am still exhausted but not as dazed as I was the first night and first day back. Jet lag is crazy. I keep waking up at 3:30 in the morning with my body saying, “Why are you still in bed? It’s after noon!” When I try and go back to sleep and wake up at a more normal hour of say, 6:00a, I feel more tired than if I would have just gotten up for good at 3:30. I am just going to keep powering through.
I have also continued walking. It certainly isn’t the same walking I was doing in Amsterdam, but it is nice to keep my body moving as I found I really enjoyed the physical activity. I live in a wonderful neighborhood. While LA doesn’t smell nearly is lovely as the Amsterdam neighborhoods, and it definitely isn’t as pretty or quaint, it will suffice for now until my next adventure.
My intention is to keep writing. I have some reflections and thoughts about my trip to Amsterdam I am going to share in the next day or two. I am going to continue looking at life with a fresh perspective and I plan on sharing it. I am looking forward to future travels which I plan to capture both digitally and with the written word and plan on sharing them with you. A thought came to me as well, if you have any questions for me about, well, anything, by all means ask me. I would be happy to give your questions some thought and answer them. In the meantime, I am happy to be home again.