Susan got up very early to get on a plane and fly through the air all the way out to California. She was spending an expanded weekend with three of her long established pals, including her friend who talks to dead people RS, his husband JB and his sister CS, all attending a party hosted by the siblings' other sister. Susan had visited California as a teenager and forty years later her only recollections were of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street.
Susan had never travelled with her three friends and while she had a few things she might like to do in California she was very content to meander through the next four days making plans by committee. The shenanigans began at the airport when Susan's friend became woozy with anxiety after his sister was removed from line in order to verify her identification. There was really nothing to worry about, but anxiety laughs at logic and he was a singularly focused obsessive nutball until his sister was returned intact.
The plane was approximately two thirds full, something Susan has never experienced, and passengers were encouraged to change their seats as long as they didn't exceed their original financial commitment. Susan's group kept their aisle accommodations making it very easy to interact or not, as they each were only an elbow away.
The flight was long, Susan read her 280 page book and took a nap, but awoke to find she would still imprisoned in her little seat for 2 hours longer. She journeyed up to the lavatory and while sitting in claustrophobic solitude discovered a teeny pull out ashtray incorporated into the door. OMG, how elderly is this plane?! she thought and found no solace considering that it may just be a 1980 era door and Do they get replacement parts from the junkyard like my mechanic?! She returned to her seat and became engaged in a conversation about Hell with her friend which redirected her attention for a while.
LAX looked like a bus depot mated with the DMV. She tried not to get mugged as she waited for everyone to return from the toilet, views of mountains and palm trees did nothing to elevate the experience. Their plan for the rest of the day was to get settled at the hotel then go to the California Sister's home for dinner. Everyone was hungry so Susan suggested the authentic regional dining spot In-N-Out Burger. The In-N-Out Burger on Ventura Boulevard has two drive-up windows, as well as a walk-up window which is accessed by walking directly in front of the cars exiting the two drive-up windows. The walk-up window is also utilized by employees bringing trays of tomatoes and rolls from an adjacent structure. So, both patrons & employees are in constant danger of being clipped by any number of vehicles driving through the cramped parking lot. The menu is simple; hamburgers with or without cheese, onions or a bun. Outdoor seating was their only option so the travellers strode through the middle of some pot smoking teens to sit at a cement table and eat their dribbly burgers.
Verdict: Susan would eat one again although she prefers Wendy's Junior Cheeseburger Deluxe
The rest of the day was a blur of hugs, laughter, prosecco & tortilla pizzas with chicken sausage followed by insomnia.