March Travels Part Three

…Continued from Part Two

We woke early to make the two-hour drive from Buellton to LAX. We left extra early not only to have time to drop off the rental car but also to beat the morning traffic. We had no trouble getting to the rental agency on time and arrived at the airport with time to spare.

We hadn’t had breakfast before we left and were starving. Although airport food tends to disappoint, we found Engine Co. No. 28 where we had a relaxing and enjoyable sit-down breakfast.

After our surprisingly good breakfast, we migrated to our gate. Our flight was supposed to take us from Los Angeles to San Francisco where we would connect to Philadelphia. A major snow storm was predicted on the east coast from late Monday night into Tuesday. It seemed like we should have arrived in Philly before the snow started, but we were keeping an eye on the flights just in case. Luckily, we noticed that the San Francisco flight home had been canceled before we left Los Angeles. We might have been among the first people to notice that flights had started to get canceled because there was barely a line at customer service. We were able to easily book a new flight for Tuesday afternoon. The problem was that the airline was not able to do anything about accommodations because the flight was canceled because of weather and not because of any fault of theirs.

I said we were lucky that we realized the flight was canceled before leaving Los Angeles because we are more familiar with that area and were able to figure out our own accommodations.

Because Holly is from Long Beach, we decided our best course of action was to head that way and then figure things out. We took public transit which brought us into Downtown Long Beach.

We made the best of the situation and went to Congregation Ale House, sat outside with beer and snacks, and started searching for a place to stay.

Hummus Platter

Beer

We found an inexpensive room at the Vagabond Inn and booked it. We also found a Laundromat since we packed light for the weekend and were all but out of clean clothes.

After our leisurely time at Congregation, we did our laundry and then checked into our room. I think we were both impressed with how calmly and sensibly we handled the situation. There wasn’t much we could do once the flight was canceled other than figure out what to do. Panicking would have gotten us nowhere.

Once we got settled in our room, we decided to take a walk down by the beach. It was bright and sunny when we first went out, but a crazy dense fog rolled in while we were walking around.

Long Beach Palm Trees

Villa Riviera

Foggy Long Beach

Foggy Queen Mary

Pelican, Friend, and Foggy Queen Mary

After our walk, we met up again with Holly’s brother and went to dinner at Padre. We ordered a variety of tacos including Veggie (Mushrooms, cauliflower, red pepper hummus & shishito pesto), Octopus (with fiery Spanish sauce, arugula & lemon vinaigrette), and Swordfish (Grilled, nopales corn salsa, habanero aioli).

Octopus Taco and Veggie Taco

Despite the initial thrill of having an extra day in California, we were by this point eager to get home and anxious about possible travel delays the next day. Luckily, all went smoothly on Tuesday and returned home to snow, less than what was predicted, but still snow. It was tough being back to winter after such a nice time in sunny California!

You can see more pictures from our trip in Holly’s Flickr album and in mine.