The trip up to the Bay Area went just about as smoothly as I’ve ever seen it. I had ticketless travel and no bags to check, just two carry-on items, so getting into the airport was pretty fast. Once inside, the line for security was a mile long, but eventually they were able to sufficiently scrutinize my sneakers. Then I had to go up the escalator in my socks, since there weren’t benches enough for everyone to put their footwear back on. Oh, and the men’s room was closed for renovations. But there were two teeny-tiny substitute lavatories way back down under the stairs in a grim employees’ area. Upon seeing them, I decided I’d rather go once I was on the plane, thank you.
Once I arrived in Oakland, I went to pick up the rental car and was nearly charged for four days of use instead of two. Fortunately, that was easily straightened out, and I was soon on my way to the East Bay. In early rush-hour traffic.
All right, so perhaps the getting there wasn’t all that smooth after all. And no sooner did I check into the motel than was I bothered by work. Fortunately, it was something utterly trivial. No sooner was that concluded than did my uncle show up, so we went to a chain diner across the street and had burgers. And no sooner did we finish that than did my aunt show up and recruit the both of us into making party favors.
I set out to buy some new dress shoes, since the ones I had were so beat up I that I didn’t bother to bring them. So, after a bagel and an odd cherry-flavored coffee, I ended up going to Wal-Mart, since that was what was in the neighborhood, and I did find a pair of shoes that would do if nobody looked at them too closely. I also picked up a set of instant shoe-shine wipes and a pack of batteries, but those somehow didn’t make it into my bag. I didn’t notice this until well after I got back to my motel. Arrgh! I swore (profusely) never to return to that store again. But…
When I went to go pick up my brothers and my Dad from their hotel, it turned out that my youngest brother didn’t even have a dress shirt. And since that particular Wal-Mart was the only store (that we knew of) in the area that sold clothing…
Anyway, we made it to my cousin’s wedding just in time. I’ve only been to a handful of weddings, but this one had the most elaborate ceremony (I’m glad I thought to put on sunscreen), the most elegant venue, and the most guests I’ve ever seen. The food at the reception was pretty darn good, too. I even made an attempt at dancing.
My family decided to meet for breakfast before we all went our separate ways again. When we discovered that a plate of eggs was $26 at the hotel restaurant, we decided to go to Denny’s instead. After the meal I still had about an hour before I had to return to Oakland, so my brothers and I went to a nearby park for a bit before saying our goodbyes.
My trip back to San Diego went a bit less smoothly than the trip to Oakland. Not only were the terror screeners being particularly meticulous, I had the worst $10 turkey sandwich. First of all, it was actually tuna salad. Then, for some reason the sandwich maker put lettuce on both sides of the sandwich, which caused the filling to slither out from between the slices of bread like some sort of alien embryo.
On the way home from the airport, I stopped and saw the new Mummy movie. The theater was practically empty, a bad sign. I wouldn’t say the movie was bad, but it certainly wasn’t what I’d call great. Another bad sign was that people actually laughed at the "Please be quiet during the movie" announcement. It seemed like everybody in that theater was talking. I know, because I changed seats to get away from one group of blabbermouths, only to end up next to the bozo that answered his cell phone during the movie. I’m never going to the Mission Valley 20 theater again.
Monday was supposed to be the recovery from travel day, but interrupted by more utter trivia. *sigh* But something good did come out of Monday, and that was that the return shipping carton for my red-ringed 360 finally arrived. I packed up the 360 and took it to the UPS store. The clerk there seemed to know exactly what I was dropping off. "How many times have you sent it back?"
"This is the second time," I said.
"Okay. I know some people have sent theirs back three, sometimes even five times."
At least I still have the Wii, right?