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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wing and a Prayer (Part 2.0)

When we last left our intrepid traveler, it was 7 a.m. He's at Enterprise Rent-a-Car after an overnight flight from Honolulu to LAX…. (See “Wing and a Prayer, Part 1.”)

The associate smiled, waiting for my credit card and driver’s license. I smiled back, thinking I'd be in the hotel by 8 a.m., catch a nap, and be so bright and shiny for the noon opening of the writer’s conference.

Source: melissasmrz1 @Photobucket
It was a good day, by gawd! I even looked forward to driving on SoCal’s open freeways.
I was sleep deprived; forgetting how jam-packed Interstate 405 gets on any given moment.

I pulled my credit card, and handed it over. Now where’s my bloody driver’s license? It should be next to the credit cards… I already had a sinking feeling.
I flashbacked to going through security – boarding card and driver’s license in hand, and a little voice saying “Put the ID in your wallet.” Uh oh... I knew I hadn’t listened.

I stepped out of line to find what I already knew was missing. After a half-hearted search
Why would I hide my license in the midst of my Speedos or socks?
I groaned my way to the counter.

“Can I still get my reservation if I don’t have my license?" I whined in an exceptionally high voice.

The rental agent looked at a colleague who’d stopped to help, a mental text message passing between the two.

Ten minutes later, I was on the bus, heading back to LAX.

Source: Photobucket.com @ kpowens
With the help of a company representative I found sitting on a metal chair next to baggage claim, I hired a shuttle bus service. Waving a van to the curb, the rep. warned there’d be multiple stops depending on the number of passengers.

As if he’d worked on The Price is Right, the driver stepped around to open the middle doors of the van where six young Japanese women were chatting about something exciting.

Seeing me, two of the ladies moved to the first of three rows, leaving the middle row empty. OK, I'll have some peace and quiet, get a bit of work done, use my time wisely, turn a negative into a positive.
By the time we traversed the seven LAX terminals – the second time – I said sayonara to getting anything done.

The three ladies behind me kept a steady and happy conversation with the three up front, and I soon figured out why: We were all going to Disneyland!
Or at least a parking lot off Katella Avenue.

Two-and-a-half hours post my estimated time of arrival, I reached my quaint (cheap) hotel. I lay on the bed for several minutes dreaming about the long nap that never was.

Then I booked a cab for the ten minute drive to the conference hotel, ($30) which led to a near heart attack, and an instant end to all non-essential trips (including lunch and dinner at In-and-Out.)

Later, I would fly home using my military ID, so no stress there (except I checked my wallet a dozen times to make sure my ID hadn't jumped out.)

Here’s the point: My wife was very worried about me driving that weekend and had prayed long and hard for my safe return. She'd been so concerned that we'd made drastic changes to my scheduled itinerary and incurred additional costs to keep me closer to the conference.

So, did I lose my license because I'm a klutz – I've never lost a driver’s license before?

Or was this a little bit of divine intervention?

Who knows, but I’m glad I made it safely home to my wife and kids.
   As always, I value your time and appreciate the few minutes we spend together. Mahalo and regards,

“Aloha to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.”
– Queen Lili‘uokalani, (1838–1917), the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands.


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