I almost had a perfect travel day. I actually slept the night before my flight. I woke up very rested and on time. The car service I called for was downstairs waiting for me (five minutes before the scheduled pick up). My usual driver who looks like Big Pussy from The Sopranos was not working. I had a chatty older Puerto Rican guy who was happy that all the late night rain washed away the snow from the day before.
There was light traffic to JFK. I used a self check-in kiosk which took thirty seconds to spit out my boarding pass. Security lines were about average and the line I picked went as fast as possible. All I took with me were the clothes on my back, and my laptop, cell, and camera. Oh and a book to read and two copies of the manuscript. I left most of my gear at Nicky's before I came home to NYC for Turkey Day. It felt great to travel very light.
I bought a chocolate croissant and a power bar. That was the longest line I found myself in all day. Two cute British girls stood in front of me and kept asking me about the different coins, like how a dime is smaller than a nickel.
I continued my media blackout and skipped buying any newspapers or magazines, although I wandered through the magazine section and I marveled at all the tabloids. I bought a water and took some Airborne, which they gave away free at the check-in kiosk.
I wandered over to my gate and read for an hour before it was my turn to board. That was an easy and orderly process. My plane was full and the only empty seat was next to me in between my aisle seat and the middle-aged suit at the window seat who read a book called The World Without Us. The flight left on time and arrived exactly on time. No crying babies. No smelly people. No distractions.
I read Texas Poker Wisdom, a novel by Johnny Hughes, during my flight. Hughes referenced Tao of Poker in his book. One of the characters mentioned that they read my poker blog. Super cool! And it was a great and quick read with rich characters. I will write a review next week. I finished his book somewhere over Nevada, which I thought was fitting.
I almost always watch TV on JetBlue flights, but I couldn't put down Johnny Hughes' book. When I completed it, I watched a little TV, mostly ESPN to catch up on the football scores and see who made it into the BCS. Then for the rest of the flight, I watched a little Food Network.
When I landed in Long Beach, I picked up some more frequent flier points. I have one free roundtrip flight in the can, and I'm just four more cross country flights away from getting another free round trip ticket. I should reach that when I fly back to NYC after a trip Australia. I used to rack up free flights on JetBlue when I worked more out of Las Vegas. I have been skipping Vegas assignments for overseas ones which means a lot less time on JetBlue and more time on airlines like KLM and Quantas. Regardless, by March, I should have two free roundtrip flights on JetBlue.
Nicky picked me up at the airport and was dressed very warmly in a hoodie and Uggs. It was 72 degrees and she said it was chilly. Unreal. SoCal folks have no concept of chilly and cold. We listened to some Widespread Panic bootlegs on the drive to her apartment.
I caught up on some old episodes of Weeds and finally saw the last show of the season. We also watched a chunk of a four hour documentary on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that was on the Sundance Channel. Good stuff. It seemed to be on forever.
We went to Canter's for dinner with Showcase. Nicky and Showcase proceeded to sing show tunes on the entire drive from Beverly Hills to Canter's. I almost jumped out of a speeding car. Utter torture. We ate during halftime of the football game. I had not been to Canter's in over a year. It's one of the few late night restaurants in all of LA. I ordered a grilled cheese and a knish. And for dessert, Showcase ate a black and white cookie, while Nicky and I opted for the chocolate cupcakes. Yummy.
After dinner, I watched the Patriots come from behind on Monday Night Football to keep their undefeated streak alive, before I caught the last episode of Heroes. I liked the first season, but this year is not as good.
It's weird being in some place warm during Christmas season. Doesn't feel like Christmas. The only way I know is from the random decorations and the Christmas music on the radio.
Now it's 6am and I can't sleep. Passed out around 1am and woke up at 5am. Laid in bed for an hour before I got up to read. Maybe I'll post some pics if I can't fall back asleep.
It's 7:20am and I uploaded a few pics.
Chocolate cupcakes from Canters
Sign in Canter's parking lot
NYC reading list....