We heard our name called out
from the boarding desk.
Standing around, talking,
we nearly missed our flight out of Cairns.
In Brisbane we caught our flight
in a timely fashion,
not a moment to spare.
15 hours and 5 movies later,
we queued in a customs snake.
Behind us by a few,
a girl with a puppy dog tic
brought the officers to alert,
running to inspect
for illegal importation of a dog.
Her sister had to explain loudly.
We hoped she wasn’t too embarrassed.
Finally, joyfully, we saw
Nathan and Danielle
had risen early, early, on a
cold, rainy day LA,
bringing to my mind the song
“It never rains in Southern California”
forgetting that the following line of the song is
“but it pours..”
That night we slept deeply
waking with Danielle’s loud telephone voice.
M’God, it’s 10:30
Danielle went to a class at St Benardino University
We went with her.
To a fabulous little art museum
showing exciting colourful, evocative works,
a Buddha plasticine sculpture activity,
then prowled the campus.
As evening fell
Soroor and Danielle organised
a visit to Nathan’s work
to meet a cheerful team of
Evelyn, Gustavo, Kristine, Patty, Ron.
Dinner at the Olive Garden.
Tues Day 3 Soroor ran to catch a bus
while I hobbled on knees
that seemed to have died on the flight over.
We took the bus to the other end of Riverside
to Galleria on Tyler.
Soroor noticed “You’re a minority on this bus”,
in a smug, I’m feeling quite comfortable, voice.
And Tigga went “Sigh, I hadn’t noticed”
At Galleria we over-ate for one.
Our bus trip back was planned meticulously.
Spending time looking around the Mission Inn,
and missed the bus.
Soroor borrowed a phone.
We caught the next one.
Dressed up and experienced
a nocturnal freeway drive
to the Baha’i Feast in Corona
Wednes Day four Nathan takes work for the Thanksgiving weekend
Took a drive
California State orange orchard / Lake Marshall / Chipalettos
Dropping in on Nathan’s boss, Linda
Soroor is relaxed and secure,
everyone loves her baby.
Another freeway ride
Jazzae played Basketball
She shot, she scored.
We went on to
Tash and Afshin’s
Thurs Day five I got up a dawn
as the Arneson family rose
to prepare Thanksgiving repast.
The turkey took a basting.
I stepped in as Tash’ stunt arm.
Drank coffee, distracted the children
looking for Thanksgiving songs with the IPad,
peered at Tash’ nicnacks
more guests arrived,
we ate and talked,
sang a Slim Dusty song,
and late, drove the freeway back to east riverside.
Fri Day six slowly offered the possibility of
a trip to a wholesaler.
I took a hike on the hill nearby,
surprised at the sponginess of the grass and soil,
and the steepness and openness of the slope,
reminding me I am scared of falling from heights.
I hiked down.
We got back on the freeway
to Corona to study
a Baha’i course, RuhiBk8, with a local group
Satur Day seven saw a tour
of the UCR botanical Garden
that has cacti, rocks, and a view of the suburb.
Soroor and Danielle cooked dinner
for her family and later enjoyed
the Riverside Christmas Lights display.
Sun Day eight a longer excursion to
Newport beach and a Kebab & Persian shop.
Staying awake to attend a commemoration,
the Ascension Abdu’l-Baha’
in San Marino.
Mon Day nine we caught the bus
on time to Las Vegas.
Booking in to the 26th floor of the Luxor,
a pyramid of rooms,
with quarter wall corridors,
looking down into the foyer,
that I am very scared of falling from heights.
Soroor leans over the balcony to get a good view.
Prowling the lights,
hungrily we stopped at a grill
where the food was quite boring and the sport TV very loud.
Walking on we came across
our first delight
the Bellagio fountains.
Diving in and out every hotel we came,
we learnt that dodging show spruikers
was part of the Las Vegas game.
Tues Day ten began with brunch in Denney’s
– yippee –
And then we walked the strip
deciding that Caesar’s Palace is número uno
and back to the hotel next to our hotel
the Mandalay to see
“The Lion King”
– so grand, so fantastically enjoyable –
Sweet Crepes became a late dinner.
Wednes day eleven straight to Denney’s for breakfast
Walked more of the strip
Costumed buskers – Kandy Floss, Transformers, Elvis, Mickey, Garfield, Willy Wonker,
Club spruikers, Moving billboards selling girls
Treasur Island, Wynns, Palazzo, Venetian
it goes on.
We hit a large buffet for lundinner
Then to the
Phantom of the Opera
at the Venetian.
As if to set the mood, the evening turned very cold and windy.
It was mindboggling.
The chandeliers flew around the ceiling,
Reminding Soroor in a scream
that she is scared of things falling on her.
Thurs Day twelve we slpt in to check out
Breakfast at MacDonald’s inside the Luxor.
Bus back to cold, cold,
Fremont st, the original casino area of LA
Bus back to Riverside
The traffic inbound to Las Vegas,
a sight to behold.
At Barstow in the desert,
we got out of the bus for a break.
We missed the Bus.
It left without us.
Taking our bags, iPad, and camera.
“There are no more greyhounds ’till tomorrow”, says the greyhound ticketer,
who sent a message to riverside bus depot
that Danielle would meet it and get our bags.
We caught an American Lion to Colton
Danielle and Nathan did the circuit
picking bags, then us up
and fed us Curry.
Fri Day thirteen we went shopping
Watched wedding video of Kelsey and Nathan
Went back to study Ruhi Bk 8
At Burritos at Albertos
-a must for all food adventurers-
Satur Day fourteen got up slowly
Bags all packed
Took the freeway to Hollywood
walked head down,
dodging spruikers in costumes,
checking out the stars on the footpath
and the handprints
at Sid’s Chinese Theatre.
Lunched on the roof
Soroor searched for souvenirs
Sun already going down
Found our way to the Getty Museum
amazingly sitting on a rock overlooking LA
Millions of dollars of art
reminding me I am scared of falling from heights.
Soroor fell down
on a marbled floor.
Plenty of time to catch our flight for a midnight departure,
Burritos near Venice beach
then to the airport by 9:45
“Wait by the phone,” we joke with Danielle and Nathan “in case we miss the plane”.
“Check in is quiet”, noticed Soroor to the lone check in guy.
“Because the flight is about to close”, he chastises.
“What!” we exclaimed, “for a midnight flight?”
“It leaves at 10:45, maam”, he replies boredly.
We keep it straight.
Later, we giggle a lot.
Couldn’t wait to tell Danielle.
Three movies and a some deep sleep to Brisbane,
we had breakfast with Kels, Sep, Reubs.
The prices are outrageous.