A Road Trip to Los Angeles County and Back
Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the church I used to be part of over 40 years ago as a member, and have always been part of in spirit since then. I hate trips to Southern California because they are tiring and the traffic is usually hectic. We decided to make the journey over two days. It's just too hectic and tiring to go and come back in one day.
We decided to drive as far as Simi Valley the first day. One of our old friends from the church lives in Westlake Village and she was hesitant to go to the reunion because she is undergoing chemotherapy for recently discovered lymphoma. We arranged a visit for Friday night and we all went our for Chinese food after some time in conversation at their house. That was like a mini-reunion, since we haven't seen these friends since the last memorial service for one of our group a few years ago. Those services are getting all too frequent as we all get older.
The trip to Thousand Oaks was hectic. My husband had been unable to contact the friend he normally sees at the gym at noon on Fridays, and he decided to stop and find him at the gym on the way to let him know he couldn't keep the regular date. We also made a rest stop at Trader Joe's in Santa Maria. Unfortunately, I could not resist making use of my Kindle in the restroom. I set it on the top of the paper dispenser while I was doing the paper work and forgot to put it back in my purse. I discovered it was missing when we got to Buellton to get gas and use the restroom there. I immediately called Trader Joe's, and they had found it and promised to keep it in the safe until I could get back on Saturday night or make a special trip later on. We didn't have time to go all the way back on Friday.
The traffic on the way to Thousand Oaks was terrible. It was bumper to bumper all the way through Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Summerland. It was the same going through Ventura and even Newbury Park. I wasn't because of road construction, just three-day weekend traffic having to keep merging lanes at interchanges. We had left home at 11:20, and we arrived at our friends' house a bit after 4.
We had a delightful time eating Chinese food and catching up with each other's lives. This is a hard time in my friend's life, and I wanted to know about her course of treatment and its effect on her. She tolerated her first five-hour treatment with no side effects.
We spent the night in a hotel in Simi Valley where we have often stayed. I managed to add a few points on Blogjob from the computers in their business center. I slept better than I usually do when traveling. We pigged out at the free hot breakfast the next morning. I had an omelet, pancakes, watermelon, a blueberry muffin, some potatoes, orange juice, and tea. Then I went to their fitness center and worked off 20 calories on the bike before going back for a few minutes on the computer in the business center.
After check out, we took the 118 Freeway through Simi Valley to connect to the 405. It was the right decision. Not only was the scenery on 118 beautiful, but there was no traffic until we got to the interchange. Then there was heavy traffic almost all the way to the reunion in Culver City.
I won't say much about the reunion here except I'm glad we went, there was an international buffet you wouldn't believe, conversations were deep and meaningful, and it was like a sauna in that little clubhouse with people packed together like sardines on a day that was about 100 outside. Seemed at least 90 inside. Other than that, the setting was beautiful. It was just so hot no one wanted to be out on the deck looking at the little lake with ducks in it and big trees around it.
We left about 5:30 to go home. I thought it would be almost impossible to get back to Trader Joe's in Santa Maria before it closed at 9 to get my Kindle, but another friend said she'd pray. We managed to get all the way back to Buellton for our rest / refuel stop in time to leave there before 8:15. It's a major miracle we didn't have to stop until then. We were in time to pick up my Kindle before Trader Joe's closed, and we made it home about 10. There was virtually no traffic on the way home, even though we took the same crowed freeways home as we did on the way.
I wish I had photos of the scenery I saw along the Simi Valley Freeway. It seems all the best shots are where you can't stop to get them. Rather than showing you reunion photos of people you don't know anyway, I will show you the balloon-marked path we followed to get to the clubhouse where the reunion was held.
Image Credit » B. Radisavljevic. I took the photo.