Friday, January 25, 2013

Air Journal: Ole Virginie

I returned this week from a trip to Richmond to visit my aunt and uncle. Some highlights:

  • Now that American Airlines no longer flies out of Burbank, all my flight options to Richmond involved at least 2 connections, usually in such "how is that on the way" places like Detroit or San Francisco. Or I could fly out of LAX. I grudgingly chose the latter.
  • The TSA checkpoint at the AA terminal at LAX was (badly) retrofitted on a design that harkens back to the days when you could just get on any old plane and *then* buy your ticket. Kind of like trying to retrofit smartphone technology on a rotary phone.
  • When I left LAX, it was 72F outside. When I landed at Richmond, it was snowing.
  • I was surprised by how many birds were still hanging out in Virginia even in the winter, like this downy woodpecker:
    Downy Woodpecker
  • Saturday we drove out to a yarn store in Powhatan which my aunt swears said was open on the website. We got there at 2:30 or so. They had closed at 2, after being open all of 3 hours. Why bother to get out of bed at that point?
  • Sunday we drove out to a Thai restaurant for lunch. It was closed. The camera store where my aunt was trying to pick up prints was also closed. Do you see a recurring theme? Everything in Richmond and its environs is probably closed when you want to go there.
  • This is the type of show that makes me avoid watching Animal Planet anymore. My uncle showed me a picture from one of his and his hunter pal's motion-activated prey cams. They thought it looked squatchy because there was a lot of blurry stuff that looked like hair. I made out a hand and what looked like a jacket cuff. Also, I remembered seeing this:
  • We drove out to my grandmother's farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    The Farm
    And speaking of rotary phones:
    The Farm
    However, even though we saw deer tracks and slightly larger tracks from what may have been a bear, no 'squatch tracks.
  • It was below freezing when I left Richmond, but warm when I got back to LAX. On the airport shuttle home, I was getting 1 bar on my cell phone at a dropoff a few blocks from USC. I had been getting 3+ bars in the middle of Blue Ridge. Go figure.
  • And the kitties were snuggly and happy to see me!