First, the Bad News…

Bear with me, people. I need to tell you about some unfortunate stuff before I get to everything that was bright and good about a bad Thanksgiving Day. But I think you’ll find it as worthwhile as I did.

It was One of Those Days…

My early flight out of Vancouver’s YVR Airport was delayed about an hour. That meant, of course, that my connecting flight from LAX was going to be tight. Very tight. And that’s when things started to spiral out of control.

We landed with less than 30 minutes before my flight was to take off. As usual, I was escorted off the plane by an attendant, who wheeled me to the exit, where I needed to take a handicapped van to yet another terminal. My chances of making that connecting flight were dwindling – especially when the handicapped van pulled away just as we got to the curb.

Once I got to the next terminal, the van driver walked me in to find an attendant. A young man was summoned to try to get me to my gate. He shuffled up, got me into my chair and proceed  to the gate, slowly. Very slowly. Then we came to another security checkpoint. And my hell truly bagan.

This wheelchair attendent in LAX didn’t know how to escort a blind person through security, was rude, and worse, actually used me and the wheelchair to push a cart of plastic bins out of his way. I was appalled.  Then, he chose not to stay by me when I was retrieving my belongings – instead, he yelled at me to hurry up and get back into the wheelchair because he “wanted to go home”. I guess he had a turkey dinner waiting for him. Subsequently, in my haste and confusion, my purse was stolen right off the line. My iPhone, iPod Touch, Surefire flashlight, wallet, cards, keys, sunglasses and my specially made reading glasses, all gone in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, they did NOT get my passport.

But I didn’t realize that till about 10 minutes later, after we made it to the departure gate, found I had indeed missed the connecting flight, and was given a new boarding pass for the next available flight three hours later. We returned back to the security area, where the TSA folks did have an image of the purse being stolen, but despite the best efforts of the LAX police, neither the thief nor the purse was found. I was devastated, crying, and helpless. Meanwhile, the attendant slumped down on a bench near my chair and proceeded to flag down other attendants passing by and ask them to relieve him because he wanted to go home

OK, so much for the bad. I have a far happier story to tell in Part Two:-)

 

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Photo Friday – Why Travel Moves Me

The view from my small but charming hotel room in Paris

Why do you travel? I’ve been asking myself that so often during the course of this almost month-long vacation.

I’ve come up with a list for me.

Escape
Embracing change
Seeing my world differently
The joy of discovery
The wonder of learning
Appreciating beauty
Accepting some ugly realities
Finding myself
Losing myself

And then…
Coming home

What would you add to the list?

Picking Up the Threads

A lot of time has past since I’ve written or posted anything. Too long, I know. Too hard a winter, too many technical issues, too much fear of actually writing have all contributed. As one of my dear (and brutally honest) friends has told me, I’m a bad blogger. “Just do it,” she always says. She’s right. But I needed to get over the hump of holidays, the New Year and that first anniversary of losing Dave. All done now. I survived.

And the next chapter began a few weeks ago with my first trip to Europe. So far, I’ve been to Vienna, Milan, and Venice – and I’m now half-way through my first day in Paris. I’ll write in more detail on each leg of the journey, but suffice it to say that the experience is an eye-opener on many levels.

So, here I go, feeling braver, full of thoughts, literally thousands of photos already taken and many, many more to come. I hope you come along for the ride. It might be a bit bumpy at times, but I’ll get there!

Not Photo Friday, but What the Heck… My Second LA Photowalk

It’s been beautiful here in LA, and instead of going to museums as I had planned, I’ve been photo walking instead. And I’ll be doing the same today. I’ll come back when the weather is drearier and visit all the galleries and museums then:-)

In the meantime, I’ll continue to shoot the wonderful architecture of Los Angeles. And apologies in advance for shooting the Walt Disney Concert Hall from so many angles – the building completely fascinated me.

Here’s the slide show. Enjoy.

 

Photo Friday – LA Photowalk, Pershing Square, November 2011

I’m right in the middle of my BlogWorld and New Media Expo adventure – and I have the pics to prove it! I’ll be posting them shortly after the show ends, but for this Photo Friday I thought I’d showcase the pics I took on a solitary photowalk I did of Pershing Square this past Wednesday. I had a grand time taking shots of the varied and interesting buildings and structures in this charming square.

I hope you enjoy them.