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Archive for May, 2024

Trip to Los Angeles

May 12th, 2024 at 11:50 pm

I went to Los Angeles last weekend--really a 5-day weekend from Wednesday to Sunday.  I visited my sister, who lives in the house I grew up in, for the first time in 5 years, and also saw my one remaining aunt and one of my two first cousins on my mother's side and his family, as well as one high school friend.

I was fortunate enough to have company on the flights out and back.  The trip actually came about because my supervisor at work has family in L.A. too, and she had arranged the trip for those days.  She encouraged me to fly out with her and her husband because she knows I have a hard time taking vacations.  So I had someone to talk to and watch my bags at the airport.

We took a 6 am bus ride from the airport to EWR (Newark) and then a non-stop flight to Los Angeles, which arrived around 1 pm.  I took an Uber to my sister's house.  Last Wednesday was my sister's birthday.  We went out to Fisherman's Village at Marina del Rey (a favorite family hang-out) and out to dinner.

On Thursday, we hung around the house in the morning, looking at old photograph albums and letters.  Late in the afternoon, we went to a bank where we had 5 jointly-owned safety deposit boxes and consolidated what was in them down to 3 boxes.  Then we took a drive out to UCLA, my alma mater, where helicopters were buzzing over the Royce Hall quad from the student demonstrators who were occupying.  I did get to see the old psychology building, now renamed because the naming rights from the previous benefactors had expired.  We then visited our parents' gravesite, which is nearby (in the same cemetary where Marilyn Monroe and many other celebrities are interred), and stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home.  I miss Trader Joe's--the closest one to where I live is nearly an hour away.  

On Friday, I spent the early afternoon with a high school friend.  We drove up to Malibu and had lunch, and then stopped at the Santa Monica Pier to take a ride on the Ferris wheel on the way back--I had never done that before.  My friend dropped me at the Skirball Cultural Center, where my sister works, and my sister and I toured the Maurice Sendack "Where the Wild Things Are" exhibit.

Saturday was our family get-together.  My aunt and cousin live in Orange County, and they suggested a delicatessan that was partway between.  I was saddened to learn as we were planning this trip that my aunt has dementia.  I had sort of guessed, as the last few times we had chatted, she referred to herself as "Grandma Joyce," but it was sad to have it confirmed.  She still recognizes us, though, and participates in events, but she is much less verbal than she once was and lets her husband make decisions, such as what she will have for lunch, for her.

On Sunday, my sister and I went to the old Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax.  Our grandparents had lived near here and visited the market daily, so we went there a lot as children.  Even though there is a lot of development outside the original Farmer's Market, the old part looks very much the same.

I took the redeye home and arrived back mid-day Monday.  It was a short trip, but went off better than the last visit.  But all told, I'm sure that I spent more time in a car in 5 days in L.A. than I will for the entire rest of the month in Bethlehem!