Back at LAX
We’re packed and just about ready to take the shuttle to the Tom Bradley Terminal here at LAX. It’s raining now, which might just be what we need to readjust to the weather back home.
Shot the LAX sign last night after returning to the H Hilton from yet another great family dinner at Culver City’s premiere cantina, Paco’s Tacos. I don’t know exactly why, but that place reminds me somehow of a restaurant Charlotte and I ate at somewhere along Calle Revolucion in Tijuana several years ago. Come to think of it, Paco’s Tacos is a little like a Mexican version of TGI Friday’s – where you almost overdose from all the noise, excessive kitsch, and flare. That said, the food and service at Paco’s are by far superior to what’s served up at any TGI I’ve ever been to.
I have been flying in and out of LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) more or less annually for the last 50 years. My very first flight was way back in 1966, probably in a SAS DC-8 that flew from L.A. to Torslanda (near Gothenburg, Sweden) via New York, Reykjavik and London. I was three years old and was probably taken by a cabin crew up to see the cockpit during the flight. I might even have been given one of those shiny SAS wing pins to put on the lapel of my little jacket.
I go through a lot of airports every year, especially Kastrup which is our local airfield. Most airports I transition through are either super small or ginormous, like Frankfurt, Heathrow, Zürich, and Schiphol. With recent extensions to accommodate an increase in passengers, Kastrup is, unfortunately, losing some of its medium-sized airport charms. It’s still my favorite and nowhere nearly as confusing to navigate through as, say, Frankfurt or Heathrow is. And certainly tenfold nicer than JFK or Newark. While the arrival hall isn’t all the welcoming, I do find Bangkok’s Souvannaphoum International to offer a pretty good airport experience. But of all the Thai airports I’ve traveled to thus far, the outdoor, tropical airport on Koh Samui is without a doubt my favorite.
In 2018, I stayed in about 30 different hotels during visits to Santa Teresa (Costa Rica), Stockholm, Chamonix, Lisbon, Goa, Berlin, Palma (Mallorca), La Horadada (Alicante), Phuket, Bangkok, Siem Reap (Cambodia), New York, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Joshua Tree and finally, Encinitas. That’s an inexcusably large carbon footprint that I aim to reduce significantly in 2019. That’s not to say I won’t be traveling at all, just not as much as last year. And preferably more via trains than on planes.
Here’s a couple of interesting facts. LAX was founded in all the way back in 1930 and according to L.A. Magazine, there are 1,578 landings and takeoffs here every 24 hours. That means there’s a plane either arriving or departing every single minute 24/7/365.