Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 1: Queen of California

I spent the last two days in a state if worry.  In July, I was presented with an amazing gift from my workplace. After spending my hours creating a new menu with my kitchen family, building a new set of kitchen crew, and slowly preening my 'mini me' to be me, the owner of the restaurant presented me with an excursion, to cut the cord and let the place run alone. A trip to San Diego to see my favourite artist in concert was in an envelope. 
I would never in a million years dream of buying a ticket never mind have the cash for such a trip. You see, I have not been the best with money, generally limiting my world by building my nest at home, while the world passed by. The worry of bills and my bank account always was planted square in my way. The last few days have been tough, realizing this trip is creating more worry than excitement. I tried to release some locked away money a have stashed away in a padlocked, armoured guard protected vault. The bank said, no, with no real options other than 'write a letter'. Now, I know I'm ultimately at fault, spending on my credit cards, but the cold feeling I got from the bank left me angry. They must make money off of me and if I take out my nest egg they will suffer.
I had to ask for some help from work, and that isn't fun. Considering they had already paid for the flights, hotel and concert, I felt awful asking for some money to haven't worked for yet, just for some security when I'm away. I slinked away, ashamed as the leader of a kitchen exposing my empty wallet.
After depositing the cheque I immediately decided I needed a kick in the butt, and I called a debt consolidator. He and I spoke for an hour and he lowered my debt by 40% and concluded that I can be debt free in 3 years. He saw my line of work saw how I wasn't living at all and made me feel better. He also suggested I change banks in a month. 
The worry came back when I noticed the evil devils holding my money, put a  hold on my pay cheque thus leaving me wondering if my overdraft would cover my rent cheque. My kidlets in the kitchen and servers raised an extra $100 to let me have some fun on them. So adorable! Then I noticed the name on my airline tickets didn't have my middle name. More stress lead me to text my boss, while he was in Las Vegas, and he assured me all would be fine. I guess he found out I was low on funds and emailed me another bunch of cash. He insisted it wasn't an advance but a gift! I was shocked! And relieved money wise. My dad also gave some money too. I feel like a bank right now. Yikes!
Worrywart that I am, I calmly made it past security checkpoints and made it on the plane. Now, up in the air, flight running behind by 45mins, I still feel a bit of stress. Hopefully I get my transfer in LA to San Diego. And then there's the trolley to the hotel. 
Meh. I'm ok. Traveling alone isn't so bad. Especially knowing about all the people at home routing for me.
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And LAX is a nightmare. I almost missed my flight to San Diego. I had to run to security, huge line up... Take off my shoes. Go through and then run with my shoes half on to find my flight. Got there with 2 minutes to spare. Still outta breath. Good thing is I have a single seat. No elbows.
BTW there is No Terminal 8!!!!!
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Flying over Southern California is incredible simply by the population. The area is so dense with houses all the way down the coast. It's endless. Compared to Vancouver, where density is vertical, it is mind boggling. Also, from up in the clouds all I see is brown, many hues, but brown. There is not a lot of green here in Cali, where I'm sure foreigners flying over Vancouver would see the green gem of a little city we have. The mass miles of flat land densely packed with homes jammed on lots is crazy. 
I'm starving now after the stress of today. The food I have eaten has been not much. Too much worry makes food not digest much. I did have a Cinnabon for breakfast after seeing the screwed up line at Timmy's. I bought a sandwich which I found in my luggage after the flight to San Diego.  I stuffed it in there and forgot it. Funny that it got through security before my marathon run to the terminal. 
Now I'm at the local pub after a shower in the hotel. The Manhattan Cocktail Club on Broadway and G Street. Thought I'd wander around the neighbourhood and see what's around. Taco, taco, taco, fast food, fast food, taco. This place, I found on the net and it's definitely a local pub. I may not be the youngest but I LOOK the youngest. It's an old boys club. Like some I hang out in but this one is a bit rougher. Anyways, I did show up and there's a drunkin' chick, some ok looking people and everything is questionable. It's pool night and there's back to back country playing. 
I was searching for Buffalo Wild Wings but I never found it. I guess I'll settle for some beer and fast food or tacos. I could hit the Red Lobster or Olive Garden. Meh. I am pretty tired and there isn't more than one tv here. Baseball is on (playoffs). Pretty yawn.Thursday night. No problem.   Oh yeah and the Spanish language and style. Wow. Gotta love it.

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