We left our home for the airport just before noon this afternoon, not long after an unusually sunny walk around our neighborhood. Daffodils, cherry blossoms and magnolia trees were making their last showing, and tulips were leading the next wave of color. Spring had sprung early in Portland, Oregon.
The only thing standing between us and our first international destination were three flights and one six-hour layover at Los Angeles International Airport. No one needs that much recirculating air, so we planned an exit strategy involving my brother, Jason, who has called LA home for over 20 years. His escape plan included dinner in Manhattan Beach, South of LAX, but not far from the airport.
A feature of Manhattan Beach is a Pier that stretches past surfers and body boarders well into the Pacific ocean. At the other end of the ocean (and after a 13 hour flight) is our first destination, New Zealand. It’s an amazing thought that one ocean spans that distance.
The pier itself ends at a quaint aquarium, guarded by a replica of a Great White shark that is best described as “Jaws the Jr.” Even Alisa wasn’t intimidated. Let’s hope it’s as close as we get to one on this trip. (We may be rethinking our Great Barrier Reef excursions….)
Jason and I are five years apart – he is five years my senior, but almost no one assumes it. He is a walking laugh-factory, talented in many areas of music, and creatively the most brilliant person I know. I am often mistaken as the elder sibling. Not always as a compliment.
We try to see one another once or twice a year – often in LA over a weekend to record music together. It’s a gift we give to our parents every Christmas – our own renditions of music we listened to on family road trips with a few contemporary songs covered when the spirit strikes us.
Jason will be the last family either of us will see for several months, so I’m grateful for the chance If anything is beginning to come into view, it’s that life is both short and fragile. We must treat those we love with care and create opportunities to spend time together, even when it’s just a 6 hour layover.
Here’s a recording of ours from 2 years ago. Seems like a good jumping off point for our trip. Mind the chicken suits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdSXdPacRkc