An Unusual Business Trip.
This trip had been planned for about a month, but I wasn’t due to get in until this past Sunday. Suddenly, I realized that perhaps I had misjudged how much assistance it would take to get this done. I sat down at my desk on Wednesday morning at 8:00 for our daily team Zoom meeting and by 8:45 AM that morning I was trying to change my flight so I could leave that day and get into LA for an initial inspection the following morning.
It turned out we made a sound decision.
Things have been managed, thus far, but we’re breaking “new ground”, so to speak, thanks to all the new COVID protocols. I was busy on Thursday and Friday, but then the weekend hit. Normally I have no issue travelling. I’ve done it since I was in my early 20’s. I’ve enjoyed visiting museums, aquariums, even zoos in the cities least known for them. I was in LA just about this time last year and had a great time exploring during the few hours I had to myself.
This year, though, nothing is open to explore.
SO, what does one do when they are in another city all the way across the country with little but a few restaurants, pharmacies and convenience stores open?
I did get to visit my dear friend for a socially distanced breakfast on Saturday morning. She has four beautiful rescue pups. Two are from the Beagle Freedom Project, one she plucked from the middle of the street when she was working for Goodwill of So Cal., the other was supposed to be a short-term foster; but her sweet little face, medical and emotional needs as a tri-pawed lady made it impossible for my friend to give her up. I love that amazing little pack.
Saturday night hit and, for once, LA was … well … dead.
I called and texted folks, even reached out to aquantances and resorted to tweeting celebs that I’ve had interactions with online begging for recommendations that perhaps, as residents, they might be able to offer.
With no restaurants, no spa, no ancillary services available; I bummed around my hotel talking to my friends and family back home as I might on any other day of the week. I was trying to keep myself occupied and moving. The lobby held a small fridge full of beverages, including a few of my favorite wine offerings; albeit in significantly smaller sizes than I was accustomed, but still something for which I was grateful.
I zipped down one last time to grab a bottle of prosecco and on my way up, was asked by several lovely looking gentlemen to hold the doors. Lo and behold, they were with the Carolina Panthers.
Finally. A normal occurrence, something that I am used to encountering. Athletes. Well-known people. We chatted for a brief moment. They were several floors below me. I knew that under the circumstances what may have turned into a fun (but short) evening of conversation wouldn’t be occurring on this odd weekend. Thanks to strict COVID protocol, everyone was locked down on their floor, in their own rooms, and socializing was prohibited.
I said goodnight as they exited and made my way back up to my room. It was early by “free weekend hours” go, but it’s a new world. Thus, at 10:45 PM I re-entered my hotel room hoping to find something worthwhile to watch on TV and fall asleep.
While I’m happy that my industry is finding ways to adapt and evolve; I do miss the usual socializing and sightseeing I’m used to doing when I travel. I am so anxious to have that aspect back.
Moving forward, I hope that soon there will be plenty to do in LA while we keep COVID in check. In the meantime, I still have a week to fill. Most nights I will be with my clients, during the day I will have the usual work to do, but I won’t event be able to escape to the Grammy Museum for a nosh and a wink during lunch, and that makes me sad.
It’s nearly Halloween. Mask up. Be a caped crusader. Be a hero. Let’s get this shit under control so we can all live a bit more freely again.
We lost some pretty great fucking people over the last few days. Gayle Sayers. Helen Reddy. Mac Davis. Keep their souls and loved ones in your hearts.