Drive or Fly?

We’re just back from LA. I say “we” because my wife went along for this trip, too. (Sounds like she’s got the “wanderlust” after our east coast trip?)

The class was in the main part of LA, a couple of miles south of LAX and within two miles of the ocean. Looking at the location, it was a coin toss between driving and flying from Phoenix.

Flying time from Phoenix to Los Angeles is one hour which seems like a lot less than driving but, then again, when driving I don’t have to leave the house two hours before the trip starts, nor spend a half hour at the other end getting out of the airport. Plus, when I fly, the car stays home and I take a shuttle to the airport which adds another half hour to the deal.

So, when flying, my “in-transit” time is three (3) hours more than the actual flying time.

And then there are the delayed flights, weather and equipment issues, and all the other “fun” that goes with flying these days.

So make that “at least three hours” overhead when flying.

But to be completely honest, the drive to this part of LA would take us right through some of the worst of the LA freeways. We would leave I-10 just west of Banning, take a run on 60 and then on and on across what seems like the never-ending 91. The final mile or two of city street driving would be anti-climactic, for sure. Door to door, the drive would be seven (7) hours as opposed to four (4) flying.

And that’s an equality in my book. Seven hours of driving even with two in LA traffic is equivalent to four hours in airports and being bounced around in the air.

So we drove, listened to jazz CDs through the Mojave desert, played hop-scotch with the cars and semis headed west on I-10, joked about telling the border patrol our names were Eduardo and Juanita (but didn’t), marvelled at the 35+ MPG the rental Honda Civic achieved, and then went white-knuckled driving 80 along with everyone else in LA on 91 while we all totally ignoring the posted 65 MPH speed limit — and were passed twice by Police cruisers!

While there, we found some really nice jazz and good food on a Wednesday evening in Hermosa Beach on Pier Ave — it was a Spanish place but, sorry, I don’t remember the name. You won’t have any trouble finding the place, however, as it’s the only one in the short pedestrian block that ends at the beach.

Indeed, the only problem we ran into was that, before they started playing, we couldn’t look at someone and then tell if they were one of the musicians, one of the fans, or one of the neighborhood panhandlers.