4:30am came much too quickly as I rose, showered and staggered into the kitchen, my mom already up and commenting that it's a quarter of five and will I be ready in time. Squint and grunt seem to be common responses from me in those dark pre-dawn hours.
A harried search for the car keys proves fruitless even after checking my luggage to make sure I didn't accidentally pack them. The spare keys come handy and we're on our way, catching all the red lights that seem to last forever when there is no opposing traffic.
The rest of the trip goes smoothly with all the holiday travel finished and a half-empty plane allowing me to stretch out and claim the whole row for myself. No change of planes, just a couple of stops along the way and soon, we're hitting turbulence as we descend to LAX. Again, the throngs of people in LAX amaze me. It really is its own little world, isn't it?
Now, I'm back in California, and again feeling torn between two worlds. I don't know that that will ever go away.