So here I find myself, in improbably rainy Los Angeles, and so far so good. Mostly what I've experienced thus far is traffic (surprise!), the inside of a dear friend's cozy house, and a quick trip to the bank and to my favorite L.A. cooking emporium, Surfa's. (Tellicherry peppercorns? Not so easy to find in small town New York, believe it or not. Ditto, curry leaves.) None of this has provoked any of the anxiety I was anxious about having before we left yesterday; in fact, the whole trip west was so smooth (despite the six hour and forty minute flight time) that I am slightly concerned about what lies ahead (which just goes to show you how insane I truly am, in that the slightest bit of good fortune precipitates the presumption that immense pain and suffering must lie dead ahead.
But until the doom arrives, I can continue to enjoy a city that I always thought looked better when wet (witness the number of wet-down streets you'll notice in just about every film ever made) and that does, in fact, seem less crowded and cleaner than my memory of it. I'm sure this is the rosy view of a visitor, and in fact, my overwhelming feeling thus far is that I really like visiting L.A.; I just don't really want to live here. So all good.
Now I am gearing up for tomorrow's big festivities, a skating (yes, ice skating, in L.A.) party with a bunch of families and their nearest and dearest all hurtling around a Pasadena rink while enjoying hot pretzels and cocoa. And in the moments before and after, I hope to steal some quality time with a few more near and dear ones, including family members still slightly miffed at us for taking the two most precious children in the world to the frozen northeast.