Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

Making good out of every hiccup along the way!

Shoot for the moon and you will land amongst the stars! I was headed to sunny California! I was gonna be amongst the stars – the Stars of Los Angeles (LA) that is! (I know – quirky). I had heard so much amazing things about California and of course had my own vision of what to expect. So, leading up to my trip I had so many questions! Was SoCal (Southern California) gonna be everything it was all cracked up to be? Was I gonna fall in love with LA? Was I gonna love San Diego?

The day finally arrived! We were off to the races! I was travelling with one of my besties, Christine, who was heading down there for work and with my ability to work my business virtually, I had to jump on this opportunity! I could totally work by the ocean while sipping on delicious cocktails! Ummmm yes please!

First stop – LA! I knew it was gonna be the type of day trip where it was gonna be a quick zippy one! But I also knew it would it be somewhere I would determine its destiny. The big question, would I ever go back for a second visit!? Every time I travel alone somewhere for the first time, it’s always an everlasting thought! Would I go back with TJ and the boys for one of our #TeamWilliams adventures.

The day started off with a 2am wake-up call. There’s just something about leaving the crispy cold Ottawa January air and heading to Sunny California that makes that early trek to the airport all worth it! We get into a cab and arrive at the airport, check-in, go through security, and have our morning coffee – the whole shebang. Toronto connection would be the first stop! Here’s to hoping for smooooooth sailing! Or should I say gliding.

Christine & Me at the Ottawa International Airport

We board the plane and so far everything is on time. We start to taxi out of the gate and the plane stops. The Pilot comes onto the intercom explaining “due to the early departure time, we are going to have to hang tight as we cannot land this early in Toronto” What the actual F@$K!? Why on earth would there be a flight that leaves this early then!? What the first thing that came too mind! Well, let’s be honest! Likely the second! LOL Our connection time in Toronto was very tight and keep in mind we still needed to go through customs!

SO, fast-forward an hour later, we land! Anxious to get off the plan, turn my phone off of airplane mode and here it comes – the email notification I was completely dreading… in bold font “Change Notification”. We got bumped to the next flight! We were supposed to be on the 8:00am connection and now we got bumped to the next flight. No biggy right!? Except the next flight wasn’t going to be until 12:00pm!!! Talk about putting a damper in our day! Heck NO! This was not going to be how our day was gonna roll out! So like the two powerhouses that we are, we march on over to customer service desk, and ask to be placed back on our original flight! And for some reason, the Universe was working in our favor at that moment because the agent did just that! We get through customs, raced to the gate, ran onto the plane, and was prepare for our 4.5 hour journey – California bound!

Fun Fact: I collect these “Been There Series” mugs everywhere I go!

Touchdown! Well not that kinda touchdown but rather the plane touches down lol. We are HERE!!! Welcome to busy, fast pace LA! We head down to the carousel to claim our luggage before heading outside to meet up with some friends who were picking us up. When we saw the crowds of people around the carousel slowly diminish with no sign of our luggage circling the carousel, we knew at that moment our luggage never made it on our flight to the LA. So, off to file a claim… Oh, and not to mention, minor detail, we weren’t staying in LA for the night…we were heading to San Diego late afternoon! Great! How were we ever gonna get our luggage!? We go to the luggage claim customer service counter to file a claim to locate our luggage and they confirmed that our luggage was gonna be on the next flight into LA that afternoon and it will get transferred to San Diego the fastest mode of transportation possible and delivered to our hotel! Amazing service! Well, read on to judge that for yourself…

So, off to lunch we go! We drove through the beautiful hills of LA with some of the most beautiful real estate sights, ones that are definitely on my vision board! We decided to stop at this cute little spot on the famous Melrose Ave to have a bite for lunch. Something about seeing a street sign that you have definitely seen on TV makes it so cool!! Of course my question was, “Where is the famous Melrose Place filmed?” Cause who didn’t like that show from the 90’s?!

We walk up to this quaint restaurant called Spartina?. It was the cutest little trendy spot with a cozy outdoor patio and a variety of delicious menu choices – Gluten and Dairy free! Right up my ally! Not to mention I had been working real hard to keep my eyes wide open as I had been awake since 2am! But I was determined to see some type of celebrity! I didn’t care who! Cause when in LA, like I said earlier, I was gonna be amongst the stars! And there she was, Lena Waithe from Ready Player One! Right behind me!  Bucket list #1 checked off!

That’s ME! At Dolby Theatre

Next stop? Hollywood Blvd – I needed to see the sign! I wanted a good view so that I could get the perfect shot! Cause let’s be real, when I ask my friends to take a photo what I really want is they take the best professional looking photo with no one in the background in the perfect lighting, perfect air flow for my hair and the sun on the horizon… HAHAHA!

So, here we are running up this large staircase at the famous Dolby Theatre passing the incredible Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars seeing incredible people like Elizabeth Taylor, Johnny Cash… you name it! And there it was! The most amazing view of the Hollywood sign with a little glimps of downtown. 

So there you have it, a quick and dirty taste of my 5-minute LA experience and the final verdict! Will I come back? Was my first impression a memorable one? YES!!! I will definitely need to do it again with some beach views and sunsets next time!

Off we were to the train station off to San Diego!  We arrive at the LA Union Station, get our tickets, head down to our track, get on the train and wait for our departure. Moments later, the Conductor, makes an announcement, “the train is not working. Please proceed to track 14 to get onto another train”. So, up we get and on the next track we go to get us on the train to take us to San Diego. As our new train begins the leave we receive another announcement. This train had to make a change to its stops and was no longer heading to our stop, Ocean City, SD. Great!!! Now what!? It turns out that we then need to then hop on a bus to take us to the stop we needed to go. Wait! It was a city bus. Packed like a bunch of sardines!

We were SO EXHAUSTED! At this point we were nearing being awake for almost 24 hours with a series of hiccups along the way and not to mention (little did we know) we were not gonna get our luggage til the next day late afternoon! Thank God I had packed some Rodan+Fields samples with me so that we could at least wash our face! And thanks to our hotel for providing us with some toothbrushes!

The one thing Christine and I talked about was how great we travel together. There was no panic, no irritation, no anger – just enjoying the ride and what was thrown our way. Everyday you get a choice on how you choose to react to a situation. It can go one of two ways. Resist it or embrace it! You choose, and in the end we chose to EMBRACE it! Why? Because we knew that whatever came our way, we were grateful to be safe and have each other’s company. No amounts of little hiccups will get us down and ruin our trip!!!




  1. Christine
    January 26, 2019 / 1:45 AM

    Great post Mel! Laughing laughing laughing’s to the best travel companion…i’d Go anywhere with you.

    • MelisaWilliams
      January 26, 2019 / 2:23 PM

      Laughing was the best part of the trip! Ditto!!! Cheers to the next one 🙂

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