Grand Junction, CO – April 22, 2017

We began our journey back to Wellington, New Zealand, on the morning of April 22. To relieve the transportation burden from our family, we opted to take a taxi to the Grand Junction, Colorado. I arranged the cab the day before, requesting a van and a 07:00 arrival.

When we travel, we do not like drama. To help avoid drama, we like to arrive early. Our 07:00 departure meant arriving at the airport almost exactly two hours before our departure time. The taxi company did not understand our desire. We began watching for the taxi about ten minutes before the requested time. At 07:00, with no cab in sight, I called the company. They assured me the taxi was on its way. Another ten minutes went by, still no cab so I called again and received the same message. Finally, at 07:20, the taxi arrived.

Our first disappointment was the taxi’s late arrival. The next disappointment was the vehicle, a Toyota Prius, not the requested van. I specifically asked for because of the amount of our luggage. After much trial and error, our larger luggage pieces fit in the rear hatch of the taxi. Our carry-on luggage ended up in the front passenger seat.

Departing the house nearly 30-minutes late made us both nervous. The good news is that the drive to the airport does not take very long. Secondly, the Grand Junction airport is quite small. That means one does not need to strictly adhere to the airline’s advice of arriving at least two hours before departure.

The United Airlines employee that checked us in for our flight was extremely nice.  That was refreshing since United had just been in the news for dragging a passenger off one of their planes.

On the other side of the security checkpoint, we ate breakfast. Well, breakfast is a bit of a strong word, especially when referring to a ham and cheese croissant and a cup of coffee. Regardless, it was good, and it filled our void.

The large sign near the Los Angeles International Airport.

Unlike the taxi, our plane pushed away from the gate eight minutes early. An hour later, we arrived in Denver. After a bit of a layover, our flight from Denver to LAX pushed back early too. It was like we had hit the jackpot! In about two hours, we arrived at LAX. We retrieved our luggage, got our rental car, and headed to our rest stop hotel; the Marriott Residence Inn on Century Boulevard.

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