I've just driven home from LA in 8 hours, including time for lunch and several pit stops, along the I-5 Death Run, and I'm nothing left but groggy, especially considering that I hadn't had a good night and was subsisting on caffeine, and that's now wearing off. (The drive down was much more leisurely, and on 101.)
It was all part of a test: after 21 months of not leaving home together, could we manage a small vacation in the post-pandemic world? After 21 months of losing our chops on the details, and the physical decay involved in aging during a pandemic with little opportunity to get out, could we plan it all, manage the driving, haul our luggage, stay in a hotel room, socialize in-person with our friends?
The easiest and most agreeable way to test this out was a drive to LA: the closest out-of-town destination we'd have multifarious reasons to visit, with several friends we'd like to see. So we contacted them, set up meeting times, and arranged the trip. We made a relaxed time of it, and mostly hung around our hotel room in the mornings. The only thing we did in LA without company was a stop at Galco's, the retro soda-pop store, to pick up some rare diet cream sodas and root beers.
But the trip involved, both on the way and as outings with company, a number of meals in large, crowded restaurants that were not very masked, except for the employees. We and all our companions are fully vaccinated, but there's still a risk. Had we been planning this after the spread of the delta variant had become clear, we might have done it differently. Well, let's see if we're still healthy in two weeks.
In the meantime: we enjoyed seeing people, and on its own terms the trip was a success. Thinking of a longer and more elaborate sequel in the fall.