June 29: Arrived at Los Angeles

Now, the time has come to say good bye to Mr. Don and his family. Don and Mayumi kindly sent us to Phoenix air port. Domestic air lines are easy to check-in. Our big luggage were immediately picked up at the on-road-departure station. It is very helpful for passengers. We are heading to Los Angels by American West air line.
In the full seated plane, I sat on a seat apart from my husband. As I felt a little bit nervous, I kept watching landscape of Arizona desert. Soon, I spotted snow covered mountains and asked a person on window side to take picture of it.
I exchanged conversation with both sides' passengers in broken English for one and a half hour before arriving at Los Angeles air port. I was really relieved to hear about the temperature of our destination as 73 degree F.
Mr. James Dunning came up to the air port to pick us up. He is one of our closest Internet friends who had once joined Yufuin Music Festival and stayed in my home. We headed to Long Beach together with a young lady who has been staying in Jim's home for a while.
We first intended to visit an aquarium just opened a week ago but it was so crowded that we finally gave up and changed our course to Queen Mary anchored at Long Beach port.
Queen Mary is also a hotel. Many people visit Hotel Queen Mary. We saw a special exhibition of Titanic in the boat. Many people are attracted here probably because of the famed movie. We first saw a movie of salvaging titanic, then took a look of actual remnants of Titanic and newspapers reporting the tragedy. Those are the remnants of bottles of champagne, chocolate chips. I was almost shed tears remembering scenes of the movie.
On the deck, I can view all over Long Beach. I enjoyed cool breeze and a nice atmosphere. Yet we see smog in the air. In the center is a newly built aquarium.
A commemorative picture with Jim. He looks like a Sean Connery because he has beard and whiskers. When he visited Oita two years ago, he had neither beard nor whiskers. Just before we left Japan, Jim kindly sent his own picture saying "I am now like this", otherwise I couldn't identify him at the air port.
Queen Mary's control deck. Brass are shining in gold. Captain's room and main hall were really marvelous. Jim made lecture twice in the hall.
In commemoration of boarding Queen Mary, I got a coin metal. When I set a penny and a quater in the center of the deck, the penny is rolled and churned out of the exit in oval shape. On the surface is a marking of Queen Mary. It is just a fun but a pleasant trick.
Now, let's head Jim's home. We drove down a highway of six lanes one side. Soon we passed John Wayne air port. This is a large strawberry field in Orange county.
On the way to Jim's home, we dropped in a supermarket. Every thing is big and large indeed. Even the unit is so big. We bought a lot of goods. Suddenly Jim cried, we all have forgotten the fact that there were already two big trunks on the car, leaving no space for shopping. Finally we have to sit down in-between those goods.
This is Jim's home. The house is located in a wonderful part of campus of UCI. At the entrance is a hand-made-pond by Jim. There are many gold fish in it. The view from the terrace is also great, looking down red roofs and high metasequoias. The temperature is dry and cool, specifically in night with chirping of insects under the bush.
Jim kindly prepared diner for us. The dish was grilled using squash like zucchini , which is unfamiliar to me, and beef Stroganoff. They were really unusual dishes for us. Jim has a Japanese room, because he loves Japan very much. He is much more Japanese-like than us. He offered us his tatami room.

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