Sunday, May 17, 2009


Before me was a four-day training trip that involved three cities, five airplane rides, and two rental cars. Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and South Shore Tahoe were on my schedule. I was anticipating that the trip would be a great adventure and that is what it was.

After flying to Burbank, I got my rental car and headed to Bakersfield. I have made that trip three times over the last three months and it was glorious to see how the mountains change on each trip: barren, then spring flowers, and now golden brown at the bottom and green at the top.

Once in Bakersfield, I made my copies for the training, got myself something to eat for dinner and settle into my great place Four Points Sheraton. After a good night’s sleep, I opened the door of my room and I heard “Have a Happy Day”. The maid yelled this greeting from the other end of a long narrow hallway. The greeting brought a huge smile to my face—what a great way to start my day.

After the training, I headed back to Burbank. Returned the rental car and went across the street to catch the Metrolink to Union Station downtown LosAngeles. Before long, I realized the last train had left. I went up to a bus driver and she said, “Here come with me to Burbank, I’ll get you to the right bus.” She told me which bus to catch and to make sure I went to the end and then catch Bus 33.

For the next ¾ of an hour I journeyed through downtown Burbank and headed to downtown LosAngeles. When we got to the end, the bus driver said “Mame, why are getting off here?” I explained to him and he said, “You really should have gotten off back 12 blocks earlier”.

He said, “It isn’t safe leaving you here.” Tell you what, it is the end of my shift and I’ll take you Union Station.” He drove me up the door and as I went to hand him a tip, he said, “No, I won’t take that – just do something nice for someone along the way.”

As I settled into my hotel that night, I smiled. It has been a good day and the kindness of southern California strangers played a big role in making this second day a very good adventure indeed.


If you travel a good deal, make yourself a checklist of things you need to take with you. Invariably you will be interrupted as you are packing. Checking off the list assures you have put the necessary items into your suitcase or carry on.

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