Yesterday, Bianca left the house early this morning to see her mom before driving back to Brookhaven. I spent most of yesterday packing and watching TV. I may have done some laundry too.

Today was the day I flew to Phoenix for my weeklong visit with Ami, an old friend from high school I haven’t seen in five years. We talked about a possible visit for the last few months with the likelihood of going to Las Vegas. As of this morning, that part of the plan was unsettled since Ami just signed the lease on a new apartment and was a bit pressed for money.

Having done nearly all the packing in the past couple days, I was ready to leave the house at a decent hour this morning. Dad and I went to the office just after 11 where we remained until about 12:30. I got a little bit of work done in an effort to clear my desk before departing for a week. I got a ride to the airport in plenty of time. I didn’t have any trouble getting through airport security although this being my first time flying with camera gear had me nervous.

I had about an hour to kill in the terminal before boarding. I bought a smoothie and took a bunch of pictures out the window. I was in boarding group B but I still got a decent window seat. The flight was full and departed on time. It was largely smooth all the way to Phoenix. For this and my return flight, I bought some new earphones to block the airplane noise which is rather severe. Last week I got a pair of Etymotic HF5 in-ear monitors and some Comply foam tips. Just having them in your ears blocks most of the noise and the engines are basically inaudible when music is playing so that made the flight much more pleasant than previous flights I’ve been on where I endured crying babies and the like. I brought a bunch of stuff to do on the three hour ride but I spent most of my time looking out the window and taking pictures. I haven’t been on a plane in a few years so there was some novelty to an airplane ride for me. Flying over Phoenix was certainly interesting. Obviously we flew over a lot of desert, but there was also a striking amount of civilization to fly over before reaching the airport.

After landing in Phoenix, Ami told me she was waiting at the gate. I looked intently after disembarking but I never did see her so we met in baggage claim. I had not seen her in five years but she looked just as I remembered… shorter hair perhaps. Having chatted briefly and collected my checked bag we made our way to the parking garage. She remembered what level she was on but we did take the scenic route to where she parked.

While riding away from the airport she suggested we get something to eat. Aside from the peanuts and cheese nips on the plane I hadn’t eaten anything myself and was game for a meal. We went to one of the many malls in greater Phoenix, Arizona Mills, and went to the restaurant in the upper level of Gameworks, a sizable arcade. We had the spinach and artichoke appetizer which was nice. I don’t remember what I ordered after that but I know I felt full fast. I forgot about the smoothie I had before leaving New Orleans. During what could best be described as dinner, we discussed driving to Las Vegas. She was fine either way but wanted to be in Phoenix on Friday for dinner with her mom and some friends who were going to be in town. We decided on renting a car the following morning and driving to Vegas, staying through Ami’s birthday and leaving on the 20th.

Following our meal we walked around the mall for a while. I bought a couple t-shirts at Old Navy and I think Ami got some makeup from Claire’s or a store like it. After we left the mall she drove me to her new apartment that she just rented. She has not quite moved in yet. She was doing some painting and still a lot of things to move there. Following our short tour we went to the condo that she has been living at for quite some time now. I must have dropped my bags off there. I don’t remember how long we stayed.

There was still a lot of time to kill that evening so we went to IKEA. I’ve never been to an IKEA store so it was a new experience for me. It was interesting to walk through the carefully designed showroom… a nice little maze. The café portion was closed, however, which was a little disappointing.

After our little tour we drove out to visit Ami’s mom who is living with her boyfriend Jim and his daughter Katie. I only met Ami’s mother Lucy once back in the summer of 2003 after we graduated from high school. She didn’t look much different. We visited for a while, talking and watching TV. I think we watched a movie this evening too, The Unborn… I’ve seen better.

Later this evening, maybe around one or two, we went back to her condo. Before bed I booked a hotel in Vegas and got some show tickets.

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