Wednesday, September 19, 2007

on the pebbly beach

We went back to the pebbly beach. Four days after our near air disaster, we went back. This time, things went much better. We arranged a different aircraft (big comfy Hawker 700 with an excellent safety record) from a different Air Charter service and even used a different airport. Our cast changed slightly, Ron was freaked out by our prior adventure and decided to stay home and projectile vomit. Tami brought her boyfriend Steve. Myself, Nick, and Ken were the veterans, having just attempted this a few days beforehand.

The new pilot, Joe, was terrific. Ex-military, ex-airline, and ex-cellent. Flew his own plane. With confidence. When I described what had happened, he scoffed. "That wasn't an emergency", he explained. "That was an impaired landing". He strongly implied that we had been terrorized for little reason. We boarded his Hawker 700, a big comfortable plane that Joe owned himself. No lease-back excuses. This guy knew his stuff. "Let's Go Flyin!" he said. And flyin we did go.

Forty five minutes later we were on the ground at the Monterey Jet Center. We were picked up by Kathy, a soccer mom nee chauffeur who earned extra money with the family 'burban in between frequent calls from her son Darryl. Except for being a bit less adept at running roadblocks than our usual driver, she did a great job and we had a lot of fun with her. "This is no time to be frail", Ken admonished as he directed her around sawhorses and past security into Pebble Beach via our secret way. We all shouted "Hello" to Darryl as he phoned in, and made jokes about our other brother Darryl. A few minutes later, and with the aid of last years permits (Tami never throws these things away), we were at the lodge.

It was a beautiful morning at the Pebble Beach Concours. We were overlooking the ocean, the lush green lawn, and the most beautiful cars in the world. It was one year since we were all here showing the Duesenberg on behalf of our departed friend. That was a very emotional day, this year it was much more relaxed. We actually looked at the cars on the field. Ken and I studied Ferraris and Aston Martins.

Tami rushed the Mercedes tent. We would have had access to credentials if we had done a bit more planning, but we didn't need that- we had Tami. She located a VIP pass or five and we spent the afternoon hanging out at Mercedes. We picked up these three nice PR girls in overly slinky dresses (NOT hookers, Michael- that's more your speed than ours) and genuinely had fun hanging out and chatting. People eavesdropped our table, so we invited them to join us. We were even mostly sober. Oh, and we did bump into this Madam we knew from Malibu, but again, she was not a hooker herself.

After the Best of Show was presented, we headed over to Gooding for the auction. Ken had been mentally toying with the idea of a Ferrari to replace the one lost in the Estate battle, and there were four extremely nice and rare ones at the sale. We checked out the cars while the rest of our crew got settled. The PR girls wandered over and sat with us. We got quite a bit of notice, in no small part due to our Harem.

We were on a time limit. Our jet had to be "wheels-up" by 10 pm. Our soccer mom was meeting us at 9:15. There was a highly desired Ferrari late in the sale. We were cutting things close. To cut to the chase, we bid on the car (against my straight ex-boyfriend who was manning the phone bank. Thanks, Garth), won the bid, looked at the car for two minutes, ran out the door and into the 'burban, raced to the airport and were wheels-up at 10:02 pm after a wonderful day where we all enjoyed each other immensely.

That's when we realized that Ken hadn't signed for the car. On a seven figure bid. Oops. We'll take care of that tomorrow. We had a grand time on the pebbly beach.

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