The Burbank Report Part 2
 Meeting Each Other

Posted by Erika/Kaj/Lindy/Mel/Pen/Sheila on 2/24/2007

* * * * * * * * * * PART TWO: Meeting Each Other (continued) * * * * * * * * * *

Sheila: Then it was all back to my room (now mine and Erika's) for Erika to get organised before we went to have breakfast then meet Ernie. Of course once we all started talking, we ended up with about 15 minutes to get something to eat. Then waited ages for the shuttle to the airport.

Erika: Yeah, that was supposed to be a "quick bite" at the hotel restaurant. And it became pretty obvious to me, too, that it was gonna take us a long time to get anything done as a group! LOL

Lindy: And remember how we all wondered if Ernie may have already got himself on a shuttle and was maybe on his way to the Hotel, just as we were leaving for the airport LOL?

And he was!!! roflmao

Erika: Yeah, and we were running late. Ernie's flight was due to arrive at 12:05 PM. And we were standing there at the hotel waiting for the airport shuttle at, like, 12:05 PM. LOL The shuttle runs every 10-15 minutes, and somebody told us we had just missed the previous one. So we waited. And started rationalizing.

We were like, gosh, what if there's more than one shuttle? If we get on one, and Ernie gets on another one, will we end all up going round and round looking for each other? Back and forth between the airport and the hotel? Like that pic of Zeke driving left and right?

So when the shuttle finally pulled up to the hotel, and the happy travellers piled out, we peered long and hard at each of them--esp. the old guys. We looked for caps. Gray hair. Anything Ernie-like. We held out Pen's white flower prominently (not my flower, though--it really was a little worse for wear. All smooshed and brown at the edges. LOL).

Anyway, none of the arrivee's was interested in us, so we proceeded to hop on the shuttle. And we asked the driver if he was the one and only shuttle in service to and from the airport. He gave us a strange look, like why would we ask that? But eventually said yes. So we plopped down in our seats, confident we were on our way to meet our dear Kaj.

Sheila: It's difficult meeting somebody you'd never seen at a busy airport. Scouring the crowds for a hat!

Erika: Yeah, like a game of "Where's Waldo?"

Sheila: The fact that Ernie didn't wear his hat made things a bit harder.

Erika: How would you find Waldo if he's not wearing his hat? And you don't know what he looks like? LOL Lindy was onto something when we searched the airport and she said, "If he's not wearing his hat, we're looking for the invisible man!"

Sheila: Pen and I waited by the shuttle, while Lindy and Erika went in search of Ernie.

Lindy: I saw several men in hats. None of them were red, white and blue though LOL. I also saw a man in a US army jacket. I followed him, convinced it was Ernie. But he was checking in for a flight. So I knew it wasn't him.

In hindsight, we should have sent photos of ourselves to everyone, before we left? It would have made things much easier. The reason we missed Ernie was because we were at the wrong Terminal LOL. Ernie flew American Airlines. And we were waiting for him outside the United terminal DUH!!!

Sheila: We finally called the hotel and found he had already checked in.

Erika: How we managed to miss Ernie--with only one shuttle in service, and Sheila and Pen staked out at the shuttle stand the whole time we were at the airport--is beyond me. LOL

Sheila: We decided to take a taxi back to the hotel for quickness. We all piled in a taxi and the driver wouldn't take us, as there was a free shuttle and he wanted a more lucrative fare. So we all got in the cab one side and after a minute or two, got out the other.

Lindy: LOL? All of us clambering inside that taxi, and then getting that look from the driver? He thought we were a few sandwiches short of a picnic LOL. Who pays for a taxi, when they can catch a free ride on the shuttle. That was hysterical. It was like something out of a comedy movie.

Erika: I swear when we piled out of the cab to get back to the shuttle stand, we looked like a version of The Beatles from the cover of "Abbey Road."

Mel: And I was waiting impatiently at the convention! LOL Being the only one there. After half an hour I just couldn't stand it and had to go meet the guys. To warm them up, so to speak, for the main event of all the rest of you showing up. It was a little awkward at first, but when I left to look for you guys I told them a horde of fans would soon descend on them. 

Erika: Thanks for telling them, Mel! We thought about this, too. We thought, hey? It's like, 1:15 PM and we still haven't gone to see the guys yet. Sgt. Pepper said Terry Knox knew we were coming and was looking forward to meeting us. What must they think of us no-shows? LOL We wondered if they would end up getting on the shuttle loop, too. Ernie the vet, the four of us crazies, Mel, and the ToD cast? Who knows, if it weren't for there being only one shuttle, we could have had a ToD merry-go-round going.

Sheila: Finally made it back to the hotel and called Ernie. He came down and meanwhile Mel had found us.

Erika: Sheila rang Ernie as we all stood around the front desk when I heard a voice behind me, "Lindy? Erika?"

I turned around and it was Mel! She looked just like the picture she gave me of her! How long had she been standing there while we just stood around yapping like a bunch of chickens? I had her photo and she was the one who found us--no wonder we didn't spot Ernie; some of us are blind as bats!

But thankfully she saw Lindy with the white flower and me with the short black hair, and knew it was us.

Lindy: I had no idea that was Mel.

It was kind of a funny running into her the way we did, LOL. But Im glad we did.

As it meant our TODITE group was complete and we were ready to hit the Convention, LOL.

Erika: Mel is an incredibly friendly, funny, and super on-top-of-things woman. My best driving was when I just followed her car around on Friday night. It was so much fun hanging out with her and we laughed a lot.

We were talking with Mel when another voice surprised me. It was a man's voice. (It felt like a long time since I had heard a man's voice.) He said, "Hi, I'm Ernie."

He is just as I imagined he would be. A complete Southern gentleman. Ernie is soft-spoken and gentle and patient. You can tell he is quite mischievous, too! Ernie's eyes don't miss a thing, and he doesn't talk as much as us gabby gals--he prefers to listen to what people have to say. Though we could stand to learn a lot from Kaj! I never did catch that joke about the bountiful family behind us at Bob's Big Boy. Chalk it up to life experience, I guess. We love Ernie.

Lindy: Ernie was a little different in looks to what I imagined. I figured him to be a little broader, have darker hair, and a stricter soldier-like sounding voice, LOL. Kind of how we expected Sgt. Pepper to sound when she called on the phone.

But in personality, Ernie was just as I expected. He's down to earth, has a very dry sense of humour and a very warm heart.

Sheila: I think it's great that considering we'd never met before and not seen photos, we all managed to recognise each other so easily.

Erika: Hey, how hard could it be?

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