I just received an email from Tom. Here is an excerpt of what he had to say about the trip so far:
Thanx for your prayers. Alexei & I are in Simi Valley, CA after our flight & enjoying the weather, food & people! We had an interesting flight as the flight crew had to 'take down' a rowdy drunken man. (It was neither Alexei or I!) They eventually tied him to his seat w/ pillowcases for the remaining 5 hours of the flight. Once we landed no one could leave until LAPD first came aboard, arrested & removed him. The rest of the flight was non-eventful!
Alexei's 1st impressions of the US/LA is that it's "very big, very clean, very beautiful & has more cars than he has seen in his lifetime!" He's taking pictures of the places we go to. He's been fascinated by the book of matches w/ the name of our hotel on it, how big & vast CA is, the variety of choices w/ everything, & how he can walk around w/o his passport or ID! A different kind of freedom.
Alexei & I are going to drive to Pomona today & try to visit Alida's Aunt Martha. Tonight & Fri we are staying w/ a woman from Pastor Dave's recovery church who is a LAPD detective. She has a pool & spa! We may try to go to the Reagan Library & Museum w/ Dave, or to the IMAX theater. It's very hot here, so staying indoors where it's airconditioned is best!
We ate Mexican food today at El Torito's!! It was very good. It wasn't as spicy as Alexei had thought it would be. He enjoyed it very much. Last night we went to Von's, Alexei's 1st time in an American grocery store. He's also fascinated w/ American tv. He's like a kid in a candy store when compared to what he's experienced in his life in Russia up to this.