Fine, I say. If I wait any longer I will probably never post again. New things come along and putting off the previous installments: it all becomes a haze. Let me just say that after being to Europe 7 times in 5 different countries (Canada and Mexico don’t count) and seeing most of the United States before leaving home at the prime age of 18, my hopes for Hawai’i were only marginally hopeful. The idea of a hot, tropical island packed with surfers and tourists seemed like the last place I wanted to go.
Saturday May 15
By this day everything was set at work. We had contacted friends so they’d pick up our paychecks while we were gone. We had arranged someone to watch our cat. We spent the day packing and finalizing our shopping for the trip. I bought some shorts and *gasp* tank tops. We didn’t spend a great deal of money but living in Washington we don’t really invest a lot into “summer time, run around and get into the water” type clothing. It was exciting though. We had our digital cameras, our cloths, our bags packed, and our tickets ready.
Sunday May 16
This day we spent finalizing our packing, doing some last minute cleaning like throwing out all the perishables that would spoil, emptying out the mini “beer fridge” and just preparing to leave. We loaded our things into the car, reparked the other car into our spot and picked up our friends that we were traveling with. We arrived at their home, loaded their things and waiting 5 minutes for their house sitter to arrive. Then we were off. We drove to Auburn to stay at my mother-in-law’s until later that night when she would take us to the airport. I took my usual shots of the new Narrow’s Bridge and made an obligatory stop at Krispy Kreme for some donuts. I could feel that vacation was about to start. We got to Auburn and made our way to the townhouse. I think we watched “The Incredibles” and something else but I was really tired and tried sleeping through it.
Monday May 17
Now honestly, Sunday and Monday are the same day for me. We slept maybe a solid hour Sunday night before our watch alarms went off and we all piled into our Taurus. I was expecting traffic but I am not sure why. At 3 am on the 167 and 405 traffic was light. We pulled up to the departures area, pulled our stuff out of the car, said our farewells and walked to the checkin line. There were a few people there already. The counters weren’t open yet but we got into line anyway. My body was very tired. I think the coutners opened at 4:15 ish. It was dark outside and all the little shops were closed. It was kind of eerie. The checkin counters are all automated but we ended up having to have the counter person help us. For some reason it wasn’t recognizing us.
I have to admit that I was a little paranoid and purturbed by the security at the airport. I was anxious. I am a little vocal with my thoughts about the threat of increased federalization and eroding civil liberties so I already made plans to handle being listed on the mysterious federal no fly list. I passed muster but I was again enraged by the seemingly invasive searching that the federal government requires on us travelin’ surfs. Its all really crazy. I don’t hope to prove anything here but if a few guys can hijack a plane with box cutters maybe that plane load of people is really a plane load of sheep. I had to take off my shoes, my belt, empty my pockets, have my bags searched, watch elderly people pain their way through dismembering their bags, watch another middle aged woman cry with the intrusive search. I am not kidding. I have done it before with my friend in Bellingham when all I had was a jacket. I expect us to someday have to walk through x-ray machines our selves if not submit to some sort of physiological probe. I think I would rather take my chances with someone and their box cutters in the slim chance that someone would attempt it.
Ok fine, I’ll stop.
But after getting our boarding passes for the trip, we made our way to the gate. I tried sleeping at the gate but the TV set above my head seemed really loud. Then again, everything seemed loud when I was that tired. We boarded the plane a little while later. I think there is two schools of thought on how to board a plane. The first you get on right when they call you. The second, you sit and wait until all the people described as part of the first school of thought board and then you get up and board when the line in minimal. I think I am of the second nature. Especially when I am tired.
The flight there was cramped. The seats were 3 and 3 and the fella that sat with us would not negotiate elbow room. It was annoying. Not all people are rude, I tell myself. At least we had the escape hatch isle. More leg room. It was exciting to be int he air. We were flying the first stage of our journey to San Francisco. The sun was coming up and I could see some details of the world below but I ignored it. I was really tired. When the plane landed we walked one gate over and waited for our next flight. I think it was an hour delay. The gate person that announced the boarding calls was funny. It was refreshing to hear someone with personality.
“Normally I would take your boarding passes and put them into the machine for you but since they cut our pensions you’ll have to do it yourselves.” What made it much more funny that it seems is that I heard on NPR a few days earlier how a few major airlines were going through drastic financial hardships and restructuring and many employee benefits were being affected, especially pensions. I love being in the know.