Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hawaii-bound

I'm sitting in our apartment at the Westin Princeville in Hawaii (Kauai), happy to be here, enjoying the time with Tony, enjoying the golf and the sounds of the ocean and wind. And, selfishly happy to be five hours ahead in time -- and too busy for TV -- so that I don't have to watch more on the tragedy in Newtown. When we were driving to the hotel on Friday afternoon, a DJ said something about his thoughts being with the state of Connecticut. Thought he was talking about Sandy. And then we turned on the news and Newtown, Connecticut, flashed about the killings at Sandy Hook. Too, too close to Brookfield, where I went to high school -- played soccer against Newtown. Right next door. And, Darby's mom is the Superintendent of Newtown (and did a great job on "Today"

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50208350

I'm going to enjoy being selfish for the rest of the trip, and enjoy Hawaii. Here's the airport/flying part of the trip, day 1.

Day 1: Flying
Early morning (especially after just getting back last night from Phoenix). Leave the house at 5 am for a 7 am flight to LAX and then jump on flight to Kauai Island, Hawaii. Love the American Airlines upgrades both legs of this trip. Love to go to the Admirals Club before waiting to board the flight. So nice just walking onto the plane this morning without waiting in the concourse. Breakfast on the plane (they have pretty good oatmeal; don‘t know how the “egg strata“ tasted). Along with a Bloody Mary. We’re on vacation. Think Tony was a little “odded out” by the gentleman sitting next to me (attorney) who wouldn’t switch seats with me to sit next to each other. He apologized, but “hates window seats.” But, I can hear Tony chatting it up across from me with his seat mate (and a Bloody Mary). Long day of travel to get to Hawaii, but everyone says it’s going to be awesome and well worth it.
Get our bags, get our car, and then off to the Harley Davidson dealer. Then grocery store for snacks and cocktails (thanks, Missy, for telling me about Big Wave -- a beer that you can only get in Hawaii!). Then Princeville to the Westin to check in, unpack, and hopefully watch a beautiful sunset. What’s nice about the resort is that they are apartment villas, so we have a full kitchen. I get tired of eating out. And tired of the $20+ per person breakfasts that would be $4 at Denny’s. And I don’t mind a $10 cocktail here and there, but it’s nice to pour one and sit on your private patio before going to dinner. Must be my Midwestern upbringing.
Only two real official things on our itinerary: Tomorrow play golf at The Prince Course. Sunday, play golf at Makaii Golf Course. Rest we will play it by ear. Hope to see some whales. Maybe a sea turtle.
Tempted to try American’s gogo online and do some more web surfing and work on some concept presentations we’re working on. Seems reasonable in price. But, the flight from LAX to Hawaii is longer, so may sign up then. Nice to not really work, but I have this brainstorm and am itching to get on the Internet to look for some quotes for a meeting on Tuesday.

Only about 30 minutes at LAX after we land. Walk into the Admirals Club and walk out -- no smoking in all of their airport. But, gave us something to do and then we walked on the plane. This is one of those "big planes" (sorry, I am not up on types of aircraft -- this one had a small first class and then business class with three sets of two seats, and then regular). Tony and I again are split up. He's in 8A and I'm in 9A. We'll try to switch with someone so we can sit together. We'll especially try to switch with someone when a family, including infant, sit down RIGHT BEHIND ME. Right behind me on a FIVE HOUR flight. Switching doesn't look as promising with an infant behind us. But, the plane starts boarding coach and there are a number of empty seats. We ask the flight attendant if it's full and she doesn't know because they switched planes on them. We'd like to move and sit together. We tell another flight attendant the same. They are checking. And then a couple sitting across from the family starts moving to the seats over on the other side that we were trying to claim. Tony intervened. We won, and moved over away from the infant (and more importantly, the talkative child who clearly wasn't as impressed being in business class as we were).

Plane takes off and five hours away it will be. Bloody Marys, again, and "Brunch" this time -- French toast and sausage. Nice blanket, pillow (thank you American Airlines), movies (tried to watch The Words without success and instead finished Season 2 of "Lost" -- yes, I know that watching a series about a plane crash that takes place in Hawaii probably isn't the best inflight viewing) and we try and get some sleep. Neither of us were successful, but we tried to rest. I don't see how Tony can do it with only his iPhone -- no books to read, crossword puzzles or Soduku. Five hours is a long flight when there isn't anything to see out the window except water and clouds. And, I learned quickly that WiFi doesn't work over ocean, so my idea to do some work on the web didn't work out as planned.

Finally land. Deboard. The airport is small. Humid. Wayfinding/signage could be improved upon. But, bags come out relatively quickly and are all accounted for, so we head to Hertz -- again, poor wayfinding, not the most organized.

But, heading out of the airport and on our way to really start our vacation.

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