Monday, October 05, 2009

Kona Report - travel day(s)

Hawaii from the east coast is a long, long trip, but as I remind my wife, we are traveling to Hawaii, not Nebraska (no offense Nebraska, it's just not Hawaii).

Sunday began by loading up the car, including the family and heading out at 9am to JFK airport. Lisa and the kids were kind enough to drop me off and thankfully there was no traffic on this Sunday morning. Kate was hugging me so tight and had big crocodile tears flowing from her huge brown eyes making leaving for Hawaii almost seem wrong. I'm not good at the "out of site, out of mind" thing and pictured her along with Ryan who was welled up but trying not to show it for the better part of the day and night.

I used mileage to upgrade Lisa and I and was able to skip the long, long check in line, and even schmoozed the cute girl at ticketing to let my bike box packed to the gils and well over 50 lbs to travel for free. So far in this long day, so good.

My first flight to LA was uneventful. I watched a few movies including The Hangover in which the woman sitting next to me laughed hard at me laughing hard at the movie. The band camp girl from American Pie who's on that sitcom w/ Doogie Howser sat in front of me.

I had a brief 1 hr layover in LA, then on to Honolulu next. Again, uneventful besides sitting next to Gammy in row 1b who along with the trigeeks had on her compression socks even though she wasn't racing (one guy on the plane looked like he was dressed to race already! I guess you never know when the cannon may fire...) and who sucked down coffee the whole flight making her getting up to pee every 10 minutes, meaning consequently I'd have to get up and let her out every ten minutes. She was actually very sweet though and surprisingly, we talked quite a bit.

I cant sleep on planes. I don't really sleep well in general, so on a plane - forget it. I stepped off the plane in Honolulu at 8:30 Hawaii time or 2:30am et. My flight to Kona was delayed! These island hopper flights are always delayed because they basically have one plane per island that runs back and forth and gets backed up. I wandered around the airport looking for some edible food which is challenging, especially on a Sunday night when most things were closed.

I finally arrived in Kona at 10:30pm Hawaii time (4:30am et), and waited at baggage claim. And waited. And waited. Turns out that they held 80 bags and 26 bikes in Honolulu because of weight distribution on the plane. My bags wouldn't be there until the morning.

Picked up my rental car and checked in to the hotel at 11:20pm (5:20am et) w/ no bags and tried to get some sleep. Was up talking to Lisa at 2:30 am here, drifted back off around 4am, and awoke again at 6:30am. Anyway, it was a long trip, but as i told Brennan, "shit happens". And I'm in Hawaii.

I headed over to the airport after hitting Lavajava for some breakfast and my luggage was there. On the drive back, I stopped at the Pier and swam for 30 minutes.

This is when this trip to Hawaii really begins for me. Swimming at the pier in the amazing salt water with 100+ft visibility and fish swimming everywhere is therapeutic. It relaxes me and is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Amazing that all it takes is this first, easy swim to make me forget quickly about all the travel bs from the night/day before.

Now I just need to clear this cold out of me and all will be good.

OK, kind of a boring post, but I am on probably 4 hrs of broken sleep and promised to post daily, so I'll make a better effort tomorrow. I'm sure the next 24 hrs will be eventful.




MJ said...

Traveling just ain't easy anymore... I can't remember the last time I had a delay-free itinerary.

Looking forward to hearing how your week goes. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Good luck Eric. Have a great time and enjoy the race!

Ed S.