Hawai'i 2.0, Day 12: "Do You All Know What It Is You're Carrying?"

Dawn breaks on our last day in Hawai'i.

We don't notice it, on account of we're sleeping at the time. We saw one sunrise here; that's enough for one trip. However, we do eventually wake up, and busy ourselves with packing everything up (it even fits, though one of the suitcases feels a little heavy) for our trip back home. We pay our hotel bill (which, especially when combined with the bar tab, is not quite insubstantial) and load up our poor abused rental car, wave our last goodbye at the ocean (which waves back) and head on out to the airport.

I drop Lucie off, we pay someone from the Hawaii Porter Service not nearly enough to struggle with our suitcases and check them in for us (it's well worth the minimal cost to have someone else lug our bags for us), and I return our convertible to the rental agency. We spend part of our remaining time poking through the airport gift shop, where I buy two bags of One Ton Chips for snacks (first had some from the Volcano Village store when we bought gas -- they're mild in flavor and oddly addictive), some more goodies for friends and family (my carry-on bag's seams voice their concerns), and another ball cap. I don't usually buy ball caps -- I've grown accustomed to bandannas -- but on this trip I've bought four; not exactly sure how that happened.

Our flight to Honolulu is uneventful, but apparently they've entered us into a local iron man competition at the airport, since we have a half mile long outdoor hike to our connecting flight to Oakland. We get a little lost trying to find the right gate, but once we decide to follow the trail of fallen bodies of other passengers on the same hike we eventually find our way. We take a very welcome rest in a slightly cooler terminal for a while (no air conditioning apparently, as they're doing construction on a nearby section of the building) and board our flight to the Mainland.

A pretty impressive dinner for first class -- a crab tomato salad with wasabi vinaigrette, macadamia nut crusted ahi with lilikoi sauce and pineapple chutney, ginger chicken stir fry over garlic rice, and a Kona coffee flan -- and some cold drinks (guava juice, guava juice with champagne, and ginger ale), an in-flight movie of Julie & Julia for the foodies among us, and Lucie watches Mama Mia on her personal video player (free rental for first class) while I study Japanese on my iPhone for the rest of the flight, and another safe touchdown in Oakland. In just a few short hours, we've gone from a hot, humid, and sunny day to a cold, rainy night. It's one heck of a change, and it takes me a little while to adapt.

We have trouble finding our luggage -- which is surprising, as mine is a bright red Hawaiian print. Turns out they sent half of our plane's luggage to a different carousel, so there's a slight delay leaving; but eventually we gather all of our belongings and wait for our limo for the ride home. We don't recognize it at first, as our original Lincoln town car from the ride up has grown into a stretch limo... which is a nice surprise indeed. Our driver is once again Dean (the guy whom I contacted at On Time Limousine is named James, this guy's name is Dean, and there's driving involved... just sayin') and he welcomes us back and starts driving us home. Turns out he's from Fresno, so Lucie and he chat amiably most of the way home while I relax and stretch my legs. I can't hear the conversation, as I'm in the back of the limo and Lucie's near the front, but I've got some binoculars so I do my best to read lips from a distance.

We get home safely, give Dean a bag of Kona coffee as part of his tip, and lug our bags inside our apartment. We find two notices from the TSA saying they've inspected our luggage -- one in Lucie's bags and one in mine. I can only assume that we were carrying home so much coffee that the drug sniffing dogs assumed we were trying to smuggle cocaine (admit it -- we've all learned that from watching Beverly Hills Cop) and they had to check us out. I understand it's done for everyone's safety and all that, but when it happens that often it's just a little creepy.

Our trip to Hawai'i is over. It'll take us a while to recover financially (we spent an awful lot), but as soon as we can build up our vacation fund we're going back. Lucie suggests next March; I'm thinking it might be just a little longer than that, but hopefully not too much longer. Aloha, mahalo, and see you again soon.

Coffee consumption: 1 can of Royal Mills "island mocha" and some coffee flan.


No comments: