Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Trip to Paradise, Part 1

Recently, I spent a week in the beautiful state of Hawai’i on vacation. I’d like to share with you the 3 readers of this blog my experiences there.

Day One: Sunday, February 14th: This was the day I flew to the state. My day began at 5 AM. I had a 9 AM flight out of Detroit, which meant I needed to arrive there no later than 7:30 to make it through security. If anyone has not yet experienced the new airport security checkpoint, let me try to describe it:

Take off your shoes. If you wonder why, I have two words for you: Richard Reid.

Remove all items from your pockets that have any trace of metal in them.

Make sure your carryon has no bottles in it larger than 3 ounces.

Remove your laptop from your carryon and place it in a tray.

DO NOT wear a sweater or a bulky sweatshirt. I learned the hard way that this is just an invitation to be pulled from the security line and wanded, at the very least.

Got a bottle of water on you? Drink it. The claim is that this is for security, but it’s really to make sure you have to buy one or more in the stores ($2.00+) past security. It won’t matter if the bottle is sealed or not.

Once we finally got on the flight, I flew from Detroit to Minneapolis/St. Paul for my connecting flight. I was on a DC-9. This plane is probably the smallest commercial airliner that can still be considered an airliner and not a commuter jet. We arrived in M/SP on time, but another plane was still at our gate, so we had to sit on the taxiway for nearly a half hour before we could pull up. And then, there was no one available to pilot the jetway to hook it up to our plane (the mind boggles at trying to figure out why). Combine all this with a severely claustrophobic female passenger who nearly had a full-scale panic attack while waiting to get off, and I had only 20 minutes to make my flight to Honolulu. Suffice to say that it was close.

The flight out took slightly over 8 hours, thanks to a strong (80+ MPH) headwind. At least it was on a big plane, with individual video monitors for each seat. Movies, music, TV shows, and other entertainment are available.

Upon arrival in Honolulu, the outside temp was over 80 degrees. I quickly shucked my long-sleeved shirt and gloried in the warm weather.

I arrived at the car rental agency, and was given a free upgrade to a convertible. Nice choice for Hawai’i, if you discount the fact that the stored car top requires so much space that the back end of the car is twice as large as a normal sedan, and trunk space is virtually nonexistent.

Traffic in Waikiki is horrendous. If you ever get out there, try to find somewhere else to stay...

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