Day 1 - Travel
In typical Grady fashion, we arrived at the airport area about three hours in advance of our 2:30 departure time. Don’t want to be hurried!!! We were able to secure parking for the week+ for around $60 at an off site lot, and even got upgraded to indoor parking since all of the outdoor spots were taken!
The morning went pretty easily. Prep for this vacation started over a week ago with Jenny’s packing, and really went into effect yesterday when we tried to get Mireille’s hair braided, then this morning with a haircut for Quinton. As we sit here waiting to board, I’m thinking back on vacations past, and looking forward to how this one might transpire.
With Ethan graduating and turning 18, it’s given us a lot of opportunity to look back on old pictures and vacations. Even though we haven’t done a lot of “exotic” vacations, we’ve done A LOT of vacations! Even “mundane” things like a long weekend at Glenwood Springs evokes a lot of good memories. We all look so happy, and memories are almost always fond. It gives me a lot of hope for this upcoming trip. It’s definitely our most exotic vacation as a family, and it’s being setup to be a good one!
Now - we wait. The kids have their tablets, charged to whatever level they will be charged. It doesn’t matter how much, really. They haven’t learned the idea of conserving something so that you might use it later when you will really want it. Perhaps that is an old person mentality. For Quinton, it’s “use it now, while I have it,” but for me I always like to make sure I have a full battery so I can use it while I’m onboard and bored.
Ethan, Quinton, and I are sitting together in the back of this Boeing 717, right now flying over the Cascades, I presume. It’s fun to think about going back to Seattle. It’s been right around 20 years since we’ve been there. Of course, we aren’t really going back there - just hanging out in the airport for about 30 minutes, but it still seems fun. We would like to take the kids there sometime, though. See the troll, check out the growing brewery scene there (probably me that wants to do that more than the kids, I suppose), the salmon ladder, hiking in the mountains… 20 years on it’s fun to think about Seattle. We were so young. Ethan wasn’t even born yet. What did we do with all the time we had??? Hard to believe.
Quinton was able to see Mount Rainier out of the portal window, but Ethan and I were unable. Jenny and Mireille were treated to a view as well. I managed to travel to the far east side of the airport terminal and caught just the top of it peaking over another airport building. It’s like I remembered, spectacular! Still probably my favorite mountain, probably because it is so distinctive, but also quite elusive.
Seattle’s airport hasn’t changed much at all in the 20 years we’ve been gone. the floors still look the same, the gate areas are small. We did order some dinner at a futuristic McDonalds of sorts where we ordered from a kiosk and took a number, then they delivered us our food. Of course, that resulted in us ordering two too many fries and an entire extra Big Mac. Luckily Quinton is a hungry child!
Now we are sitting on the plane about to take off on our way to Honolulu!!!
The Plane to Honolulu
Five hours and sixteen minutes. That’s the estimated flight time. The only other time I’ve flown this long on a single leg was when I went to Paris then on to Kinshasa. That wasn’t too bad - this isn’t either, in some ways. In others it’s somewhat more challenging.
Sitting next to Quinton can be… interesting. We like to call him Ferdinand, like the bull, because he’s big, but he tries to be gentle. He pretty much fails at being gentle, though. Having him consigned to this seat for this long is sort of like having Tommy Boy in that airplane bathroom on the way from Sandusky to Chicago. I fully expect him to explode into the aisle any minute!
That said, he and I did watch a movie together. It was actually his idea. These longer flights have better entertainment setups. This one has displays in the backs of each of the seats, so you can watch one of around 400-500 different entertainment choices. He picked out Ratatouille and asked if I wanted to watch it with him. You know, press play at the same time, but watch it each on our own screens. It was a pretty good idea, so I delayed watching my downloaded faire on my iPad and instead watched with him.
Getting setup wasn’t nearly as easy as it should be. Epic first world problem to follow! To watch the screen, you have to plug-in a pair of headphones into the display. Unfortunately, Quinton and I only had wireless headphones! Luckily they were giving out free throw-away headphones, so we grabbed a couple and set out to watch.
Though I’ve watched the movie before, I feel like I enjoyed it even more this time around. Quinton got fidgety around 1/3 of the way through and took out his headphones to examine them. When he did, he dredged out a healthy amount of dirt and wax from his ears, which was pretty disgusting. The kid really needs to clean his ears! But he watched the whole movie with me.
Landing and The Drive
We landed around 8:15 local time, 12:15 AM by our biological clocks. The gate we landed at emptied us into an outdoor hallway, but we immediately got to enjoy the humid, warm air of Hawaii. We were lucky enough to see bits of the Hawaii sunset from the air, sort of. Quin also got a nice view of the reflection of the moon on the ocean. The rest of us will have to settle for it from the ground at some point this week.
By 9:00 we had collected our car, a Subaru Forester, and headed north towards Turtle Bay Resort. Mireille and Quin slept - the rest of us wish we could have. It was about an hour drive on which we could see next to nothing. Most of the roads were two lane, 35-45 MPH, and not well lit, and there wasn’t much of a moon, so we couldn’t see much of anything.
We got to our condo right before 10:00, unpacked some essentials, then crashed. It’s a four hour time difference between Hawaii and Denver - 6 hours difference from the East Coast, where I was just a couple of days ago. Time for sleepy!!!