27.01.2009 - 27.01.2009 21 °C
Well the flight out of Lihue seemed pretty uneventful. Checking in sucked because M saw me a far as he could go. The presence of M. isn't what made it suck, but moreso the fact that we were actually separting. As much as I want to be an independant creature and know I cannot handle a full-out relationship at this point in time ... I still have to acknowledge the fact that it felt nice being with him. I know mentally we are linked on a constant basis, but to physically do so was definitely a step-up from where we had been. I hold no regrets about the trip and getting to meet him, because other than the odd tiff here and there it was rather spectacular. I have literally become quite fond of him.
Arriving so early means you have idle time to kill. I wandered around the gift shops a bit. I got a nice album/journal that has slots for photos and then lines for you to write your thoughts down. It will work very nicely for a travel blog, but I'll definitely need to pick up an album itself for all the other photos. I'm tossing around the idea of doing something like this for M., a little book with photos and my thoughts/feelings on the time we spent together. We'll see how lazy I get. This older couple questioned me about Lantlig, whether he was a duck or a goose. I told them goose and we talked for a bit before I started reading. A lot of people at the airport were intrigued by Lantlig, especially security people who thought he was a real goose. I'll never forget the flabbergasted look of the woman at ticket booth when she saw him, asking 'is that a real duck?' (transportation of animals from the island is prohibited). She still seemed skeptical even after seeing he was plush. The security guy had a lot more fun with Lantlig, calling people over to see him, then grilling me on where he could get one of his own. Apparently they have no IKEA in Hawaii since the name was lost on him. I told him to check ebay and spelled his name out ... three times. At the last security checkpoint before the plane, I guess the guy was at the earlier checkpoint in the airport because when I put my bag down he laughed and said 'now that goose looks familiar'. All in all, it was an odd experience. I slept on most of the flight to LA, which was nice. I'm becoming a huge fan of having the entire row to myself, and have been rather pampered in this treatment during almost all of my flights.
Once I arrived in LA, well this is where things got very .. annoying. In Lihue the ticket agent told me she could only print out the first leg of my trip since I was changing carriers. I didn't understand the fuss since the first carrier did this on the way down, but whatever. She said that any gate agent could do it and I wouldn't have to leave the secure area. See this is where I get pissed off, when people talk about things they know nothing about. Because LAX is not like Lihue where all the carriers are in one terminal. There are seven terminals. I landed in 4, which was specific for American Airlines. I asked the gate agent and she said I would have to go to terminal 2 for US Airways. Fine. Take the shuttle down to terminal 2. No, apparently US Airways is terminal 1. Get there, wait in line only to find out that my flight with US Airways is being done through United, so now I have to go to terminal 7. At this point I have spent 45 minutes walking around and still have no ticket. The shuttle passes right by me, so I get fed up and start walking through the parking lots to get to terminal 7. I arrive there, then travel up to the ticket booths and stand in line. At this point it is 7am and my flight leaves at 8:28. The girl has problems finding my flight, but eventually succeeds. I was quite irate at this point but kept my patience. She gives me my tickets, I go through security (again), then proceed to walk from terminal 7 to terminal 6, since that's where my plane is departing from. I get there with 30 minutes to spare, and they start boarding moments later. *sigh*
Entire row again, small miracle. Sleep for the entire flight to Las Vegas. Arrive and find that, despite the insistance of the people at LAX, I have to change gate areas at LAS, meaning (you guessed it) I get to go through security again. At this point I'm a seasoned pro at what goes into which baskets and what needs to be put through. I was amused to find that I had to go through that new x-ray machine that photographs your entire body. I know it's optional, and many people are against it as an invasion of privacy, but I found it kinda fun. Not at all harmful, so I don't see what all the fuss is about. I grabbed some food at chili's that just ended up upsetting my stomach more than quenching my hunger. This also might be due to the fact that I am absolutely exhausted, having only slept sporatic bits for no more than 2-3 hrs at a time. I'm starting to think it's likely I'm crashing at a hotel tonight when I arrive unless I can manage to sleep the entire flight to Toronto.
I end up gambling for a bit, spending about $8 on the slots. I really don't understand why people are so into these things, they're so boring imho. Press button, lose. Press button, lose. Press button, win $1. Press button, lose. Etc. I end up stopping at Cinabon to get one of the rolls since a guy at work raved about them. I found it rather disgusting, but then again my tastes are all weird being a vegetarian and whatso. I spend some time blogging, some time reading (trying to finish Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse). Board the plane and nap for a bit. I wake up out of nowhere and am unable to fall back to sleep, suddenly (eventually) feeling refreshed. I finish off the book (what a peculiar piece of literature), and try to finish watching Quantum of Solace (which I started on my flight between LA and Lihue). Of course, with 5 minutes left I have to put the laptop away (grrr), but we land with minimal issues. Make the necessary messages/calls to let people know I arrived intact, smoothly go through customs (no issues at all, wha?), collect my luggage with ease (5th suitcase to come off the carousel), and find myself experiencing the shortest time ever from getting off the plane to getting to my car (roughly 25 minutes). It's a cool -6 celcius, no snow on my car. In a sense, the perfect end to the perfect trip.
Lantlig in transit home.