21.01.2009 - 21.01.2009 19 °C
Note to self: arriving early at the airport at 3am is good because you miss traffic, but bad because the ticket agents don't open before 4:30am it's rather moot. I was surprised at how seamless the whole check-in process seemed to be smooth. While waiting to go through the security check in some random gentleman informed me that I had a duck hanging out of my backpack. Being tired (having been awake since 1pm the prior day) I informed him that he preferred it this way so he could see what was going on around him since it made him feel better. The gentleman left me alone after that.
While going through customs the guard wished me a good trip, and Lantlig as well. It seemed rather peculiar to me that people in the airport seem to like talking to lantlig, but I digress. No internet available unless I'm going to pay, booo. Sucks, plus I paid like $15 for breakfast with Starbucks. On the plus side I picked up some salmon jerky for M. and a couple of Munsch books for his niece and nephew. Trying to read, but too excited!! I end up getting a vanilla rooibos latte (new addiction) at Starbucks with a pumpkin scone and a banana. Mmmm banana.
I have to share the row with one person, boo, but no one between us. I find it interesting that american carriers do rows of 3 instead of 2, like I'm used to with Air Canada. Also they don't provide in-flight entertainment, which is okay with me really since I'm planning to sleep regardless. These planes look dirtier too ... maybe I'm a travel snob. Arrive in Las Vegas about 15 minutes early. Beautiful weather.
Turns out changing carriers means changing gates, so I have to go through security and take a monorail over to gate D. While scanning the list of terminals a guy stops me and asks something about lantlig, if he is a _____ (no clue what he said). I ask him to repeat it three times, but never understand so I shrug and say he's from IKEA. He asks if I'm canadian, where I'm heading .. polite chitchat. Finally he must have sensed my confusion, so he asks what flight I'm looking for. I tell him the carrier and he directs me to the right location. I buy a phone card but it's still kinda early to call anyone. I pull all my $1 out of my wallet (god I hate those) and use them to play the slots. At one point I won like $1.75, but then I gambled it away lol. It was kinda boring to me, but I guess I can see how they would become really addictive to people.
The layover here was pretty short (1.5 hrs, but a lot of time eaten up by the security/travel), and despite my desire to stay awake on this flight I find myself falling asleep between two very different men. To my left, this short asian fellow that likes to combine urban slang with vietnamese 'yo Wei, <insert unrecognizable gibberish>'. On my right, this guy that looks like he is either (a) a recently released criminal, or (b) a german. He just looks hard, where the guy on the left looks like I could beat him up. What I wouldn't pay to see that death match.
LAX ... what can I say other than it is massive. At least no more security checkpoints were required here. The layover was pretty extensive (3 hrs) but I spend a chunk of this time using calling cards to talk to people. Wander the boutiques, but do not take K up on her recommendation to go celebrity hunting. They are not an endangered species. Buy some food from an organic bistro that was meh. The roasted vegetable sandwich kinda leaked everywhere. The fruit salad was very delish. I find it ironic that the Borders stores in the airports don't offer the same sales that they do in regular locations. I assume this is because everything in the airports is over-inflated so they just decide to not offer any bargains as a kind of balance in that retrospect. Yes, I am silly in my obsessing over little things like this, but it does bother me somewhat. Also, I've noticed Dasani labels are different here. They look more feminine or something.
It's odd since it's only water, but I guess it's noticeable enough. While waiting the board the plane some guy says 'aflack', which is gibberish to me. I turn around and ask what he means and he points to Lantlig and says 'aflack'. I remember this is what the guy was trying to say earlier and ask what that means specifically and he says it's a spokesperson for an insurance company. People around us join in the convo talking about it being a workplace insurance company, and some guy comes over and pets Lantlig, calling him a 'good duck' .. wtf.
I manage to not fall asleep on the plane ride from LA to Lihue. As opposed to prior flights which were during daylight I have no opportunity to see the landscape as we take off or land. I found the view of Las Vegas while landing/taking off really amazing .. the desert is so expansive. The dirt is red/brown, and the texture of the landscape is really amazing. Dad and Margaret did a tour of it the one year and I can see how it would be breathtaking to view on a helicopter tour. I'd definitely like to visit here someday, not to gamble really but to see the area. Leaving from LA it was pitch black, but you could see these clusters of lights that just seemed to go on and on and on ... giving you an idea of how large that city is, and it is massive. I tried to read for a bit, but found myself too sleepy to focus on the book. Instead I watched some of the inflight entertainment (some tv shows, and then the movie Night in Rodanthe (didn't like it much)). I'm starting to see why M. likes Big Bang Theory so much .. it's very geeky funny! I might have to start watching it in the future.
Flight landed a little early again (surprise surprise) in beautiful weather. As it seems, everything has been very fluid and without any bumps on the trip here. I am so exhausted that I really don't care about much of anything anymore, I just want to meet up with M. and get back to the hotel and sleep. We meet up at the baggage claim and I get a big hug, we collect my bags and drive back to the resort. What should have been a half hour feels like a lot less. We get back there and get some rest.
Lantlig's opinion on our lunch .... not encouraging