Archive for March, 2012

‘Aloha’ Paradise

March 17, 2012

“What is this? I thought you were at the airport! Leave Kauai already!”

Okay, okay. You’re right. So it’s Saturday, January 28, 7:30 PM and David, Eric, and I have boarded our flight from Lihue, Kauai to Honolulu. We land in Honolulu at 8:30 PM. From Honolulu we fly to Los Angeles – then Los Angeles to Salt Lake, and then from Salt Lake we have a 210-mile drive home to Idaho Falls. Pretty good planning, as our 6 1/2 hour-flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles is an ‘overnighter’ …

As we board our American Airlines flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles we pass through the first class section toward our seats in economy class. I notice several first class passengers, already reclined and sipping drinks, also have their necks ensconsed in u-shaped neck pillows – ‘Oh, that was smart’- I say to David. We strap ourselves into our seats. I have the window, but it’s dark anyway. My carry-on is shoved under the seat in front of me, but I am so jammed in there I can’t bend over to pick it up. The flight takes off. I notice a dearth of Airline attendants, maybe two, to serve this full plane of …. 240 passengers?

An attendant gets on the intercom, “We will have lights out this whole trip to enable passengers to sleep, and there will be no movie or drink service. (Oh, does that mean just food service?) Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened for the entire flight unless you use the lavatory at the back of the plane.”

Sure enough, that’s how it is. Lights out. Not one sip of food or liquid offered the entire flight. And I lost my water bottle in security (why didn’t I buy water after we passed through security? Oh, maybe that’s a moot point since I can’t get at my bag anyway…) Everyone is trying to go to sleep. I feel an immediate chill, but my flimsy, midnight-blue, polyester airline lap blanket has fallen from my lap to the floor by my left foot. I can’t bend down far enough to pick it up! I try to pin it with my feet and pull it up to grab it but I don’t have enough lateral or vertical space to pull that off easily, either. I think to snatch David’s blanket. He’s sound asleep beside me, so maybe he wouldn’t notice? Nah – I keep at the effort to retrieve mine and finally succeed.

But I can’t sleep. Not a wink, or so it feels for the next six hours. I keep adjusting the head rest. Is it too high? Too low? A couple of hours into the flight (okay, so maybe I slept a little) I end up with a major crook in my neck. I spend a good bit of time and energy deep massaging my neck ligaments to avoid the inevitable headache that’s sure to accompany my massive neck ache.

I (and nearly every other ‘economy’ passenger) remain affixed to my seat like a bent, molded, miniature plastic figure for six and a half hours. I have to pee mid way into our flight, but that’s way more of a hassle than it’s worth.

David snoozes beside me the entire trip. Finally as we approach for landing he wakes up. I rattle off my litany of complaints to him about the flight – my cotton mouth, my having to pee for 3 hours, the crook in my neck, my aching legs…

“Hey, Hasn’t American Airlines flied for bankruptcy?” I ask him (because he would know).

“Yes, it has”

“Well, no wonder!”

“Yeah, well they’ve probably cut back even more on their service to keep afloat during proceedings.”

“Or maybe to punish passengers for not keeping them in business?”

The plane lands and I’m sure my legs are suffering from the DVT’s (deep vein thrombosis) as I attempt to shake them alive so I can get off the plane.

We land in Los Angeles at 5:20 AM, catch our 6:20 AM flight to Salt Lake, and land there 9:15 AM- having lost (or is it gained?) two hours.

David, Eric and I are driving home now, the last 210 miles of our trek. We’re alongside the Wasatch Mountain Range north of Salt Lake –

Mild winter!

Into Idaho now…

BRRRRRR! Not as mild as we would prefer…

We pull into our driveway about 1:30 PM – Sunday. All told, the travel home from Paradise took about 18 hours. My neck is still not happy.

Eric had parked his Van in our driveway. He is anxious to hop in it now and drive on home.

WHAT? A flat tire???
Great.

It took me several days to recover – from jet lag, Economy Class Syndrome [www.airhealth.org ] and, well, the blahs.

I suppose it’s time to close my chapter on ‘Paradise’.

Behold the tree in our front yard. Took the picture today. For inspiration.

You’re right. I’ve seen Paradise, and that ain’t it.

That tree’s downright knarly. Need to rent a chain saw, climb up there, and hack off some of those dead limbs.

Whatever.

Yeah, we’ve got our lives back.

Kauai- Part VII

March 11, 2012

So where were we? Still in Kauai! It’s the last half of our last day on vacation…

“In Kauai?” you ask? “Isn’t that where they just had a week of pounding rains?” Yes it is. For the seven-day period ending this past Friday, the rainfall level was nearly 46 inches in Hanalei, Kauai.

(Poor Puff!)

Here’s a video of the storm, recently posted on youtube:

Not my video! No! I’m talkin’ Saturday, Jan 28, 2011 – the last half of our last day in Paradise. PARADISE? Well, so it probably isn’t, in the midst of a 46-inch rain. On January 28 we have a few hours left before we have to be at the airport in Lihue. But our story won’t be similar to travelers this past week as reported in USA Today – when Hawaii’s lieutenant governor had to phone a couple from Littleton, Colo. to apologize to them and a group of 10 to 20 other marooned tourists that had been booted out of Lihue Airport into a raging rainstorm after midnight Tuesday. Click here [ 1 ] to view the article.

Furthermore, I might add, I’m well beyond the ‘breast-feeding’ stage of life.

But anyway, let me take you back…

To our walk on the Golf course in Princeville-

And our delightful last lunch on Steph and Vic’s patio, compliments of Victor:

‘MMMMMMMMM!” Won Ton soup!

Eric cleans up the dishes

While David swats at the only fly we encounter during our entire trip.

Paradise!

David does our laundry

While Eric sweeps up the extra mess he tracked in from all those hikes he took by himself

One last run to the dump

“Hey Victor, what are you doing throwing Eric’s precious box of Franzia wine away? You left in your trunk at least two glasses of this valuable wine you could drink.”

We make one last trip to the grocery store

Why are organic local eggs $8.99/dozen with all the ‘cage free’ chickens running around everywhere?

Uh, okay, so there isn’t much to report about that second half of our last day. I just don’t want to stop blogging about our trip to Kauai. Could I just drag these endless blogs out to sustain me till spring weather actually arrives in Idaho? (June)

We cleaned up some of our trail of mess we left at the house, restocked a little of the food we devoured, and packed.

Awwwwwww…. It’s time to head to the airport. “Goodbye Steph and Vic!”

“Goodbye Paradise!”

I capture one more bit of Kauai scenery through the car window on the way to the airport.

“Good-bye sign to the entrance of the airport!” (‘cuz even the sign looks ‘Paradise-y’)

“Goodbye happy, cage-free chickens everywhere.” – which do apparently own the whole island

including the airport terminal.

“Hello inevitable airplanes.”

This one isn’t ours. Ours arrives about dark. We do lose two oranges, a water bottle, and an expensive tube of sunscreen as we go through security. But at least I don’t have to breastfeed an infant on the 6-hour flight and surrender the pump and baby bottles at security (which I guess could create a crisis if, say, I pass out on the flight and my hubby has to feed the infant, or the person next to me has an extreme boob phobia?? – in reference to ‘passenger hardship’ in the USA Today article above).

“Hello extemely expensive tropical fruit drink at the airport bar” –

which, of course, is no-where stiff enough to lull me into even a wink of sleep over the next six hours…

Should I tell you about the rest of our trek back to Idaho?

Smell No Evil?

March 11, 2012

I had this strange thing happen to me this week, and it may all be in my head, but here’s the story: I went to a Goodwill store on Wednesday. They had lots of used books – for a buck or two – and two books caught my eye. One was an old favorite of mine – I must have read it 30 years ago, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, MD, and the other was the sequel to that book, People of the Lie – The Hope for Healing Human Evil which, maybe I’d hadn’t read. I bought them both.

I started reading People of the Lie the next day, but noticed it had a strange, musty and dusty smell. While I was reading I rubbed the corner of my eye with the tip of my finger and suddenly my eye started itching profusely and the itch wouldn’t go away. I read the book in bed before going to sleep that night, but was awoken in the middle of the night with my eye itching again, along with a major nose itch, you know, the hard-rubbing, deep-massage-to-assuage kind of nose itch. I noticed the book on the bedside and thought of the weird smell (which I thought I was still smelling).

Well, this is going to gross you out (sorry!), but the next thing, I get this thought (yes, at 3 AM): What if that book had come from some HOARDERS – what if it had been sitting in a pile, amidst a ceiling-high pile, in a filthy house, for years, perhaps, and it was contaminated with – God knows what. Mold spores! – for starters.

When I got up the next morning, I swear, I had a full-fledged allergy attack – sneezing like crazy and then my lungs started burning. I kept thinking about those HOARDERS who maybe died or something, or had an intervention through their family who donated their shit to this thrift store (isn’t that what the families do?). I don’t know whether my lung, nose, and eye issues might actually have been brought on by the thought of the whole thing, or what … but I am so grossed out!!!

In this book Dr. Peck (a psychiatrist) tries to define ‘human evil’- how you might (if you’re lucky, and preferably professionally trained in the field of psychology) recognize an ‘evil’ person. He talks about ‘malignant narcissism’ which, well, is decidedly more interesting to read about than, say, How to Clean Everything (which was another book for sale at the thrift store). – Well anyway, at this juncture I think I know how to recognize an evil book!

Whatever. I just can’t get the image of the whole ‘HOARDER’ mess out of my mind, but I wouldn’t mind finishing the book, I’m finding it totally fascinating and well-written!

I wore a sweatshirt with a hood this morning, clumping the hood into a wad and shoving it up against my nose, to read the book over my morning coffee. My husband entered the kitchen and chuckled at me – “Why don’t you throw that book away and get it at the library?”

He had a point. The sweatshirt covered my nose so well that I was mostly breathing through my mouth. I did a lung check. Yep, they still hurt a little. I was still sneezing and couldn’t avoid the … dust? Smell? H&#$%ERS?

I went to the library. YES! They had People of the Lie – uh… crap! It’s checked out!

I’m on page 173.

Here’s a picture of the book:

Looks innocent enough, eh? Yeah.

Let me know and you can have the book. It’s riveting. If you’re interested in the study of evil. Sort of hits you right in the face (and beyond).

Maybe just don’t breathe while you’re reading it.

I read 30 more pages in the book today. And my lungs kinda hurt. I’m honestly worried that I’ve contracted some kind of lung fungus.

Whatdoyathink? Should my appointment be with a lung specialist or a psychiatrist?

Kauai – Part…uh …VI!

March 4, 2012

You didn’t think we had left Kauai, did you? I still have to tell you about our last day! – Saturday, Jan 28. Temp: 80 degrees. Verdict: Cram as much fun into our day as we possibly can. Our flight home doesn’t leave until 7PM!

There’s plenty to do right here in Princeville. Like imagining you’re hanging with George Clooney and crew filming, “The Descendents”

every time you pass this fountain in the center of Princeville.

Or….

Clinging to Tom Cruise in a ‘War of the Worlds’ experience –

“Aaaaaaa! Don’t get sucked into the alien spacecraft hovering above us …

by that probing tentacle!”

“Oh Noooooo!”

“Not this way! Run! RUN!”

Eric suggests one last hike – just a short drive from the house to

the SeaLodge Resort.

Where you overlook an awesome beach

We might not need our swimsuits, though…

What hazardous conditions does this beach NOT have? Sea serpents?

Eric is up to his usual mischief

NO DEATH MARCHES, ERIC, REMEMBER?

He lures us onto the trail.

It does prove a bit challenging

Thank goodness I’m wearing tennies this time.

Nice touch, Eric. A waterfall.

We arrive at the beach.

Lovely to look at… 🙂

Time to head back.

“Hey, Eric. Climb up that palm tree and get me a coconut!

Uh, but how would we get it open?

Um… shouldn’t we be hooking up with Tom Cruise about now? …

‘cuz, uhhh …. is that limb really an alien tentacle waiting to curl around and snatch up my hubby?

We are back up off the trail now. I try to capture the ocean view at SeaLodge Resort (Yeah, right. Impossible to capture but will share my attempt)- in this video

You can’t see them here, but there ARE some die-hard (it would be!) surfers out there catching waves (and getting stung by jelly fish?).

Eric takes a photo of David and me.

Crap! Vacation almost over… (can you read that in my facial expression?)

Wait. You didn’t really think we would be leaving Kauai NOW did you?

Don’t you want to hear about the second half of our last day on beautiful Kauai?

(Sigh)