Well, we got up at 4 am. Really, I should say I got up at 11 pm the night before we left after taking a refreshing 6 minute nap and I never fell back asleep.
My hair dried nicely though, so I guess it works.
On our first flight we sat behind a 3 year old. His incessant talking got old after the first 2 hours. Worse, we sat in front of girls that could have starred in the movie Mean Girls.
"Im like going to be in such a zombie state today."
"I wish I could just wear anything like Sarah Jessica Parker can!"
"Man, if our flight leaves at 7 am we're going to have to go to the airport straight from the club. I hope I don't barf."
We deplained the first flight and walked 3 steps to the waiting area for our 2nd flight. We only had to wait 20 minutes before they started the boarding process. We got to board first because we were flying First Class!!
[the quintessential photo]
They had blankets, pillows, and headphones waiting on us at our seat. They came around with the choice of OJ, water, or Champagne.
I was at a crossroads. Really, what I wanted was to have a mimosa, but I picked the OJ. After all, local time it was only 8 am and I didn't want to look like a drunkard. Also, we were the youngest people in first class by at least 20 years. Actually, we were the probably some of the youngest people on the entire flight.
Except for our 3 year old friend from the first flight. Thankfully, he was flying coach again.
(Ryan got excited because the in flight movie was Xmen days of future past and being in first class we got the ear buds for free.) Guest written by, guess who? Ryan. Sorry I didn't actually give you time to guess.
As much as I want to see that movie, I decided that sleep won out. I could watch a movie any day, but I don't want to be grumpy and sleepy in Hawaii.
Then they came around offering is legit beverages. I got my mimosa in a fancy wine glass. They really know how to treat you right in First Class.
[cheers to 1st Class!]
After half my mimosa I could tell it was time to fall back asleep. My 6 minutes of sleep last night just wasn't cutting it.
But I didn't want to miss out on food. If there's anything I like more than beverages, it's food. All I had for breakfast was a Kind Plus protein bar. And as delicious as that was, we had been traveling for 6 hours and it just wasn't cutting it anymore.
I decided that if I finished my mimosa before the food came I would just give in to sleep. Lest I let all the alcohol get into my bloodstream and make me act like a fool.
Oh, and the food won out.
[photo egg sufle and a biscuit and fresh fruit.]
Then our flight attendant refilled my mimosa. And I crashed. I slept through the movie, when suddenly, I was awoken my Ryan:
"Babe, you told me to wake you up if they were serving food."
He must have seen my angry "what the heck" eyes and gone on the defensive.
I looked to our flight attendants, and sure enough, they were serving food! I thanked Ryan instead of mauling him. They came by with two choices:
Ben & Jerrry's Cookies and Cream ice cream or Fruit and Cheese. Ryan picked the former, I picked the latter. I took one bite of my Bree and cracker and I said "you know what would taste great with this?"
And, as if I had a rubbed a magic lamp, out of no where appeared the flight attendant and he offered me the wine I wanted.
[what fruit and cheese should stand next to]
Just then, I sneezed 6 times. Well, I sneezed 4 times and then a few seconds later sneezed the last two times. Ryan asked "are you allergic to cheese?"
After finishing my marvelous snack, I thought I should start writing some more blog. Gotta preserve the memories before the red wine erases them.....
....then it was almost time to land. We watched a short informational video about agriculture in Hawaii. I got a bit worried about my granola bars, but they didn't mention anything about nuts being illegal, so I can save them from deposit in the amnesty bin.
I wanted a cool picture of hawaii from the plane before we landed. But alas, we were on the wrong side of some clouds. I'm sure Google has a good one though.
Now, I have to tell you the story of why we're flying first class. You see, we had just moved into a house 2 months prior, and then some truly horrible things had happened to us.
First, we found out the pipes under our house were completely wasted, and we had to pay a bunch of money to replace ALL the pipes under our foundation. We had to live with some friends for two weeks. That's friendship right there.
Then, Ryan had been diagnosed with a herniated disc and before the move, after the move, and while we were living with friends we had been getting steroid injections in his back to try to improve the disc herniation. Instead of improving, he got steadily worse to the point where we passed up our favorite meal (Grimaldi's salad, pizza, and wine) because he couldn't bear to sit for more than 5-10 minutes at a time. The next step was surgery. We decided to take the leap and go for it, hoping it restored Ryan's quality of life.
That night, after signing up for surgery, we got a message that Ryan's dad was having trouble breathing. He needed to be sedated and given a breathing tube. Then he lost his heartbeat. Despite several efforts to bring him back, and several moments where he had a heartbeat again, he wasn't able to make it. He was so young, only 58. We were devastated.
This is all on top of 2 flat tires, and 8 tires needing air in the last 2 months.
Life was rough.
Thankfully, our friends stepped in to help out. We got meals from friends, most of whom stayed around to listen to stories about life. Other friends offered to watch our pups while we were gone for the funeral. Others helped with flat tires and brought us wine. We felt deeply loved, and yet, so sad. We needed to catch a break.
Three days After Ryan's surgery we flew to Georgia for the funeral. His surgeon's PA gave him some special compression devices to wear on his legs during the flight. They were baby blue and super "awesome."
Traveling was rough on Ryan's back and he wasn't healing nearly as fast as we had hoped he would.
We had planned a trip to Hawaii with our friends back in March, about 5 months prior. We told them we might not be able to make it with Ryan's back. It hurt him to sit for so long. I mentioned we were going to look into getting Him a first class ticket so it would be easier on his back, but we might not be able to afford it with everything else that happened.
They asked us for our flight information and said they would look into upgrades with their mileage.
The next morning they presented us with upgraded tickets for the longest flights BOTH ways for BOTH of us.
Woah. We felt like crying. We were so thankful to go and get away from it all. I'm not sure we will ever be able to express how much that meant to us. But we will try.
Now, from a young age, my father had been passing his SLR cameras down to me. I got my first one at age 12, after proving him I read the camera care book he gave me that had tips about shutter speeds and appetures in it and stuff.
My parents were in the Yellowstone National Park last week. We waved to them as we flew over It on our way to LA.
They waved back.
So my dad has been sending me these majestic photos of his trip, with a fair amount of "trash talk." He thinks he's going to have the most beautiful pictures.
Clearly, he hasn't been to Hawaii and he doesn't know who he's dealing with :)
I called my Grandmother the night before we left for Hawaii. I learned a lot about Hawaii from a Wikipedia page, and I learned a lot about my grandmother from our conversation.
She's been to Hawaii 4 times. She thought Honalulu looked too much like Miami. She traveled there in 1945 after her husband returned from the armed forces.
I said, "wow, what was it like going to Hawaii before it was a state?" She said she thought it was a state back then. (According to Wiki, it became a state in Aug 1959, but it was a U.S. Territory before then, so I suppose it would be like going to Puerto Rico)
She said she traveled to most of the islands and her favorite was "the garden isle."
We had a miscommunication where she asked me where we were going and I said Kauai. She said, "sorry I didn't understand you." So I said it again. She still didn't understand. So I spelled it for her. Finally, she said, "oh, Hawaii, the big island." That's not my favorite one, but you should like it."
I didn't have the heart to correct her. Good thing Kauai is the garden isle. She would love to see our photos, if she could still see.
Then she started saying that Ryan and I should visit....(she couldn't think of the state....so she came up with facts to help me guess it)....the 50th state.
Hmmm. I know Hawaii is the 50th state admitted to the U.S. (Alaska was admitted Jan 1959 and Hawaii Aug 1959) but we were just talking about Hawaii, so I guessed "Alaska?"
She said no, it's the 50th state" so I guessed Hawaii.
She said "no, it's that cold one attached to Canada"
"Yep, that's the one. It's beautiful. I keep trying to get your father to go there."
Whew. That was enough understandings for the night. Regardless, I was even more excited to see Hawaii, making a mental note to try and see Alaska before I started getting senile.
So we get to Hawaii and meet up with our friends, Jonathan and Amberlee. We rented a car. We tried our hardest to score a free upgrade, but the lady giving us the car wasn't cooperative.
We also tried to add me as a second driver, but that was almost as expensive as getting me my own rental car, so we opted out.
So much for my wild and crazy driving around Hawaii.
We hopped in the car, determined to find food before we spontaneously combusted. It was 4pm Hawaii time, and 9 pm our time. We were famished.
We all threw on our seat belts and drove out of the lot. Except for Amberlee. Her seatbelt buckle was missing. I tried to help her, but it just wasn't there. I unbuckled my seatbelt and climbed over the top of the seat to look for it in the trunk. No luck. We made Jonathan pull over. He got out of the car, pulled everything out of the trunk, and still couldn't find the seatbelt buckle. We were about to take the car back (although I had already fallen in love with our Nissan Extera, it was super sporty and climbing over the back wheel to sit in my seat made me feel super rugged) when I suggested we look under the seat.
Thank goodness we found the buckles in there! I was getting pretty attached to our rental car!
She snapped the seat back into place, trapping the top part of her seatbelt behind the seat.
"AMBERLEE, PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER! PEOPLE ARE STARVING HERE!!"
She pulled it together, thankfully.
We ate dinner and checked into our condo. There was NO air conditioning. I felt a little like I was in Africa. It was getting late (6pm Hawaii time, 11 pm our time, and we had gotten up at 4 with minimal sleep in between) so we wanted to sleep. But it was so hot.
Ryan wanted me to talk to him, and I tried to, but eventually I said, "sleep has overcome me!" And fell promptly asleep, ending our first day in Hawaii.