Thursday, August 03, 2006

All Good Things Must End!

Thought I should finish up the saga of the Hawaiian vacation since we have been home for almost a month now. So here is the final installment: Our last day in Maui was pretty uneventful. We had breakfast at the hotel and then Hubby went and had a massage on the beach. (I put the censored in because he is a little shy about being topless on the blog!) They had a little cabana set up and he got an hour long massage. He was feeling pretty good for our trip home.

The plane left Maui on time, we had a little mix up with the gate number for our departure and for some reason we had to change seats after the first leg of our flight home but we made it to the plane and we did get First Class seating on the way back. We flew from Maui to Kona and had about an hour layover there. There was a cute statue of two Hawaiian children. That airport is built on top of a lava flow.The picture is hazy due to the airplane windows but the dark strips are lava.
This Lava looks like what you typically see in pictures. Black tar like rocks with deep cracks in them. The airport looks like they just poured the concrete airstrips right over the top of it. It was not tilled up or anything planted on it. The airport is open air with just pavillions to wait for your flight under.

The flight left Kona a little late and was running late getting into Chicago. The seats were okay but not the great beds that we had on the trip from LA to Oahu. I was spoiled after that ride. Some people slept on this flight but we were mostly awake, reading our books or watching the movies. I could watch them but could not understand the dialog, fortunately they were pretty simple movies. Ice Age 2 and The Shaggy Dog, so most of the gags were visual. We were late arriving in Chicago and had to run to a different terminal to catch our connecting flight back to Houston. They said that it would be a 2 1/2 hour flight but in reality it was only about 2 hours from Chicago to Houston. It was a little hopper plane but had the nicest flight attendants of all the flights we flew. That is probably due to the fact they were not United Employees!

We arrive in Houston about 9am and lo and behold one of our bags does not show up. So we hike over to the lost baggage desk and I stay with the other luggage while Hubby goes to the counter. Guess who is behind the desk--Rude Employee #1- the same lady who was at the ticket counter on the flight out 8 days earlier. There was no mistaking it was the same woman, she had a freaky half afro/half corn row hair do! She had not become any friendlier in the last week either. She practically threw a claim ticket at Hubby and said the bag should come in on a 10:30 flight and to call that number to have it delivered to us. So Hubby and I call the hotel to come pick us up (minus one bag) and take us to get the car. Then we decide to go get something to eat and call the airline to try to get the bag delivered to Hubby's brother's house (where we are going to get some sleep because we are both exhausted by this point)

Oh, I should meantion that brother and family are not home, they are already in Dallas waiting on us to get there to have family birthday party for Hubby's grandmother and for us to pick up darling daughter. So we stop to eat and call airline about lost bag. There was no one intelligent enough to even take the address down and tell us when the bag might be delivered to us. So hubby was getting a little hot under the collar (BTW--hubby is the calm one in the family!)He finally told them to just forget about it, we would return to the airport and pick up the bag ourself. So hubby drops me off and I go into the baggage claim area to get the bag. Now, I have my ID, my claim ticket, and my luggage stubs all ready because I figure it is going to be a hassle to get this bag. I walk up to the baggage carousel and Rude Employee #1 is pulling bags off the conveyor belt. I see my bag, walk up to her and say "that is my bag, may I have it?" She says "I guess" and I walked off with the bag. She did not ask me for any ID or Claim tags, nothing! I don't believe she knew who I was because I had not gone up with Hubby to the lost bag counter. She just let me walk off with the bag. Once I got the bag in my hand though, I high tailed it out of there before she could change her mind.

We went to BIL house and took a shower and crashed for about 4 hours. Then we went out to dinner and came back and crashed again. We got up at 5 am the next morning and drove 6 hours to hubby's grandparents home (on the TX/OK border) and surprised his grandmother at her birthday party! Darling Daughter was happy to see us and waited a whole 90 seconds before asking "what did you bring me"? We enjoyed spending time with hubby's extended family before heading back to the Dallas area to hubby's parents house.

The next day was Sunday, so after going to church with his family (13 of us) we had a nice lunch at his parents before returning home (5 hour drive) Boy was it good to be back home and sleep in our own beds.


Sandy said...

Kona is my fave airport : )

Bet you were glad to be home with dear daughter, traveling can get so tiring...esp with all the mishaps you had! They don't check for claim tickets here either...dangerous

jettybetty said...

The trip home is grueling no matter--overnight and all--but I think it is soooo worth it to spend a few days in Hawaii.

When are you going back???

MAK said...

JB- not as soon as I would like. Now that we are home all the bills are coming in. Yikes! The trip itself was paid for but now all the dinners and gifts for people and gasoline to drive all over that beautiful island are coming in. Maybe they will come thru with a couple of tickets to compensate us for our troubles and then we will be able to go back! Sure would like to take darling daughter with us next time but am afraid she would be quite the complainer on such a long trip. If you ever come down to SA maybe you can talk to her about that complaining is a sin business. I am not sure I am the best example of that. I try not to complain but it is hard. I would go back to Maui tomorrow if I could but hope to go during whale season next time.

Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

Hey -

Sorry to be so long in commenting. Things have been busy here, finally, for which I'm glad, but it sure has cut into my blogging time!

We are waiting for word from Tom's boss's boss (who offered the company paid trip in the first place last December) as to how much, exactly, the company will absorb of our expenses and how much they have in mind, total, that we can spend. Once we find that out, then we're (I'm) ready to start making reservations for flights, car rentals, hotels, etc, for the last week of September to Santa Fe and the rest of northern New Mexico.

Just yesterday I was in the Post Office here talking with the guy behind the counter and he was telling me he was in the military and stationed for a number of years in New Mexico and thinks it is the most beautiful state he's ever seen.

That was encouraging to tell Tom, since all he's ever seen of New Mexico pretty much is Carlsbad and Carlsbad Caverns, which is really terrific in it's own right, but not exactly great sight seeing above ground. (Years ago when my kids were all still at home we made a trip from South Mississippi to Tucson, Arizona and the kids all 3 voted that the very best part of the trip was walking down into and back out of Carlsbad Caverns, which is truly a magnificent place. I don't know if they still do it, but years ago when I was growing up, anyway, at one point they would turn all of the lights out in front of a massive dome (stalagmite) and all visitors sitting there in the incomprehensible dark would sing, a cappella, of course, "Rock of Ages." Talk about awe inspiring.)

Glad you had such a great trip and glad you made it home relatively unscathed.

Again, sorry I'm so far behind in commenting.