Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting to Hawaii....

I'm going to try and write a bit more about this trip as it's happening. I didn't write much about Vegas, simply because it was such a flat out time that it was almost impossible to find an hour to sit down, compose your thoughts and write about it.

But I'm hoping Hawaii will give us a little more freedom. We decided that this trip, rather than plan everything to minute detail, we're going to be a little bit more relaxed. Yes, there are things we want to do. However, if we decided to do a helicopter tour of Volcano National Park, we have a few different days we can do it. 

Relaxation is the key. However, before you relax in Hawaii you have to go through the stress of actually getting here.

Honestly, it was probably a moderate in the TFTS (Totally Fucked-up Travel Scale). The first snag was discovering our hotel in Ottawa, Southways, no longer allowed you to store luggage there. When you come down out of the north you often leave pieces of luggage at a hotel and pick them up later. In our case, we brought down a pair of coolers. When I'm coming back in a few weeks times, I could grab the coolers, head out to Costco, stock up on chicken, meats, etc and then take it back up north.

But Southways changed their policy since we booked the rooms. That, combined with it being late at night, their wifi crashing and other crap meant we bascially abandoned the coolers at the hotel. I'll have to buy new ones in a few weeks. So that was frustrating. We won't be going back there again, obviously.

Travel joy number 2 was showing up at the airport. The flight, via United, was Ottawa-Chicago-Honalulu-Hilo. We show up at 4 am for the 6 am flight, however, they have no pilots. Also, they thoughtfully rebooked us for the next day without telling us. After a small meltdown, that was adjusted to Ottawa-Toronto-Los Angeles-Hilo, with some of it now via Air Canada.

You know, say what you will about Air Canada, and I have, at least its international flights are good. We didn't have any problems with Air Canada. Yes, the new international baggage screening in Toronto is a gong show, but that's not their fault. The flight from Toronto to LA was smooth and incident free.

Next problem - LAX. I've read it was a terrible airport, but I didn't grasp the full majesty of how awful it was. For Cathy, her most hated airport has long been Newark. LAX just beat it out. Any other airport if you land at a terminal and have to go to another one, there's a walkway, or train or something. But no. We had to leave security, ask three people where the bus was to transfer us (unbelievably bad signage), spend 20 minutes in traffic to arrive at the next terminal and have to go through security again.

Except there was only one metal detector. So it took another 30 minutes to get through that with the line actually stretching out a door and out on to an overpass. Oh, and I got selected for extra special security screening so myself and the TSA agent became...intimate. He's taking me out to dinner next time I go through LA.

That was followed by six hours in the terminal. Also, our flight was late leaving because the pilot's chair went missing. Seriously.

We travelled American Airlines over Easter and it was bad and United now, and it was bad (seats were awful, pay for food, pay for entertainment, missing pilots, missing chairs)...

I understand complaining about travel can be boring. Everyone has their horror stories. But I seem to recall a lot more times where travel at airports was nice and boring. The drama was minimized. Now it seems like the occasions where nothing goes wrong are the pleasent surprises rather than the norm.

Next up, first days in Hilo....

No comments: