Hartford to Hawaii

After a day spent in the sun on the Big Island of Hawaii, it’s already difficult to remember that I was driving to the airport in a driving snowstorm just two nights ago. Emily and I left after 9 p.m. and didn’t arrive at the hotel until after midnight. It’s rare that I drive 20 mph on an interstate and it takes a lot longer to arrive at that speed. The result was a short 4 hours until the alarm clock went off for my early morning departure. I said a tearful goodbye to my daughter, wished her luck for her grad school interview that day and went out to meet the shuttle bus.

One of the benefits of solo travel is being able to grab the last seat on the bus leaving a crowd of other early morning risers behind (who were all at great risk of missing flights). I checked in easily for my first class flight courtesy of my generous friend, Michael, who surprised me with an upgrade. What an amazing difference it is to fly first class! I checked my bags for free, enjoyed real food on real plates and loved the comfort of the seats. On the first flight, my seat mate was an older woman traveling with her family. Her granddaughter joined us for part of the trip charming the flight attendant to feed her as well as us. She really liked seeing herself in this photograph on my ipad.

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On the flight from Dallas to Honolulu, I had even more fun. My seat mate and I hit it off right from the beginning, enjoying conversation while we sipped champagne and ate tropical fruit and nuts. I got to experience the fully reclining seats, soft blankets and full size pillows that allowed a mid-flight snooze where I actually slept for an hour or so. Bliss! The 8 hour flight flew by as I enjoyed a delicious salmon lunch, a glass of free wine, listened to music and shared apps with Ken.

It was a dash through the airport to get to my next flight to Kona. I made it but one of my bags did not. It was a long, tiring wait at the baggage claim waiting for the next flight to come in. It wasn’t a bad place to wait though, as the area was in open 80 degree air. Almost 24 hours of travel took its toll, I realized, as I kept my eyes closed in the taxi to my hotel room. I was in bed when my friend Judy arrived from North Carolina and our reunion was quick as we both fell quickly to sleep.

The jet lag was fine by morning after a good night’s sleep. Our friend Sandra whom we met on the Southern Tier cross country bike ride happens to be on the island on vacation with her husband. She met up with us at our hotel to walk into town for breakfast on the beach. We spent the day exploring the little shops (Obama bobble head dolls for your dashboard?), seeing where the Ironman triathalon is held, shopping for papaya, avocados, and fresh tomatoes at the farmers market and lots of laughing. I had my first Hawaiin shaved ice, a delicious frozen confection in an entirely different category than our Eastern snow cones. In the afternoon, Sandra took us to a beach where we saw sea turtles and beautiful reef fish as we snorkeled in the cove.

We met up with a woman who will be on our bike trip, Liz, for dinner. I had my first spear fish, a local amber colored fish broiled to perfection, served at our table next to the ocean. The sun went down as we told stories.

Out of practice in writing my blog on my ipad, I forgot to insert the pictures. Maybe I’m not over jet lag as much as I thought! Is 7:30 too early to go to bed? Here are a few images from my first day in Hawaii. I think I’m going to like it here.

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12 Comments

  1. Phyllis Biegun

     /  January 22, 2012

    Judy and Sandra and you in Hawaii, Oh I must admit I am beyond jealous.

    Reply
  2. Love the picture of you with Hawaiin style snow cone! It symbolizes you “going for it”!

    Reply
  3. Marianne Büttner

     /  January 22, 2012

    Ellen,

    What an adventure! Such gorgeous photos of life in Hawaii in January! It is -4 degrees this morning in Sudbury, Mass. Brrrrrrr.

    Reply
  4. Janie

     /  January 22, 2012

    Ken? Hmmmmmm

    Reply
  5. Candice Stein

     /  January 22, 2012

    Loved finding your blog entry when I got up this morning. And how wonderful to know that you are with Judy and Sandra! Hugs to all of you.

    Reply
  6. Mary Blake

     /  January 22, 2012

    I, too, enjoyed finding your blog when I awoke this am. Love the pictures of you 3 ST riders and all the other photos that you share. To think I could be with you guys, how I kick myself.
    Good luck to Emily. I can’t imagine her not making a lasting impression on her interviews.
    Your fingernail is black, take care of it.
    I’ll enjoy your life through your blogs.

    Reply
  7. Barbara

     /  January 22, 2012

    Not so sure what the big deal is…….it got up to 10 here yesterday!!! The bright side of that is that sno-cones don’t melt in those temps. Okay, wicked jealous already.

    Reply
  8. Well, you’re a first class gal, Ellen darlin’. I skied in Jackson NH yesterday and face-planted myself a less tasty sno-cone.

    Reply
  9. Anne Cowan

     /  January 22, 2012

    Great to see you and Judy in the pictures!! Have a great trip! I will be anxiously awaiting each entry on your wonderful journey!

    Reply
  10. Jane Rosser

     /  January 23, 2012

    The pictures of Hawaii make us want to pack those bags and get on the next flight. Needless to say, it’s grey and cold Brattleboro. We’ll be following your postings as you move westward. Jane and Ken

    Reply
  11. Sherry

     /  January 24, 2012

    Hi Ellen, E komo mai! (Welcome in Hawaiian). Glad to see you are enjoying your first stay in Hawaii. It’s a bit more humid than usual, due to what we call Kona winds from the south. It should change in a few days, I hope. Have fun on the Big Island! Aloha, your Maui friend, Sherry

    Reply

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