"Awesome!" A Blog.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Some thoughts on my vacation to Kauai

The Flight There

Flights to Hawaii are markedly different from those to less exotic destinations. The flight crews are veterans who have earned the prized route (as per union guidelines, flight crew members get to stay over a night or two in destination cities, paid for by the airline) so they are top-notch personnel. Because of the cherry route, they’re usually in a good mood and they play little games with the passengers. On our flight, they gave us the total flight distance, rate of speed, a few red herrings, and asked us to calculate at what time we would be exactly halfway done with the trip. Passengers in 16D, 23A, and 26A guessed correctly* so there was a guess-off on how many cumulative years of service the flight attendants had between them. I forget the total, but my aisle-mate in 16D won. The prize was macadamia nuts in a cumbersome, inconvenient basket.

Also noteworthy was the in-flight entertainment, which we were told would be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but in fact turned out to be a video of concerned-looking children going in and out of a mobile home and saying “Hagrid’s not looking well.”

* 12:10PM PST

Rental Cars

I’m not one to go in all big and showy when I rent a car in some place I don’t live. It’s the dregs of the lot for me: “Do your worst!” I say to the clerk on the phone. A few moments later I ring up again and yell “I mean it!” to drive the point home. So, we usually end up with a Dodge (or whoever makes it, it doesn’t really matter) Neon. Shortly after landing and procuring our royal blue Neon, we discovered a tremendous odor of thoroughly smoked cigarettes coming from somewhere inside the air-conditioning vents. We turned around and exchanged the vehicle.

This time around our Neon (again royal blue, but this time with fancy buttons on the key ring) slid out of the lot odor-free. About two minutes later, the engine began to lug like it had been lubed with Chex Mix. Whatever the problem was, I wasn’t prepared to attempt to fix it in the parking lot of the Nawiliwili Marriott with a six-iron, so we returned this little juice box as well.

Now sportily outfitted with a red Neon which blew Febreeze from the grates and purred like a nursing kitten, we could finally begin our adventures about the island. So far, our list of activities looked like this:

1) return Neon (??)

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I may continue jotting down my notes if I feel like it.