Sunday, May 28, 2006

Aloha! Honolulu, Hawaii

I am currently 34,000 feet in the air, doing some rough math that is just under 7 miles above the earth. A little over two hours ago I left Ireland. ( I was there only an hour and saw nothing more than one terminal, a duty free shop and a few dozen Irish natives.) From the windows I could see that Ireland is truly as beautiful as it has been described countless times before. And from the duty shop I had a small glimpse as to why the Irish are stereotyped as drunkards, Over half of the souvenir shop was stock full of different Whiskeys and alcohol of the like. As of right now I have flown just under a third of the total distance that I will cover before today is over. As we left Kuwait at just before midnight 13 hours ago we have been racing the sun across the earth. (Albeit we had a heck of a lead to begin with, but in our defense we are traveling against both time and distance where as both of these factors work for the sun. As it stands right now I should be arriving in Hawaii about a quarter to 8 pm local time. Just in time to see my first Hawaiian sun set. Let me tell you in a little more detail the events of the past two days. I left my trailer for the pax terminal (on post airport terminal) at 3:15 pm Iraqi time. We were scheduled to leave on a flight bound for Kuwait at 6:15 pm. That flight had some kind of mechanical problem and so they decided to fly over us with out stopping to pick us up. They told us that we could either wait around the terminal and hope another flight had room or come back the next day. We (consisting of myself and one female from my unit that is going on leave as well. She has a huge family in fact she is the second youngest of 7 children, we will call her "Six of Seven" or "Six" for short. After three hours of just sitting we were told that there was a 0120 flight that had four seats available at first come first serve basis starting at a 1040 show time. At this point there were a total of 9 of us waiting for the flight so needless to say we were all trying to justify why we were convinced that we should be one of those four. At about ten twenty we got in line (Six and I would have been the first two in line but there were two others in front of us that didn’t get in line they just hovered around the counter until they were helped. They were very rude and kept saying they didn’t need to wait in line because they had to be on this flight) Luckily all of the hullabaloo was for nothing as it turned out that the flight had plenty of seats to accommodate us. We arrived in Kuwait at about 2:30am and after a briefing that lasted over an hour we were told to meet back out front at 0730. We were all completely starving at this point and the only food place that was open was the McDonald’s so we had a very earlier breakfast and tried to kill time until 0730. Which I think brings us to when I last posted my blog. I ended up running into RFG at the 0730 meeting (he had read the blog and realized where I would be, He said he was looking for me for about ten minutes and that he actually found me because I sneezed, for those of you who don’t know I have a very loud, very distinctive sneeze.) RFG is doing fine he was coming back from leave so needless to say he was not nearly as excited about his next flight. At this point we turned in our non essential equipment (Flak vests and helmets, Our weapons were turned in before we left Tallil.) and waited around for the 1400 hundred lock down. Which i spent primarily with RFG, we talked about his leave and his family and all that kind of fun stuff, Six headed off to get a couple hours of much needed sleep. At 2oopm (1400) we started the last of our briefings, which basically told us what to expect with customs and what was forbidden to leave the country, ie war trophies historical artifacts... yadda yadda... after the briefing they put us in a secured area and gave us our e-tickets for our connecting flights, (after Dallas i will be headed to Los Angeles and then finally onto Hawaii.) Six and I were separated do to alphabetical complications. Basically they split us up into two groups A-L & M-Z as you know I am at the beginning of the alphabet, Six both in her nick name and in her actual name are at the end of the alphabet. As the time for departure grew close they had us all form up in alphabetical order (no small task for nearly 3 hundred people let me tell you.) and filed us onto busses and eventually onto the plane. There were about twenty or so empty seats so we were able to hook up and are currently sitting next to each other in aisle 13... Luckily I am not superstitious... Six is very excited to be going home as she hasn't seen her husband in over eight months... She is also from Idaho but i am not quite sure where in Idaho exactly. Well that has you up to date as of right now, If I am able I am going to post this at a public access point in Dallas... As it turned out I was able to catch a direct flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Honolulu. I literally had to run all the way to the connecting flight as it was set to depart less than 25 minutes after I stepped off the flight from Ireland. That was by far the best of all my flights. All though it was an eight hour flight I was able to sit in first class...Which would have been awesome by itself not to mention the standing round of applause that started as soon as I stepped on the plane... Needless to say I was blushing.... Let me just say off the bat, First class is expensive for a reason.. The service is ridiculous, I literally had three stewards at my beck and call had a 3 course meal including dessert and it was delicious... i can't imagine ever wanting to fly any other way.... I had a chance to call the grand parents the second before i stepped on the flight (an older civilian woman offered to let me use her cell.) So that I would be able to inform them I was going to be in 5 hours earlier than we had originally planned... After I arrived my grandparents met me at the baggage claim and we proceeded to go out to the car (after much hugging and aloha's) And true to form i managed to fall down in the parking lot as a car was driving towards me, I believe at this point all my former claims of being a klutz were forever cemented in my grand parents memory. I checked into my hotel (Exquisite but more on that at a later date.)and took a much, much needed shower. And then we went shopping i had almost been on the island 4 hours and had already spent four hundred dollars... You have to love it.... tonight is going to be early to bed to try and get some much needed sleep and the fun begins tomorrow... I will be swimming with a Dolphin, how awesome is that?????
Riddle Me This...
The Answer to yesterday’s riddle is as follows...
A Clock
And today’s riddle is..
What builds up castles, tears down mountains, makes some blind, helps others to see???

2 comments:

Gram & Gramps said...

Sand!! And now you have plenty of the good kind to play in for the next two weeks.

But you are such a wonderful klutz. It will be so much fun to compete with you to see which of us can be the biggest klutz.

Several of our friends have sent us similar stories of military personnel being applauded when they boarded planes and we are so glad that it happened to you.

We are looking forward to taking pictures of you swimming with the dolphins tomorrow.

Love you

Gram & Gramps

Anonymous said...

Enjoy my dear Mallard. Leave all worries packed in your bags, and have the time of your life. Fly high and be safe. Enjoy the love of your family. Your in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. I hope your camera is working well! Always ... M.Duck