This is 40 - Getting there is Half the Battle (Day 1)
Thursday, April 30th
Early morning flights, man. I always have such great intentions. Because the flight is so early, I have to leave the house early. Because I have to leave the house early, I have to wake up early. Because I have to wake up early, I have to go to sleep early.
I never am able to go to sleep early.
So every time, I am struggling in the morning. My eyes burn. I have to finish packing. It's never as smooth a process as it should be. But whatever. Today is a travel day!!
I referenced my First Class flights yesterday. It is on today!! But I'm flying with US Airways. I think I was on US Airways once before, but I wasn't sure how this was going to work. My flights were booked on American. So was I checking in on US Airways or American Airlines?? The answer, US Airways.
Unfortunately, the US Airways counter is significantly smaller than American's. And if it is possible for the US Airways travelers to be dumber, I think they were. There was nothing I could put my finger on. It was just...people were weirdly dumb. From the woman who chose not to notice everyone telling her to move to the open kiosk to the other person standing in front of the kiosk, not seeing the "Start Here" button. They were everywhere.
Now, I was there in plenty of time, so I wasn't worried about running late. So I could wait in line with no problems. But the dumb was irritating me just enough. The woman behind the counter must have psychically felt the waves of irritation pulsing from my body and grabbed my stuff. Luggage checked, I was on my way.
Just so you don't think I am a newbie on the whole packing thing ("What do you mean you are checking your luggage??"). Stop clutching your pearls. There was a very specific reason for checking luggage. I have six bottles of sunscreen coming to Hawaii with me. Those cannot fit in a quart-sized plastic baggie. This is why I checked luggage. So, don't give me any crap. I'm trying not to die of sun poisoning.
It was still early, so the TSA Pre Check line wasn't too bad. I learned the Fitbit in my bra wasn't going to set off alarms, so that's good. I threw my two carry on bags on the conveyor belt and waited for my turn in the scanner. Side note, I do have two carry on bags on the plane this time. The second bag is filed with magazines and hats. Yes, that's it. Weirdest carry on ever.
In front of me was an older couple. The woman went through the scanner first, then the man. Well, that was the theory at least. The woman walked through and the guy followed behind her so closely that you'd have thought they were conjoined twins. Mr TSA asked them both to go back and walk through again. She did and was fine. He went through and the machine beeped. Mr TSA asked the man to go through again and said, "Do you have a cell phone in your pocket or anything??" Guy was like, "Yes I do!!" In an "I'm so proud I have a cell phone" kind of way. Mr TSA calmly asked the man to take the cell phone out of his pocket and place it in the bin. Meanwhile, Mr TSA and I caught each other's eye and shook our heads. "This is what I have to deal with all day," he said to me underneath his breath as I walked through the detector.
Soon enough, it was time to board the plane. I got on in time to find a guy sitting in my assigned seat. Now I had just read an article about how passengers have started sitting where ever they wanted to, and then don't move when called out on their stupid action. This was not an argument I wanted to get into so early in the morning, but I was not about to sit on the aisle. The guy looked incredulous when I mentioned he was in my seat. "Oh, I must be thinking of my next flight." Yeah. Sure you were.
My victory was short lived as a family came in and slid into First Class. The...let's say 8 year old kid sat behind me. His feet quickly began kicking my seat. Dad tried to tell the boy to cut it out. Maybe I should have let the guy stay in that seat.
I wasn't sure what to expect with First Class in US Airways. I'm not gonna lie...I was a little disappointed. There was no in-flight entertainment, no outlet to charge mobile devices. The seats were nice and wide, which worked. I didn't expect a pod with a bed, but maybe I expected an outlet?? I had breakfast, so that was nice. No booze with breakfast though.
Three hours later, I had landed in Phoenix. I wasn't sure what the First Class situation was going to be on the flight to Hawaii, but before I figured that out, I had to find some juice for my phone. Seriously, PHX...you shouldn't have to basically enter Thunderdome in order to find an outlet. I finally found an empty one, but it was directly in the path of the sunlight. There was a reason no one was there. Because it was about 90 degrees in that particular spot. Now, I was planning on wearing tank tops during my visit to Hawaii, but I wasn't ready to do it in Phoenix.
I did get my phone to 80% and that was as much as I thought I could do. I moved closer to my gate and waited. When the call for First Class passengers was made, I was there. Right there. First one on the flight. Woo Hoo!!
Now I'll be done soon with the "Ooh...First Class" thing. But here's the reality, I am not a First Class person. I kept looking over my shoulder thinking someone was going to tell me to go back to my rightful place in Coach. So I'm gonna milk this for as long as possible.
My seat mate came a little later. She lives in Maui and was giving me the scoop on everything, She's been on the island for 28 years. Cute story, she saw an article about Hawaii in National Geographic when she was a kid and knew she needed to live there. Adorable. So I did something I don't normally do. I had a very long conversation with a stranger. Yay, me!!
While I was getting acquainted with the person sitting next to me, I realized a large contingent of children started filling up First Class. I mean, I posted it on Facebook, but is this really a thing that happens?? Not only are kids going to Maui, but they are flying in First Class?? I'm almost 40 and this is my first time. And this was only because I cashed in frequent flyer miles!!
To make it worse, behind me was the screaming baby. Wait. I'm wrong. The screaming baby with the sniping parents ("Can you just hold him for a second while I get situated??"). So, even better. I asked for wine early and often. Because when I say screaming baby, I mean it. Baby barely stopped screaming for six hours.
This plane was a bit better. There are overhead screens for entertainment purposes (I watched Annie...not bad), but no outlet for electronics. When I asked the Flight Attendant of there was an outlet, she said there wasn't because it was "too much of a battery drain. And I didn't want the plane to lose battery over the ocean, did I??"
Ummm...I'm gonna call bullshit on this particular story. Cause I've been on plenty of long haul planes with outlets. I think this is just an old plane. I don't have a problem with old planes, but don't lie to me.
I jumped from movie to iPad to nap and back again. But here's a bit of joy I found in the midst of a screaming baby (seriously, he just didn't stop). XFinity has this app where you can download episodes from your DVR on your iPad. And it never worked. Now it does. So I had three hours of The Amazing Race to catch up on. It was fantastic!!
The flight was almost 6 hours, I think. We had lunch and a sundae. I think I always knew, but you do really get fed in First Class.
Happily, I was starting to get antsy around the time they said we were 20 minutes away from the airport. So, I packed up my area and stared out of the window. There it is. Maui.
The Maui Airport looks like it was built in the 1950s and never really upgraded. For someone that lives in cold weather, it is that baffling kind of architecture where there are no windows and everything is mostly outside. You walk to Baggage Claim and the left hand side of the "building" doesn't exist. Oh, it's like weather isn't even a thing to these people here.
I made a reservation with SpeediShuttle to get to my hotel. Finding the SpeediShuttle people weren't super easy, but when I finally did, it was good timing. The rest of the people going to the Hyatt were all beginning to get in the shuttle. I wasn't sure what would happen if I missed this one. I would probably have had to wait for another group. And I was starting to get a small travel headache. Unfortunately, I sat next to a guy on the shuttle who was a big fan of Manspreading and thought deodorant didn't apply to him. My headache only grew in that 45 minute drive.
I texted Adele during this drive (not super often, because I didn't need to add Car Sick to my list of exhaustion symptoms) telling her I couldn't get over the feeling of Maui. It reminded me of when we went to Easter Island. Now, once we started driving by Pizza Hut, I changed my mind, but the areas that were not built up...shades of Rapa Nui.
Two hours from the time I landed, I finally opened the door to my room. I'll go into the hotel situation later. But the room was lovely. The hotel itself is very nice. I did spring for a Partial Ocean View (hoping for an upgrade for my birthday...that didn't happen) and I love that I can keep the window open and hear the ocean.
I also walked into the room to find a lovely bottle of Cava chilling on the table. Nicely played, Adele. Nicely played.
I unpacked and did a bit of a walk through in the hotel. I found the shaved ice people almost immediately. I mean, it was intentional. They closed at 5p. I needed this before they closed. I regret nothing.
After walking up the beach and figuring out where most things were, I went back to the room. This is the part I struggle with the most while on vacation (especially solo). I don't have to be doing something at all times!! It was 530p here. 1030p back home. I'd had a full day of travel, was still dealing with a headache, and I didn't have to regret the fact that all I wanted to do was lie down for a bit. So I did. A little while later, I did go back downstairs to the concierge to ask about shuttles and cabs and such. I also did a loop to see if there was anything in the hotel I was hungry for. There wasn't. I went back to my room and got ready for bed. I'd like to think I made it to 8p, but I'm not sure that is realistic. Tomorrow though, that's where the relaxation really happens.