Hawaii Part 1: The LA X Chronicles

Okay so I’m a week late but hey, it’s my birthday today and I’m determined to not do much at work today lol so, I figured I’d share a bit about the trip to Hawaii.  Since it may get a little bit long, I’ll break it up into a few parts.  Here’s part 1 and it’s going to be the most boring part, to be honest.  But if you return within the next few days, I promise to have better tales of beach, drinking, and debauchery.  And I’ll even throw in a little bit of Lost.

So I left Raleigh on Thursday morning on a 8:35am flight.  My connection was at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport in Texas.  Everything went smoothly except we landed early and they had no gate for us because other planes were delayed a bit going out because of the weather.  It was a bit of a mad dash from my arrival gate to the next terminal and my departure gate, but I made it in time for the last boarding call.  This flight was awesome because I had the entire row to myself and there were TVs on board.  I slept a bit for each flight, which was also awesome since I got about 3 hours sleep on Wednesday night.

Got to LAX (or LA X just to keep in line with the Lost/dork theme of the weekend) early and had to change terminals from American Airlines to Delta.  I got a bit confused because LA X is the devil.  I was stumbling around all groggy because I had just woken up and was still exhausted but I managed to find the Delta terminal and went through security with no problem.

That was the last time that day that I had no problem with anything.

So I got there with about 1.5 hours until my flight was supposed to leave, which was 2:45pm.  Althought it was like 1:15pm in California, my body thought it was 4:15pm and I had yet to eat that day.  So I found a California Pizza Kitchen by my gate (which wasn’t difficult as every single thing there was a CPK) and stuffed my face with a tuna fish sandwich.  Made my way to the gate, where lots of people were already waiting.  Called my parents and grandparents to tell them I was all safe and sound and as I’m doing that, I hear an announcement that my flight is going to be delayed 20 minutes.  “No problem,” I figured and I texted Jay and reasoned, “We’ll make up for that time in air and I’m sure it’ll all be fine.”  Ha, yeah right.

After a little while, it becomes a 30 minute delay.  Then a 45 minute delay.  The attendants at the gate tell us that there’s an “in-air CPU problem” that they need to fix before we can fly over the water.  Of course there is!  So I’m at this point getting a little bit worked up but hey, 45 minutes will still get me into Hawaii by 7:15pm and that’s still dinner time so I guess it’s okay.

Then it becomes an additional hour delay.  They fixed the problem but now they have to run all the engine tests and that’ll take up to an hour.  We can’t be on board during those tests.  Now I start to get upset.  I won’t get into Hawaii until like 8:30pm at this point and I’m dead on my feet from lack of sleep.  I tell Jay to just go and eat dinner without me.  He refuses. I tell him he’s stupid.  I hang up the phone and go back to freaking out.

So this brings us to about 3:45pm-ish right now.  They tell us that we’re going to be delayed until at least 5pm.  I go up to the gate attendants and one says the next flight out that she can get me on is at 5:55pm.  I say that I don’t want to risk getting on a later flight if ours is scheduled for 5pm.  She tells me go come back at 4:30, because that’s when there will be another update.  Great.  Oh and the best part?  They gave us $10 food vouchers for our troubles that did not even work on cocktails.  WTF? Don’t they realize that the way to calm angry people is to give them money to buy a friggin’ drink?

So I’ve been around the airplane-delay-block a few (dozen) times before.  I know that when you get meal vouchers for a 2.5 hour delay, it means that you’re going to be there longer than 2.5 hours.  I reacted accordingly, as I tend to do in life.  So I head over to the California Pizza Kitchen again and do my best Jack Shephard impression, which included crying to my waitress over a double Jack Daniels & Diet Coke.  Then I ordered a Garlic Chicken Pizza to go just for the sake of spending Delta’s money.

So I head back to the gate at like 4:20pm because I see a crowd has started to gather again.  Our plane’s pilot was making an announcement that the engine check had found that there was a problem with a valve that controls cabin pressure.  Our new estimated time of departure was 7pm PDT.  I was on the phone with my mom at that point and totally bust into tears.  I knew I was embarrassing myself but I was so tired and frustrated and all I wanted to do was get to Hawaii and go to sleep that I couldn’t help myself.  I went up to the desk to ask them what my options were.  The pilot had seen me all teary-eyed on the phone during his announcement that he came over to me to ask me if I were okay.  “No, I’m not okay!” I cried at him.  He ended up having them put me on the 5:55pm flight, which was incredibly nice of him.  I apologized for the outburst profusely and thanked him even more.

I went over to my new gate and ended up eating the entire Garlic Chicken pizza by myself.  Which, as you will learn in my Friday story, ended up being a somewhat good thing.

We took off on time at 5:55pm.  My first flight, which was originally supposed to leave at 2:45pm, ended up leaving at 6:00pm.  It took us 6 hrs 20 minutes hours to get to Hawaii from LA X.  It was supposed to only take 5 hrs 45 minutes to get there.  There must have been some bad winds or they were letting the other plane land first.

One final story: I ended up falling asleep on and off for about 4 hours of that flight.  The other part of that flight, I was reading the first of the True Blood books, “Dead Until Dark.”  When the plane landed and I got up to stretch before they let us off, I noticed that none other than Carrie Preston (wife of Michael Emerson) was sitting two rows behind me.  Carrie Preston plays Arlene in the TV show True Blood (the red head who has been married a bunch of times).  I just thought that was funny.  Jay texted me that Michael Emerson was waiting at the airport so he wasn’t surprised that Carrie was on my flight.  He said that he was hiding in the corner though so he and Clif did not disturb him.

At this point, it was like 10:15pm in Honolulu and my body felt like it was 3:15am.  I was beat.  After we got to the Halekulani hotel, I went out to dinner with Jay, Clif, Jack and Cyndi (Jay’s mom).  I know I wasn’t much fun though.  I could barely keep my eyes open and didn’t eat anything other than Jay’s pickle (That’s what she said, now shut up).  Went to bed almost immediately upon getting back to the hotel.

Friday, however, is when the fun REALLY started…

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