Wednesday 20 April 2011

Paradise Gone...- Ken

No problem getting up at 3:30 AM and I got the car loaded ( after I walked way down the street) and we were on the road by .

I guess it isn’t terribly surprising that we beat the rush hour to Honolulu. We turned in the car and were dropped at the airport before the employees arrived at . What airport closes? Honolulu!

All passengers have to first put their luggage through a large scanner manned by the Agriculture Dept. Don’t know what they were looking for, but I pretty much keep my smart ass comments to myself in any airport situation. Those people have zero sense of humour. Then we got in line and went to a self serve check in machine that was staffed by airline representatives, not very smart ones it turned out. Anyway, bags checked and on to security. I got to go through the full body scanner for the first time. She insisted that I remove my belt, but was very gentle with me. You always remember your first!

Now, for breakfast our choices were Burger King. After much debate, we decided on Burger King. We shared our meal with a couple of birds which is what happens when you don’t have walls. We killed a couple of hours and finally were allowed to board our Alaska Air flight. Louise took the window which is her seat preference, while mine is the aisle so I took the middle seat and an older woman sat in the aisle seat. She was flying with her husband who sat about four rows away and for some reason he was always smiling when I saw him. I said “Hello, and did you have a nice time.” and “Where are you from? Oh Seattle, I have always wanted to visit, but as yet have not had the opportunity.” She then asked where we stayed and I told her. At this point Louise nudges me and tells me to ask her where she stayed. I am not terribly shy when it comes to talking to strangers, but I really didn’t give a shit where she stayed and just wanted to stop talking to her. Now, however, I had to ask because I think that her hearing is just fine. Blah, blah, blah, me, we, yadda-yadda-yah.

Thank God that is over with! Normally you can’t get me to shut up, but on a plane I like to keep conversation to a bare minimum. There is a very small chance that the person sitting next to you is an interesting, captivating conversationalist that will remember for the rest of your life. More often than not they will start talking about their health issues and the problems caused by liberal minded politicians and their gun laws. But that is to be expected because they are all foreigners that are stealing our jobs and planning to cut our throats while we sleep. For the first hour you have to smile, nod and keep looking longingly at your book/TV/ pen and unsolved puzzle book and eventually pretend to be asleep or cry out to Louise, “ What is a duck doing flying at 30,000 feet?”

If you are lucky enough to have that captivating person beside you, you eventually notice that he/she is just smiling, nodding and keeps looking longingly at their book/TV/ pen and unsolved puzzle book and eventually pretend to be asleep or cry out to their neighbour, “ What is a duck doing flying at 30,000 feet?”  Too many times…too many times.

We had a layover in Seattle of three hours before boarding our Horizon Air plane to Calgary. Seattle has a nice airport and the time went by nicely. When it came time to board we walked down a hall and down some stairs, along another hall and out onto the tarmac. I’ve never done this before, neat! Up a short stair to the airplane and into Munchkin Air.

I know that I need to lose weight , but these seats would be small for anorexics. At least there isn’t anyone beside me because there are two rows of two seats each. Louise took a picture out the window of a propeller plane beside us.

Then the engine started and we knew from the sound and vibration that we were on the quaint plane from yesteryear. Picture if you will, being inside of a very small, very angry bee. I can’t think of why air travel continued if this was the way that it began. The pilot came on after the safety announcements and warned us of the dangers of congregating in one place. I guess the one bathroom. We wouldn’t want the plane to be uncomfortable.

Somehow we landed in Calgary and the stewardess said “ Well, at least the brakes work!” I didn’t know that the brakes working or not was a concern. Yes there is snow on the ground. We pulled a fast one on the Customs folks who believed the amount that we told them is what we bought. Ken Brown picked us up as promised, (thanks Ken) and dropped us off at home.

So ends our stay in Paradise

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