Note: Thanks to Irellan for the above photos
Well we are on the way again. Not that we have not travelled in the last year or so, but it has been much more low key after my stroke and we had to cancel our "Portuguese winter" last year due to my stroke then our planned trailer trip to Parksville in May/June on doctor's orders due to my emergency hiatal hernia surgery. We did get to Victoria and Parksville eventually in September, but without the trailer. We had a quick weekend in Jasper with our oldest granddaughter in compensation for her being unable to come with us to Maui, Hawaii where we are now.
We celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary on Friday, March 29 and in celebration we are taking the family to a house in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii for a week.
The holiday did not start very auspiciously. We were up at 3:30 am today and had a quick breakfast, heading to the airport for a 7:00 am flight to Vancouver, connecting with one to Maui. As we left the house, we entered a foggy world. So bad we could not see the lane lines on the road, and after meandering across many lanes we headed onto the ring road leading us to the highway to the airport. Speed was secondary to safety as we slowly inched our way out of town. Fortunately we had left earlier than originally planned and we were in plenty time. I dropped Christine and my sister Nan wit the luggage and took the car to the parking lot, getting a shuttle back.
The ladies had got the luggage tagged and we quickly were processed and our cases on their way. We went through security with minimum delay and into the departure lounge. Fiona, Darcy, Hunter Kooper and Irellan soon appeared to be joined by David and Dawn. Although it was still foggy, we were boarded about the time we would have expected. We settled in for a short flight of lass than one and a half hours. However, we were told there would be a slight delay as we waited for the fog to burn off. Then we were pushed out to a waiting area as the wait continued. 15 minute updates were superseded by 30 minute ones till over four hours had passed. We were then returned to the terminal building where we all deplaned after being told that 84 of the passengers were headed for Maui. We were asked to hang around. We were updated frequently with the news that the Maui plane was being held for us. About 1:20 p.m. we were again asked to board the plane. The pilot claimed he had been delayed before, but never for six and a half hours. We have never seen such fog for so long in Edmonton.
The plane was de-iced and we were on our way. The passengers clapped as we took off. A return to an old tradition where people did that when a plane landed safely. It was a smooth flight and we landed for a quick turnaround. We had quite a long walk to the US customs where we had to go through all the usual formalities of security where Christine's bag was tagged and she had to wait for it to be searched. We proceeded through customs where our boarding passes were checked at least four times and we self registered at video terminals, finally in a line waiting for an officer. Nan, travelling on a British passport was directed to one line and we were told to go with her. We realized this was for non-Canadian or US citizens, so Christine and I hopped into the other queue. As the officer called us, Nan joined us and asked if she could join us. There Nan, who had been fingerprinted and photographed at the video terminal had to have it done again. The process needs to be severely streamlined.
We rushed through the rest of the airport to the gate where we were told the last call for the plane had been made. Christine was in the washroom we passed and Nan went back to hurry her along. Fiona was getting a little anxious.
We were among the last on the plane and settle in for the 6+ hours flight. It was a very smooth flight. Unfortunately it was dark by the time we collected our luggage, which to our surprise was all there. We went and collected our two Dodge Caravans and got ready to drive across the island. As I tried to set the GPS, I discovered a problem. The machine would not recognize the satellites. I had depended on it for our directions, and David was to follow us with the second van. Fortunately, Darcy was my co-pilot and he successfully navigated us to our destination - except that I had memorized the house number wrongly by 20, so we were looking for 1653, which appeared to be an empty lot. On checking the paperwork we realized it was 1673 which we found readily.
We explored the house and unloaded our luggage. It is a lovely spacious house with five bedrooms - three with king sized beds and two with two twin beds. There are four bathrooms, a well equipped kitchen a huge living area upstairs and another good sized living room downstairs. A wrap around deck completes the home.
Darcy and Fiona, David and Dawn set off to get immediate supplies for tonight and tomorrow's breakfast. After some light vittals we all collapsed into bed after a somewhat frustrating and tiring day. The one consolation is that we are here, which this morning looked like a very remote possibility. I believe only the pressure of numbers - half a planeload of passengers bound for the same destination - made this possible.