Friday, January 04, 2008

We're Baaaaack!

Hard to believe it's been so long since I've written on this Blog - Dec. 14th was the last post. That was a fairly good day. I found out that night that our hard drive was intact and they were repairing the power pack and backing up the drive. And Rachel's fever had gone down so we would be able to catch our flight - so that she would be sobbing "this is the most horrible trip ever, I wish we had stayed at home" in LAX 24 hours later.

Everyone has to have a bad travel story. Right? We're working on several now - can't forget about the London trip.

I know we don't get much sympathy for going to Hawaii for 2 weeks of our Christmas break but ... they are 11 hours behind Switzerland and it takes anywhere between 24 to 27 hrs to fly to/from - this is flight departure to arrival time only - doesn't include the getting to/from airport time. In short, it's no small effort to get there and you need the time to recuperate from the hang-over, I mean, jet-lag (they feel similar, not that I've ever been hung-over in my lifetime :) ). But I love my sister and her family and we just HAD to go - she keeps having these cute babies!

So on the way to the airport, Bart and I decide that getting up at 3:45am for a flight was a new record for us. To catch on-time flights to Heathrow then on to LAX - oh my gosh but 13hrs or so on a plane is a long time. May I just add that the security and number of times we had those passports out was unsurpassed as of yet. Then we landed in LA and found our flight to Kona was delayed for 45 min. No big deal - these things happen.

We go park ourselves for the next 2+ hrs in the Admirals Club (perk of certain flights we take) and then arrive for boarding at the gate only to wait another half hour so they can "clean the plane." By now we are begging the girls to stay awake until we get on the plane because we have now all been officially awake for 24 hrs - they did not nap on the Heathrow to LAX flight! And the girls are falling asleep standing up. We get on the plane, Kendra promptly falls asleep and Rachel is getting ready.

Once everyone boards - it is about 8pm now, they announce that due to mechanical issues they cannot resolve, the flight is canceled, and "could everyone please go to the customer service counter where you will be issued vouchers for hotels and rescheduled for your destination." Bart is my hero. He was on his Blackberry before he was off the jetway and about 6th in line at the counter. Believe me - he can rival any Swiss at marching thru a line - and boy can they strong-arm in line. That's a topic for another day.

But - Rachel started crying on the plane. She was so tired - she does NOT operate well under sleepless conditions. And I'm sure people thought she was spoiled, not realizing she wasn't crying about getting to HI - she just wanted to sleep. Kendra woke up enough to get off the plane and then curled up in a chair and fell asleep again by customer service. But Rachel planted herself at the base of a pole and sobbed with her head between her knees - for about 1/2 hour. All I could do was pat her head and stand next to her. She just had nothing left - and thus the "this is the most horrible trip....." comments.

We did make it to the hotel, we caught our flight to Honolulu next morning then on to Kona. So all in all, our anticipated 26+ hr trip to Kona ended up being a 44+ hr trip. We were tired. But we woke up (at 5am), put on swim suits and flip flops and felt much better the next day.

We had a lovely time with each other and then with family on Oahu. More about that later. And pictures eventually when we get our tower back - the Swiss are slowly making their way back to work. I think I woke the computer guy up when I called yesterday afternoon - their first day back to work since the holiday started - Christmas Eve! I don't think anyone anywhere is really working unless they are at a grocery store - their just hanging out and getting ready for next week before they do any actual work. I'm just callin' it like I see it.

Will have to do this in small pieces - a lot to get caught up on at home AND the girls got Webkinz for Christmas - need I say more. Mom gets reduced computer time 'til school starts again.

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