January 28th, 2011

hawaii

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

We are home! I took some photos of one of the gardens in the Honolulu airport, so I will try to post something picture-ish tomorrow.

Things to remember about Kauai:

1. The dirt everywhere on the island is orangey red. This makes a dramatic contrast against all the greenery. It's really beautiful. But it does *not* wash out of white socks. So don't wear white socks on Kauai -- this is my advice. I mean, heck! Just wear "slippahs" (flip-flops)!

Kauai chickens2. People on the island used to raise a lot of chickens for food, but Hurricane Iniki hit the island in 1992 and blew down all the chicken coops ... resulting in gazillions of chickens running free. As a result, 19 years after the hurricane, the island is *swamped* with wild chickens. Everywhere you go, every street you drive down, every town you visit: chickens, chickens, chickens. The roosters crow all day and all night long, with no preference for dawn, so the sound of crowing is pretty much everywhere. I'm not particularly fond of chickens of the uncooked variety.

Anyway, we had a fabulous flight home w/Hawaiian Airlines. I luuurve them to pieces.

We got home to find that the cats are totally freaked out, but at least Cobweb seems healthy and doesn't look skinny. Lucy is running away from us every time we move, with her ears back in her "Something is terribly wrong!" attitude. Munchkin has been the worst, though; there's been lots of yowling and such, and when Shannon tried to pick her up she made such miserable/angry noises that I suggested he put her back down right away. She'll calm down, but I think we should just go about our business until she stops spazzing.

I'm happy to be back in civilization, within easy walking distance of 3 public libraries and dozens of high-quality restaurants of various types. I'll probably write more tomorrow, but right now I just want to relax and watch a "Criminal Minds" rerun. (I'll save the new eps for when I'm more awake.)

Oh, and one last thing: Shannon said at one of the beaches he saw some woman snorkeling while wearing a flotation device of some sort. This might be something for me to try next year! I will look into it.
Christmas polar bear, winter

(no subject)

Wow, it's cold in Berkeley. I mean, not as cold as most of the country, but colder than Hawaii. I even have to wear *socks*!

Today I had planned to just vegetate, but instead I did about a thousand loads of laundry (we had a few things that had to be washed all by themselves, so that took much longer than it had a right to) and unpacked our suitcase. I'm pretty sure our suitcase after last year's trip was sitting on our bedroom floor -- with only a few things in it -- for *months* after we got back. I didn't want to deal with such ridiculousness again, so I just unpacked the whole damn thing and set Shannon's stuff aside so he can do what he wants with it.

Oh, also, I woke up around 7 a.m., which is friggin' 5 a.m. Hawaiian time. I don't know what my body was thinking.

Once Shannon was up (I try not to watch tv while he's trying to sleep, so I won't wake him), I also watched about a million episodes of "Criminal Minds," mostly reruns of favorite episodes, because I find it relaxing (yes, serial killers = relaxing!); and caught up on some net surfing (after doing very little of it at Gary and Mary's house for the past week).

Did I mention that our flight out of Honolulu yesterday was delayed because someone *died* on the plane before it got to our gate? Pretty intense. The plane (and gate area, because it had been an international flight from the Philippines) had to be quarantined until the medical examiner could arrive and do his investigation. Also, the airport guys were probably like, "There are dozens of passengers standing out there, looking into the gate area through floor-to-ceiling windows, and we don't really want to haul out a body bag while they're watching." Shannon totally called it, though: they kept us waiting and waiting and waiting outside the gate area, and then a rep told us there'd been an "incident" on the plane, and Shannon said, "Somebody died. That's the only thing that would delay them this long."

Hawaiian Airlines handled the unexpected crisis really well, though, and our flight was only delayed by about 20 minutes. When we took United in previous years, we had *hours* of delay for much less reason, and with very little apology.

Our cats have been totally insane, especially Munchkin. I mean, I knew that before (especially about Munchkin), but it's even more apparent today. I think our week-long absence traumatized Munchkin more than any absence before. Maybe in her old age (almost 15) she's less tolerant. But she's been following me around all day, wailing constantly, and going absolutely nuts when I close a door, like when I go into the bathroom. She stands outside and makes frighteningly siren-like sounds. She probably figures that if she can't see me I might vanish again for another week. Poor stupid baby.

Gary and Mary gave me a purse for Christmas (by this company, Baggallini). I almost never use purses -- I prefer backpacks -- but this one's great, especially for traveling, because it's small, versatile (can be worn in many different ways: over-the-shoulder, across the chest, around the waist, as a backpack, etc.), and has tons of little pockets which are useful for organization. The pocket on the very outside of the bag closes with a little magnet. This little pocket is the most convenient for holding things you will want to grab quickly, so I put my BART ticket in it when we were on our way out of the airport. Then I went to enter the BART gates, and my ticket wouldn't work: it had been demagnetized by my lovely new purse! I can't believe I was stupid enough to put the BART ticket in that pocket! Especially given the fact that I've made the mistake once before, though it's been many years ago. D'oh! And that BART ticket still had almost $22 on it! The ticket booth thingy will be open at Berkeley station on Wednesday, though, so I'll go down there and see if I can work things out. I'll keep my fingers crossed.