Busted down on bourbon street

9 Jan

Jan 9th. Epilogue

I’m a “leave no stone uncovered” type of guy. I’m also a bit of a hard ass. One of the requirements for an excellent adventure is TSA Precheck. Back in April I incessantly nagged those in my party that did not have pre-check to get it or Global Entry (GOES). If you’re only going to fly once in your life, you can skip it. If you’re going to fly a second time, you’re loosing time in your life to the TSA, here’s what it gets you.
No Precheck

-shoes off

-belt off

-laptop out of your bag

-liquids/gels out of your bag

-full body scan machine

Long lines that move slowly behind groups of parents with small children in strollers wearing metalized Mickey Mouse hats and no ability to read signs, or interpret that the restrictions mean YOU!

TSA Precheck.

-shoes stay on

-belt stays on

-laptop stays in your bag

-liquids/gels stay in your bag

-simple metal detector rather than a full body scan

Long lines that move fast. Usually parents with children don’t have Precheck.
So having Precheck can easily cut an hour from your travel at a horrid airport like Newark, and tremendously reduce stress and increase dignity. Everyone on the itinerary must have Precheck, or no one does.
On this trip we have a total of 6 travel legs, so Precheck was required to be a member of our gang.

Apparently we are Costco gerls. The family brought all kinds of food to eat on the plane, from Costco, in Costco sized portions. It managed to all get eaten except for some oranges. Hawaii has an agricultural screening going in and out.
Well it turns out one of the missions of this trip was smuggling. Somehow we missed the agricultural screening, or the agricultural screening missed us entering HNL and “Maw”, aka “WOMAN” smuggled an undisclosed number of contraband Costco oranges into the state. A new sub-mission, to eliminate the evidence, now added to the overall complication of the mission.

We had a wonderful breakfast at the Hyatt Elite Lounge (which came free with the presidential suite and the soap). We had breakfast before dawn. They had many areas set up. They had an American breakfast area with bacon, eggs, all kinds of Hawaiian fruit. A coffee station. A Japanese station with miso soup and rice. Each nationality kept to its own area, of course we ate outside in the dark of first light away from the hustle and bustle of the internationalists – enjoying the warm breeze in the dark.

As we left the Hyatt for our next destinations, I stopped the Tahoe abruptly. “has everyone stolen all the soap?”, I asked, Channeling Al Bundy (from “Married, with Children” fame). Fortunately even without an advanced plan, we were all of the same mind. The Hyatt has really nice, exotic, tropical soaps in their hotel. I recommend it!


My share of the ‘take’. because that’s where the soap is!


One of my life rules is, if you’re going to break laws, only break one at a time….

We make our getaway from the Hyatt and Waikiki beach with our smuggled oranges and pilfered soap. It turns out that Izzy had a cold and managed to pocket an undisclosed number of honey containers from the excellent included breakfast. We were on our way.

Also, so far as running afoul of many laws, I did forget to mention one thing about GPS navigation here. Google maps has some problems with the Hawaiian dialect and local customs. It must be related to the Italian GPS’s as rather than taking us to the Pearl Harbor memorial, it took us to NEAR the Pearl Harbor military base, even though we entered ‘Arizona memorial’ into the unit. It got us close to the memorial then in a fit Italian stubbornness it took us and our contraband oranges and pilfered soap and honey, over ford island bridge to the military base at Pearl Harbor. I made the turn, realized what I had done, but it was too late. We were immediately stopped by a friendly sentry with his hand on a machine gun who called us a dirty name: “you tourists…….”

He took my license and turned us around, then gave me my license back while muttering something about Google, Siri, Apple maps, etc…… And we found the correct entrance just a few hundred feet away.

We fly from HNL to LIH (Lihue) Kaua’i in the late afternoon. We got to the airport early, Amity suggested we take an early flight standby, which we did. Everyone having the TSA pre-check made things really easy, and I followed the advice of the Dollar Rental Agent, I dropped everyone off at the terminal with their bags with the rent-a-car, then returned the car back by myself. I stopped to fill up at the nearest station which was a brand I never heard of. “Nex”. Turns out, after waiting on line, that only military personnel are allowed to buy gas there. Nex is the “navy exchange”. Once that was settled, the gang had already procured my boarding pass and with TSA Pre-Check we were all through with our dignity…… Wait where is Laura, and Ray?!
My sister got busted trying to smuggle a bottle of water (she’s incorrigible). Well, it wasn’t really a bottle of water, it was kind of an empty bottle with an inch of backwash in the bottom. But the TSA agent said she couldn’t tell how much. CONFISCATED. In the mean time Ray had walked through with a super slush size cup of ice. He asked the TSA agent if 1 ounce of water was verboten, what about his cup full of ice (Ray has always been a troublemaker – but he didn’t ask until after he was through screening – I always knew Ray was smart guy).

TSA regulation says ice is AOK! (It’s a solid, not a gel or a liquid). Had I known that, I could have frozen the jar of mustard they confiscated from me for being a gel! Your government tax dollars at work….

We land in Lihue 27 minutes later. The consensus is that the plane ride was quicker than taking the “A” train home from Work.

We rent an Armada, stop at foodland for breakfast staples then have dinner outside in princeville. Exhausted we go to our two condo’s in the cliffs. We will spend the next three days here.

We watch the sunrise as the front yard reveals itself


“Small yard with water feature”


The adventure has just begun.



Title: “Truckin'” – Grateful Dead

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