Archive | January, 2016

…flying high into the sky….

8 Jan

After 11 hours of flight time the big island finally pokes up in the distance, rising out of the pacific.
 

Hawaii. (big island) appears in the distance

 

Had I told the pilot “once around the park, Jamie” we couldn’t have asked for a nicer approach to O’ahu.
  Past the big island, the over the coast of Maui and Moloka’i
 

Volcanic peaks of Maui poking out from their shrouds of clouds!

  

Can you tell these islands are made out of Lava?

Maui Coast and Molokai

 

The reason I seated us all on the port side of the plane was to get the view of Pearl Harbor and Hickman Air Force base. On the final approach to HNL.   Pearl Harbor is tomorrow’s destination and the view didn’t  disappoint.
 

Pearl Harbor

  

The red and white ATC tower in the center is an icon of Pearl Harbor since the attack.  On the mid-upper right you will see the Arizona memorial standing over (but not touching) the remains of the destroyed battleship and her entombed sailors.  This commemorates the beginning of the US entry into WW2.

Just to the left of that is the Battleship Missouri, facing toward the Arizona as a sign of respect.  Battleships are normally moored with the bow facing out, towards the ocean, ready at a moments notice to sail out.  The Missouri, was where the surrender instrument was signed in Tokyo harbor, and represents the end of WW2.

Typically a document like that would have been signed on the US flagship, which at the time was the US New Jersey, but Harry Truman was from Missouri, so the “Mighty Mo'” received the Japanese Delegation and the honors.

(Note – to non tech – savvy readers – you can expand the pictures!)

Hickman AFB

 

Hickman Air Force base adjoins Honolulu International Airport.  250 feet left to descend.
 

Landing at HNL

 

We land on runway designated 8R/26L, also known as the Reef Runway, was the world’s first major runway constructed entirely offshore. Completed in 1977, the Reef Runway was a designated alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle.

Finally, we deplane, rent a Tahoe and we’ll be spending the night in Waikiki beach on the beachfront tonite, then it’s off to Pearl Harbor and the banzai pipeline tomorrow.
See ya’ then!

Off we go! ┬áInto the wild blue yonder……

8 Jan

We’re currently flying west over the Grand Canyon, but the cloud cover has it obscured, or I’d try to figure out how to put the picture here.  I’ve decided, I’m just going to try to get the words and sentiments out.  I’m not going to compete with my usual merciless traveling companion and his writers prose.  I’llstick to what I’m food at.  As Chico once captioned a photo of my fording a stream in a jeep- “Dan is comfortable behind the wheel”.  Just gonna be me, warts and all, and see how it comes out.  I’m also not going to blog by the day.  Maybe I’ll do short ones many times a day.  Maybe I’ll just blog a picture when I’m too busy having a good time.

I got up at very dark 15 and got out the door. (Winston Kitty was very unhappy I was leaving with my bag again) and drove the rental thing to Newark airport.  My siblings head to Newark airport from 40 miles in the other direction.  We figured we’d meet at the gate.  And use cell phones if we have to to find each other.  Turns out you can rent a Chevy spark from dollar around the corner for 15 dollars at the last minute and drop it off at Newark airport.  It took $1.90 in gasoline to top off the tank.  Cheaper than mass transit.  Dropped off the car, got on the AirTrain.

And now an advertisement for TSA Precheck!  Precheck is great.  You can usually get through security in a fraction of the time, without being irradiated and with most of your dignity intact.  Leave on your belt, leave on your shoes, leave your computer in your bag and just stroll through the simple metal detector and you’re done.  I’ll talk about GOES maybe on my next international flight.

 Those of us that are unfortunate enough to have to use Newark airport know there is only 1 TSA pre check checkpoint for the entire United terminal – at entry point ‘C’.  But I consulted united’s terminal map which proudly proclaims that there is a TSA preconceived at all entry points.  So I wrote a detailed note to my siblings that I didn’t believe them and if it weren’t so how to get to to checkpoint “C”.
The AirTrain stops at checkpoint 2, so I took the time to find out what I already knew.  There is only ONE TSA pre check at the United terminal, and it’s at “c”.  The published United documentation is a bald faced lie.  So I take the escalator and walk over to ‘c’ and get on line.   Who is directly in front of me?  My siblings.  THANK YOU MOM! (See I told you they’d be with us)  We coud not have done that if we planned. It.

  So an easy boarding for an on-time departure on UA15, EWR->HNL.  I give my family the briefing on how to use the power, bed and other amenities.  We take up the forward section of the  port side of the cabin.

The singles (me and Izzy in the front), the marrieds (Ray and Laura in row 2) and the soon to be marrieds (Amity and Paul) in row three.

The plane is a 767-400ER.  A ubiquitous mini-jumbo jet of united’s fleet.  Nice comfortable accomodations for our 11.5 hour flight.

  
Then it’s up up and away!,  er….  Off we go into the wild blue yonder flying high into the sky……

  • We are currently approaching the San Bernadino mountains at the southern part of the  Sierra Nevada mountain range. To fly south of LAX then over the pacific.

san bernadino mountains

Bucking a 140mph headwind… Finally over the pacific.

Our first stop will be O’Ahu, a drive along a dramatic coastline, then dinner at Uncle Bo’s and accomodations in Waikiki Beach.  We will only be on O’Ahu a short time to see Pearl Harbor, the banzai pipeline, some sights along the coast then off to less populated islands of Kaua’i and Hawaii.

  Talk to you again from O’Ahu.
 

Twas the night before…….

8 Jan
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‘Twas the night before…….

I feel compelled to start blogging (again). Actually I never felt like I did blog, as on many of my travels, I travelled with butterblogger.com and he did all the blogging.

I was lazy.

well, tomorrow begins the trip of a lifetime. A year in the planning. Even though I’ve been there Many times before, this time it’s all about my traveling companions. My family is going with me so I can share with them many of my favorite places on earth, Hawaii.

My sister, My brother (in-law – hithertofore referred to as my brother – which is the defacto relationship), my two nieces and my soon to be nephew in law.

Amity is getting married to Paul in September. I offered to send them round trip anywhere United flies, or take the whole family to Hawaii, which I’ve been to many times and know pretty well. It didn’t take them but seconds to decide and We’re going on a trip of my lifetime. Oahu, Kaua’i and Hawaii (Big Island), 10 days on my favorite islands. Volcanos, monster waves, deserts, rainbows and rain forests.

and someone else is sure to join us, my long dead parents, who never made it to Hawaii. They knew how to travel and taught it to us. They will undoubtedly join us on this celebration of my first niece getting married. I’ve noticed lately that certain mannerisms, values and thought processes run through the generations, and i’m anxious to partake in them. I know countless times in the next 10 days we will be reminded of them and their presence will be known, through word, action and thought.

I made these plane reservations all the way back in april. 6 for us, but for me and Izzy, we ended up with seats not next to each other. The plane has been fully booked for months. Today, after check-in time, the seat next to me, 1b, opened up. out of hundreds of seats on the plane – all full, the one next to me opens up. I call up izzy and tell her to grab that seat. She gets it. As in many times in the past when synchronicity strikes I say:

“THANK YOU MOM”. Izzy tells me she it’s like when she finds a great parking space near her apartment uptown she says “I’ve never met you but thanks”. I didn’t know she does that before tonite. There will be many family revelations over the next 10 days and I welcome them.

I did a driving trip with my two nieces a decade ago touring eastern Europe, Germany, Austria, Czech republic, Poland and we had a spectacular time. This time my nieces parents, my sister and brother will join the celebration of the marriage and it will be my entire family.

so it’s time to pack and early in the morning we’ll start more than just “another”, but maybe the best ‘excellent adventure of my life’.

I’m just starting this blog up, It won’t be perfect. Please let me know if you can read it and if things look ok, and what can be better.