1. Pre-order before April 27 on Amazon Kindle at pre-order discount price
2. Pre-order before April 27 at Black Rose Writing for a 15% discount using promo code PREORDER2023
3. Enter the Goodreads Giveaway before April 20 to win a FREE copy of "Tropical Depression"
HOUSTON, WE HAD A PROBLEM (BUT IT WAS A FIRST WORLD PROBLEM)
And so the day after I arrived home from last year's trip I called the Hale Koa and made reservations for the first week of April, 2023. Within the next few days we had our flight and rental car reservations sewn up as well, and our same-time-next year trip was organized.
But, of course, even plans organized a year in advance can become unorganized in a snap, as happened to us late the night before our trip when those of us flying from Columbus - Tom, Theresa, Theresa's friend and myself - were notified that our April 1 flight to Honolulu had been cancelled due to high winds in the Midwest.
Theresa's friend was re-booked on a later flight that same day. Tom, Theresa, and I were assigned a flight the following day, Sunday, April 2 with an itinerary of Columbus to Houston, then Houston to Honolulu. Our flight was to leave Columbus at 6:33 am and arrive in Honolulu at 1:23 pm Hawaii Standard Time, which is 6 hours behind Columbus, Ohio time.
When we arrived at the Columbus airport at 4:45 am the place was a sea of people.
"We'll never make our flight!" said Tom and I at the same time. We weren't even completely sure which check-in line was for our airline, United, but we chose a likely-looking line and moved along with it, taking turns every other minute to moan that we'd never make it.
When our turn at the check-in arrived I asked the clerk if we'd make our flight. "Oh, sure you will," she chirped, appearing totally unperturbed by the massive chaos on the other side of her counter.
As it turned out, she was right, and we arrived at our gate for our Houston flight with minutes to spare. And so we lined up to board our flight with our fellow travelers, who were legion.
We had about an hour layover in Houston, which gave us just enough time to thread our way through the crowd there,
However we needn't have hurried. A few minutes before boarding the gate agent announced that a slight repair was needed in one of the plane lavatories, and so the flight was delayed until10:15 am. Except that the repair wasn't quite finished by 10:15, so the time was pushed back to 10:30. Until it was discovered that the problem wasn't just one lavatory, but the whole lavatory system in need of some regulating, which would take a couple of hours. The new departure time was 1:30 pm. There was some grumbling among the passengers, but most of us just went off and found ourselves a spot wherefore to chill for a while.
Seconds later the gate counter was swarmed by passengers, hoping to accomplish I knew not what.
The rest of us, though, wandered off to while away the next 6 hours, at least some of us somewhat placated by the $45 voucher each of us was given to spend on airport food, though try as we might, our group didn't come near to accomplishing the goal of spending it all.
It was around 1:30 am when we landed in Honolulu. And after the thirteen-and-a-half hours we'd spent in the Houston airport followed by the eight-and-a-half hour flight from Houston to Hawaii, it was unexpectedly lovely to step into the Honolulu airport and hear mellifluous Hawaiian music playing in the terminal,