Big Trip: Part 2 (Hawaii)

Friday, May 9
10:42 AM

There are restless children nearby. Gate D8 at Portland International Airport is otherwise quiet; most people are using laptops or reading books. This airport does have freely accessible Wi-Fi. I passed through the security checkpoint nearly two hours ago, and I have another hour and fifteen minutes until boarding begins. It took an hour-long ride on the MAX to get me to the airport from the Beaverton Transit Center this morning. I was able to sit for most of it.

Yesterday’s plane from San Francisco did not smell like urine and the seat actually featured a cushioned place for me to rest my head. By the time I was on board I felt about ready to faint from hunger; it was past 4:00 and I had eaten nothing but an apple, a bowl of ramen noodles, and a handful of bunny-shaped chocolate graham crackers. I prayed for the beverage service to reach me quickly. The orange juice helped a little bit.

While I was waiting for us to take off I flipped through one of those infamous SkyMall catalogs. My favorite item was a “marshmallow shooter”—an air gun that could shoot marshmallows up to 30 feet. I think it was priced at about 100 bucks. Forgive me if this is some new fad I’m not aware of, but what is the point? The SkyMall copywriters didn’t even try to pretend that it had any purpose. Here it is, take it or leave it…. On second thought I suppose it could be a fun toy, but I will continue to be snarky about it.

This plane, unlike the ones that service the Arcata Airport, also had TV screens. The in-flight entertainment was an episode of Chuck. I didn’t plug in my headphones, but who needs sound? The guy who stars in that show is hot. And that’s all I know about Chuck.

I’m not sure what to expect on my upcoming flight to Hawaii, but I don’t think they’re going to feed us. I don’t want to make the same mistake I made yesterday, so I’m off to find food. Aloha.

Friday, May 9
3:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time)

I wanted to write a quick blog before my laptop battery dies. I’m currently on my first trans-Pacific flight. The window shades are drawn right now because there’s a bad movie showing (27 Dresses), but my view is mostly filled by airplane wing. I always wonder what it would be like to walk out there and cling to the edge. I also wonder what it would be like to free-fall to one’s death.

After my last entry I ate a crummy overpriced sandwich at the airport. I’m trying to be frugal on this trip, but that’s not easy in an airport. At least I brought some trail mix with me. As I waited for boarding I leaned against the wall next to the moving sidewalk and watched this one guy, probably no more than 21 years old, who looked like a stereotypical Cool Guy character in a John Hughes movie. Red shirt, black jacket with the sleeves rolled up, round wire-rimmed sunglasses. (Alas, no backwards cap.) He was leaning back against the railing, arms crossed, checking everybody out. He would get off at one end and get right back on, going in the other direction. At one point he crossed paths with a kid who was traveling on the opposite sidewalk, and put his arms together and aimed at the kid like he was about to fire a gun. I don’t think they knew each other. It was funny.

I can see the ocean out my window now. Two-and-a-half more hours to go.

Friday, May 9
8:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time)

The Honolulu sun is dipping in the sky before my eyes. It’s hard to process the reality of my location right now, when I’m sitting in an airport and have barely tasted the Hawaiian atmosphere. I even ate a Whopper, which is weird, because I hadn’t eaten a hamburger in years. I asked about getting on an earlier flight to Hilo, but everything is full.

The temperature outside is 85 degrees (or so I heard when we were landing), the sky is partly cloudy, and it has been raining sporadically. I can’t wait to get outside and experience it all. By the time I get to my hotel tonight it will be dark.

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