Travels Begin

Had forgotten the declaration on entering Hawaii. At least no one sprayed the plane this time.

Blog went on hiatus because I took the trip of a lifetime and am ever so glad.

The voyage had an inauspicious beginning that rivaled the 2005 stranding over night in Charlotte, N.C. because of an ice storm. This time the plane from Bradley to Dallas left two hours late because of a flat tire. The delay caused me to miss the connection to Honolulu as well as a rebooked flight because there was one customer service rep who spent 35 minutes with a single passenger. A second rep strolled in from lunch and copped an attitude because the people at the gate didn’t rebook me. American Airlines should consider renaming customer service to “customer disservice.”

Eventually AA sent me to San Francisco and then via United Airlines to Honolulu where I arrived at 7 p.m. (1 a.m. according to my body clock) instead of 3 p.m. For unexplained reasons, my luggage showed up.

Indicator that the East Coast U.S. has evolved in ways other places have not: No one has asked me directly or in code “What race/ethnicity are you?” in years. Two people did it between Dallas and Honolulu. The first one started with, “Where are you headed?” and replied “Oh, that must be home” when I said Honolulu. He was a pilot who said, “God bless you” after I said no.

The second was a young woman aboard the S.F./Honolulu flight. She said, “If you don’t mind my asking, what race are you?” I almost said I did mind but instead asked her. Her parents are from India, and she was born in San Diego and travels the S.F./Honolulu route twice a month on business, stands up and wears compression stockings while drinking copious amounts of white wine.

My dear friend and host in Honolulu Mark Wilson greeted me with a lei. He was accompanied by Cousin Kathryn Golden, my travel companion for the next leg of the voyage who had arrived on time. The rain poured down as it can only in the tropics. A thunderstorm with ferocious winds blew the plastic coffee filter off the kitchen counter and upended a chair on the lanai.

The general idea was that the typhoon in Japan had blown across the Pacific. I was too exhausted to care.

Blame any typos or other errors in this and further entries on the fact that my body is in Connecticut, but my mind and spirit are still over the Pacific or maybe in California.

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