Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10 & 11, 2010

We quickly fell asleep at around 3:30AM in a very nice hotel room with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and the Hyatt pool below our lanai. We were also startled awake at 7:30AM by the marching band practicing their steps on the walkway just outside our door -- the concrete-over-steel design looked cool but every step resonated loudly and shook the entire floor. We also had a very unusual night’s sleep on the “Space-aged Material” bed that we slept in with custom body grooves worn into it courtesy of the hundreds of other guests who have slept there before us. So we got up after very little sleep and got packed again, took some pictures of the beautiful view that we got to take in for 5 minutes and called a taxi to take us back to the airport to try and get off the island again.

Our taxi driver was named Ed and said he would meet us at noon and take us to the airport. We got down to the lobby and saw that everyone who got food vouchers was unable to use them at the hotel’s restaurant and ended up paying out of their own pocket, so we felt better about not receiving them the night before. Our taxi showed up promptly at noon and we loaded up and headed to the airport. Just as we were leaving I got a phone call from a very distraught taxi driver named “Ed” who was waiting for us at the hotel, our current taxi driver, also named “Ed”, confirmed to me that he was “Eddie the Taxi Driver”, of course since the other driver had my phone number, this “Ed” was not the “Ed” we were looking for, we had been Taxi-napped! Meagan and I were just happy to get a ride to the airport courtesy of the airline so we weren’t to upset about the taxi mix-up. Of course the other Ed was a bit upset and let me know in a voicemail, but there were several others behind us headed to the airport as well so hopefully things worked out for him. We got to the airport, again, waited in line, again, and waited at the gate, again… But this time we actually got on the plane! Since we pretty much had the last two seats we were given the two remaining Exit Row seats with about 6 feet of legroom that sat next to the bathrooms and across from a flight attendant’s jump seat. We flew to Kona, landed in a lava field that they called the airport and waited around a bit to take off to Chicago. The coolest thing about Kona was that the airport was completely outdoors and you got out of the plane on the tarmac and walked into a hut village that served as the terminal! We got back on the plane and struck up a conversation with one of the flight attendants, asking her how it was to fly from Hawaii to Chicago and back 4 or 5 times a month. She was very nice and gave us each a bottle of Champaign to celebrate our honeymoon and make the flight a bit more comfortable.

We arrived in Chicago to about 20° temperatures and crossed the frozen tundra to find the shuttle bus pickup area. We were both so tired but we still had to make it back to Grand Rapids. The shuttle took us to our snowbank (car) in front of the hotel, Meagan waited inside while I dug it out and reattached the battery cable and prayed that it would start after 12 days of snow and freezing temperatures. It did! And we were on our way home, taking turns trying to keep me awake until we finally pulled in, Honeymoon over, both of us exhausted, and tons of pictures and memories to share.

Posted By Matt