An LA Checkered Cab idled in the driveway of our Southern California home at 7 a.m. I was in the back seat within minutes. During the half hour trek to LAX, the driver and I talked about vacations, weather and our mutual love of San Francisco.
Once at Departures, I handed my overstuffed suitcase to a man at the curbside Check In. I hoped the $3 tip would ensure my luggage would make it through to my final destination. Always early, I had 90 minutes to wait in the Lounge area before boarding.
Soon sandwiched in the middle seat on the plane, my seat neighbor to the right, Barbara, proceeded to tell me about her life as a hair stylist to Hollywood celebrities. Politely listening, I wanted to close my eyes and rest. When the meal service was over, and all the trash collected, the “big” screen several rows ahead dropped down. I found myself staring at Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove and Pat Morita wondering would Cobra Kai instructor Kreese get revenge on Daniel? Would Miyaga train Daniel? Or would Daniel go to Kreese’s slimy partner Terry for help? I never did find out as I fell asleep before “Kid Karate 3” was over.
Six hours later, we touched down. As warned, the Honolulu Airport was chaotic. Intense heat and humidity dampened my clothes. It was around noon and I had to find my connection to Lihue. There I would need to find my luggage and Robert. The only advice he had was “if you don’t get in line right away you might not get a seat” as there was no assigned seating. A security guard pointed to the WikiWiki to take me to the Hawaiian Air terminal. After standing in line for 10 minutes, I was told I was at the wrong place so I had to retrace my steps. The next shuttle took forever to pick me up. Didn’t anyone know WikiWiki meant “hurry”?
Over the intercom, delay after delay was announced which included my flight. Then, no one had cell phones, so like everyone else I just waited. Three hours later, our flight was called to board. Walking as fast as possible, I headed for the gate about 5 minutes away. That’s when I saw Robert who I thought would already be in Lihue. I called out to him, but my voice lost in the crowd. I started to run and that’s when I heard this noise behind me…the contents of my purse had tumbled onto the floor. Thank goodness for kind people…a few helped me gather my things. Forging ahead, I met up with Robert whose flight was also delayed. He said, “I thought I might run into you here.”
From my journal: October 15, 1989 Redondo Beach, CA
“Getting here wasn’t easy…. but yesterday, after we got to Hanalei Bay, my frame of mind was instantly better.”