We arrived at the airport around 1:30am, and we were all a little looped! We bid farewell to our friends and hunkered into YYZ. We wandered around looked for places to sleep: we tried the plastic Muskoka chairs, the black twisty couches, and finally this padded oval by the information desk, but I just couldn’t catch any winks. We left to go through security a little early, around 4am, and good thing because it was already a huge line. We got through with no more trouble than usual and made our way to our gate. Kai told them it was my birthday and they gave us a seat upgrade to ones with extra legroom and a row to ourselves! Just for asking, we received that gift. Birthday perks abound!
We had a layover and the first shift of the flight was rough physically. We were both trying to find a way to sleep and eventually I did for about an hour when I stretched out onto Kai. We landed in San Francisco for a couple hours and went to a restaurant to have what felt like dinner – and I ordered a beer! – but was actually breakfast because it was only 9:30am. I hadn’t thought about that when I ordered, but time doesn’t really exist in an airport, because when I looked around, everyone was drinking something. Kai tried to get another birthday perk which was the server singing to me. Though I thought that was very sweet, I admit I might have preferred a free beer.
Back to the gate, we boarded another place. Kai tried for yet another perk but no luck this time. This flight was also 5.5 hours, and thankfully we had the row to ourselves again. This flight was even more uncomfortable as this was my turn to be Kai’s bed, and even though I knew that was fair, I had a hard time sitting still to allow her to sleep. I started to read the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I was pretty absorbed for a while until Kai woke back up. When she did, we watched the movie Freeheld on my laptop, and I cried. Unbeknownst to me, Kai had conspired with the flight attendant to get me a perk after all – a free beer! I drank it slowly because I didn’t want to have to get up to use the bathroom. I have an issue with that on planes, mostly because I don’t like brushing past people. Too much contact for this introvert!
At last I began to see Hawai’i through the window – not sure what island it was, but it had that beautiful blue-green water surrounded by the deeper navy of the rest of the ocean. The landing was fabulous and we were off the plane in no time. The airport is tiny and open-air, and we were hot the minute our feet touched the ground. I ran to the bathroom to change into lighter clothes, then we grabbed our luggage and took the shuttle to the car rental spot. We saw two Oregon lesbians there who talked about how Portland was just a little too weird for them! We had to laugh. Again, Kai angled for a birthday upgrade, but no real luck this time. We did decide to go for a Kia Soul instead of the Ford Focus for the extra space. I think we made the right call because we did end up sleeping in it.
Kai drove us out of the airport (one straight road compared to the nightmare of Pearson) and immediately found us a rocky outlet by the sea. We switched into sandals and went and sat in the 21-degree sun. We made it!
We drove around a bit and then went to get my birthday dinner: poke! Kai had been beside herself to try it, and I was excited too. Poke is a dish of rice and raw fish, mostly tuna, but lots of other types as well. We got ours from Da Poke Shop with some seaweed salad, and I got a cold coffee drink. We found an enclosed little area with koa trees right by the water to sit and eat. There were no bugs to speak of – I mean, flies and ants, yes, but nothing like mosquitoes.
Back on the road, we took some detours on the way to our airbnb. Unlike Iceland, we landed the plane with a destination booked. Very much recommended – please remember that, self.
We drove up a beautiful garden driveway and were greeted by a woman with a cat in her arms. I liked her immediately! Our area was a lovely screened-in cabin, no windows so all you could hear were the lovely though invasive coqui frogs. We had access to the lanai (porch) of the main house, so we sat there and met the cats and watched the sun set. We saw all kinds of lovely birds, including bright yellow and red ones.
When we got cool enough, we went back to our room. It felt sooo good to lie down. My body had yearned for that moment! When I went to turn out the light, however, perched beside the light switch was the biggest spider I’d probably ever seen outside an aquarium. It had a massive body and loooong thick legs. It looked a little bit like a crab. I’m not afraid of spiders per se, but I let Kai deal with that one. Out she went! When we went to bed, it was probably only 8:30pm but we were toast.