The holiday started bright and early as Chris had arranged to take me up the air traffic control tower for a poke around. This was cool and interesting to see from another perspective – it reminded me of the Flight Control app I play on my iphone, strangely! We pottered around up there for a bit taking it all in before heading back and across to Terminal 1. I am a teensy bit jealous that he gets to work up there sometimes – it definitely beats my view of a car park and a patch of grass.
Check in was quick and fairly uneventful. I bought a Longchamp bag for my enormous pile of hand luggage and some flip flops – that was about as exciting as it got. We took off a little delayed at 2.25pm but made the time up in the air and landed early. The flight was OK, but the plane was quite haggard with no personal TV’s. It wasn’t really an issue though as I had my iPad, Nintendo DS, magazines and all manner of entertainment to get me through. The food wasn’t terrible, they had beef brisket which I had never tried, and the plane version was very good so a normal version must be amazing! Overall flying United was a much better experience than when we flew with Delta last year and their igloo style cabins, frrr-rr-rreeezing!
I didn’t get as much sleep as I had expected and made a mental note to buy a travel pillow for the return journey. A few episodes of The Great British Bake Off later and we were almost landing at San Francisco, where we were greeted by the longest customs queue of all time! We had a fairly OK connection but did get a little worried when we were moving at snails pace – several people had to rush through just to make their next flight.
We met two people in the queue who were doing a similar trip to us in reverse – they had made the sensible decision to see San Francisco for a few days, which we would have too if United didn’t want to sting us for an extra £250 each just for the privilege. We collected our bags from the belt and I relieved myself of some of my hand luggage – I definitely regretted stuffing everything but the kitchen sink in there when it came to carrying it.
We headed to the gate for flight two and there was only a short wait. We had a dander around and almost bought a pizza as there was no free food in-flight, but we weren’t sure if it was a good idea and didn’t want to annoy who ever ended up next to us. After this we boarded – and what do we see, the person next to us only whips out a pizza! She wasn’t the only one either and we kicked ourselves for not grabbing one. Instead we settled for the squashed marshmallows and snacks I had bought with me.
The second flight was fine but we were starting to feel super tired, as by now we had been flying 18 hours + airport time. There was a panic mid-flight when they called out for a doctor but everything seemed to calm down and be OK. We are a bit worried since we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean so couldn’t exactly make an emergency landing. Eventually we landed at Honolulu and got the free shuttle to our airport hotel to crash ready for our early flight to Kauai in the morning. We were pleasantly surprised with the rooms – they were a nice size, with enormous beds and we slept like a dream!