Sunday, January 20th, 2002


2:35 pm - Hawaii - Day 1
Just to make you jealous, I take pleasure in informing you that I am typing this on my hotel balcony overlooking Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. More about that later.

Early yesterday morning, in anticipation of my flight to Hawaii, I dropped Molly Dog off at the home of the two women who usually walk her during the day while Beth and I are at work.  They are very sweet and I think Molly is going to enjoy staying with them almost as much as we are going to enjoy Hawaii.

The weather forecast for our little hamlet in New Jersey yesterday called for 3 to 6 inches of snow arriving sometime between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. My non-stop flight was scheduled to depart at 12:15 PM. My neighbor Tom dropped me off at the airport the, now customary, 2 1/2 hours ahead of schedule and I breezed though baggage check-in and the metal detector near the gate. I must admit that I felt a twinge of disappointment that I was just waved through after going through the detector while virtually everyone around me was being stopped and frisked or having their carry-on luggage rifled through. It occurred to me that as a Muppie Dink wearing a Ralph Lauren Polo jacket, Dockers, Timberland shirt and toting my Lands End carry-on, I fit no possible airplane hijacking profile. In my head, however, I still see myself looking somewhat like Taliban-loving traitor John Walker Lindh -- a look I may have still been pulling off in the early '70s, but no more. Since I don't act my age, I really don't see any reason why I should be forced to look it.

At any rate, we beat the snowstorm (I believe I saw the official total as 2.8 inches of the fluffy stuff) and the 10 hour non-stop flight was fairly uneventful. I did set a personal record by watching four different in-flight movies, none of which I would recommend. Just so you know, they were Hardball, Rock Star, Summer Catch and American Outlaws.

The descent into Honolulu was rough as we dropped through some storm clouds. I'm not a white-knuckler, but I must admit I gripped the seat a little harder has we hit a down draft and dropped a number of feet more than intended just before making contact with the ground. A collective "Oooooh" reverberated through the cabin.

Meeting Beth at the baggage terminal, I remarked that Hawaii reminded me to some extent of Paris. "How so," she inquired. "It's raining," I remarked as dryly as possible under the circumstances.

We took a light snack at the beachfront café of The Royal Hawaiian next door and damned if I didn't order the Pupu Platter, something I don't think I ever imagined myself doing. But I'm hooked. I've gone Hawaiian. By the way, The Royal Hawaiian is a beautifully gracious old hotel painted a tropical pink at which you should at least have a drink should you ever traverse Waikiki.



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